Friday, 27 April 2012

Nokia Portable USB Charger DC-16 - Photo Unboxing

"Carry a power socket in your pocket". Modern smartphone batteries can be pretty poor if you use them to their full potential so it's often wise to carry a bit of extra power with you. With a holiday coming up I thought it would be wise to invest in a portable charger to help keep some of my gadgets going throughout the day. After looking around I settled on the Nokia Universal Portable USB Charger DC-16 as not only did it look good and offered a decent amount of power (2200mah) but was also priced reasonably too (£20 in UK). The DC-16 can charge any device that uses a USB cable for charging, even fussier devices that need high output chargers. Now for the pictures:

Compact classic blue box, I like the tagline "Carry a power socket in your pocket".

The colour of the charger is shown on the side, I chose cyan, again.

Rear of the box and the slide out tray.

This is it, charger, short USB cable and instruction booklets in many languages. 

At only 120mm long the DC-16 is easy to carry in the pocket or a bag.

Charger and cable together, you can use your phones cable if you need a longer one.

Putting a bit of juice into the Nokia Lumia 800.

One end has a standard USB port for connecting any USB device.

The other end has a micro USB port for charging the DC-16. The four dots are lights that show the charge level when the battery icon is pressed.

Here are the lights, they also show during charging, flashing one by one. When all stop flashing it is fully charged .

Friday, 20 April 2012

Nokia Purity In-Ear Stereo Headset - Photo Unboxing

This week I took delivery of the gorgeous looking Nokia Purity In-Ear Stereo Headset and so far i've been seriously enjoying it! Whilst i'm no audiophile and i'll never pretend to be one all I can say is they sound absolutely great to me! I can hear detail in the music that I swear i've never heard before which makes it all the more enjoyable!  The headset is produced for Nokia by Monster, full product details can be found here. Now take a look at the pictures and feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.

The outer sales package, looks good and gives a real sense that it's a quality product inside. 

The inner pack slides out from the bottom, it's held shut by a magnetic flap on the bottom.

The lovely cyan (also available in Black, White or Magenta) coloured headset is the first thing you see after opening along with the soft case.

Underneath you'll find the instruction booklet, adaptor cable and five pairs of different sized ear buds.

Close up view of the headset, the media remote works with Windows Phones like Nokia's Lumia range.

This adaptor is required if you use the headset with non Windows Phones, without this the sound may sound odd from other devices and the microphone may not work.

The bag of spare buds, five sizes ranging from very large to very small. You get two sets of the medium sized bud.

The inside of the case, enough room for the headset, the adaptor and the spare buds.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Twitter on Windows Phone - From Zero to Hero

To me one of the most important features on a modern phone is twitter, it’s right up there with the basics such as calling and texting. That being the case having a choice of good twitter apps is a must on any platform nowadays. In my relatively short time using Window Phones (WP) there’s been a lot of development in this area, to the point that I’m feeling like I’m spoilt for choice, but that wasn’t always the case.

Back in my Symbian days like many I felt forced to pay the overly high price for Gravity, which to me was the only worthwhile app that offered a full twitter experience on Symbian. In fact back at Nokia World in October 2011 I practically begged its developer to port Gravity to WP given the state of WP twitter apps back then. This has not happened but now I don’t feel it is needed, it’s missed the boat thanks to several great apps that we now have or can look forward to. Before I continue I must add that I respect Gravity for all that it did on the Symbian platform in its time, and it’s far more than just a twitter app.

My first taste of twitter on WP back in October was with the built in twitter support, whilst ok for casual users it’s not that great for heavy twitter users like myself. This led me to trying the official Twitter app which whilst looking ok it’s a bit lacking on the features and speed I wanted. I dabbled with a few others that were available at the time but was left pretty much unimpressed. Fortunately since October the twitter app scene has exploded with top quality twitter apps, many of which offer unique or fun features that set them apart from each other.

The first WP twitter app I spent quality time with was Mehdoh, it was the first twitter app I used when I got my own Nokia Lumia 800 back in early December. This gave me hope that twitter on WP could be good by giving me most of the features and speed that I wanted from a modern twitter app. Mehdoh is currently free in the marketplace with a new major version on its way that is so far looking impressive. After Mehdoh other twitter apps really raised their game and we now have several competing to be the best on the platform.


The next twitter app I spent time with was Carbon which looks wise is my favourite due to the way it displays images within the timeline. You get a large image, the width of the timeline with the text on top which to me looks great. So far it seems to be developing at quite a nice pace with more features and fixes in every release. Upcoming features include instant push notifications so that a tweet feels as instant as a text message.


The app I use mostly at the moment is rowi ever since it was updated it to version 2.0 it has become the one I absolutely love. I have to admit I wasn’t that impressed with previous versions but since the new one it’s become the premier twitter experience on WP in my opinion. Whilst not quite instant yet it already has push notifications which are a must for me sometimes. It’s fast, it’s smooth, looks great and like the others it’s easy and intuitive to use thanks to the familiar metro design elements. A free version of rowi is also available that gives you most of the great features but lacks push notifications. 


Other WP twitter apps worth checking out include: MoTweets, Gleek (which has some pretty unique/crazy features), Seesmic, Tweetcaster and Birdsong. If I’ve missed out your favourite twitter app feel free to tell us about it in the comments section, letting us know why you like it. Worthy of a special mention is Twabbit, it’s not yet available in the marketplace but it’s already showing great promise of becoming one of the best apps on the platform. It’s got the right ingredients so far, a rapid development pace, engages with its beta testers and listens to their ideas and requests. Keep your eye on the market for Twabbit, I’ve been testing it and really do like it so far.

Twabbit Beta

So to conclude I really would say that the state of twitter on WP has gone from pretty poor to possibly the best on any mobile platform in a very short space of time. This is very encouraging and really do hope it continues as it’s refreshing to see such a fast development pace. To the big twitter fans out there, get a Windows Phone and try these apps, you will not regret it.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 - Four Months On

It’s now been around four months since I first got my Lumia 800 and it’s been a great experience so far. Usually by now I’m desperately searching for something newer, better, faster to buy but I’m still yet to feel that. In this short period we’ve seen several software updates, tons of app updates and plenty of new apps to sink our teeth into and those are just what Nokia has given us. The pace of development really is a breath of fresh air compared to Nokia of the past, long may it continue!

In this short time the windows phone marketplace has seen so many quality additions and updates that for some things we’ve become spoilt for choice. The biggest example of this I’ve seen is with twitter apps and the overall quality of them. Back in my Symbian days the choice was pretty limited, it was either buy Gravity for a whopping £8 or make do with one of the free ones, none of which were really that good or as fully featured. On windows phone we’ve got Carbon (£1.49), Rowi (£2.29) Mehdoh (Free), Official Twitter (Free), MoTweets Pro (£1.49) all of which are being actively improved, some of which also have free ad supported versions available. These are just a few examples, there’s even more to choose from and some great ones are yet to be released on the market such as Twabbit. It’s safe to say that I have not been disappointed by the twitter experience on this platform and intend to go into more detail about twitter on windows phone in a future article.

Recently I was given a Nokia 603 to trial for two weeks and that phone really made me appreciate Nokia’s decision to switch to windows phone for its primary operating system. Like many I was against the switch at first but after spending time with the Symbian again I can safely say I was wrong and Nokia was right. The selection of apps, the awful text input, the slow speed the dated look of much of the OS and apps really made me dislike the device to the point that made me wonder why I ever loved Symbian.

As a whole package I’ve found the Lumia 800 to be truly great, it just works which is really important to me. Rarely does it crash, reboot for no apparent reason or lag which makes it very pleasant to use. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a phone that was this stable and this gives me great expectations for future Nokia windows phone devices. After Nokia’s recent announcement of the Symbian based 808 PureView with its amazing 41mp camera I’m eagerly awaiting a PureView windows phone to be announced, it really could be the phone of my dreams.

So that’s another fun and smooth stint with the Lumia 800 for me, will I still have a Lumia in another two months time? I think the answer to that is a massive yes and even though I’m tempted by the bigger Lumia 900 I am still very happy with its little brother.

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