Nokia Phone's

All About Nokia Mobile's
 
HomeHome  PortalPortal  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log in  

Share | 
 

 N82 Part 1+2+3+4+5..All about it

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
The PROGRAMMER
WEB MASTER
WEB MASTER


Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-01-13
Age : 30
Location : Daburia

PostSubject: N82 Part 1+2+3+4+5..All about it   Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:35 am

Introduction

NOKIA PHONE's BY ATTRASHThe recently announced Nokia N82 is an
impressively specified device. With a 5 megapixel camera, integrated
GPS, S60 software suite and WiFi, Bluetooth and 3.5G connectivity it
boasts a feature set to match the flagship Nokia N95 8GB. However, the
N82 has a greater focus on its camera, thanks to its Xenon flash. Its
price point and smaller size suggest it may have a broader market than
the expensive N95 8GB.

Nokia N82

The
N82 represents a welcome return to candybars for the Nseries, which
remains, globally, the most popular device form factor. Typically,
candybar phones are robust and can stand up to a lot of abuse and for
many there's a certain sense of comfort and familiarity. Thus the
traditional form factor, the stand out camera performance and something
of an emphasis on style over practicality in the design should attract
interest from fashion seekers looking for a phone with a bit extra. The
N82 is also reminiscent of N73 and, although the N82 is not strictly a
replacement (in terms of its positioning), I'm sure there will be
plenty of N73 owners expressing interest in the N82 precisely because
it matches their form factor preference.

Physical aspects

The
N82 is slightly smaller in volume, at 90cc, than the N95 8GB at 96cc,
but bigger than the N81's 86cc. However, the form factor, with its
smaller depth and longer height, means it subjectively feels smaller
than both in the hand. It compares more favourably with most average
feature phones than other Nseries devices, which often have a feeling
of bulk about them. At 114g (N95 8GB: 128g, N81: 140g) it is
impressively light and, together with its shape, means it disappears
unnoticed into pockets much more easily.

The casing of the N82
is made up of hard plastics which make for a robust device. The N82
really feels built to last with excellent overall build quality, there
are no untoward squeaks, flexes or rattles. The front of the device has
a shiny faux metallic look which appears striking, but has an
unfortunate tendency to attract finger prints, and will need frequent
cleaning. The rear of the device has a more conventional muted plastic,
with an attractive embedded pattern of scored lines.

The rear
of the N82 is dominated by the 5 megapixel camera with its Xenon flash.
The camera lens is reassuringly protected by a robust slider mechanism
which, when operated, starts or closes the camera application on the
phone. I've always been a fan of such physical switch mechanisms and
this is amongst the best camera arrangements I've seen on a mobile
phone. The up-down lens cover mechanism is much smoother and more
natural than the ring slider found on the N95 classic and less bulky
than the camera slide on the N73.

N82 camera

Under
the battery cover you'll find the 1050 mAh BP-6MT battery. Even with
relatively heavy usage you should be easily able to get through a day,
and with lighter usage a few days is within reach. While a larger
battery capacity is always better, it has to be set against the
compromise of increased size and weight. Nokia have got things about
right with the N82, it is in 'good enough' territory, especially
compared to the N95 classic which was lacking in this department.

On
the lower left hand side of the N82 is the power port, moved from its
traditional bottom left hand side location. Above this is the microSD
card slot - SDHC cards are supported; 8GB cards are currently available
and higher capacities on the way. A 2GB card is included in most sales
packs - sufficient for average usage as it gives a good amount of room
for photos, music and maps. There is a generous 100MB of internal
memory available and with this amount it makes sense to install
applications here and use the memory card for data storage. Above the
memory card slot is the microUSB port, which is used for PC
connectivity. microUSB is relatively new to the Nseries (the N81 was
the first device with this type of port), but it is an industry
standard and phone manufacturers are looking to standardise around it.
There is a degree of annoyance at moving on from miniUSB given that you
can't re-use old cables, but it makes sense in the longer term and the
smaller profile should be less prone to collecting dust and other
grunge.

Side N82 Side N82 top

On
the top of the device you'll find the 3.5mm audio jack and the power
button. This is the best position for the audio jack since it allows
you to keep the phone in your pocket and avoid the headphone wire
problems that are common on the N95 with its side-located audio jack.
The Nseries standardisation on 3.5mm audio ports continues to be very
welcome and Nokia deserve credit for listening to their users in this
area. Other smartphone manufacturers could learn from this.

At
either end of the right hand side of the N82 are the stereo speakers.
These do not seem to match the performance of the N81 or N95, but are
still reasonable. Having both speakers on the same side does allows you
to direct the sound more easily and in some ways is a sensible design
decision, given it matches with typical speaker usage. Typically you
will either be playing games in landscape mode or have the phone
sitting on a desk playing music. In between the two speakers are the
volume up and down rocker key, the gallery key and the camera capture
key. The gallery effectively gives you the 'review mode' key which you
typically find on a standalone digital camera, further burnishing the
N82ís camera related hardware offering. In common with most other
phones the camera capture key is positioned to mimic the feel of a
stand alone digital camera when the phone is held on its side in
landscape mode.

The sides of the N82 taper slightly from the
front to back, which makes it comfortable to hold. However this does
mean that the phone will not stand on its side, which makes it
difficult to take self timer pictures. Personally I feel this is good
design trade off, and as this YouTube video points out [LINK], you can
use the memory card slot cover to get around this problem (didn't work
reliably for me - Ed), although personally I'd recommend leaning the
phone against something!

The N82's keypad is something of a mixed
bag, but overall performance is generally good and I think the space is
used intelligently given the space made available by the form factor
choice. Styling is always a very subjective area. Personally I think
the N82 rather stands out, it has something of a retro-alternative look
and feel, but the reactions from people I have shown it to have been
mixed. The backing and surround of the keypad is the same shiny plastic
as the rest of the front face of the device and is similarly prone to
fingerprints. Given fingers are rather essential in using a keypad it
is inevitable that this area ends up looking messy.

The
send/answer and end call keys at first appear to be awkwardly placed on
the side of device. But appearances are deceptive, they are excellent
in use partly because they are easy to locate without looking at the
phone (it's almost a case of picking up the phone and squeezing it to
answer). This is reminiscent of the Nokia 6680 and is in sharp contrast
with the N95, especially the 8GB version, with its smaller equivalent
keys.

N82 keypad

The
news is more mixed on the softkeys, which are flat rocker-esque keys
combining the left softkey with the S60 key and the right softkey with
the cancel key. The positive side of this is that the keys are quite
large, but the downside is that you have to be more careful about where
you hit them. Potentially more irritating is the fact that the right
softkey/cancel key is interrupted, in the middle, by the protruding
multimedia key, which results in relatively small key areas for all
concerned. Left-handers will find this arrangement particularly
annoying, as it requires extra contortions when pressing the keys with
your thumb. These right side keys are used less than their left side
counterparts and the impact also has to be measured against the utility
of the multimedia key and easy access to its related multimedia
carousel, which we discuss further below.

The central d-pad is
in the 'ring with central button style' that is becoming increasingly
common on Nokia phones. This style works well and is easy to use;
allowing you to shift the thumb around the pad rather than having to
lift it off for distinct key presses. The large central button that
this arrangement allows is particularly welcome, given its frequent
use. Compared to the N95, the design of the N82's d-pad is better, but
the physical implementation is not. Unfortunately, the d-pad feels
rather spongier in use than I would like. The ring would also benefit
from standing out a little more from the surrounding area - left/right
keypresses in particular suffer, due to their proximity to the softkey
buttons.

The numeric pad is made up of small bars similar to
those found on the N91 and reminiscent of the first calculators (hence
the 'retro' label for styling). They look fiddly to use, but thanks to
the generous spacing between the keys it is possible to achieve fast
and accurate input. The small keypad area is a design constraint since
candybar phones with larger screens inevitably have less keypad space
that similar slider or flip form factor models. In this light I think
the N82's keypad performs surprisingly well - it is, for example, a
definite improvement over the N73's.

The top of the front of the
N82 has the usual light sensor (which automatically adjusts screen
brightness), the call speaker and VGA video calling camera. Below is
the high quality QVGA screen which is set behind hard plastic which is
flush with the rest of the front face of the device. This avoids the
dust collecting problem that is typical of devices with recessed
screens. At 2.4 inches, the screen is noticeably smaller than those
found on the N95 models (N95 - 2.6 inches, N95 8GB - 2.8 inches), which
does have implications for consuming media, especially for watching
video. Some areas of the UI on the N82 have slightly less information
displayed on screen than the N95 - 5 versus 6 Active Idle shortcuts and
5 versus 6 menu list items (e.g. in Gallery) are good examples. However
the screen is still larger than most phones (e.g. the 6120 at only 2
inches) and the smaller size does add a crispness missing from the N95
models thanks to the higher pixel density. Performance outdoors is also
very good with the screen visible even in bright sun light.

N82 compared

Connectivity

With
WiFI (b/g), HSDPA (WCDMA 2100), and quad band GSM, the N82 is well
catered for in terms of data connectivity. The same single band WCDMA
as with other Nokia phones may raise some eyebrows given that HTC and
other smartphone manufacturers are routinely including support for
multiple bands. Part of this is due to Nokia's legal disputes with
Qualcomm, but there are also cost and size (particularly with regard to
aerial layout) issues to be considered.

With WiFi present,
S60's usual SIP client puts in an appearance allowing you to make VoIP
calls from services such as Truphone or SIPhone. A Gizmo client that
utilizes the SIP client and adds a few other features (including chat)
is available via the Nokia Download! service. Some operators have
disabled the SIP client in their own branded firmwares,so it is worth
checking with your operator if this is an important feature for you.

The
N82 has the familiar Bluetooth profiles, including A2DP and AVRCP for
use in stereo audio headsets. In tests I had no problems with any Nokia
accessories. However, a Sony Ericsson audio accessory remote volume
control did not work; this is probably due to an incompatibility
problem in the AVRCP profile, though it is difficult to say whether the
accessory or the handset is to blame. Bluetooth keyboards do work,
although you will need to download Nokia's Wireless Keyboard application as, strangely, it is not included out of the box.

Camera

Imaging
is clearly one of the N82's core functions; it has the same 5 megapixel
camera module as the N95. These impressed with their picture quality in
earlier reviews, but the N82 has a few tricks up its sleeve that makes
the N82 stand out even more.

The first of these is the N82's
Xenon flash, a first for the Nseries line. This is capable of producing
a much brighter flash than is possible with an LED flash (as used on
previous Nseries models). Consequently the N82 is capable of producing
much better pictures in low light conditions. It can even take photos
in near total darkness provided the subject is within about 3 metres.
In low lighting conditions you should be able to achieve good results
up to 5 metres away. Previous Nseries camera performance was poor in
low lighting conditions and this was the one area which really held
them back from fully replacing digital cameras. After all, a good
portion of people's pictures are taken indoors in less than ideal light
conditions. The difference is obvious in comparison pictures and this
single factor makes the N82 a much more versatile cameraphone. The N82,
like other Nseries, also has a dedicated autofocus assist lamp. This is
the red light that comes on in low light conditions in order to help
the camera focus. In previous Nseries models, the assist lamp was part
of the LED assembly, in the N82 it is still part of the overall unit,
but is isolated in one corner. This may be one of the reasons why the
N82 has faster lock on times for auto focus in low light conditions.

N82 camera



Last edited by on Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://nokia.forum0.biz
The PROGRAMMER
WEB MASTER
WEB MASTER


Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-01-13
Age : 30
Location : Daburia

PostSubject: N82 part 2 all about it   Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:41 pm

The
second improvement is in overall camera speed. The N82 has a fast
camera start up time (around 2.6 seconds in my tests) and a low shutter
lag time (less than 0.2 of a second) which means it is more likely that
you will be able to capture that magic moment. The shot to shot time is
also quite impressive at around 4 seconds. These numbers will vary
depending on lighting and other conditions and, while there here is
still room for improvement, the N82 is much better in this department
than most camera phones.

Here are some sample images captured by the N82:

sample sample

sample sample

sample pics sample - chaslam

waterfall

These last two images of a near identical scene differ only in that the second was taken when it was completely dark.


The
quality of images captured on camera phones generally face two key
limitations: image noise and post processing artefacts. Both of these
factors are worsened by the unavoidable physical limitations of mobile
phones. Here is a quick, simplified, explanation of the problem:

Image
noise is the random fluctuation of pixel values (colours) in an image
(for example two adjacent pixels may have different colour in a
captured image despite being the same in reality). Such noise is caused
by the imperfect capture of light by a CMOS sensor or electronic
interference in the sensor itself. It is most apparent in low signal
conditions such as in shadowed areas or in under exposed images. Thus
image noise is generally most noticeable in low light conditions (an
area where cameraphones are already weak due to anaemic LED flashes).
The amount of noise in a captured image is also closely related to the
density of light sensors (i.e. the size of individual image sensors)
within a CMOS sensor. Each CMOS sensor is made up of many individual
light sensors and these collect photons (light) and convert them to
electrons (electrical signals). Thus the number of photons falling on
each sensor is important because it directly correlates to the strength
of the light signal (small light sensors collect fewer photons (weaker
signal) than large light sensors (stronger signal). Consequently
smaller sensors have lower signal to noise ratios. Other important
factors related to the size of the image sensor are dynamic range (the
range of tones a sensor can capture) and diffraction. You can read more on this subject here.
This explains why a 3 megapixel stand alone digital camera will out
perform a 3 megapixel cameraphone, the CMOS sensor in the digital
camera will be larger than in the mobile phone.

The CMOS sensor
size in mobile phones has remained relatively constant while the
resolution (megapixels) has increased which means image noise problems
have increased over time (this incidentally explains why more
megapixels is not always better in performance terms). To correct for
this, cameraphones typically perform post processing via their built in
software; this includes techniques such as noise reduction and edge
enhancement. These techniques are implemented through software
algorithms and can effect image quality because they create artefacts
(areas of unnatural looking image). The creation of artefacts is
related to the quality of the post processing software and its
algorithms. The removal of image noise and artefacts from post
processing results in clearer, better defined images (although as a
general rule image noise and artefacts are generally only individually
discernible after you zoom into an image).


What
really impresses with the N82 is the noticeable reduction in these
image noise artefacts issues in captured images. Image noise and
artefacts do not disappear altogether; there are still more than in
most standalone mid-tier digital cameras. The reduction is noticeable
though in comparisons with images captured with the N73 (and similar
vintages) and there is a slight improvement over photos from the N95
classic.

While this may be partly attributable to the improved
optics and sensors on the N82 (and the Xenon flash in low light
conditions) it's also likely due to improved post processing software.
Over the last few years, Nokia has been steadily improving the quality
of its camera drivers and image processing software: the N82 represents
the current peak of these continuing developments. Fortunately for
other Nseries owners, at least some of these improvements are universal
(and some can be delivered via firmware updates), the recent N95 8GB
(and its firmware), for example, has near identical performance to the
N82, at least in well lit conditions. However the combination of
software improvement and Xenon flash deliver the best performance of
the Nseries range to the N82.

N82 in camera mode

The
N82's camera software will be familiar to most Nseries users. It allows
access to a number of settings, including mode, flash, self timer,
color tone, viewfinder grid, white balance, exposure, sharpness,
contrast and ISO speed. Viewfinder grid is the only addition, it places
gridlines on the screen horizontally and vertically, dividing the
screen into thirds. This helps you compose photos according to the rule of thirds
principle. The N82 works well in fully automatic mode (which I imagine
most people will use 90% of the time), but with practice you can get
better results by changing these settings. The most obvious ones to use
are the mode functions (e.g. using night mode to take a night photo
without the flash), but the others are worth exploring too, especially
exposure. In order to get the most out of these, you probably need to
have a decent understanding of the fundamentals of photography. There
are also a number of options after you capture an image: Send (MMS,
Bluetooth, Web), Add to print basket, Web upload and Delete. Web upload
allows you to upload pictures to Flickr with a single click, a form of
instantaneous sharing which is hard to beat.

Video capture is
also supported, with a VGA resolution at around 30 frames per second
and offers very similar performance to the N95 models. The quality is
easily watchable on a TV and with practice you can get some really good
results. With video capture, more so than still image capture, the
results are dependent on the expertise of the user in terms of
assessing lighting, framing the video, holding the phone steady and so
on.

The Gallery application, used for viewing and accessing
multimedia, remains the same as on previous Nseries. It does a
reasonable job of basic media viewing, although album functionality is
a little inaccessible and combining images and videos together in one
big list is not ideal (agreed - Ed). More impressive are the companion
functions and services, including Slide show, Image editor and
Printing.

Being able to run a slide show on your TV (via TV
Out) with background music or order hard print copies of your photos
from your phone (via the XpressPrint service)
or upload pictures directly to Flickr is a user experience that no
ordinary digital camera can meet. It is this sort of area that really
shows of the power of Nokia's multimedia computers. However, Gallery
has room for improvement; finding an image once you have more than 50
or more images is cumbersome. If you try to solve this by regularly
taking photos off the phone then there is no easy way of keeping your
favourite photos on the phone and little incentive to properly
categorise photos into albums on the phone. An option to view media in
hierarchies or smart albums which took advantage of the available meta
data (by date, by location, etc.) might help.

Nokia Photos, a
PC application currently in beta (and available from the Nseries web
site) does solve some of these issues. It provides easy to use sync and
an option to sync photos back to the phone from the PC. However, given
its beta status, made obvious by clashes between the Lifeblog, Gallery
and Nokia Photo applications in both process and nomenclature, it
cannot be considered in an assessment of the N82.

There is no
doubting that the N82's camera functionality is very impressive and
gives excellent all round results. It is easily capable of replacing
mid range standalone cameras in almost all situations. The addition of
the Xenon flash means decent images can be captured even in very low
light conditions; this was a stumbling for all previous Nseries
devices. Overall start up and auto focus times have been improved,
making it easier to capture that passing moment. Of course camera
performance and image quality is only one half of the picture (no pun
intended). The lens shutter mechanism, sensible positioning of the
capture key and decent camera software create a very intuitive camera
experience. The only thing that doesn't really measure up to these high
standards is viewing photos after they have been taken and that is down
to the Gallery issues we discussed above. Despite this, the camera
performance and user experience taken together mean that there is no
question that the N82 is the best cameraphone that Nokia have ever
produced.

In part 2 of my Nokia N82 review, I'll be looking at its GPS, its overall software package, UI tweaks and general performance.

Rafe Blandford, All About Symbian

sample sample sample


_________________
THE ADMIN OF THE SITE
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://nokia.forum0.biz
The PROGRAMMER
WEB MASTER
WEB MASTER


Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-01-13
Age : 30
Location : Daburia

PostSubject: N82 part 3 all about it   Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:42 pm

GPS and Nokia Maps

The N82 is the second Nseries model after
the N95 to get a built in GPS. Nokia have also considerably improved
the implementation since the N95 launch by adding assisted GPS.
The N82 also benefits from moving the GPS aerial from the bottom of the
device to the top. The end result is excellent performance with lock on
times from a cold start around 30-40 seconds in most cases and just a
handful of seconds to reacquire the signal from a soft start. The phone
also holds onto GPS signals much more reliably, be it in urban canyons
or heavily vegetated areas.

The main built in application to
take advantage of the GPS is Nokia Maps. This offers free mapping for
150 countries, with around 40 of these also offering routing. Maps can
either be downloaded over the air or preloaded using Nokia Maps Loader.
The preloading option is very worthwhile if you are roaming or do not
have a flat rate data package as the size of downloads can quickly add
up. A point of information (POI) database, divided into various
categories, comes with the maps. The quality of the POIs varies by
area; large urban areas are usually reasonably well catered for but do
not expect comprehensive coverage. The search function is good with
support for address (including postcode) and keyword based searches,
and 'nearby' (nearest POI from a specified category). Custom locations
(e.g. your house) can be saved as Landmarks and then used in routing
and navigation.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Basic
route planning is free, but turn by turn voice navigation is a premium
feature, which you have to buy as a subscription service from within
the application. You choose a specific area (e.g. UK and Ireland) and a
time frame and the cost is set accordingly. For the UK and Ireland the
costs are £4.50 (one week), £5.73 (one month), £43.06 (one year) and
£50.24 (three years). For all of Western Europe, the same time frames
are £6.00, £7.17, £64.59 and £71.77. The exact costs will vary by
country and by operator. You can pay by credit card or, for charges
under £10, by premium SMS. The pricing scheme makes a lot of sense and
is especially attractive for those requiring only periodic usage.
Navigation subscriptions are not transferable (to a new IMEI) so if you
think you may replace your phone in the future think carefully before
signing up for the longer periods.

Other premium features
include guides provided by third parties such as Berlitz. I have tried
a couple of these and the quality is very mixed; some are so poor they
constitute a total rip off, but there's no way to distinguish between
the good and the bad. You are probably better off avoiding the guides
for now.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Nokia
Maps has evolved considerably since its release early in 2007. It is
now generally faster in operation and the user interface (information
displayed on screen, menu layout) and feature set (more powerful
search, bigger POI database) has been improved. Nokia Map Loader has
also received similar updates and both applications feel a lot more
polished that at their initial launch. However the most welcome
improvement has been better navigation routing. In my experience the
earlier version did not always plan the optimal route. Clearly at the
local level the user will always know best - we all use local knowledge
and shortcuts which are difficult to codify into a routing algorithm.
The newer versions of Nokia Maps have definitely improved, more often
then not they now get closer to giving the natural route. I'm now happy
to rely on the software when in an unfamiliar area, whereas previously
I still kept one eye on the paper map.

Web and Multimedia software

The
N82 has the excellent S60 Web application, which is now relatively
mature. With its intelligent column sizing, visual history, overview
mode and minimap, browsing sites intended for the PC is easy. The
limitations of the browser are more about the screen resolution (e.g.
drop down menus not fitting on the screen) and softkey controls (as
opposed to touch) than any application problems. In practical day to
day usage there is the occasional annoyance of the N82 being recognised
as a mobile device and presented with a stripped down version of a
site. However this is not really the fault of the browser, even if some
kind of user agent masking option would help here. The RSS
functionality works fine though the lack of subscription import or
export limits the utility. In due course the N82 is likely to receive a
firmware update that adds Flash Lite 3 and Web Run Time (WRT) to the
device (similar to the recent N95 8GB firmware update).
This will represent a very major upgrade of Web's capabilities. It will
enable Flash video (e.g. YouTube) to be viewed in the browser and usher
in a new type of application - WRT widgets.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

The
N82 has a dedicated Music folder, in which you'll find the Music
player, Radio, Podcasting and Music store applications. The Music
player is little changed from its earlier versions with the
hierarchical music library, support for album art, playlist management
and integration into the Idle screen. Podcasts are now divided into
their own hierarchy and can be paused and resumed at the same location
at a later date. The podcasting application lets you find new podcasts
(or enter them manually), set up subscriptions and, if required,
schedule automatic downloads. There's no PC companion, but this really
isn't required. Podcast downloads can be large, so unless you want have
a flat rate data tariff you should stick to WiFi. Podcasting is one
area where the N82 (and N95 etc.) really outshine any competition -
there's nothing to match it/them on any other portable audio device or
mobile phone.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

The
Music store application is a link to the the Nokia Music Store from
where you can browse and buy music on your phone. The store is
currently only available in the UK, but other countries should get
their own versions shortly. Browsing the store is easy and there's a
large (and increasing) music catalog available with 30 seconds samples
available for all music. The downloaded music, priced at 80p per track
(£8 per album), is protected by the Windows Media Janus DRM. On
starting a download you'll first get the appropriate license file
before the WMA music download starts. There are some nice touches to
the download experience, for example new purchases are automatically
added to the music library without any user intervention or annoying
delays.

There's also a PC version of the music store, although
this can only be accessed through Internet Explorer, as an extra
ActiveX add on is required to manage the music downloads. Windows Media
Player 11 is used for music management and transferring music to and
from the device. It allows for two way syncs (music purchased on the
phone is automatically copied to the PC) and has comprehensive, if
slightly fiddly, sync options. Sync speed is a bit slow, but this isn't
really a problem after you have performed the first sync. Windows Media
Player 11 is not without its faults and the music management does not
feel as refined as iTunes. Nokia is working on its own music management
software which should improve matters, but this is not expected to be
available until later in the year.


_________________
THE ADMIN OF THE SITE
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://nokia.forum0.biz
The PROGRAMMER
WEB MASTER
WEB MASTER


Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-01-13
Age : 30
Location : Daburia

PostSubject: N82 part 4 all about it   Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:43 pm

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Overall,
Nokia Music Store is an impressively slick system and is easy to use.
Nokia has faced some criticism for its use of DRM (especially with the
trend for DRM-free music) and lack of unique features. However it has
to operate within the realities of the current music landscape and,
with that in mind, the current system is excellent. Many users will
'side load' from their CD collection and a number will continue to buy
CDs because of their flexibility. It is to Nokia's credit that this is
made just as easy and seamless as buying music from Nokia's own store.
I do think that the instant nature and single track purchase of the
Nokia Music Store should attract its own set of users - you only need
to look at the iTunes ecosystem to realise that digital music downloads
are popular. iPods may currently have the digital music high ground,
but the convergence trend has long pointed towards their functionality
being subsumed into phones. With the Nokia Music Store in place,
Nseries phones are in a realistic position to replace the complete
iTunes experience. It may not be perfect, but for many it will be good
enough and we can expect to see a lot of activity in this area in the
next year.

Video is handled by the duo of Video Center and
RealPlayer. The latter is the video playback application and supports
both Real video and MP4 formats (including both H.263 and H.264). With
the right formats and resolution, you can play video smoothly in full
screen with excellent picture and audio quality. Video Manager is a
video downloading companion program (technically it uses RSS feeds and
acts in the same ways as the podcasting program). Video manager arrives
with some default Nokia content but a variety of extra sources can be
added. The selection is relatively limited and most people will be
looking to get extra video from elsewhere. Getting video to mobile
devices is generally far more cumbersome than music transfers. There
are different formats, bitrates and resolutions to contend with, which
means it may not always be possible to do a direct copy. The N82 also
faces these problems too - Nokia provides a PC program to help with
conversion of existing files. However a bigger problem is a lack of
source material. Taking video off a DVD is much more cumbersome than
ripping a CD (because of high resolutions and bitrates and because of
complex DRM-circumvention) and digital downloads are in their infancy.
The N82 is a good video playback device (even the physical screen
limitations can be overcome with TV-Out), but its potential is some
what limited by a lack of readily available video material.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

As
with other Nseries devices, there is support for the UPnP standard for
interacting with other media devices over a network (WiFi) via the Home
network application. UPnP devices fall into three categories: servers
(store media), renderers (play media) and control points (control a
renderer by telling it to play something from a server). Earlier
Nseries devices were only UPnP severs and control points. The N82 (and
N95 8GB and N95 with firmware v20+) can now also act as a UPnP
renderer, which means you can send media to your phone from a UPnP
server. The technology is impressive (for example I streamed music to
the N82 from my PC using the UPnP server built into Windows Media
Player 11 and then used TV Out to play it through a HiFi), but it can
be fiddly to set up and use. As a result I'm not sure how much use this
will get from mainstream users; nonetheless, it is good to see Nokia
pushing the boundaries.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

TV
Out, also built into the N82 (the included cable plugs into the 3.5 mm
audio jack), is likely to get more usage. This is ideal for watching
videos or showing photos captured on the phone. RealPlayer (videos) and
Gallery (when displaying a photo) will send a VGA resolution signal via
TV Out, though whether you see it as such depends on your TV. We
covered some of the possibilities for TV out in a series of feature article on AAS which you can view here.
In day to day usage, I found myself using the cable for high quality
audio out (connecting to a HiFi) as much as video out, but I'm sure
your usage pattern will vary.

The N82's multimedia software suite
is undoubtedly comprehensive. However, Nokia could improve things by
making it easier for users to take advantage of some of its
capabilities. The component features do not always feel like they fit
together. Nowhere is this more obvious than sync - I would personally
prefer a unified sync process where I could control all copying to and
from the device. Moreover it sometimes feels like too many of the
features have been left for users to find and take advantage of
themselves; the N82 has a lot of untapped potential. I would draw a
contrast with the iPhone, which many would deem a better multimedia
experience despite the fact it has nowhere near the technical
capabilities of the N82.

N-Gage

The N82 is an
N-Gage compatible handset, of course, and there are two demo games
preloaded (Fifa and Asphalt) which Krisse looked at earlier on All About N-Gage on the N81.
The N82's spongy d-pad may not offer the best experience for gamers nor
are there any extra keys, such as on the N81, to optimise it for
landscape usage. However, many N-Gage games do not require extensive
button bashing. Thus the gaming experience will likely depend on the
sort of games you play on the device. In this light it is not really
possible to draw any conclusive judgements until N-Gage formally
activates. Moreover, for the majority of people, N-Gage will be a nice
extra rather than a reason to buy one Nokia device over another. If
your primary interest is N-Gage then you are probably better off with
the N81. The one caveat here is that the N82, like the N95, does have
accelerated 3D graphics (the N81 does not) which may be used in future
N-Gage titles.

Screenshot Screenshot

Multimedia menu and UI complexity

The
N82 has the newest version of the multimedia menu (first seen in the
Nokia N95 8GB and N81). This menu, accessible via the multimedia key,
offers a series of tiles in a carousel fashion (navigated via the left
and right directional controls). Each tile represents a certain
application (experience) and offers a vertical menu of shortcuts to
specific functions. For example the music tile offers shortcuts to the
Now playing screen, the Music menu (the list of available music), the
Podcast menu, the Playlist menu and a Shuffle all songs option. There
are other tiles for Contacts (list of user selectable contacts),
Internet (first five Web bookmarks), Maps (last five Maps locations),
Games (N-Gage links), Gallery (last captured image, slide show and
albums) and Videos (last captured). Taken together, these tiles allow
easy access to a large proportion of the most commonly used features of
the phone. The default first shown tile is Gallery which seems a little
strange on the N82, given the dedicated Gallery shortcut key on the
side of the device. Fortunately the tiles can be rearranged in any
order, but beyond this there is little scope for customisation. It
would be helpful to be able to remove some tiles altogether and
messaging and application tiles (for third party applications) would be
welcome additions. No doubt the multimedia menu will continue to evolve
as additional Nseries devices are released this year.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

For
some, the multimedia key and associated carousel menu will be
immediately much used, for it does provide very easy access to many of
the key features of the phone. Longer term S60 users may, initially,
find it less useful as they will be more used to accessing functions
via the traditional application menu. However, learning to take
advantage of the multimedia menu is worthwhile since it does give
faster access to some functions. For example, music playback can be as
little as three keypresses away via the multimedia menu versus five for
an application menu route.

You can also argue that it is also a
more intuitive experience and that breaking down phone functions into
discrete experiences and tasks (with the key task at the top of each
experience tile) more closely matches how people think when carrying
out a task. This contrasts with the more regimented and less intuitive
application menu approach ("I want to do this, so I should use this application").


_________________
THE ADMIN OF THE SITE
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://nokia.forum0.biz
The PROGRAMMER
WEB MASTER
WEB MASTER


Posts : 123
Join date : 2008-01-13
Age : 30
Location : Daburia

PostSubject: N82 part 5 all about it   Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:43 pm

On
the other hand, you can argue that it adds an extra layer of confusion
because it gives the user yet another way to launch applications and
access functions. With the application screen, multimedia menu and
active idle screen there are now three distinct ways (UI methodologies)
in which you can access applications. The multimedia menu in particular
feels disconnected from the other two. Perhaps the very need for the
multimedia menu represents a failing of the original UI? Wouldn't it be
better to just have one method that was straight forward and easy to
use for everyone (e.g. iPhone)? However, this is an over
simplification, phones like the N82 are complex, with an ever
increasing array of functionality. Presenting this complexity in a UI
is very much more difficult than presenting a simple set of
functionality. This UI conundrum is one of the curses of convergence.

I
think the multiple UI methodologies offer a good compromise because it
offers flexibility to the user. The standard S60 UI is there, but the
multimedia menu offers an opportunity to provide a more experience
driven-alternative. There is a price to be paid in terms of the initial
learning curve and immediate intuitiveness compared to simpler devices,
but this must be measured against the much richer functionality
available in the N82. There is plenty of room for improvement, but,
given the diversity of its functionality, the N82 still remains
accessible to the large majority of its target audience.

Other software, screen rotation and performance

Outside
of its multimedia prowess, the N82 has the same S60 application suite
as other phones. Contacts, Messaging and Calendar reassure with their
familiarity, as do the usual companion applications. At one time, such
applications were the main stay of smartphones and PDAs, but today a
reasonable address book, calendar and messaging suite are a near
universal constant in mobile phones (generally). S60 provides a good
experience in this area and while some power users may clamour for
more, the average consumer will find that what is on offer is more than
good enough.

However there is still room for the companion
applications to impress. One of these is Nokia's Search application,
which was first publicly released last year, and has since gone through
a number of iterations. The latest of these is present on the N82 and
is accessed via an Active Idle shortcut or as a distinct application.
It combines Internet, local and device search into a single
application. The Internet and local search uses different search
providers in different markets. In the UK you can use Yahoo or
Microsoft Live. Unfortunately, at the time of writing there was no
local search included for the UK. The on device search provides search
across all the different types of content on the device. The
application provides a more advanced search than that available within
the Contacts and Messaging application, letting you track down
important information.

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Another
application that rose in prominence over the last year was Download!.
This enables Nokia to provide extra applications and content for
download directly on the phone. Many of these are provided by third
parties and are charged for, but Nokia also provides a number of its
own add-on applications for free. It is well worth checking to see what
is available on a regular basis and Nokia often uses it as a channel to
distribute new applications, such as Internet Radio. It also goes some
way to educating new users that the phone can accept new applications
and, while it does not present a universal solution to the discovery
and distribution problems facing mobile software developers, it is a
good start.

Screenshot Screenshot

There
are plenty of other applications in the S60 offering and, of course,
installable third party applications can add to the number. On the N82,
by default, the majority of these are hidden away in the Tools or
Applications Folders. This makes sense as most are only going to be
used occasionally or will be automatically activated by another
application (such as the excellent Quickoffice when dealing with email
attachments). This goes some way to stopping an avalanche of software
icons (57 out of the box, by my count) overwhelming new users. It is
possible to see this many applications as software bloat, but perhaps
it is fairer to see it as a symptom of flexible functionality? Once
you get past the common basics, everyone has a different set of usage
scenarios. With the ability to install new applications and reorder
folders and application placement in the launcher at will, each person
can customise the phone to their usage patterns.

A UI refinement
which gets its debut on the N82 is automatic screen rotation. This
allows a switch from portrait to landscape mode when you physically
turn the device anticlockwise. This uses the N82's accelerometer to
measure the current orientation of the device relative to the ground.
The accelerometer is also used to automatically rotate pictures from
the camera at capture time (as on the N95). Switching the UI from
portrait to landscape is near instantaneous in almost all situations.
At first it may seem like something of a gimmick, but after a while its
benefits become apparent. Some applications are more suited to use in
landscape mode. Web and the viewing of landscape photos in Gallery are
obvious examples, but this also applies more generally when viewing
larger amounts of text on screen. For example you can see more text
when using Messaging in landscape mode; this reduces the amount of
scrolling, which can be particularly beneficial when reading email.
Rotating the device is a very natural action and I hope we see
automatic screen rotation become a staple feature of Nseries phones.

Screenshot Screenshot

For
longer term S60 users, what will really impress about the N82 is the
speed of the UI and general performance. Navigating around the device
is quick, with little or no lag time between screens. Most applications
open in the blink of an eye and even the more demanding applications
only take a few seconds. If an application is already open then
switching is instant, and there are real benefits to be had from multi
tasking by leaving applications running in the background. This is made
possible because the N82, like the N95 8GB and N81, boasts more RAM
that earlier S60 devices and consequently it is technically possible
(if unlikely) to open every onboard application at the same time. The
N82 remains nippy even with the heavyweights of Web, Gallery and Maps
running simultaneously - a real testament to the architecture in the
underlying software platform (including Symbian OS itself). This
performance is also noticeable elsewhere, thumbnail creation and image
browsing in Gallery is much improved over first generation S60 3rd
Edition devices and 'out of memory' errors in Web have gone the way of
the Dodo.

The N82 benefits, in maturity and stability terms, from
being at the end of a line of S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1 devices.
S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 devices are due out later in the year,
but the major software additions (outside the previously mentioned WRT
and Flash Lite 3) are relatively small. S60 does still have some
strange minor omissions, and there are a few areas where it could learn
from Series 40, as was commented on in a recent AAS podcast. Overall,
though, the S60 software suite still manages to impress most of the
time and the ever increasing number of third party software solutions
can fill in niche gaps, add new functionality or provide a replacement
for those looking for something more.

During the course of
writing this review the first firmware update for the N82 was made
available. There were no major additions (that will likely come later),
but there was a first for Nseries, support for user data preservation
(UDP). UDP means that your data and installed applications are
preserved through a firmware update. Previously firmware updates would
wipe the internal drive clean (and thus delete user data). UDP worked
well for me and its a very welcome feature, but I would recommend you
continue the backup regime if only as a safeguard.

Conclusion

Outside
its Nseries stablemates, the N82 has little competition. Nowhere else
do you find the marriage of an outstanding camera, good multimedia
playback features, integrated GPS and a flexible open software
platform. As we've highlighted in the review above, it is not without
its problems and annoyances. A more intriguing issue is that the N82
may not, despite its technical and feature prowess, stand out all that
much from its most recent Nseries siblings. The glory of the 'flagship
device' goes to the N95 8GB with its bigger screen and because of this
it is all too easy to forget the N82. Perhaps a comparison with the
last Nseries candybar, the N73, is more informative. Here we can see
just how quickly Nokia's Nseries lineup has evolved. Remember the N73
was a top of the line handset just 18 months ago (it was launched on
April 25th 2006) and is one of the Nseries best sellers. The N82
justifiably faces some criticism for its keypad, but many would agree
it improves on the N73's cramped keypad and joystick. The N82's feature
set and software is a generation beyond the N73. In this light it is
easier to see the N82 for what it truly is - an outstanding handset.

Inevitably,
the N82 is directly compared to the N95 8GB and, among power users
(yup, that's me - Ed!), the N95 8GB usually comes off best. If the N95
family did not exist, the N82 would be held up as the ultimate handset.
However this rather misses the point, the N82 has complementary market
positioning to the N95 8GB and it appeals to a more style-conscious
market segment. While some consumers are only concerned about getting
the best possible mobile experience, others marry this requirement to a
desire to have their phones represent part of the style they project to
the world. This means that the N82 may not be the first choice for a
typical AAS reader, but I suspect it may have broader appeal in the
wider market.

Rafe Blandford

See Also

N82 Review - Part 1 (Physical aspects and camera)

Buy the N82 from Nokia (UK) or on contract from UK operators.

Nokia N82

_________________
THE ADMIN OF THE SITE
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://nokia.forum0.biz
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: N82 Part 1+2+3+4+5..All about it   

Back to top Go down
 
N82 Part 1+2+3+4+5..All about it
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» what is (or was) your least favorite part of high school?
» Feeler for Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham F/S or part out
» Leftovers from 8 Impala part-outs...lots of good stuff left!
» Henry's pick a part in blackstone last minute trip
» Temporary vs Part Time Vs Full Time

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Nokia Phone's :: NOKIA Phone's :: OS 9.1 9.2 :: New's & article's-
Jump to: