Jul 24, 2009

Nokia seeks N800

Nokia seeks N800

Nokia N800 ReviewNokia is now scouting about for new application ideas around the N800, its latest Linux-enabled tablet. At the same time, though, the company has no plans to stray from its choice of an essentially Debian Linux-based platform, or from its concept of the N800 as a device geared to on-the-go Internet connectivity, according to Ari Jaaksi, Nokia’s director of open source software.

“The N800 is a device that lives and breathes ‘Internet,’” Jaaksi said, during an interview with LinuxPlanet at last week’s LinuxWorld OpenSolutions show in New York.

Nokia’s Trolltech Acquisition of Trolltech

Nokia Tablet QTThe European Commission has announced that it has unconditionally approved Nokia’s acquisition of Trolltech. The move will enable Nokia to accelerate its cross-platform software strategy for mobile devices and desktop applications, and develop its Internet services business.

With Trolltech, Nokia and third party developers will be able to develop applications that work in the Internet, across Nokia’s device portfolio and on PCs. Nokia’s software strategy for devices is based on cross-platform development environments, layers of software that run across operating systems, enabling the development of applications across the Nokia device range. Examples of current cross-platform layers are Web runtime, Flash, Java and Open C.

Nokia intends to continue to enhance Trolltech products through active and ongoing development, for both desktop and mobile. To further stimulate industry innovation based on Trolltech’s products, Nokia plans to continue to license Trolltech technology under both commercial and open source licenses.

The Oslo Stock Exchange has decided to delist Trolltech ASA. The last day of listing will be June 17, 2008.

Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition Hands on

Nokia N810 WiMax

MLI was able to get a bit of hands on time with the Nokia N810 WiMAX edition at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas this week. The N810 WiMAX edition is essentially the same hardware as the standard N810 but with the added WiMAX capability. The WiMAX differentiates itself visually with a darker color scheme. It also runs a new version of the Internet Tablet OS, which will also be made available to the N800 and N810 later this year.

Read on for our pictures of the device in action, plus a couple of bonus shots of the latest Nokia phones on display.

N810 WiMax

Nokia N810
The Nokia N810 tablet running PhoneFavs.

A bunch of Nokia phones including the E91 in the middle.

A bunch of Nokia phones including the E91 in the middle.

Nokia N96

The new Nokia N96.

Jul 23, 2009

Nokia's new dust-, water-, and shock-resistant GSM phone, the 3720 Classic, is good news for people who've lost one or two mobiles in a pool of water.

It's not the only one on the market, though--well-protected phones for iDEN and CDMA networks have been around for a long time, and starting a few years ago a new series of GSM mobiles from Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and small American manufacturer Sonim were certified according to the so-called IP-54 standard.

All are fresh alternatives to trustworthy and historic companions such as the Ericsson R310 from 2000 (the "shark fin"), the Nokia 5210 from 2002, and the Nokia 5500 Sports from 2006.

American users might not have had the pleasure of torturing these phones, as GSM networks were scarce in the U.S. at the time the Ericsson R310 and Nokia 5210 launched. Furthermore, they were only dual band for European frequencies.

The IP Code that's used for certifying the new models is an international standard that defines protection against dust and water.

The first digit ranges from 0 to 6 and regards dust, the second ranges from 0 to 8 and regards water. IP-54 means, more or less, that the device is almost completely protected against dust and that it resists splashing water from any direction.

Last year I had great fun putting the Samsung M110, Sonim XP1, and Sony Ericsson C702 to the test (article in Swedish). I put the phones in a vacuum cleaner bag while cleaning, held them under the shower spray, launched them from a second-floor balcony, and dropped them in a glass of beer.

The Samsung M110 turned out to be the clear winner, happily receiving calls even when immersed in a mug of brew.

According to videos released from Nokia, the 3720 is both beer- and golf club-resistant. It may be more elegant but otherwise similar to the Samsung M110 and Sonim XP1, which are all basic GSM models with few features.

Clearly more advanced is the Sony Ericsson C702, which is equipped with 3G and built-in GPS, but lacks a rubber-enforced scratch-resistant casing.

Samsung later launched its 3G model B2700 with more features than the M110, whereas Sonim took a step up from all its competitors with its new XP3, certified to IP-57. That means it can be immersed in water down to about 3.3 feet for 30 minutes--a significant manufacturing challenge compared with IP-54.

That's good if you need to pick it up to call for help after having fallen off a boat, but don't count on making any phone calls or even sending text messages from underwater--the radio waves don't reach deeper than a few inches below the surface.

Believe me, I've tried.

I gave three rugged phones a dousing under a shower head as part of my test of rugged phones.