Lumia 710: Happy snapping

, posted: 26-Mar-2012 13:54

Overall I’ve been impressed by the camera and video capabilities of the Nokia Lumia 710. I really like the ease in which you can access the camera when the phone has gone to sleep. Just long press on the camera button and you’re in the Camera application. Smooth.

The Samsung Galaxy SII doesn’t have a dedicated camera button. I’m used to just touching the screen to take a picture.

You can do the same with the Nokia Lumia 710. And despite it having a physical button, touching the screen is my preferred method.

The reason for this is the amount of pressure required to press the button. I’m not suggesting the button is stiff, but it’s just a small phone, the pressure applied does cause the phone to tip. Or perhaps I’m just heavy handed or need to learn how to hold tighter on the opposite corner to keep the phone steady.

We’ve just spent the weekend in Akaroa. This was the perfect opportunity to take photos without being subjected to the crazy looks of someone randomly taking photos when it doesn’t seem reasonable.

Here’s a series of photos I took aboard the Black Cat during a tour around the Akaroa Harbour. Obviously the boat was moving. I was trying to keep myself steady, let alone holding the phone at the same perfect angle for each shot.

These photos are of the Luxury Cruise Liner that was hanging around. I kept pressing the zoom button. This gives you an idea of the cameras ability to take closer shots of the same subject.
 

 
In we go, just a little
 


A touch more
 


Keep it coming
 


Not quite there yet


 
Not so clear anymore, but it’s such a big ship you still know what it is
 


Somehow the features seem a little more crisp in this photo than the one before. Perhaps the sway of the ocean affected my ability to take a focused shot.



As I say, we were moving, but we weren’t moving toward the Cruise Liner.

Anyway, here’s the video I took:



About the author:

Hi, my name is Anita, on Geekzone and other social network sites I’m known as Neets, sometimes with a “_”, sometimes with “_nz”. I’m a proud kiwi living/surviving in Christchurch. I’m not blogging about this Nokia Lumia 710 because I need a new phone. In fact I love my existing Samsung Galaxy SII. When offered the opportunity to review the Nokia Lumia 710 I took it up because, in truth, it was an honour to be asked, but I enjoy writing reviews, I like learning new things and I’ve got a bit of a fascination about how far you can push smartphones. The brief is fairly simple, use the phone as much as you can and then write about your experiences. My reviews will be honest about the good the bad and the ugly based on how I use the phone, which undoubtedly will vary to the way anyone else uses their phone.



Nokia Lumia 710: Looking good

, posted: 26-Mar-2012 13:03

The Nokia Lumia 710 comes with an anti-glare 3.7” touch screen. This is quite different to the Super AMOLED Plus screen of my Samsung Galaxy S2. It’s also a touch screen, and considerably bigger at 4.3”.

Most would tell you the Super AMOLED screen is superior. And in many ways it is.

But you know what?  The Lumia 710 is a pleasure to use in bright sunlight.

The SGS2 requires the screen to be set to full brightness in order to make out the images on the screen. The Lumia shows everything on screen without the need to change any display settings, or tilting the phone this way or that way to try and make out the screen.

We spent quite a lot of time outdoors this past weekend and not once did I struggle to read the screen.

In fact I’d go as far as saying the experience was no different to being indoors.

Like all touch screens you’re going to find that very quickly the screen itself will show the trails of your finger sliding over the screen as you swipe this way, that way and every other way.

So long as you don’t look at the screen when the phone is in sleep mode you’ll be fine. But I do find that it gets to me. I have wiped the phone with a soft lint free cloths numerous times.  Something I don’t need to do with my SGS2, which could be explained away by having a screen protector on it.

Bottom line, I really wish my SGS2 was as easy on the eyes as the Lumia is in outdoor light.  It makes a huge difference to the user experience.

About the author:

Hi, my name is Anita, on Geekzone and other social network sites I’m known as Neets, sometimes with a “_”, sometimes with “_nz”. I’m a proud kiwi living/surviving in Christchurch. I’m not blogging about this Nokia Lumia 710 because I need a new phone. In fact I love my existing Samsung Galaxy SII. When offered the opportunity to review the Nokia Lumia 710 I took it up because, in truth, it was an honour to be asked, but I enjoy writing reviews, I like learning new things and I’ve got a bit of a fascination about how far you can push smartphones. The brief is fairly simple, use the phone as much as you can and then write about your experiences. My reviews will be honest about the good the bad and the ugly based on how I use the phone, which undoubtedly will vary to the way anyone else uses their phone.



Ready to drive away?

, posted: 22-Mar-2012 18:17

I always use a GPS when driving around Auckland city and was looking forward to testing out the Nokia Lumia 710's free Nokia Drive app.

I was very surprised at how easy it was to setup, ie downloading maps and the voices, choose what style map I wanted 2D or 3D and in which color. How quick you can input your destination and then follow the turn by turn instructions.

First map shown is of my trip route. Then click start and I am instructed where to drive. I have a navigational app on my other phone and I found this one is nearly as good as the one I had to buy; well all I can say is thank you Nokia.

Also my bought app was very confusing when I first started to use it, whereas Nokia Drive was basically use once and know what to do next time. Oh and if you have overseas visitors that are more comfortable with a different language, there are a lot of different voices and languages to choose from.

The main map screen shows you how far it is to your destination and how long it will take approximately to get there. While driving the information on the screen will show you the speed you are traveling.

The navigation voice is clear and easy to understand, and I felt so confident in the turn by turn instructions given, I didn’t have to keep looking at the map on the phone. So I was able to concentrate on my driving which to me is a big plus, especially in Auckland.

Also when I intentionally took a wrong turning (several times) the Nokia drive would re-calibrate very quickly, again giving me confidence in the GPS.  My opinion, I can drive anywhere without having to rely on a map book, which I always seem to misplace anyway.

About the author:

Hi I am Dreamy, a 54 year old mum of two teenagers. Ten years ago I didn't know how to work a computer, and my phone was a Nokia 3315. To keep up with my children's interest in everything to do with the Internet, xbox live, computer games, I turned on a computer and the rest as they say is history. Now I wouldn't be without my smartphone. Being connected to my children, my family and friends around the world. Able to read the news anywhere at anytime.



Nokia Lumia 800: social features

, posted: 20-Mar-2012 08:00

I covered the Nokia Lumia 800 hardware in my previous blog post, and promised a review of the software to follow. Problem is, there's so much software to cover. To narrow down the scope a little, I'm going to start out with the phone's "social" software: contacts and social networking. I'm going to have to bounce around a bit, because these elements are so tightly integrated in Windows Phone that they blur together.

Let's start with contact management. The "People" app is where it all happens. Even before you open the app you'll start to see images of your friends flashing up on the app's tile. Inside the app, you have an obvious list of all your contacts, but swipe to the right and you'll see "what's new": a feed of all updates from your contacts from Twitter, Facebook, and other networks you've added. You can tap on the "what's new" title to filter it down to just one network.



One thing to note: if you've added Facebook and Twitter accounts on your phone, you'll get all your contacts from those services listed. This is not always ideal, especially if you follow a lot of people on Twitter. Easy fix: in the application settings for the People app, you can filter your contacts list to only show contacts from the accounts you select. In my case I choose to show contacts from Gmail and my work email, but nowhere else. Don't worry though, you'll still see updates from Facebook and Twitter for the contacts you have displayed.

How does the integration with social networks work? Pretty easy really: Windows Phone automatically links contacts together from each network. You can see in the image below that my lovely wife's contact record has five different accounts linked together.



It's very accurate, with most accounts automatically linked except where friends are using pseudonyms and different email addresses.

With these accounts linked, when I view contact information for any one person, I see updates from their social networking accounts, photos from some, and a history of all my interactions with them, whether that be emails, phones or messages.

The real power of this integration comes to life when you create a group. Add up to 20 contacts into a custom group, and the group's "What's new" tab now becomes a custom filtered social network feed, showing only updates from people in the group.

You can pin groups to your start screen to get a snapshot of the latest updates on a tile, and of course you can send group SMS messages and emails from the group tab.

 

The social networking features of the phone extend through into other apps as well. The Photos app lets you view photos from Facebook and Windows Live from anyone in your contacts list. And the "Share" option can be integrated into any app (e.g. a photo editing app), allowing you to post updates to social networks from within app.

Finally, in the event that the built-in features of the Lumia 800 don't cut it for you, there's plenty of first and third party apps to try out. Great first-party apps include Facebook, Foursquare, and Skype (currently in beta). For Twitter, the official app is not that great, but Rowi and Carbon are fantastic alternatives.

That's it for a first look at contacts and social software. I'll follow up with a deeper dive on other aspects of the phone software. If you're looking for cool apps for your Nokia Lumia 800 while you wait, I can highly recommend AppFlow for discovering new and cool apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

About the author
 
Hey. I'm Ben, also known as @nzben on Twitter. I'm a gadget-obsessed software developer. I spend my days building stuff using Microsoft tools and frameworks, but my website runs on Linux, and I harbour impure thoughts about learning Ruby on Rails. I've built apps for all the current mobile platforms except BlackBerry, and at one time walked around with three phones in my pockets while testing apps. I come at the Lumia 800 with a bit of experience in Windows Phone, but my my most recent phone was an iPhone 4S, so I'm no fanboy. Feel free to comment and ask questions - I love a bit of feedback.



The best and the worst in application behaviour

, posted: 19-Mar-2012 13:13

This post is about the thing I’ve found to be the most exciting and the thing I’ve found to be the most irritating about functionality on the Windows Phone 7platform.The most exciting thing for me is probably such a small thing. But I do wish Android would find a way to incorporate it.

I love that you can go to a Contact and easily write on their Facebook wall, or mention them in a tweet. This of course assumes said contact has a Facebook and/or Twitter account. There’s no need to launch Facebook or Twitter. Just go to the People app and find your person to write/mention them.

It’s just so simple. It’s a no fuss way of making contact. And sometimes it’s the little things in life that make such a big difference.

I’m hoping the thing that I find most irritating is just some setting I’ve overlooked.

When I launch the Facebook application it continues to open at an item that is now days old. I don’t know why it does this. But it stalls at this historic update (it’s from a friend’s wall) and then refreshes to the next round of latest news. It’s easily 3-5 seconds before I get the fresh news.

The very next time I launch Facebook this saga starts all over again. It’s like it’s locked onto this historic item and I can’t figure out why.

Remember I’ve only been using the Nokia Lumia 710 for just over a week now. My opinion has changed on a number of fronts in that time and I may well find something new that’s both a joy and a PITA as I become more familiar with the phone and the Windows Phone 7 OS.

I have one really big gripe about the Windows Phone 7 OS which I’ll save up for another day.

Of course all of this is personal preference and what irks and pleases me may not be a bother or be a big to-do for you.
About the author:

Hi, my name is Anita, on Geekzone and other social network sites I’m known as Neets, sometimes with a “_”, sometimes with “_nz”. I’m a proud kiwi living/surviving in Christchurch. I’m not blogging about this Nokia Lumia 710 because I need a new phone. In fact I love my existing Samsung Galaxy SII. When offered the opportunity to review the Nokia Lumia 710 I took it up because, in truth, it was an honour to be asked, but I enjoy writing reviews, I like learning new things and I’ve got a bit of a fascination about how far you can push smartphones. The brief is fairly simple, use the phone as much as you can and then write about your experiences. My reviews will be honest about the good the bad and the ugly based on how I use the phone, which undoubtedly will vary to the way anyone else uses their phone.



TelecomTech's profile

Telecom New Zealand
Auckland
New Zealand


Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

The team will post firsthand reports on using these smartphones on New Zealand's smartphonenetwork. Make sure to keep an eye on this blog. Who knows who might be our next "test drivers"?

   

Catch up on previous Telecom Tech reviews - read about the Nokia Lumia 1020Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Sensation.





Most recent posts

Sony Xperia Z1: The Camera...
The Sony Xperia Z1: initial im...
Samsung Galaxy Note 3: A phone...
Sony Xperia Z1: first impressi...
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear...
Nokia Lumia 1020 Social Featur...
Lumia 1020 for Work...
Nokia Lumia 1020: some photos...
Nokia Lumia 1020: my usage...
Nokia Lumia 1020: the phone si...


Posts by category

Android...
HTC One...
HTC One X...
HTC Sensation...
Nokia Lumia 1020...
Nokia Lumia 710...
Nokia Lumia 800...
Nokia Lumia 920...
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear...
Samsung Galaxy Note II...
Sony Xperia Z1...