Tag Archives: Nokia

Sony Xperia Z2 unseats Nokia 808 Pureview in DxOMark camera ranking

It was only a matter of time before Sony, who has a longer and more extensive experience with cameras and imaging, rose to the top of DxOMark’s benchmarking tests. With a score of 79, the Xperia Z2 has grabbed the crown from long-time titleholder, the Nokia 808 Pureview.

This is definitely not the first time a Sony Xperia came close to toppling Nokia‘s contender. Last October, the newly unveiled Xperia Z1 almost accomplished it but came up short with only 76 points versus the Pureview’s 77. By building up on its predecessor’s experience and technology, the Xperia Z2 was able to achieve the highest score to date on the benchmarking site.

81bddfbe3795x420.jpg Sony Xperia Z2 unseats Nokia 808 Pureview in DxOMark camera ranking

The ranking isn’t a straight win, however. Aside from the overall score, DxOMark also separately ranks devices based on their performance on still photos and video. When it comes to stills, the Xperia Z2 may be at the top with a score of 81, but it as actually tied with the Nokia 808 Pureview but still way ahead of late 2014′s flagships like the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S4 and the Lumia 1020. Interestingly, the Xperia Z2 actually performed poorly compared to the Xperia Z1, managing to score only 73 versus its predecessor’s 74, landing it in third place.

3c1da9a18d00x338.jpg Sony Xperia Z2 unseats Nokia 808 Pureview in DxOMark camera ranking

That said, the Sony Xperia Z2 offers the best balance when it comes to camera features. Color and detail preservation are superb and noise levels remain quite low. And while the video recording performance isn’t as high as some might wish, the ability to record in 4K resolutions of 3840×2160 is something you cannot ignore. Overall, the Xperia Z2 does well in proving Sony’s camera chops, leaving digital photography fans looking forward to the next iteration.

SOURCE: DxOMark

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Chinese online store sells complete stock of Nokia X handsets in just 4 minutes

nokiax-5JD.com, one of China’s largest online stores, has sold its complete stock of Nokia X handsets in just 4 minutes. In the run up to the device’s official release it was reported that JD.com had pre-orders for over 1 million devices. The new phone went on sale at 10:00 AM on March 24 (Beijing time) and by 10:04 it was all over.

Impressive as these numbers are, they do need a little explaining. The 1 million pre-orders weren’t exactly pre-orders, they were reservations. Consumers had the chance to sign-up and reserve a handset without actually parting with any money. When the item becomes available those with reservations get priority over other users.

It also isn’t known how many Nokia X handsets JD.com received from Nokia. It is thought that the company initially received 10,000 devices and that this first batch is what has sold out. According to the JD.com website the next shipment is expected on March 31st and that only those with reservations will be able to buy one.

The Nokia X is selling for ¥599.00 which is about 70 Euros or . The prices are a little lower than the 89 Euros (that is around 0) which Nokia mentioned at its launch event.

Whatever the actual numbers turn out to be, one thing is for sure the Nokia X looks like it will be a hit in China. Many users in the west  dismissed the Nokia X as it doesn’t use any Google services and there is no official access to the Google Play Store, however in countries like China that isn’t an issue. China has dozens of popular third party stores and plenty of alternative online services. This is why the Nokia X will never come to the USA or the UK, it wasn’t designed for those markets. The phone’s target markets are places like China and India and it looks like it will be a resounding success!


    








Android Authority

Nokia X Apps unofficially ported for other Android devices

Thanks to an arduous XDA member, users on other smartphone brands can get a taste of the new Nokia X experience. Some of the apps and even the homescreen launcher have been ported and adjusted to be compatible with almost any other Android smartphone.

Nokia‘s announcement of not one but two Android smartphones was expected but also felt surreal. Rather naturally, Nokia injected its own bit of flair into the devices, particularly the homescreen that tries to officially bring the now iconic Windows Phone look and feel to Android. Of course, there are also a few Nokia-made apps that are now being made available for everyone else.

The credit goes to XDA Senior Member opssemnik who worked on extracting these apps from the Nokia X, porting them, and getting them working on any Android device. The series includes the Nokia File Explorer, which doesn’t really look that different from your run of the mill file manager. The Nokia Email app is also available and looks rather plain, if not basic. The Nokia Music player works, but installing it might be a bit problematic since it could conflict with the AOSP music player on some systems.

c8c43af84c00x200.png Nokia X Apps unofficially ported for other Android devices
2a660e4eb400x200.png Nokia X Apps unofficially ported for other Android devices
56082a260600x200.png Nokia X Apps unofficially ported for other Android devices

Perhaps most users will be more curious about Nokia Launcher. Unfortunately, it is also the one that requires a more involved installation process. The launcher requires not just root access but also a recovery, since it comes as an image that needs to be flashed via the recovery menu.

2e019c9294rted 1.png Nokia X Apps unofficially ported for other Android devices

Those still curious to try these apps out can follow the XDA links below. Being unofficial ports of apps that will most likely never see generic availability, no guarantees can be made about their safety or performance.

SOURCE: XDA (Nokia Launcher), (Nokia File Explorer), (Nokia Music), (Nokia Email)

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Nokia X rooted, now has flashed ROM and proper Google apps

What’s the saying? Oh yeah: You can lead a Developer to a smartphone, but you can’t make them use the weird OS you put on it. That goes for any device, and the newest “Android” handset, the Nokia X, has already been rooted and flashed with a custom ROM.

Who’s got these things already, you ask? Developers, of course. The Developer-only (for now) Nokia X devices have already been shipped, and giving Developers a device means they’re going to tinker. Using Framaroot, one Developer has easily made the Nokia X their own. Sounds ho-hum, save for one thing: Google Services.

The Nokia X does not ship with Google services, meaning buyers lose out on all sorts of things that make Android great like Maps or Search. The current method of providing apps to the Nokia X is for Developers to submit their Android apps to the Nokia store, which Nokia says can usually be done without any rewriting of code. Third party apps are great, but some just can’t stack up to Google’s offerings.

While the Nokia X doesn’t pack much in the way of specs, we find a different reason to raise an eyebrow here. First, we love a good root story. More importantly, if KitKat is really meant to be optimized for lower-end devices, what better example than the Nokia X? We’re hoping a root/KitKat duo will show us just how low KitKat can really go. At 512MB memory and 4GB Memory with a 1GHz Snapdragon, the bar is set really low.

Source: XDA Developers
Via: Ubergizmo

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Nokia XL hands-on (MWC 2014)

Earlier today we took a look at the Nokia X, Nokia’s 4-inch Android-powered budget handset. Now we’re going hands-on with the Nokia XL, the 5-inch member of the X family.

Like the Nokia X and Nokia X+, the Nokia XL isn’t your typical Android device. Not only is the UI dramatically different from what you’d expect, Google services have also been swapped out in favor of Nokia and Microsoft services.

So what kind of experience does the Nokia XL bring to the tablet? Let’s jump in and take a first hands-on look.

nokia-xl-4

Design

Just like the Nokia X and Nokia X+, the Nokia XL follows a design language that is clearly inspired by previous Nokia devices, particularly those in the Lumia line. This means you get a blocky, sturdy design that is also easily held in the hand. Even though the Nokia X family is budget-oriented, we are also happy to report that neither the look or feel of this device necessarily screams “budget handset”.

The Nokia XL’s design is very minimalistic, which is probably a good or bad thing depending your tastes. On the right, there’s a power button and volume rocker, and on the front is a single capacitive key.

Hardware and Performance

The Nokia XL features a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU, but jumps up to 768MB of RAM versus the 512MB found in the Nokia X. There’s also a 5-inch display with an 800 x 480 resolution, 3MP camera and dual-SIM support.

The Nokia XL is not meant to be a high-end device, and the specs clearly show it. That said, the specs are still more than good enough for an entry-level Android experience. It’s also worth mentioning that the UI seems to be responsive and fluid, a sign that Nokia has done its best to optimize the software for the best possible experience.

nokia-xl-2

Software

Just like the Amazon Kindle Fire series, the Nokia XL’s UI is an Android fork, and that means it lacks Google Play services such as Gmail, Google Maps and the Play Store. We are instead treated to Nokia HERE Maps, Bing search and other changes that push the Microsoft ecosystem.

The look of the UI is also very similar to Windows Phone, with a tiled interface that is clean and well organized. Unlike WP, however, these tiles are static and don’t have live information to enhance them.

For those that don’t necessarily enjoy the Windows Phone “Metro” look, the good news is that Android is still the underlying OS and that means all your favorite Android apps can run on the device. Getting apps can either be done through Nokia’s Store or via third party stores like Amazon AppStore. If you really don’t like the look, you can also change it up through a 3rd party launcher.

nokia-xl-3

Wrap Up

If you have your heart set on getting a Nokia device that runs Android, the Nokia XL is probably the better choice out of the three newly introduced devices, thanks to a larger display and more RAM than the standard Nokia X model.

Being honest though, the Nokia X series really is aimed more at first time smartphone users and those in emerging markets, and probably won’t be too appealing for existing Android users that are used to Google services and either stock Android or custom interfaces such as Sense or TouchWiz.

The Nokia X is expected to launch later this year to emerging markets first, with no exact plans for the North American market just yet.


    








Android Authority

New images of the Nokia X leak, gives us a better look at the tiled UI

nokia-x-images

At this point there’s no denying that the Nokia X is a real thing and its pretty much guaranteed that the handset is destined for a MWC unveiling. So what do we know about the Nokia X? Quite a bit actually. Not only have we heard the rumored specs, but we have also seen press renders and Nokia’s own official teasers. Now several actual photos of the device (and its UI) have allegedly be leaked as well.

The phone in the pictures looks exactly like what we’ve seen from the leaked press renders, and the same pretty much goes for the UI. As expected, the interface is very reminiscent of Windows Phone, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes.

One thing you’ll also notice is that not a single Google app is listed on any of the tiles we can see but there is a Nokia HERE maps icon and a ‘Store’ icon, which falls in line with the idea that Nokia will be pushing its own apps and services (as well as Microsoft’s) and will not be Google certified. In short, this means that Google apps won’t be available for the handset and the Android app selection will be limited to whatever Nokia’s store offers.

Overall, the Nokia X is an attractive enough looking handset device, but it’s clearly marketed at those looking for an entry-level smartphone judging by its lack of flash and its dual-SIM support. According to the rumor mill, the Nokia X is expected to feature a Snapdragon 400 CPU, 512MB RAM, a 4-inch low-res display, 4GB storage, microSD, a 1500 mAh battery and a 5MP camera.

What do you think of the Nokia X, can it compete against other Android budget devices that are Google Play certified or is it likely to be a niche product with limited support? Regardless of what happens, we’ll be sure to bring you all the official details related to the Nokia X during MWC, so stayed tuned!


    








Android Authority

Can Nokia or any other company still fork Android successfully?

android feature

Credit: JD Hancock

In this edition of the Friday Debate, we discuss one of the most controversial topics of the last few weeks – the way Google exerts control over Android through its closed suite of apps. Critics of Google say that the company is disingenuously touting the openness of Android, only to tighten the screw on its partners in private by limiting the availability of its cloud apps to those who are willing to play by its rules.

Some have gone as far as to declare that Android cannot be forked anymore, that Google has moved too much value inside its licensed apps, and that all that its left is an empty shell. Others disagree and see no harm for the users in Google’s power plays.

So, can any company still fork Android? Can Nokia create a successful Android device without Google’s apps? How does Google’s stance affect consumers?

Join us in the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!

Gary Sims

Is it possible for a company to successfully adopt Android without Google’s approval and services? Yes! Amazon have done it. If you can provide alternative services like an app store, a mapping app, a search engine and an email service then it is possible.

The real motivation behind the recent Google/Samsung deals was actually Google’s fear that Samsung could carry Android off in Samsung’s direction with services all provided by Samsung and not Google.

As for Microsoft, if the marketing people can get the message right then a Microsoft focused Android with its own app store would actually be Redmond’s way back into mobile. From a developer’s point of view it would be very easy to get their apps into the Microsoft/Nokia app store and it would give Microsoft a chance to promote its services like Bing, Outlook.com, Office 365 and so on.

Microsoft has to think 5 years ahead. The Mobile OS battle is over, the two victors are Android and iOS. Now Microsoft has to jump on the Android bandwagon in such as way that it makes money and yet doesn’t offer a vanilla Android experience.

Robert Triggs

Is it possible to ignore Google but still use Android? Sure. Is it easy? Absolutely not.

It’s a shame, in my opinion, as Google may actually be holding back innovation by locking down its software so tightly.

The biggest downside is that Google’s licensing agreements locks in (and out) companies that don’t have the resources to offer up a full range of its own services. Amazon is the only company which has opted to avoid Google’s services, and you could argue that the only reason it’s able to survive is because Amazon has been able to secure a unique market segment.

I can’t see Samsung, Sony, or HTC, spending the time and resources to build a highly detailed map app, but they might be able to offer a better store or music experience than Google does. Unfortunately, the nature of Google’s grip on its app software prevents us from ever knowing.

Microsoft and Nokia is a little different though, these two could be one of the better placed companies to launch a successful Android based competitor to Google. Microsoft has plenty of resources to throw behind competing services, and Nokia certainly has the hardware expertise. As much as people may enjoy slating Bing, it already has comparable Maps, email, and search services which could all be implemented as Android apps, if Microsoft wished it.

I agree with Gary, if Microsoft is interested in Android then it will have to offer something above and beyond the existing market. Hardware could be the key, but competing with Samsung’s dominance is going to be tough. Software wise, Microsoft could play to its business strengths, integrating Android with its existing services could prove a tempting proposition for Windows users.

Android is still open, but Google’s control over its software certainly adds an investment barrier which prevents other companies from breaking out, but Microsoft may have the resources to overcome it.

Bogdan Petrovan

I am fully invested in Google’s ecosystem. I’ve drank the Kool-Aid and I love it. I like the convenience of having one account to sign in to dozens of high quality services and being able to share information between them seamlessly. With that said, I understand why some people don’t trust Google and don’t trust where Google is heading, with ever more integration and continuous expansion towards more areas of our lives.

I don’t want Android without Google, but I understand why some people may be interested in getting the best mobile operating system out there, just without… Google. Amazon has proved that people can appreciate a mobile device like that, and I think that Nokia can do it too. With its music and mapping service and with Microsoft’s set of cloud services including mail and storage, you can say that Nokia is in an even better position to fork Android and get away with it. It won’t be easy, of course -  apps are crucial and I am curious to see how they plan to populate their app store fast.

Much ink has been spilled over Google’s supposed clampdown on Android via its licensed apps. Over how Android isn’t really open, because of the way Google uses its apps like the proverbial stick and carrot. I agree that Google is yielding that stick and carrot, and to great effect, but it’s important to realize it can only do so because the donkey has agreed to be saddled. Nokia, or any other phone maker, can get a feature rich and modern operating system for free right now without any obligation – they just need to come up with some good enough replacements for Google’s apps. In the case of a giant like Microsoft, that’s fairly easy to do.

The real problem is for smaller players, who don’t have the money, resources, and influence to create and maintain their own suit of cloud services. This is where I’d love to see some open competition to Google.

What do YOU think?

Join us in the comments and vote in our poll.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.


    








Android Authority

WSJ: Nokia to launch Android phone at MWC, will run Nokia’s own Android store

Nokia Normandy

The Wall Street Journal confirms in a new report that Nokia is going to release an Android-powered smartphone at the Mobile World Congress later this month.

The device will be “tailored in a way that won’t promote some of the key Google-developed features that a more traditional Android-powered phone might”, say people familiar with the matter cited by the WSJ. In other words, despite some speculation of the contrary, Nokia is indeed forking Android, and its devices won’t be compatible with Google’s Play store and other set of applications. Instead of Google’s apps like Gmail and Maps, the device will feature apps from Nokia and Microsoft, including the Here map service and the Mix Radio music service. Nokia will also be offering an app store of its offering Android apps.

As previously reported, Nokia was working on this Android fork back when Microsoft was preparing to make an offer for the Finnish company in the summer of last year. Microsoft is said to have several reasons for using Android along with its own Windows Phone operating system, including the need to utilize Nokia’s manufacturing capabilities and to offset some of the high costs of running its mobile division. Another big reason is, according to the WSJ’s sources, the fact that Windows Phone cannot run on low-end devices, forcing Microsoft to be “pragmatic” and adopt software made by its fiercest competitor for the entry-level smartphone segment.

Over the past weeks, several reports have painted an almost complete image of Nokia’s upcoming Android device, codenamed Normandy. The device will feature entry-level specifications and a design that reminisces of the Asha line, while on the software front, Nokia’s UI designers created a hybrid between Android and Windows Phone.

Nokia sent out invitations for an MWC event scheduled for the morning of February 24, which in the light of this report, seems a safe bet for the debut of Normandy. The theme of the event is “Under the Tree”, a possible clue to the commercial name of Nokia’s forked Android implementation.

Will be at MWC 2014, and Nokia will definitely be high on our priority list. What do you hope to see?


    








Android Authority

Nokia wins again in patent case against HTC in Germany

Nokia seems to be raking in legal points in Germany as it scored yet another patent win against HTC. This time, the patent in dispute is quite an essential one that lets devices be compatible even with older network technologies.

HTC is probably feeling the heat as it loses one by one the patent cases levied against it by Nokia across the world. In Germany alone it has already had three strikes, making this newest one its fourth. HTC has also lost cases in the US and the UK and there are still others coming.

The patent in this case is related to how mobile devices adapt their revision levels depending on the network’s own revision level. This practically determines how a device can adjust to the technology being used in a network, which can be crucial to how newer device are able to be backwards compatible with older networks. Unfortunately, while this feature is crucial to complying with certain technical standards, the patent is not included in Nokia’s standards-essential patents, which HTC has already licensed.

While the Mannheim Regional Court has determined HTC to have infringed on Nokia’s patent and is ordering it to pay damages, HTC isn’t throwing in the towel yet. It states that it is fighting to invalidate the patent in Germany and remove its use from its own handsets, believing the patent to be redudant and no longer in use in the country.

VIA: FOSS Patents

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Nokia sends invites for mystery “Under the Tree” event at MWC

nokia under the tree mwc 2014

The Nokia Normandy story began life as a wild rumor, but it quickly gained credibility once reputable sources including The Verge and the defunct AllThingsD reported that Nokia’s developing an Android phone, and is doing it “at full steam ahead”.

Reports, more or less credible, about the Nokia Normandy have been popping up regularly for the past weeks, keeping the hope alive for those who are – still – waiting for the perfect combination of Google software and Nokia hardware.

Nokia Normandy

Now the Finnish company sent out invites for its press event at Mobile World Congress. The company is asking journalists to congregate under a mystery tree, and we have no idea what that means.

The Verge’s Tom Warren reports that sources at Nokia claimed that Normandy would be released at MWC 2014. And the green theme of the invitation reminds us of the signature color of Android.

Then again, Nokia could be preparing something else altogether. The company, which is in the midst of finalizing the sale of its smartphone business to Microsoft, may release new Lumia and Asha devices, just like it did last year at MWC. Or, it may be announcing something related to its own services, which are not part of the Microsoft deal, such as the Here mapping service.

Even if it’s indeed an Android device that Nokia wants us to show under that three, once Microsoft takes over, all bets are off. Some speculate that the Redmond company could swallow its pride and release a Windows-ified entry-level Android device, to act as a sort of gateway to the real thing. But it seems just as likely that Microsoft would want the project dead and forgotten. After all, what sort of message would adopting Android, even on the low end, send out to users and developers?

Normandy or no-Normandy, we’ll be at MWC 2014 to bring you all the news. Stay tuned.

Android Authority