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Posts tagged ‘Nokia’

26
Oct
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Nokia Lumia 735 review: more than just a selfie phone


Nokia Lumia 735 and yours truly

Last year’s Lumia 720 was an awkward middle child. It was more powerful than its 620 cousin, but not so much so that you’d consider it over the 820 unless you just had to have the first budget Lumia with LTE. If you’re going to pay a lot more, why not get a lot more? Flash forward to 2014, and the Lumia 735 follow-up (along with the dual-SIM 730) appears to have more of a reason for being — namely, catering to a selfie-loving public. With a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, more powerful internals and a €219 ($279) price, the 735 promises great self-portraits without decimating your bank account. But is it necessarily your best choice for those “I was there” photos? And more importantly, is it worth buying over both other Windows Phones and the other devices in its price class? You’re about to find out.

Hardware

Lumia 735 backside

One glance at the 735 and it’s immediately clear that this is a textbook Nokia (or rather, Microsoft Mobile) design. Its minimalist, rounded plastic shell looks like a Lumia 920 or 1020, just without the bulk; the newer Lumia is only slightly narrower and taller to accommodate its 4.7-inch screen, but it’s noticeably thinner and lighter, at 0.35 inch thick and 4.7 ounces. It’s one of the most comfortable phones I’ve held in a while, and about my only gripe is that the sharp-angled corners occasionally dig into my palm. I’m also a sucker for the matte mint-green finish on my test unit, since it’s at once eye-catching and resistant to dust and smudges. Don’t worry if this or the glossy orange is too garish for your liking, by the way — there are black and white models if you’re a little more conservative.

Not that the ergonomics have improved across the board, whether you’re comparing it to the 720, 920 or other previous Windows Phones. You’ll still find the volume and power buttons in easy-to-reach places on the right side, a headphone jack on the top and a micro-USB port on the bottom. However, you won’t see a dedicated camera key like you saw on the 720 as well as the more recent 830 and 930. Let that sink in for a minute — the Lumia 735, a smartphone devoted to spur-of-the-moment selfies, doesn’t have a quick way to take those selfies. It’s an odd regression on a device that’s otherwise a clear step forward, and it takes some of the fun out of a signature feature.

Lumia 735 with its shell off

You may forgive that gaffe with the controls knowing the improvements to expandability. You can now pry off the entire rear shell, which lets you not only add microSD storage (already possible on the 720), but also swap covers and replace the 2,220mAh battery pack. If you regularly find yourself on weekend trips where wall outlets aren’t an option, or you just can’t stand USB battery packs, this could prove to be a lifesaver. The 720’s Qi-based wireless charging has carried over, too, so you can plunk the 735 down on a compatible charging plate at the end of a long day rather than fiddle with cables. Just be ready to buy a microSD card if you’re a shutterbug or otherwise tend to chew through free space. There’s only 8GB of built-in storage, so you’re going to run out of room very, very quickly if you aren’t ruthless about deleting files.

Beyond this, the back holds both a speaker and a 6.7-megapixel camera with flash and a wide-angle lens; on the front, you’ll see an earpiece, a mic and the phone’s centerpiece 5-megapixel selfie camera. You won’t find capacitive navigation keys, however. As with the Lumia 630 and 635, you’ll have to get through the Windows Phone interface using on-screen buttons. I didn’t have a problem with these controls taking up visual real estate, but it could be a concern if you don’t like toggling software keys on and off just to maximize the usable screen area for your apps.

Display and sound

Lumia 735 display up close

If the Lumia 720’s display was a disappointment, the 735’s is a joy. Instead of a slightly cramped 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 LCD, you’re now looking at a 4.7-inch, 1,280 x 720 AMOLED screen. There’s much more room to breathe here, and visuals that once looked blocky are now crisp. The switch to AMOLED virtually guarantees deep blacks with full image quality at almost every viewing angle. Colors still pop without any obvious signs of oversaturation, and the output is wonderfully bright — so bright that I had to turn the brightness down to “low” when I wasn’t testing the battery. Suffice to say that you’ll have little trouble using this Lumia in bright sunlight.

That doesn’t mean it’s flawless, of course. There are sharper screens if you’re willing to go to higher-end hardware (the 750p Apple iPhone 6 and 1080p HTC One M7 come to mind), and it’s notable that the second-generation Moto G sports a 5-inch, 720p LCD at a lower price. Moreover, you don’t get the Lumia line’s hallmark Glance feature, which shows the time and basic notifications while your phone’s asleep. I found myself missing that convenience more than a few times during my trial run; I don’t want to wake my phone up just to know how late I’m going to be. The 735 does have both a high-sensitivity and a double-tap-to-wake option, mind you, so it’s still a good pick if you either like to wear gloves or don’t want to reach for the power key every single time.

Sound on this Lumia isn’t nearly as impressive. The rear-firing speaker is loud, but there’s virtually no bass; you’ll definitely be plugging in headphones to enjoy your tunes as they were meant to be heard. And while the grille is positioned at an angle that keeps it exposed on a desk (such as during a speakerphone call), it’s a little too easy to muffle the sound while holding the phone in your hand. Given how closely the 735 resembles the 920 and 1020, I’m surprised Microsoft’s mobile team didn’t keep the speaker in an unobstructed position on the bottom.

Software

Lumia 735 keyboard

Windows Phone 8.1 is no longer all that fresh, but it’s still an important factor in whether or not you’ll like this device. If the Lumia 720’s software felt undercooked, the 735’s comes across as well-done. There’s a notification area to catch those important alerts, and Cortana’s voice command engine will do your bidding; the Word Flow keyboard gives you swipe-based typing, and you have more control over the look of your home screen (including folders and wallpaper). There are still gaps in the OS, such as Microsoft’s unorganized settings and Cortana’s inability to handle timers. Even with the hiccups, you can pick the Lumia 735 without feeling that you’re sacrificing basic features from Android or iOS just to get some of Windows Phone’s key advantages, like Live Tiles and deep tie-ins with social networks.

It’s also appealing for what you don’t get: bloatware. Aside from the curious inclusions of Gameloft’s GameHub and the Domino’s Pizza app — no, really — my unlocked test unit was limited to the expected batch of Lumia apps (such as Beamer screen sharing), MSN apps (like Sports) and Here navigation tools. The best part? You don’t have to keep many of these titles. Even if you wind up with a carrier-locked 735, Windows Phone will let you uninstall nonessential apps to either free up storage or remove clutter.

The platform still has an app deficit, though, and it remains an Achilles’ heel. Don’t get me wrong: Most of your needs are easily covered. You’ll find Instagram, Swarm, Vine, WhatsApp and other staples of the modern smartphone experience. However, there are still a few holes. If you lean heavily on Google’s ecosystem, Windows Phone still isn’t for you. You’ll find alternative apps like IM+ (for Hangouts messaging) and MetroTube (for YouTube), but the platform remains best when you’re taking advantage of Microsoft’s own wide array of software, like Skype and Xbox Video. The more pressing issue is simply the lack of “last mile” apps that cover specialized services and utilities, such as your local bank or transit authority; you may have to make do with websites or unofficial tools. The Windows Phone Store’s selection is healthy, but Microsoft needs to focus more on the quality of its catalog, not just the quantity.

Camera

Lumia 735 selfie

Photography is ostensibly why you’re here — if it weren’t for the promises of high-quality selfies on a budget, there wouldn’t be much to capture your imagination and lure you away from other smartphones. Thankfully, the Lumia 735 lives up to that billing… so long as your expectations match the price, anyway. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera is sharper than what you’ll normally find in this class, and the combination of a wide-angle lens and a relatively bright f/2.4 aperture (both carried over from the 720) produces shots that are well-lit and let you fit an absurd amount of content into the frame. There was plenty of room for three people if I held the phone at arm’s length, and solo self-portraits can easily include tourist attractions or other scenic backdrops.

With that in mind, Microsoft definitely isn’t setting a new high watermark in photography. The Lumia’s front cam has a slightly bluish tone, and shots in moderately dim settings are prone to both noise and occasional blurring. The dynamic range and shot-to-shot performance are also lacking. It’s not uncommon to see blown-out skies in daytime images, and you frequently have to wait a couple of seconds as the 735 processes a photo; you won’t be taking rapid-fire snapshots any time soon. I’m also of a mixed opinion about Lumia Selfie, Microsoft’s app for — what else? — front-facing pictures. Its Auto Selfie mode is great for using the rear camera to capture photos, and there are plenty of filters and face-specific adjustments, but you have little control over the photo before you tap the shutter. If there’s a sickly hue from a nearby street lamp, for instance, you’ll have to fix it later. These limitations are fine for the price, but I’d prefer phones like the HTC One M8 (with a brighter f/2.0 lens) or iPhone 6 (with burst selfies and smarter image processing) if money wasn’t a factor.

And the back camera? You’re still dealing with the 720’s 6.7-megapixel sensor and a wide-angle f/1.9 lens, so the story hasn’t changed much versus a year ago. It’s fine for the price range, but the quality varies wildly depending on the situation. While images are often vivid and sharp in good lighting, there are occasional moments when the results are lifeless or flat-out inaccurate; like many Lumias, it periodically wrecks the color balance for no apparent reason. As with the front shooter, the main cam’s dynamic range is limited and tends to hide detail in both highlights and shadows. It’s capable enough in low-light situations, but don’t let that sweet-sounding aperture fool you — you’ll still have to keep a steady hand for night shots.

Lumia 735 rear camera photo

Microsoft partly makes up for these shortcomings through its superb Nokia Camera app. The software doesn’t just give you far-reaching control over elements like focus, sensitivity and white balance, but also presents all that control in a meaningful way. You’ll see the effects of most changes in real time, and they’re simple enough that you’re encouraged to experiment. Case in point: Fully automatic shooting ruined a nighttime river scene, but the manual controls let me take a long-exposure, low-sensitivity image that was far more pleasing. You can also tie Nokia Camera into other apps through software add-ons (“lenses”), so you’re only a quick hop away from the likes of Bing Vision searching or 6-second Vine clips.

Video recording on either of the 735’s cameras (both of which can handle 1080p) mirrors the visual quality you get with stills, just with reduced input over the picture. You’re mostly restricted to tuning white balance and focus when shooting with the main camera, and those few options go away with the front unit. Microsoft’s real ace in the hole here is audio recording. As with many recent Lumias, there’s a Rich Recording setup that prevents very loud noises from overwhelming the microphones, such as bass at a concert. The Lumia can be overzealous in muffling sounds with the default settings; occasionally, it sounds like you were recording from a closet. Nonetheless, that’s still preferable to the unlistenable messes you frequently get from other phones.

Performance and battery life

Gaming on the Lumia 735

Gauging the Lumia 735’s speed is difficult. If all you’re doing is measuring specs, it’s no great shakes. Although the quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM are miles above the dual-core chip and 512MB of RAM of the 720, they’re strictly par for the course among low-end phones these days. In fact, the extra memory is this phone’s only real performance advantage (albeit an important one) over the Lumia 630 and 635. Why would you pay Microsoft’s asking price when something like the Moto G has similar innards for less?

Lumia 735 Lumia 720 Lumia Icon
WPBench 245 179 471
SunSpider 1.0.2 (ms) 1,237 1,440 538
AnTuTu 12,060 7,348 25,750
SunSpider: Lower scores are better.

Because specs don’t tell the full story; that’s why. No, the 735 won’t outrun high-end beasts like the Lumia Icon or One M8 for Windows, but it thrashes the Moto G in the SunSpider web browser test (1,237ms vs 1,534ms) — proof that Microsoft can wring out additional performance through software. You’d be hard-pressed to tell that this wasn’t a flagship just by steering through the basic Windows Phone interface. Scrolling is fast and fluid; transitions happen at a brisk pace; and many apps respond as quickly as you’d hope. If all you’re doing is checking Facebook and playing music, this lower-end Lumia will serve you as well as something costing twice as much. It’s certainly a better pick than the 630 and 635, whose low memory is going to curb your ability to run games and other intensive apps.

There’s only so much Microsoft can do, however, and it’s when you dive into demanding apps that it becomes clear you’re not using a powerhouse. Besides slower web-browsing performance (it’s roughly half as quick as the Icon in SunSpider), the 735 just isn’t great for 3D gaming. A modest title like Wings on Fire plays smoothly, but you can expect stuttering in a visually rich arcade racer like Asphalt 8. No, it wouldn’t be reasonable to demand blistering frame rates from a device so cheap, but you will have to dial your expectations back a notch.

Lumia 735 surfing the web

You won’t have to worry much about battery life. That 2,220mAh pack isn’t huge in an era when some mid-size phones pack upwards of 3,000mAh, but it’s also driving modest hardware. That’s reflected in the healthy longevity I got during my stint. The Lumia 735 managed 9.5 hours in a battery-rundown test that involved looping an HD video at medium brightness with email, Facebook and Twitter running in the background; that’s actually half an hour better than Microsoft’s official estimate. It’s more than enough to get through a day of moderate use that includes Instagram, Twitter, Swarm check-ins and instant messaging, although I would get nervous if someone invited me to enjoy a long night out.

No matter what, cellular performance comes up aces. The unlocked 735 I tried sadly didn’t support North American LTE frequencies (only bands 3, 7 and 20), but it still managed very respectable averages of 21 Mbps for downloads and 8 Mbps for uploads on Rogers’ dual-carrier HSPA+ network in Ottawa, Canada. It should play nicely on AT&T’s network in the US, if you get the same model. Call quality, meanwhile, is excellent. Both ends of the conversation are loud and clear, while the noise-cancellation feature does a fine job of squelching background audio — a recipient couldn’t even tell that I had loud music playing in the background during one test. You should anticipate similarly stellar voice calls on the Lumia 730’s two lines, but it’s going to be slower given that it only supports single-carrier HSPA+ data.

The competition

Lumia 735 checks out a rival

The Lumia 735 is entering a crowded field of not-quite-entry-level smartphones, and your choices are going to vary dramatically depending on what platforms you’re willing to use and where you live. You’re likely to run into a few common alternatives, though, so let’s dig in.

When you limit yourself to Windows Phone, the 735 is a fairly safe bet — in part because it’s tough to find brand-new handsets that directly compete in both price and size. A lot of what’s available is a clear step down in both memory and screen quality, such as the Lumia 635 or Huawei’s Ascend W2. If you have a set spending limit, you may want to consider the Lumia 1320. You’ll give up the 735’s camera prowess and quad-core processing, but you’ll get both a gigantic 6-inch display and a long-lasting battery. If anything, the biggest threat to the 735 is the next step up, the Lumia 830. You’ll lose some quality in selfies, but you’ll also get a more powerful 10-megapixel rear camera, a hardware camera key, more storage and a slightly larger 5-inch screen. Even then, it’s still tempting to pick the 735. It delivers nearly all of the 830’s performance and display quality in a package that leaves lots of cash left over for accessories.

If you’re not wedded to Microsoft’s ecosystem, the rivalry becomes much fiercer… and frankly, the Lumia doesn’t emerge unscathed. Not surprisingly, the elephant in the room is Motorola’s second-generation Moto G. You’re getting most of the experience for a smaller outlay (€199 or less in Europe, $180 in the US), and you’ll get both a higher-resolution rear camera and a larger screen, to boot. While the 735 does have LTE data, wireless charging and better selfies, you’d have to value those a good deal to justify the premium. HTC’s Desire 616 offers a similar bargain, although it’s not as easy to find. Samsung’s comparably priced Galaxy Grand 2 is no real threat, but do look at Huawei’s Ascend G6 — while you lose screen sharpness, you’re getting a good selfie cam and a higher-resolution rear shooter for less cash.

Wrap-up

Lumia 735 home screen

I won’t lie: I came into this review worried that the Lumia 735 would lean too hard on the selfie angle at the expense of other features, much like the 720 did. Happily, this isn’t the case. The 735 (and by extension, the 730) is really a capable, stylish budget smartphone that just happens to take some nice self-portraits. Microsoft Mobile has ironed out many of the kinks from the 720 while simultaneously lowering the price. How can you not like that? To me, the 735 is the real successor to Nokia’s cult favorite, the Lumia 620. It costs a bit more, but it still strikes a fine balance among attractive design, affordability and solid performance. The 630 and 635 are only worth considering if you simply must have a modern Lumia and can’t justify spending more.

Having said this, there are a few big items on my upgrade wish list. The 735’s cameras could stand to perform better, particularly in darker scenes; it really needs a camera key, or at least a lock screen shortcut; it’d be nice to get both a faster processor as well as more built-in storage. And yes, the app supply remains a concern. The Lumia 735 is a very good phone for what you’re paying, particularly if you’re committed to Windows, but it stops short of greatness.

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24
Oct
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Microsoft is finally dropping the ‘Nokia’ from Lumia


Microsoft Lumia logo

Over a year after the acquisition was first announced, Microsoft is officially replacing the Nokia Lumia brand. In a blog post today, the software giant revealed its upcoming smartphones will now be known as Microsoft Lumia. The new Microsoft branding will appear on future phones from the company, with a plain black version of the company’s four-squared logo also set to make an appearance.

Tuula Rytilä, Microsoft’s SVP of Marketing for Phones, says the company is looking to unveil its first own-brand Lumia phone “soon.” Rytilä is also keen to note that the change in nomenclature will not affect the support of current Nokia devices. Although the Nokia name will no longer be used for smartphones, low-end phones — the company calls out the Nokia 130 — will still be sold under the banner. Nokia still has brand cachet in Europe and developing markets, and it’s likely that Microsoft will continue to exploit that fact for years to come.

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Source: Microsoft (Nokia Conversations)

22
Oct
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Nokia’s HERE Maps now available on all Android devices


HERE_Maps_Route_and_Drive

Well that exclusive was short lived. About 2 weeks ago, Nokia’s HERE maps made its debut on Android, but only for Samsung devices through the Samsung Apps Store. I’m not sure I ever understood the exclusive, but I definitely don’t understand the fact that it only lasted 2 weeks.

Nokia has made the HERE Beta app available to the rest of Android. Unfortunately it’s not in the Play Store. You will have to hit the source link below to grab the APK and manually install it yourself.

Being a Beta, you’re sure to run into a bug or two. For example, it was found that some cache cleaner apps will delete the navigation voices. Nokia has promised a fix, but they are still a couple of weeks away from accomplishing it.

If HERE maps is something you would like to try, then hit the source link below to get started.

sources: Nokia / Download Beta

Come comment on this article: Nokia’s HERE Maps now available on all Android devices

10
Oct
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A Nokia Lumia 1020 powers this automated 3D-printed telescope


There are many, many people who’ve always wanted a powerful space telescope in their backyards but can’t exactly afford one. For avid makers and DIY enthusiasts, at least, that’s not such an absurd dream anymore — not when someone has designed an automated 3D-printed telescope that’s powered by a commercially available phone: the Nokia Lumia 1020. The device is called Ultrascope, and it stands one meter tall when assembled, with a base that measures 65 centimeters wide. It was created by Open Space Agency founder James Parr, who promised to upload the current design and future iterations to his organization’s website once the ongoing beta testing’s done.

Here’s how the robotic telescope works: first, your Windows laptop locates the ISS and forwards its location to Ultrascope’s Arduino shield to move its motors. After the telescope positions itself, the 1020 starts snapping images and sends them to the cloud for post-processing. Parr hasn’t revealed how powerful Ultrascope is exactly, but it’s worth noting that the 1020’s 41-megapixel camera blew us away when we tested it. It’ll sadly take a while before you can find out for yourself, though, as OSA’s busy working with Microsoft at the moment, developing an app that connects Lumia phones to the device.

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Source: Nokia, Open Space Agency

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8
Oct
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Nokia’s HERE Maps Android app now available on Samsung Galaxy devices


Nokia's HERE Maps for Android

While we were able to get our hands on an advance release of Nokia’s new HERE Maps app for Android, the company had to a make a few minor tweaks before it was ready for public consumption. It appears all of those outstanding boxes have now been ticked, because the app has just gone live on Samsung’s Galaxy app store. Unfortunately, thanks to Samsung’s considerable marketing muscle, the app currently only offers Galaxy device owners access to its offline maps, turn-by-turn navigation and transit features. That means you’ll have to wait a little longer to grab the app (or until an enterprising developer extends its availability) if you own a non-Samsung device. However, if you’re looking for a very accomplished alternative to Google Maps, it’s definitely worth being a little more patient.

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Via: HERE Blog

Source: HERE Maps (Samsung Galaxy App Store)

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4
Oct
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Microsoft turns Cortana into a Klingon-speaking Starfleet officer


To celebrate the launch of the Lumia 830 in the UK and all of the Trek-flavored nerdiness going down at Destination Star Trek in London, Microsoft has taught given its virtual assistant a crash course in the ways of Qo’nos — by which we mean Cortana can now speak a little Klingon. All you’ll have to do is ask, though the first thing the xenolinguists among you will probably notice that her and vocabulary and pronunciation are just awful. SlashGear also adds that Cortana responds when you refer to her as “Number One” — Commander Riker can’t be too pleased about that one — as well as when you tell her to beam you up or “set phasers to stun”. The smarts enabling Cortana’s new behavior haven’t started making the rounds yet outside of the UK yet, but a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to us those Starfleet commands will work in the US in the coming weeks. In the mean time, there are still other ways to get a feel for Redmond’s Trekkie credentials: remember, that Bing’s Translator can kinda-sorta tackle textual Klingon too.

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Source: The Verge

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4
Oct
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Microsoft sues Samsung over the interest on billion-dollar patent payments


Microsoft had over a billion reasons (per year) to pursue a patent licensing deal with Samsung back in 2011 over the latter’s use of Android. That fact is laid bare by a lawsuit today over the interest on payments (based on the number of Android devices sold) that are supposed to flow from Korea to Redmond. Re/code posted the unsealed lawsuit this evening, showing how despite the existing deal, Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia last year lead to Samsung holding up its payment for the second fiscal year of the deal, and then refusing to pay interest on it. All of that is according to Microsoft, which also claims Samsung is threatening to hold off on paying its end for the third year of the seven-year deal. The documents reveal Microsoft’s patent licenses cover some 80 percent of the Android phones sold in the US (up from 70 percent in 2012), and that the deal includes provisions for Samsung to lower the amount owed by developing and marketing Windows phones and tablets, and for Microsoft’s use of Samsung patents. The amount in question? A paltry $6.9 million, although a decision on whether the deal will remain in force going forward is clearly worth more than that.

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Source: Re/code, Microsoft

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3
Oct
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Nokia’s Here Auto tries to predict your driving needs (hands-on)


Okay, let’s get this out of the way: it’s not Nokia Here anymore, just plain old “Here.” Nokia’s VP of Connected Driving, Floris van de Klashorst, told me that Here no longer uses the Nokia name and is fully independent (though it’s still 100 percent owned by Nokia). That settled, Here Auto was launched last year as Nokia’s connected car solution for automakers, competing with Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto. Nokia beat both of those giants to the punch, however, and it definitely shows. The latest version of Here Auto, launched at the Paris Auto Show, has fewer rough edges than its competitors. It’s also designed to think ahead of you, learn your habits, work with other devices and present information and options in the least distracting way possible. That’s the goal, anyway — to see if it succeeded, I took a tour around Paris in the company’s Range Rover demonstrator.

Before jumping in the car, I had a look at the latest version of Here Auto and talked to Mr. van de Kashorst about the features. First off, the engineers took me through a typical trip planning session. After entering the destination — which can be done from the vehicle’s console or a tablet (more on that later) — the system queued up several route choices. Thanks to the vehicle’s fuel sensor input, part of the route showed up as red, meaning you wouldn’t make the whole trip with the amount of gas in your car. From there, a sidebar menu appeared, showing filling stations in the area, and even the price of fuel (the availability of prices depends on your location). You could then add the pit stop to your itinerary, and the whole trip is replotted.

The system also works with your tablet or smartphone, allowing you (or a passenger) to preselect your destination. The destination will then be added to your favorites list on the console display, where it’ll stay until you delete it. On top of eliminating the cumbersome console entry chore, the tablet also lets drivers change destinations or add pits stops on the fly.

That done, we launched in the company’s demonstrator for a quick trip around the convention center. The system immediately brings up street level imagery to let you picture the destination before you arrive. It’ll then bring up several, traffic-optimized route options, since most manufacturers will likely include traffic data for free with the nav systems. Once navigating, the system allows touchscreen control, but also indirect control via a dial/joystick to the right of the driver (if included). In addition, the route can be displayed on the car’s dash so that you just have to glance down to see if you’re still on track. Nokia said together, those are key safety features that let you “focus on the task at hand, which is driving the car.”

In the event you need input a new destination mid-drive, the maps will still work offline — a feature also available on the apps. You’ll also get tourism information from Lonely Planet, Trip Adviser or local sources, if available.

Once you near your endpoint, the system kicks into approach mode. It brings up the street level view again, and also brings up a mode called “one-touch parking nearby.” It then lets you send an SMS or email with one touch to inform your party that you’ve arrived. Meanwhile, the companion app located on your tablet has kept up with the program, and can walk you back to your car if you forget where you parked it.

Mr. van de Klashorst told me that on of the main goals of the new update was to make it easier to improvise and adjust on the fly during a trip. By opening up the interface to external devices (iOS, Android and, of course, Windows) passengers can also join in the fun by finding interesting spots to explore.

With a new SDK, Nokia is giving car manufacturers access to all its features, while letting them custom design the look of interface to suit their own vehicle styles. The company also has its tendrils into self-driving vehicles, helping manufacturers make self-driving vehicles more friendly. For instance, Here has recently started providing lidar-generated 3D mapping data for better efficiency and trip planning.

Despite a few tablet syncing glitches, the whole demo was incredibly smooth — and all the Nokia-less work seems to be paying off. Here said yesterday that it was used as the primary mapping service in 50 out of 62 new vehicles that just launched at the Paris Auto Show.

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3
Oct
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Nokia Here Auto displays trip info in more places


Nokia first trotted out its Here Auto connected car platform just over a year ago, and at this week’s Paris Motor Show, the company is showing off the latest developments. In order to properly equip the rise in heads-up display tech, Here Auto now shows its info in more places around on the dash. In addition to the main display between the driver and passenger, navigation details and more can be beamed to a HUD or under the steering wheel. The central cluster’s route data is “context aware,” so when you’re low on fuel, it’ll show gas stations along the way. During the drive, passengers can employ smartphone and tablet apps to examine the trip and make the most of stops. If a nearby national park is selected, the driver can okay (or reject) the detour and directions get automatically updated. And with a new SDK, auto makers can customize Nokia’s system as needed, adding in of CarPlay, Google Auto and more.

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Source: Nokia Here

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2
Oct
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Microsoft’s Lumia 735 ‘selfie phone’ launches in the UK


We’re not sure whether we dare utter the word ‘Nokia’ now Microsoft’s dropped the name from any and all communications, so today we’ll just say the new Lumia 735 is now available in the UK. Touted as “the selfie phone” due its 5-megapixel front-facing camera, the Lumia 735 — an LTE-friendly brother of the Lumia 730 — is a mid-range device with a 4.7-inch 720p display, quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and 6.7MP main camera. Only O2 seems keen on day one, offering the Lumia 735 for free on contracts of £21 per month and over, while Carphone Warehouse has a number of carrier options starting at £17 per month with the handset thrown in. MVNO Virgin is strangely on the ball, with the Lumia 735 free from £15 per month or £190 on pay-as-you-go. In terms of SIM-free, unlocked models, Clove is leading the pack with a £220 price tag, while other retailers are hovering around the £225 mark currently.

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