Nokia makes impressive showing, but is it enough?
Nokia has one of
the largest areas at the show, with all focus on the top line Lumia
900 following the Lumia 800 launch late last year at the top end and
the Lumia 610 at the bottom end of the market.
There is no doubt that
the 900 feels solid to hold and operate, with the Windows Phone 7.5
fast and responsive and its refreshing to see a clear alternative to
the Android and iOS way of doing things. Apart from the power on
volume and camera button, the body is a very simple candybar shape with
yet another another 4-inch plus screen.
The Lumia 610 (pictured right) is an affordable alternative for anyone wanting to get
into the world of Smartphones. It may also be a good option for the kids
as it seems destined to be priced at the $250 to $350 mark. If it´s
anymore in Australia, questions should be asked - the word is that
the street price here should be well below the 200 Euro mark.
does not feel as solid as the Lumia 900 or 800 but it does provide the
ability to take out the battery which some people may want. As with
all phones in this range, the main difference is the processor, so
don´t expect the same performance as the Lumia 900 when working with
multimedia or multitasking.
There is a strong positive reaction overall to the Nokia offerings - some Apple fans even delivered grudging admiration for the effort in
delivering a true alternative. However, it remains to be seen whether
the resurgence has been delivered in time to save the company - as one
iPhone user noted ´I like the Lumia 900 and think it even does some of
the social networking stuff better than my phone, but I´ve got so much
invested in music, apps and other content, I can´t afford to change".
HTC takes it to the beat
HTC has made a big deal about the audio experience to be enjoyed with the latest HTC
phones with Beats Audio (pictured right). There was a crush around the stand to not
only look at the phone but also listen on the Beats Audio headphones.
The sound was as good as you´ll get from a portable media device and
anyone wanting to impress their friends with their ´gear´will
appreciate the use of the bright red Monster Audio cable on the headset.
Phones you may not see in Australia
The world is now one online market so it seems unusual not to be able
to access some of the more interesting handsets that have shown up at
this year´s show.
Many CHOICE readers may be surprised to know that Panasonic has a
significant mobile phone range, with handsets focused on simple talk
and text models for the elderly, right up to Android-based smartphones
that integrate within the home network.
One of the more interesting
models is the Panasonic Eluga, an Android phone (2.3.5 with automatic
upgrade to 4.0 in April) that is slim and light, with a 4.3 inch
screen and 8MP camera.
Its performance is good using a 1GHz dual core
processor and it supports the standard 3G bands in Australia as well
as HSDPA support (14.4Mbps). While all these figures are good, it
might be lost among the many other handsets with similar
specifications except you can drop this phone in the water and
Panasonic say it will continue to work for one hour with an IP57
certification - meaning immersion in water but not too deep.
have mentioned the Hz0 waterproofing technology at the CES this is the
first time I have seen a non-ruggadised phone able to survive
immersion in water. Hopefully this is just the first of many models
that can survive the occasional dunk.
If you want to do more than just dunk your phone in the water, the
Emporia Solid Plus is dust and water proof up to one metre with an
IP67 rating. It´s a GSM-only phone but has an AGPS and an emergency
button that sends a distress text or voice message to up to five
Again, lets be clear that there is no announcements
on these models being available in Australia through the normal
channels, but if you don´t mind looking online they do support the
relevant Australian GSM and 3G bands.