Tag Archive | "n97"

Mobile Microblogging Devices. A List that Doesn’t Include Intel.

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Back in Feb, I listed a set of devices that should be high on your list if you’re thinking about mobile microblogging. It included MIDs and UMPCs. As the market for mobile social networking, mobile web search, mobile content creation, location based services and lifestreaming (my rough definition of Mobile Microblogging) gathers steam we’re seeing more and more devices coming into the segment and it’s mainly from the smartphone sector. UMPCs and MIDs aren’t getting a look-in. In fact, in my latest list, below, you won’t find a MID or UMPC.

Smartphones with bigger, higher resolution screens and high-end processors are appearing on the radar almost every week. Smartphone-based mobile software development is increasing too as more and more mobile device application stores tempt developers with easy-to-use, rich SDKs and APIs, a channel that reaches right down to millions of users devices and a good cut of any earnings.

ringoffieWhat’s really interesting about the Mobile Microblogging phenomenon is that very little software development is happening for today’s Intel MIDs, the very devices that were targeted into this segment. Intel have stopped work on the Moblin OS for them and they’re effectively UMPCs. You could even argue that there are no Intel MIDs any more! They are being totally left behind in both software and hardware until Intel push the reset button when Moorestown MIDs with Moblin hit the market. Until then, it’s desktop operating systems for MIDs and UMPCs.

You won’t find an easy-to-use, small-screen, GPS-enabled search service on Windows. You can’t even link Google Maps to a GPS on the browser. Forget the thought of a compass helping with augmented reality, an accelerometer, an FM receiver with RDS or, if you’re into internet photography, a half-decent snapshot camera. There’s no application store either. Only on smartphones will you find the creative software and hardware that is driving the mobile microblogging market and making it exciting, fresh, competitive and, quite frankly, desirable.

Moblin-based MIDs do have a chance as do Maemo 5 based devices but you won’t find any on the market yet so it’s going to take time for the developers to warm to those platforms. Come back in 2010 to discuss that!

Apple and Android have done a lot for the new generation of mobile internet devices and usage scenarios and so it should be no surprise to see smartphones dominating this Mobile Microblogging segment to the point where UMPCs and MIDs don’t get a look-in. UMPCs and Netbooks still have big  advantages for general purpose, day-to-day productive computing but if mobile creativity is your thing, there’s nothing better than the new generation of smartphones.

One could argue that smartphones have grown into the MID segment but for me it was always about usage scenarios rather than device categories. As Intel said, communication, location, entertainment and productivity. It’s a shame that Intel’s MIDs aren’t living up to their own hype yet. (see my recent Moorestown article for thoughts about 2010)

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Unconfirmed: N97 uses an ARM11 processor

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It might seem strange to see a news article dedicated to the CPU on the N97 but for many, its very important as it gives an idea of the general purpose processing power of the device which, in turn, is important when assessing a devices ability to decode and render web pages quickly.

Unfortunately, it looks like the N97 won’t be using the latest OMAP 3 platform or anything that contains the latest generation ARM Cortex core. The news was relayed through a Jaiku microblog from the always-reliable, always careful, All About Symbian that it’s using an ARM11 core just as the existing high-end smartphones use.

I heard a few other rumors too. 1) Its ‘as fast or faster’ than the E71. 2) Its clocked higher than on previous Nokias.  Unless its an ARM11 MPCore device clocked up high, I don’t think we’re looking at a big-change in browser performance with the N97 over other Nokia phones which, for me, isn’t good enough to get the device on my personal ‘wanted’ list.

Keep an eye on Nokia Forum though as the official specs will probably be posted there first and they may be different to what All About Symbain has heard. In the meantime, I’ve updated our N97 datasheet to reflect the new info.

Thoughts on the Nokia N97

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I have deliberately left out any personal opinions on the N97 today for fear of being overcome by the hype surrounding it, but having just had a strong cup of tea, it’s time to put my own thoughts down here. Does the N97 cut it for me as a mobile Internet device?

The N97 looks rather stunning doesn’t it. Its hitting the MID market square on and including Web, photography, navigation, location, video, audio, connectivity and productivity like no other device has done before. Just look at the sites that are covering it. LaptopMag, WhatHiFi, Mashable, DailyTelegraph, UMPCPortal! This is exactly where Intel want to be with their MIDs in 18 months but it looks like Nokia is well ahead of them in terms of design and software. They’ve taken other concepts and refined them too. The HTC advantage had a great screen but was a little large. The E90 was small but not very stylish and the iPhone is stylish but a little lacking in the ‘creation’ of content. The pricing appears to be very competitive (the E90 still retails for over 600 Euros, the N97 is coming in under that) and if there’s a reasonable amount of power under the hood and a high build quality, the old communicator range from Nokia will probably phase out fairly quickly.

Of course my first thoughts are that I want one. It looks like a great gadget to have around and something you’d be proud to own. I have always enjoyed the S60 environment and adding the new home screen, touch capability and OVI features will make it even better but there’s a number of things that I’ll think carefully about before I add this to my wish-list…

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Nokia N97 specifications, Gallery.

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The N97 is now in the product database and we’re linking in as much info as we can for you so keep checking back for updates. We’ve also got the data sheet in PDF format and a photo gallery.

Nokia_N97_white_HE2 Nokia_N97_white_15c Nokia_N97_white_HE1
View the full gallery here.

You can track news as we add it to the database via this link. (RSS also available.)

Nokia N97 presentation video.

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From the keynote speech. Thanks to JKK for the grab.

There’s an even better Nokia-produced video below .

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Is this the device? N97. MID, Smartphone, Computer! (Updated)

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Update: All information now being added to a new N97 reference page.

N97

Update: Nokia have now issued a news release..

Details also coming through at Atmasphere.net. Many others now posting, obviously pre-prepared, posts. All About Symbian have published hands-on: "Subjectively, the ‘feel’ and the design of the handset screams high end with materials that can not be fully appreciated in pictures (it has that caress-ability x-factor)"

The N97 has a 640-wide screen will cost 550 Euro (confirmed, unsubsidised) and will be available in Q2 2009.

More details will be updated below.

  • 640×360 resolution (announced by Nokia on-stage)
  • 5-megapixel-camera with Carl Zeiss-lens, dual-LED flash., video light
  • 16:9 video in DVD-quality.
  • GPS
  • 3.5" screen
  • 3G wireless radio
  • 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support
  • Accelerometer. Digital compass.
  • 32GB onboard flash memory with microSD for adding 16GB more (Nokia are talking about 64GB of storage on-stage)
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • microUSB port used for both syncing and charging
  • Haptic feedback
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • S60 5th edition software

N97compare 

Unknown/To be confirmed.

  • CPU / Processing platform. Apparently Nokia aren’t saying at the moment.

N97-hands1

Questions raised:

  • Where does this leave the Nokia Tablets? I suspect that the tablet will remain, will move forward with a bigger screen and faster processor, will get cheaper.
  • How much space is left for a web-focused device?

Favourite quotes from keynote:

  • "Nothing replaces the feel of a real key on a QWERTY keyboard"
  • "That’s how a mobile computer should look"
  • "We believe the Internet is as it is, and we need to support it" (in reference to 640 screen size)

Resources:

All specifications and details have now been transferred into a new N97 product information page. We’ll be updating this as we get information. Feel free to comment and ask questions on the page too.

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