Monday, December 31, 2012

Hands on with Lumia 710

I should have probably waited till the end of December or January for the launch of Nokia’s Lumia 920 which is going to be a Win8 phone. My Superpartner thinks that I’m a little impatient to have not waited and that’s true because I bought a Lumia 710 which has Windows 7.5 Mango OS upgradable to Windows 7.8.

I removed the ordinary SIM from my old phone to transfer to this one. I noticed that this one required a mini chip. I told myself that there were 2 options available – either go to the nearest Vodafone store and request a mini SIM (who knows how many days they take to give us one for the same number) or do the necessary bit myself which is cutting (literally cutting it with scissors) the original one on all sides (just ensuring that the little circuitry on the chip is not disturbed). I did the latter and after I inserted the short chip into the ‘Chip holder’ and saw ‘Vodafone In’ on the phone, it seemed like a little accomplishment.

I started playing with the camera of the phone then. This one has a 5 MP camera and there is a key in the right hand side of the phone which activates the camera at one go. And the second press of the same enables one to shoot pictures. On the other hand, one can also touch the screen for a few seconds and get the picture captured. The picture quality is too good and now I understand as to why the Lumias are marketed more as Photography instruments than anything else.

Now let me talk about the most exciting features, which seem to be Nokia’s promoters. Nokia Drive is nothing but ‘fantastic’. You need to turn on your ‘Location identifier’ and this Drive shows you the road you are riding on and when you fix up the destination, it would show you the shortest route to reach the place. One can do intelligent things like fixing up the everyday destination (say, your workplace) and every morning the in-built app would compare the congestion which is there on the different routes and suggest you the best route to take that fine morning. While I was travelling to my hometown last Wednesday, I started comparing the shortest route the App showed me and the route the Auto driver was taking. To my amusement, he took the shortest route possible. So, yes we still have good auto drivers who don’t cheat people by taking circular routes and if we come across such, we have now our own sweet systems to make them take the right routes for us. No wonder people can travel from anywhere to nowhere using this technology (well… “if” you have the right charge points and know how to use your battery efficiently). I also looked at Nokia Maps while I was using Nokia Drive which showed me the speed at which the auto was moving and the route it was taking. This map shows the aerial view of places (one can turn it on or off), traffic conditions on roads, etc. The sensor is too good that any deviation from 0 degree is well captured. Nokia City lens (the application that is bragged by the Mobile stores) on the other hand is like ‘Google Mini Maps’. It shows us a variety of information in the next whatever-radius that we are interested in, like food joints, hotels, shopping places, famous areas, fun elements, sight-seeing, transport and anything that we would like to search for. For example, I can type “Nokia Priority Center” and all the centers in the city would feature in the list, sorted by their nearness to you.

There are 100’s of applications one can download seamlessly from the Marketplace. They have got categories like ‘New and Impressive apps of the week’, ‘Top apps and Games’, ‘New’, etc. I have downloaded two photo-editing softwares inspired by my Superpartner’s extensive use of Photofunia. One is called a 3D photomaker and if you try editing any picture through this maker, it gives you a 3D image. The other one is called a ‘Creative Studio’ and it is quite creative as it works on the photos to create different effects and there are interesting face warps like mega mouth, pinochia, superchia, twister, etc.

There is this Gchat which is primarily created for staying connected to our Google friends. The free version of which reads “It’s not limited or anything because we love you”. If you go to the ‘Related’ section in there, it shows you some 10 other apps one of which is ‘Talk to Girls’. I guess there could not have been a more straight-forward name Smile. There is the current favorite – Watsapp – the free messaging, audio & video sharing software, Youtube to search and look for all kinds of videos, Tunein radio which connects to radio channels all over the world. There is the very colorful timespoynt which gives you weather updates, shows you nearby restaurants, movies and the theatres, latest events happening and even nightlife.

There are all the important MS Office tools – Excel, Word and Powerpoint. There is even Skydrive and Xbox live. We have the MSN India for Online shopping. The phone is complete touch, however there are three buttons at the bottom – one is the back button, one is the ‘Windows’ button and one is the search button, the default search browser is of course Bing and the Bing photos change even when you turn the screen and are updated from day to day.

There is Nokia Music where you can listen to your stored lists or listen to different radio stations or hear unlimited scores from the store. The store names its playlists as ‘Party on your mind’, so if party is in your mind and you don’t have anyone to party around with, turn it on :). I just glanced through some of the apps and found the details of a few quite interesting… Read them while you can.

Jet Set Go: Welcome aboard the next generation of time management. Help April build her budding travel agency empire and fly.

Photobeamer: It’s a new, innovative and easy way to show your pictures on any screen. Just point your Nokia Lumia at any screen.

Impossible Shoota: You are the last survivor of your race, the elite pilot known as Starboxer. Your last and only mission is to take out as many Sho-dan ships as possible before crumbling to their relentless march.

Turn and Run: The world has turned… (what does this even mean). Twist the world around you in order to find a pathway to the cute, big-eared alien’s crashed ship.

Farm frenzy: If you think life in the big city is crazy, wait until you get a load of the country life in Farm frenzy, while managing a wild and wacky farm.

Insects killer: It’s a game where the objective is to kill as many insects as you can while avoiding scorpions.

Make-up girls: The Girls are finally here and they need your sense of style and fashion to get the perfect look.

His&Hers: Find out how much you really know about your nearest and dearest while finding out if they know the real you.

Enjoy! Have a Cheerful New year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


That is what has been brought by the recent release of 2 more Sketchbook chapters! First of all, we get to know that Ooba also dreams dreams as weird as Hazuki or Natsumi:


Second of all, Daichi is still trying to teach Kate correct pronunciation but somehow they end up being tongue-twisters for them:


We are also shown that opening a candy wrapper is not as easy as it looks and I agree with that. It has happened too many time to me too to ignore laughing at that:


Finally, the enlightening bit… I almost fainted after seeing Juju-senpai’s fully open eyes for the first time: