Why you shouldn’t dismiss the Nokia 808 PureView

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Xavier Voigt-Hill:

TechCrunch explains a bit about the Nokia 808 PureView and why its insane megapixel count is more than a gimmick.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

My first reaction upon hearing about Nokia’s 41-megapixel 808 Pureview was that it was an absurdity, a perfect example of the very worst of consumer electronics, and a total miss. But the more I read, the better I understood that this phone isn’t just some freak of nature with a ridiculously high number attached to it. It’s just the slightly awkward first steps of a serious move by Nokia to differentiate itself.

If you’ve only skimmed the news, there are some things you should probably know about this strange beast of a camera.

First, the 41 megapixel figure is really misrepresentative, not to say untrue. It doesn’t take 41-megapixel photos in any way, shape, or form. Even in the special high-res creative mode, it “only” produces 38 megapixels. Mostly it will be taking normal-size shots, between 3 and 8 megapixels. So what the hell does this 41 megapixel figure even…

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Nokia 808 PureView with 41MP sensor confirmed at MWC

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Nokia shocked the tech world this morning with the announcement of the 808 PureView, the spiritual successor to the N8. While the actual phone itself had been rumoured for some time, the confirmation of a 41 megapixel sensor came as a surprise to everyone. While people may dismiss such a specification as pure marketing crap, Nokia’s new PureView technology can compress numerous pixels into one for ultra-clear images. The technology sounds phenomenal and has been in the works for 5 years, meaning that it launches with Symbian before a planned launch on other platforms. The phone is capable of shooting stills at up to 38MP, but optimal performance comes with compression to 5MP. 1080p video can be shot with 4x lossless zoom, and due to the massive sensor, zooming is actually more like using a different part of the sensor rather than trimming the shot down. The document explaining the tech makes for a great read, and has this sensor diagram to prove a point.

Aside from the 41MP camera, the phone is a standard Symbian Belle affair. A 1.3GHz single core chip powers things, while 16GB of internal storage can be boosted to 48GB via microSD for your photo collection. A 4″ nHD (640 x 360) ClearBlack AMOLED occupies the front face with buttons similar to the Lumia 710, and 2.5D Gorilla Glass coats the device. Having such a large sensor comes at a price, however. At its thinnest, it remains over half an inch and the camera protrudes to 17.95mm. Have a glance at the full spec sheet and some phenomenal sample shots here.

The device is set to ship worldwide in May as the Symbian swansong at €450 before tax, but expect to see the technology making its way into other Nokia products before the year is out if Symbian doesn’t float your boat.

Technophobia: Yes, Newt, a moon base

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Technophobia is a column by Rowan Dinwoodie. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.

I know that this is a technology blog, but there’s only so much I can rant about that is technological. Anyway, sci-fi is a bit technology-y, right?

About a month ago, Newt Gingrich, one of the Republican candidates running for election said, and I quote: ‘By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.’

I’m sorry, but what?

Call me a cynic, but that to me seems a little bit far-fetched. It seems as though Newt has decided that his slogan this election is going to be ‘to infinity and beyond’.

Hey, maybe I’m wrong, maybe in eight years time we will find ourselves with a permanent base on the moon. JFK’s vision in the early 1960s that by the end of said decade America would have put a man on the moon would have seemed pretty mad at the time. And look what happened.

And while we’re on the topic, to all those people out there who think otherwise, yes, Neil Armstrong did set foot on the moon. NASA didn’t just film it in a studio to trick the whole world.

Anyway, skip forward through some stuff about America being streets ahead of China and Russia, how you shouldn’t vote Romney because he can speak French (how is that bad?) and Newt finishes:

‘Does this mean I’m a visionary? You betcha!’

Or not. Maybe you’re just, I don’t know, crazy?

So yeah. If you vote Gingrich, America will build a moon base. Of course. Not that I’m politically biased.

It’s just, if any of the current Republican candidates becomes president, the world is pretty much screwed.

Image from Sacramento Bee

Samsung introduces Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and Galaxy Beam with a projector and Gingerbread

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Samsung, a company known for endlessly churning out devices that are nearly identical, have added 2 new devices to their Galaxy range to coincide with the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Firstly, we have the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Aside from the TouchWizzed Ice Cream Sandwich that comes pre-installed, the device seems identical to the original Tab 10.1, with a 1GHz dual-core CPU, a 1280 x 800 TFT display, a 7000mAh battery, a 3MP rear camera and 16 or 32GB of microSD-expandable storage. Strangely, the front camera has been bumped down to a VGA resolution from 2MP and the device is 9.7mm thick as opposed its svelte 8.6mm predecessor. Design wise, it appears closer to the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, the German variant designed to evade Apple lawsuits based on the design similarities of the Tab 10.1 and the iPad.

Whether we will see this at a lower price remains to be seen, but rumours persist that a 2560 x 1600 Galaxy Note 10.1 with a stylus S Pen will turn up later this week.

Secondly, we have the Galaxy Beam, a phone with a built-in pico projector capable of pumping out a 50″ high definition image. The phone allegedly has 6GB RAM, a 4″ WVGA screen, 8GB storage, a 1GHz dual-core chip and Android 2.3 for some odd reason. Knowing OEM updates, don’t buy this expecting Ice Cream Sandwich any time soon. A 5MP rear camera has a 1.3MP counterpart on the front, and the 2000mAh battery should keep the half-inch thick handset going throughout the day, providing you don’t use the battery-draining projector. Another thing that goes against the Galaxy Beam is the yellow rim. It’s almost as bad as BBC Sport.

Windows Phone App of the Week: SuperTube

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I’m sorry that I haven’t done an app of the week for a while, but I’ve been busy at this thing called school. But sitting here gated to my room on a Saturday night and listening to Garden by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs inspired me to get back to the work that really matters. Without further ado, this week’s app of the week is YouTube Pro.

This fantastic app is better than any of the other YouTube apps that I have personally tried, simply because it is the only one I have tried that allowed you to log in to your YouTube account. Upon opening the app, you are faced with a Metro style start screen, you then slide along the panorama to view things such as the top rated videos and your subscriptions. However most of the interesting stuff is located on the first screen. The ‘Recorded Page’, where you can take and upload videos from within the app is a very useful addition, and this along with the uploading page makes mobile uploading a great deal easier. Also, as you would expect, there are pages for your playlists, your downloads and many other features that have in fact been missing from most other apps that I have used. The actual video playback in this app is good also. Before playing a video, you are taken to a page where you are given a choice of what quality you wish to play it in, the description of the video, and the like and dislike buttons. The only problem that I have with this app is the fact that in order to play low quality video, you need to have the standard YouTube app installed, but after having downloading it I have had no more problems.

YouTube Pro is an excellent app which I recommend to any person both with or without a YouTube account.

YouTube Pro, Windows Phone 7, Free or 79p
Download from the Marketplace

 

Alternatives to SMS services cause financial dent to networks

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Everyone jumps at the opportunity of not paying for something, even the smallest things. Text messaging is now included in that list. Apple’s iMessage, BlackBerry’s BBM and Facebook’s Messenger are all free messaging services and they are all very good. People use them as free alternatives to texting and they seem to becoming very popular, but too popular for the networks.

In 2011, mobile networks such as 3, O2, Orange, Vodafone and T-Mobile lost over $13.9bn (£8.8bn) because of these new free massaging apps. With so many alternatives to SMS services available, people are not texting as much as they used to and are instead looking to free apps. Network providers are missing out on their usually vast amounts of money they receive from people who pay for large SMS plans.

Network providers are desperately looking for ways to win back the public into SMS. In the short term, I expect, they will be looking to lower the prices of SMS services and crack down on data usage. Let’s see what 2012 brings…