Category Archives: nokia

LG’s G2 tries to reinvent the smartphone wheel

LG-G2With smartphones hitting their maturation pount, it’s getting harder for manufacturers to distinguish their products from one another. It’s yet another way in which phones are mirroring computers - they all pretty much do the same thing now, so choosing one really comes down to a matter of personal taste.

The LG G2, launching in Canada through just about every mobile carrier on Sept. 27, is designed with that fact in mind. Like many phones rolling out these days, it’s premised around that “one big thing,” with all the other expected bells and whistles packaged around it.

In LG’s case, the big thing is a unique control system that places all of the phone’s buttons on its back, rather than on its side. The lock button and the volume buttons are located just below the 13-megapixel camera, and purposely so. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 23, 2013 in android, iphone, LG, mobile, nokia


Lots of room for innovation in cameras

nokia-lumia-1020-thumbA couple readers took exception to a post I wrote last week in which I extolled the virtues of the Samsung Galaxy camera, a gadget notable for being a full camera that has cellular and wi-fi connectivity built into it. It’s not that they objected to what I thought about the camera itself, but more that I had previously dismissed the Nokia Lumia 1020, a new phone that packs a whopping 41 megapixels.

I’m not sure my point about the importance of Samsung’s device came across clearly, so some additional explanation is necessary. I recently noted that we’re currently in an innovation lull - new, exciting things are happening, but we may not see revolutionary new products and leaps happen as fast and furiously as they have over the past decade. That’s probably a good thing, because it would be nice to have a bit of a breather and digest before the next wave comes along.

One reader suggested that Nokia’s new phone/camera went against that grain - its 41 megapixels and loss-less image quality might be enough to drive that final stake into the heart of point-and-shoot cameras. That’s probably true; point-and-shoots are clearly on their way out. But is that revolutionary or even particularly innovative? I don’t think so, since it’s been happening for years. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 15, 2013 in mobile, nokia, photos, samsung


Why hasn’t Microsoft already bought BlackBerry?

blackberryBlackBerry made some waves Monday by announcing that it is officially looking at strategic options, including a sale of the company. You know they’re serious because director Prem Watsa, head of insurance company Fairfax Financial and one of BlackBerry’s biggest shareholders, excused himself from the board in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest. In other words, Fairfax may also be invested in a potential BlackBerry buyer.

The question everyone is asking now is who might buy the beleaguered, Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker. The more intriguing mystery, in my books at least, is why one of those potential suitors - Microsoft - hasn’t bought BlackBerry yet?

The logic is pretty solid. Android and Apple have run away with the smartphone market, with the Canadian company clutching at a distant and declining third-place slice. The latest numbers say the company has indeed lost that spot to Microsoft and its Windows Phone. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 13, 2013 in microsoft, mobile, nokia, RIM


BlackBerry’s fight even harder in emerging markets

q5With BlackBerry announcing its new Q5 smartphone, it’s clear the company is looking to shore up its offerings in emerging markets. The device, which features a QWERTY keyboard and runs the latest BlackBerry 10 operating system, will be available in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America as early as July. While the company hasn’t yet announced pricing, the Q5 is intended to be a low-cost option for people who obviously don’t have as much disposable income as people in the West.

It’s a necessary move. Emerging markets have largely kept the company aloft over the past few years while its popularity swan-dived in more developed countries.

However, with the dual competitive reality of Google’s Android and Chinese phone manufacturers in these markets, the question quickly becomes: will the Q5 be enough? Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on May 15, 2013 in africa, android, Google, mobile, nokia, RIM


Nokia prepares push as big boys loom

Windows phones: they’re different, but no one’s buying.

As numerous analysts have pointed out, this week could make or break Nokia as it shows off its new Windows Phone 8 devices at a press event in New York. “Make” is actually a strong word - “stave off death” is probably more appropriate.

The storied Finnish cellphone maker, in partnership with the software giant, is benefiting from some good timing in light of the big setback handed to Samsung by a court two weeks ago. With the court siding with Apple in that epic patent dispute, Samsung and other phone manufacturers using Google’s Android operating system are likely to be slowed down in the near term, at least in the all-important U.S. market.

That gives Nokia, which essentially put all of its eggs into Microsoft’s basket last year, a window of opportunity. Wireless carriers are now especially inclined to push Windows phones, to prevent Apple and perhaps even Android from gaining too much power over them.

So far though, Nokia and Microsoft have failed to spark the imaginations of the buying public. Windows phones, despite promising a very different experience from iPhone and Android devices, have captured less than 4 per cent of the global market, according to Strategy Analytics. That’s compared to 17 and 68 per cent respectively for the two rivals. (BlackBerry, by the way, has plummeted to just 6 per cent, according to IDC.) Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Posted by on September 4, 2012 in apple, Google, microsoft, mobile, nokia, RIM, samsung


The Lumia 800: a phone for hipsters?

Everybody likes to root for the underdog, which is why Microsoft and Nokia are weirdly attracting a lot of positive vibes these days. As the New York Times pointed out just before the Consumer Electronics Show started in January, Microsoft in particular was getting rave reviews for its new Windows Phones, a trend not usually associated with the storied software maker.

It’s funny that both companies are now underdogs, given that only a few years ago they were the undisputed kings of their respective realms - Microsoft in software and Nokia in phones. But in a span of only a few short years, Google and Apple largely displaced both and relegated them to also-ran status in the mobile world, which prompted their team-up - with Canadian Stephen Elop at its head - last year.

The fruits of that tag team, the flagship Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone, has finally come to North America via Telus. I’ve been playing with it for the past week with an eye to answering one question: is it a big deal?

First, there are the positives. If you’ve seen the new-ish Windows Phone operating system in action, you know it’s dramatically different than just about everything else out there. Rather than having several screens with grids of apps, Windows Phones have a vertical stack of square tiles. Many of the tiles, such as the “pictures” one, are live so they’re constantly updating with new information.

It’s a very cool interface that makes the phone feel like it’s living and breathing, with new stuff always going on - just like its user’s life. And because it’s so different, it’s a near certainty that Microsoft will manage to avoid the ridiculous patent wars going on between Apple and Android manufacturers over who ripped who off. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on March 13, 2012 in microsoft, mobile, nokia


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 267 other followers