Nokia Acquires Plazes
Nokia on Monday revealed that it has acquired Plazes, a small German software startup. The deal gives access to a self-titled social activity app and website that adds both time and location to short, Twitter-like updates; users can not only pinpoint their present locations while they supply a short text message but also coordinate events for the future, setting a future event with a map marker that lets friends coordinate meetups in advance.
iPhone Canada Rate Report
The launch of the iPhone 3G in Canada should also see Rogers introduce new rates that may reflect a greater dependence on mobile data but will also encourage higher rates per user, according to statements made by Rogers Wireless president Nadir Mohamed at the Canadian Telecom Summit. The senior official notes that new plans are coming within the next two weeks that will accommodate more frequent data use by a wider number of devices, which most understand will include the Apple device and the BlackBerry Bold.
Nokia N95 8GB Review
Nokia has often saved its best smartphones for Europe -- and it's a move that has cost the company North American marketshare as the iPhone and other devices pass it by. The N95 8GB North America Model (NAM), however, is evidence that the company is making amends for slacking off, especially now that the phone is finally available through an official carrier (in the form of Rogers Wireless) and has all its features exposed. Putting this penultimate version of the N95 through its paces reveals a very powerful and flexible phone that nonetheless feels somewhat hamstrung by Nokia's legacy; click ahead for the full review and learn whether the phone can stand up well against Apple and other fierce competitors.
OmniVision 8MP Cell Camera
Omnivision today said it has developed a new camera sensor that should radically improve the quality of photography from cellphones. A variant of the company's OmniBSI chip technology allows the company to fill each individual pixel on the sensor with much more light than previously possible by literally flipping the sensor upside down and lighting its back. In doing so, the company says it can pack a much more dense sensor into the same space as an equivalent model. An eight-megapixel sensor can already fit in the space occupied by a three-megapixel sensor today, the company says.
Nokia N95 8GB Hands-On
Although available for awhile in Europe and for a short span of time as an unlocked phone in North America, the Nokia N95 8GB is finally available officially from a carrier on the latter continent, courtesy of Rogers Wireless in Canada. Electronista has just received its review unit and is putting the smartphone through its first paces, but already has early opinions for those looking to buy the premium smartphone, whether on Rogers or not.
Nokia N95 8GB at Rogers
Rogers today confirmed one of two key rumors concerning its phone lineup for the spring by announcing it would carry the Nokia N95 8GB. The Canadian provider is the first in North America to officially stock the smartphone and takes advantage of the phone's 3G support for more than is possible on AT&T in the US, including Rogers' VISION two-way video calling service (courtesy of its front camera) and access to the carrier's music store and video streaming services.
Moto Movie Store Rumor
Motorola is developing a movie store for its phones, claims UK trade magazine New Media Age (registration required for full article). An alleged source at partner studio Paramount says that Motorola is in the "late stages" of offering a service that would offer full-length movies pre-formatted for Motorola's more media-friendly devices. Paramount is currently the only studio known to be involved, though others are allegedly in talks to add their own catalogs.
SlingPlayer Mobile for UIQ
Sling Media on Thursday said it would expand SlingPlayer Mobile to add support for phones running the UIQ operating system. The new version will allow some Sony-Ericsson and Motorola phones to stream and remotely control Slingbox devices at home whenever the device is connected to either a 3G or Wi-Fi network. The initial lineup will include the P1i (pictured) and P990i smartphones, the M600i, as well as the W950i and W960i Walkman phones. Motorola's RIZR Z8 is also included, Sling said. The updated version of the software will be available in the summer and will sell for $30 to first-time users but will also be downloadable for free for existing owners.
Study on Music Phones
Fully half of all phones shipped in the world will be music-capable within three years, according to a study by MultiMedia Intelligence. The research group estimates that while the cellphone market will largely remain flat, with 941 million phones being sold in 2011, about 50 percent of those devices will have at least some level music playback. This includes both high-end devices as well any phone that offers at least support for non-ringtone music files and a memory slot, the company said.
Nokia Black N82 N95 8GB
Nokia on Tuesday shipped out revisions to a pair of its most successful phones. The N82 now ships in black and provides a subtler look than the silver version that has until today been the only choice for the smartphone. The 5-megapixel camera with Xenon flash, GPS, Europe-focused 3G, and Wi-Fi all come through from the original model. The Finnish cellphone producer sees the updated N82 arriving in stores within three to four weeks at a price of 400 Euros ($631) in its home continent, but also sells the device in the US as an unlocked device for use with AT&T or T-Mobile.
Nokia N95 8GB NAM Ships
Nokia this morning at last began selling the N95 8GB NAM, the North American model of its high-end smartphone. Like the NAM adaptation of the original N95, the 8GB handset adds specific support for 3G Internet access over HSDPA networks in the US through AT&T as well as Canadian providers Rogers and Fido. In addition to the faster download speed, the phone also carries over the larger 2.8-inch LCD, upgraded black trim, and 8GB of permanent storage that define the newer phone in Europe.
Nokia Google Search
Finnish cellphone maker Nokia this morning added to its announcements for Barcelona's Mobile World Congress by revealing that it has improved its relationship with Google by adding Google search to its phones. Previously only found on Internet tablets such as the N810, the Google component of Nokia's Mobile Search app lets users find web results as quickly as they would find content from the device itself or through local web searches. The experience will also be familiar to those used to searching from a computer desktop, Google claims.
Nokia N95 8GB Gains DLNA
Nokia today said that the N95 8GB has been greenlit for the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) specification, making it the first cellphone to ever receive the status and the first to become a handheld media server. The approval allows the deluxe N95 to both share and receive media over a local Wi-Fi network between other DLNA devices; users can share music on the N95's 8GB of storage to a nearby notebook or browse the photos from a PlayStation 3. The feature lets phone owners be selective and share only some of their media with other devices in the area.
Nokia Push in 2008
Nokia will conduct one of its most aggressive phone launch campaigns ever in the US this year, North American division chief Mark Louison said today in an interview at CES. Considered the largest cellphone manufacturer in the world, the Finnish company only released three handsets in the US last year but now intends to launch "between 6 and 12" phones in the country over the course of 2008 in a bid to gain marketshare. Nokia currently claims 11 percent of the overall US cellphone business.
Nokia N95 8GB NAM
Nokia today stepped up its competition with the iPhone in the US by releasing the North American Model (NAM) of the N95 8GB already available in Europe. The device contains as much as its Apple rival but adds support for 3G Internet over the 850MHz and 1900MHz HSDPA bands needed to provide access through AT&T as well as Canadian providers Fido and Rogers. Its built-in GPS also comes with some preloaded US maps, Nokia says. The N95 8GB also expands on the original N95 NAM with a larger 2.8-inch LCD, more RAM, a better battery, and assisted GPS out of the box that uses data to fix a position more quickly than possible with GPS alone.
N85 8GB NAM due in Feb
The launch of Nokia's N95 8GB for North America may have been confirmed along with its likely price and launch window, according to a store listing by online reseller Mobile City. The site lists the device as the N95 8GB NAM (North American Model) and appears to confirm rumors that the device will contain support for HSDPA on AT&T in the US and Rogers in Canada. Like many Nokia smartphone releases for the continent, the new N95 will be sold unlocked and allow users to switch to rival networks or else use local SIM cards in Europe and other GSM-friendly areas.
Nokia N95 8GB NAM Leak
Nokia is developing both a US-oriented version of the N95 8GB and a version of the N82 with a similar amount of storage, an unintentional leak through the Finnish company's Nseries US portal reveals. Visiting the site with a Nokia phone reveals both "N95 8GB NAM" and "N82 8GB" models, neither of which have been announced by the company. The company has to date only used the NAM label to refer to a North American model of the original N95, which added support for faster HSDPA Internet access on US frequencies as well as extra system memory and a larger battery.
Nokia N96 Leak
Nokia's long-awaited sequel to the N95 smartphone may have been spotted, according to a leak posted in Mobile-Review's forums. Named simply the N96, the slider includes the extra gaming and media controls of the N81 but also the large LCD and two-way slider of the N95 8GB; it will also have the higher-resolution, 5-megapixel camera of the N95 series complete with Carl Zeiss optics. Unlike the recent N82, however, flash lighting will come from two LEDs rather than a single Xenon bulb.