Windows Live Wave 4 Available by June 7

Windows Live Essentials Wave 4, a build has finally been leaked (build number 15.2.2585.0122); however, it’s an old build as Windows Live Wave 4 is already on Milestone 3 (so far the latest report has been build number 15.3.2659.319), or maybe more (with messenger at build number 15.3.2649.311). Even so, here are the build numbers for this version:
Messenger: 15.2.2583.119
Mail: 15.2.2583.0119
Writer: 15.2.2583.119
Photo Gallery: 15.2.2590.301
Movie Maker: 15.2.2590.0301
Family Safety: 15.2.2583.0119
Sync: 15.2.2587.0212
Bing Bar: 5.0.1411.0
To install this build (setup size is about 126MB), a user must be running either Vista SP2 with the Platform Update installed or Windows 7. Just like the Platform Preview for IE9, it is not XP-compatible. Even with a patch out to allow installation of Messenger, some users are reporting that Microsoft has managed to block some entire installations of the leak, with the message “Windows Live Essentials could not be installed. Couldn’t update to the latest version. Couldn’t install these programs: Sync, Messenger, Mail, Companion, Writer, Family Safety, Bing Bar, Photo Gallery and Movie Maker because there was a problem updating one of the programs, none of them were updated. Error 0×80040609.”

So far it looks as though the most interesting new updates for are Facebook integration (Messenger), tabbed messaging(Messenger), animated emoticons (Messenger), and Ribbon UI in Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Writer, and Windows Live Photo Gallery.

However, there are many bugs, incomplete features, and other problems in this leak as it’s an outdated pre-beta build, so it’s definitely not recommended for any production machines. But according to popular rumor, a Milestone 3 build should be released May 18, 2010, with a beta build compiled by June 3, 2010 and released to the public by June 7, 2010. However, all dates should be taken with a grain of salt until officially confirmed by Microsoft.

Readers are recommended to wait for the beta leak as this build is likely several months old
Source

Nokia N8 Coming With 12 MP Camera With 720p Video Recording

Some more specs of the rumored Nokia N8 were uncovered. What is said to be Nokia's first 12MP cameraphone leaked through an XML on the company's website. An nHD screen and Symbian^3 are all but certain, though nothing about the key feature of the phone, its camera is mentioned.
So, the screen on the Nokia N8 will sport the nHD resolution (360 x 640), which so far is the only resolution used by Nokia for their touch-enabled Symbian phones. The screen has 24 bits per pixel so that would make it capable of displaying 16 million colors.

What's missing from the XML is whether it will be a capacitive or resistive. After the Nokia X6, it's quite likely that the Nokia N8 will have a capacitive screen to go with the more touch-friendly Symbian^3. By the looks of it, the N8 will be Nokia's first device with the new version of their proprietary OS.

The XML covers the connectivity - GPRS, EDGE, 3G with HSDPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. GPS is not mentioned but chances that the Nokia N8 won't have GPS are slim to none. The CPU is 1 GHz ARM processor.

Old rumors about the Nokia N8 had the 12MP camera shoot 720p video and play it over an HDMI port. The screen was put at 3.5", resistive with multi-touch capabilities (!) . That rumor also talks about DivX - and the mention of MPEG-4 seems to confirm that.

Again, there's a lot the XML doesn't say about the Nokia N8. What we're most eager to see confirmed is the 12MP camera.

How To Choose Default OS On Multi OS Reboot Easily

Many oF you use multiple OS in your system.And everytime you turn your pc on you must chosse your default OS. Technologies' simple yet effective reboot helper tool. iReboot sits in your taskbar at startup (only taking up 400KB of memory!) and lets you choose which operating system you want to reboot into. Instead of pressing restart, waiting for Windows to shut down, waiting for your BIOS to post, then selecting the operating system you want to boot into (within the bootloader time-limit!); you just select that entry from iReboot and let it do the rest!

iReboot is a simple but effective reboot tool. iReboot sits on the taskbar at startup and it lets you choose which operating system you want to reboot into. (The Partition and alternate OS must already exist.)

Instead of going to the start button, and pressing restart, and you have to wait for Windows to shut down, then wait for the computer BIOS to post, then followed by selecting the operating system you want to boot into (within the time-limit bootloader period). With iReboot you just select that entry and go.
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Windows 7 Supports 64 Bit Programs Smoothly Than Other OS

Windows 7 is available in 32 bit format and 64 bit format. In 32 bit format the amount of memory available for programs is near 4 GB of Ram. Whereas in 64 bit format the amount of addressable information 1,8446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes of information. The development of software has been at the 32 bit range for over 15 years. But 64 bit operating systems have been around for about 10 years. The original transition was from 8 bit to 16 bit then to 32 bit. Now at the 64 bit level the Operating System is used to take advantage of the 64 bit CPU.

The problem, however, is that many applications have not been redesigned to deal with the new processing features of either the processors or the new Operating Systems, in this case Windows7. There are nontheless, some applications that have been written for the new processor or OS. In that case Windows7 has made a modification to its Windows Explorer by adding two folders Program Files, and Program Files (x86).

New Data Formats

The programs that are in 32 bit format may run on 64 bit; but the progams have to do more than address the new memory elements. There is a change to a completely different method of keeping track of data, because now the operations that take place in the 64 bit CPU are novel. This explains why new 64 bit hardware, like a sound or video card needs a different driver to work in Windows 7 64-bit.

Ultimately switching from a 32-bit to 64-bit application format and to the new operating systems is complicated. Every software vendor, hardware manufacturer, and user would have to do a switchover and stop working with anything built on a 32-bit architecture and switch to using 64-bit. This is impractical because most people are not willing to just junk their investment in hardware and software and buy everything new again. Consider that the performance gain might only be a few seconds, that is hardly enough reason to switch over. Especially if the performance that can be gained can come from simply adding more memory.

Indeed, the only real reason to use a new 64 bit program is if the program can operate and do new things that a 32 bit program cannot do.
Source

Microsoft Ending Windows XP SP2 & Vista RTM Support Soon

Those users running the 32-bit version of Windows XP with SP2 or Vista RTM may want to consider an upgrade to Windows 7 or a newer service pack as Microsoft’s support for Vista RTM ends on April 13, 2010, and the support for XP SP2 (x86) ends on July 13, 2010. The 64-bit version of XP SP2 doesn’t lose support until April 8, 2014 as there is no SP3 and SP2 remains the latest version.

Although your system will not stop running once it loses support, Windows Update will no longer provide software updates. As a result, computers that lose support are at risk of not downloading the latest security patches and may become vulnerable to threats. To continue receiving updates, users can either upgrade to Windows 7 (which is fully supported), Windows Vista running SP1 or later, or Windows XP running SP3 (on an x86 system). All service pack upgrades are free to genuine users of Windows, although a system upgrade may cost you. Users who are looking learn more should take a look at Microsoft’s official page. You can also use that page to upgrade your service pack or system.


If you are unsure what version of Windows you are running, Microsoft provides a discovery method here. You can also find out whether your system is 32-bit or 64-bit here.

ATI Catalyst 10.3 Drivers For Windows Vista & 7-Support Laptops

AMD and ATI today released the Catalyst 10.3 driver package for download. By itself, this is unremarkable – ATI drops new graphics card drivers once a month, and while they normally bring a host of small fixes, performance improvements and tweaks, they’re rarely more noteworthy than that. This month’s release, however, finally brings official driver support for laptop graphics cards under Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

Gamers with laptops have often been frustrated with driver updates from OEMs like Dell and HP – when they update their graphics drivers at all, they do it inconsistently and months behind the desktop drivers. This means that laptop gamers miss out not only on performance updates for games, but also on support for things like nVidia’s PhysX or graphics acceleration for the upcoming Flash 10.1. As a result, a healthy modding community has sprung up, and many sites and tools exist solely to help laptop gamers install desktop drivers.

ATI is actually a little late to the party here – nVidia’s Verde driver program has been providing quarterly mobile graphics updates for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 for about a year now, and Intel’s Windows 7 driver packages support both desktop and laptop chipsets (though one could argue that no driver update could make an Intel chip suitable for gaming). Still, it’s nice to see them throwing their hat in the ring, especially given the company’s competitive resurgence with the excellent 4000 and 5000 series cards.

Unlike nVidia, ATI is not offering notebook drivers for Windows XP, but otherwise the two companies’ mobile drivers are more or less on par with one another. OEMs have the option of opting out of the ATI driver updates – so far, Toshiba, Sony and Panasonic have all elected not to have their laptops updated by ATI’s new driver program.

The drivers support almost any of ATI’s DirectX 10 and DirectX 11-compatible graphics cards, including products from the 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 series. The drivers can be obtained from AMD’s Web site.

Windows 7 XP Mode Doesnt Need Hardware Virtualisation From Now

Microsoft have today announced that they’ve removed the barrier that has been preventing many people from installing and using the new XP Mode feature in Windows 7 Professional and higher. That Means Windows 7 Ultimate too. In a move that was very expected for windows 7 development, but is very unexpectedly early.

As of today it will run without requiring this hardware support. This is excellent news for Windows going forward and is finally a clear sign that Windows 8 could drop all legacy support completely in favour of a virtualised solution like this.

In an interview this week, the General manager of Microsoft’s Windows Commercial Product Management (how do they fit these titles on business cards?) Gavriella Schuster, admitted that Microsoft have found a way to eliminate the need for hardware virtualisation at the BIOS level.

An updated version of XP Mode is being released today, though Microsoft have stressed that anybody already running it has no need to upgrade.

XP Mode is a virtualisation solution that allows you to run older, incompatible software, in a virtual machine as though they were installed in your current Windows 7 installation. This means they will appear in your Windows 7 Start Menu and run in normal windows on your Windows 7 desktop. There is no need to have your own licence for XP, as it comes will a full licence for XP Professional, and you don’t need to boot into Windows 7 and then also boot into XP in the VM.

This is excellent news for all Windows 7 users, especially businesses. Virtualisation offers a way to truly aid in maintaining a stable and reliable operating system. XP Mode is a huge advance in this area now that the physical hardware barrier has been eliminated.

You can download XP Mode here.
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Internet Explorer 9 Question & Answer: Is Xp Out Of View?

Microsoft just announced that you can indeed try its forthcoming IE9 browser, at least the guts of it. They’ve made a Platform Review available to download here.

In short Microsoft want to show off the new technologies in the browser, including support for HTML5 and a rendering engine that uses the power of your PC’s graphics processor to load pages faster than ever before.

Q. Why do you call it a platform preview?

A. As you can see, the Internet Explorer Platform Preview is not a full web browser. It’s intended to give Web developers an early look at the Web platform technology coming in the next release of Internet Explorer. To distinguish it from a full browser, we call it a platform preview.

Q. Does Platform Preview replace my current Internet Explorer?

A. No, it does not, though it does share some settings with your existing Internet Explorer intsallation. One of the best features of Platform Preview is that it installs side-by-side with earlier versions of Internet Explorer and any other browser(s) on your computer.

Q. What are the system requirements for Platform Preview?

A. You need a Windows PC running either Windows 7 or Vista. On Vista, you need to have installed Internet Explorer 8 and you need to install the Platform Update for Windows Vista, available on Windows Update since October, 2009. Platform Preview is only available in a 32-bit x86 version but it will install and run on 64-bit Windows 7 and Vista.

Q. Does Platform Preview run on Windows XP?
A. No. Internet Explorer 9’s GPU-powered graphics take advantage of new technologies available in Windows 7 and back-ported only to Windows Vista. These technologies depend on advancements in the display driver model introduced first in Windows Vista.

Q. Will the final release of Internet Explorer 9 install side by side with earlier versions of Internet Explorer 8? Will Internet Explorer 9 run on Windows XP?

A. It’s too early to talk about features of the Internet Explorer 9 Beta. Our focus with Internet Explorer Platform Preview is to provide a vehicle with which Web developers can test their sites today and start planning if and how they want to support new HTML5 capabilities in the future. It is not intended for daily browsing.

Opera Mini 5 & Opera Mobile 10 Is Released-Free Download Available

The final versions of both Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10 have just been released. One after the other diverse versions of the free web browser have been showing up so that now there are dedicated versions for almost all platforms and most of the phones out there are compatible with either the Opera Mini 5 or the Opera Mobile 10.

If you own a feature phone with Java support, you can get the Mini 5, which was developed to guarantee fast and at the same time low cost web browsing. Since the amount of data is decreased by up to 90 percent pages are loaded much quicker and your phone bill is kept low. And there are some other nice features such as the Speed Dial, the support for multiple tabs and the password manager.
s you already know, the web browsers have dedicated versions for all leading smartphone platforms, including Symbian, Android and Windows Mobile.

Symbian users can enjoy the Java version of Opera Mini 5 (final) and the native version of Opera Mobile 10 (final).

Android users can make use of the Java version of Opera Mini 5 (final) or the native version of Opera Mobile 10 (beta).

Windows Mobile users have the broadest selection of all. It includes a native version of Opera Mobile 10 and two versions of Opera Mini 5 - a Java one (final) and a native one (beta).

If you want to give the free web browsers a try, you can download each of them directly to your phone from m.opera.com.
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HTC Google Nexus One’s Sales Disappointing,135000 Units In 1st 74 Days

HTC Google Nexus One’s sales remain disappointing. Google have sold the miserable 135 000 units of their first born mobile some good 74 days after its market launch.
The Nexus One has it all. It has both the looks and the brains to become a best seller but, as it turns out, something is missing.Now updated with new Google Nexus One availability info for AT&T and Rogers Wireless.

A few years back Apple announced that the 1 millionth iPhone was sold in just 74 days. This time was enough for Motorola to sell 1.05 million units of their CDMA-only Droid (a.k.a. Milestone). It’s obvious that Google is seriously lagging behind.

Even the iPad, which has neither phone nor real computer capabilities, is doing much better. It took the iPad only an hour to achieve what the Nexus One couldn’t in one week. A total of 120 000 pre-orders have been received by the end of the day when Apple iPad went on pre-order in the USA.

By the way, the Nexus One sales have always been like that. Poor. During the first week only 20 000 HTC Google Nexus Ones have found a new home and by the end of the first month after its launch a total of only 80 000 units have been sold.


The situation can still change, though. Up until now T-Mobile USA has been the only network carrier to offer subsidized Nexus Ones but as of April we’re expecting Vodafone UK to join in on the game. Though it will be interesting to see how Nexus One competes with its twin the HTC Desire, which however has the benefits of HTC Sense UI.

Update: In response to the bad publicity they’re getting, Google just announced that the Nexus One is immediately available with 3G bands compatible with AT&T, USA, and Rogers Wireless, Canada. However those carriers are still not offering subsidized deals. At least the smartphone is sold commitment-free.

But no matter whether the Nexus One sales are a flop, it’s still the best spec’d Android phone currently.
Source

Internet Explorer 9 Is On The Way- Developer Preview Download Available

If at first you don’t succeed, getting up, dusting yourself off and trying again might be the thing to do, but if you fail 9 times in a row you might better give up all together. Just when we thought that things couldn’t get any worse for Microsoft and their internet browsing solution and here comes the announcement of Internet Explorer 9 to prove us wrong.

The company takes great pride in two novelties introduced by the new version – HTML5 support and a new JavaScript engine. And with hardware graphics acceleration for video content and even text rendering and 7x faster JavaScript (than IE8) they might have some ground for bragging. But here come the bad news – the 7x faster JavaScript is still twice as slower than the already released Chrome 4.0 and Opera 10.50 web browsers.

And the ever-present rendering issues that have plagued the Internet Explorer browser for ages now are obviously here to stay. IE9 scores 55 (out of 100) on the Acid3 synthetic test, where as most of its competitors get a perfect 100.

So that’s that then – if HTML5 video playback is your thing and you run Vista or Windows 7, then the IE9 might be worth all those inconveniences. All the rest should move along as there is nothing else to see here.
Here you can download a developer’s preview of the Internet Explorer 9 browser and take it for a quick spin around your favorite websites.
System Requirements
Internet Explorer Platform Preview requires Windows 7 (x86 or x64) or Windows Vista SP2 (x86 or x64).
For Vista users, Windows Internet Explorer 8 and DirectX 2D (D2D) must be installed on your system. If you’re not already running Internet Explorer 8, download and install it first. Then install DirectX 2D by installing the Platform Update for Windows Vista, available on Windows Update.

Easiest Tips To Play Any Types Of Video File Format In Your Windows

What is the best media player for your pc? What media player should i use? What media player can run all the file formats easily? As the file format variation rises day by day these questions are also increasing. So many of you install more than one media player software in yourWindwos XP,Windows Vista or in Windwos 7. And as a result your pc performance is slowing down for the increasing number of software installation. So what is the best solution? Which one the best media player? What should you use?
I think the answer must be Media player classic with K-Lite codec pack.The K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of DirectShow filters, VFW/ACM codecs, and tools. Codecs and DirectShow filters are needed for encoding and decoding audio and video formats. The K-Lite Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly solution for playing all your audio and movie files. Most impressivlly its a freeware and it updates frequently.
With the K-Lite Codec Pack you should be able to play all the popular audio and video formats and even several less common formats.

The K-Lite Codec Pack has a couple of major advantages compared to other codec packs:
- It is updated frequently. So it is always up-to-date with the newest and/or best components.
- All components have been carefully selected for specific purposes. It is not just a random bunch of stuff thrown together.
- It is very user-friendly and easy to use.
- The installation is fully customizable, meaning that you are able to install just those components that you really want.
- The customization abilities even go beyond the component level. Some components are able to handle multiple formats. You can specify exactly which components should handle which formats. The pack can thus be fully tweaked to your own specific needs and preferences.
- Uninstallation removes everything that was installed by the pack. Including all registry keys.
- It is extremely easy to make a fully customized unattended installation with the integrated wizard.
- It does not contain any bad, buggy or unstable codecs.

The latest version is K-Lite Codec Pack 6.04. It has two different version. Full and mega. Mega is the most effective version with all file format support. It also have windows 7 support integrated. So you can see its own control panel in windows 7 taskbar.
 
Title: K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 6.04
Filename: K-Lite_Codec_Pack_604_Mega.exe
File size: 25.38MB (26,608,039 bytes)
Requirements: Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / Windows7 / XP64 / Vista64 / Windows7 64
Languages: en-US
License: Freeware
Title: K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 6.00
Filename: K-Lite_Codec_Pack_600_Mega.exe
File size: 25.38MB (26,611,616 bytes)
Requirements: Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / Windows7 / XP64 / Vista64 / Windows7 64
License: Freeware
Download K-Lite Codec Pack 5.90 (Full)
Title: K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 5.90
Filename: K-Lite_Codec_Pack_590_Mega.exe
File size: 24.66MB (25,860,576 bytes)
Languages: en-US
License: Freeware
Download K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 5.80
Title: K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 5.80
Filename: K-Lite_Codec_Pack_580_Mega.exe
File size: 24.42MB (25,605,185 bytes)
Requirements: Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / Windows7 / XP64 / Vista64 / Windows7 64
Languages: en-US
License: Freeware

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Latest Hard Disk Technology Runs In Windows 7 Perfectly, But Slows Down XP

Hard drive manufacturers are set to improve the speed, capacity, and power consumption of their drives by 2011. While this technology will benefit users of Windows 7 and other modern operating systems, Windows XP users may actually be facing a performance hit by using the new drives.

This technology improvement, called Advanced Format Architecture (at least by Western Digital), is mandated by an agreement of the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association, which says that by 2011 all hard drive makers must sell drives using 4 kilobyte sectors instead of 512 byte sectors, the current default.

Let’s break that overly technical explanation into something simpler: Most hard drives on the market now, from the lowly 80GB drives to the hulking 2 TB monsters, store their data in small blocks called sectors. Those sectors can store 512 bytes of data, but each sector also has a small gap between it – the space in each gap is used to correct errors and to store additional information that the drive needs to function properly.

Basically, the 4 kilobyte sector would require fewer gaps, total, across an entire hard drive, thus saving space on a hard drive platter and increasing the drive’s overall efficiency. The technology is best demonstrated by the image below:
 
The extra space can be used to give the user more storage, or to allow the manufacturer to provide the same amount of storage on a smaller hard drive platter.

Most current operating systems, including Mac OS X versions 10.4 and above, most Linux distributions, Windwos Vista and Windwos 7, can take advantage of the benefits of the new technology, but the aging Windows XP will actually see visible slowdown in many cases.

This is due to an emulation technique used by the new drives that allows legacy operating systems, such as Windows XP, to treat them like older 512 byte sector drives. The performance hit is expected to be about ten percent.

One reason why some users cling to Windows XP is because of its speed, but along with reports that multi-core and hyperthreaded processors offer better performance in Windows 7, this new hard drive format serves as another bullet point in the list of reasons to abandon the aging operating system.

The upside is that by 2011, Windows XP should be on its way out, and many of its remaining users will be running it on older computers instead of brand-new machines using the new hard drive technology. It’s possible that, despite the potential for lesser performance, many casual computer users won’t even notice the change.
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Opera Mini 5 Beta Is Available To Download for Android Phones

Opera Mini continues to evolve and now speaks Android. A native beta version is already available for all Androids out there introducing them to the world of compressed browsing.

This release comes hot on the heels of the native Windows Mobile version of Opera Mini 5, which was unveiled only last week.

The Android version of Opera Mini 5 comes with all the usual goodies - tabbed browsing, Speed Dial, password manager and bookmarks. The most important feature of course is the extremely fast page loading, thanks to the data compression made reaching nearly 90%. Of course it all happens on a remote server so your smartphone doesn't need to be troubled with the calculations.

You can download Opera Mini 5 beta on your Android phone by accessing this page or get it through the Android Market.
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Pentax Revealed 40 MegaPixel 645D Camera, Price Is 9400 $

After five long years of development and several months of teasing, Pentax finally revealed their 645D medium format camera. Built around a 40 megapixel 44 x 33 CCD sensor, the Pentax 645D sports a dust and water-resistant body with solid magnesium-steel-alloy frame and reinforced glass LCD display with 921k dots.

The extra durability suggests that the Pentax 645D is not meant to be held as a prisoner in some photo studio but taken out. The Japanese company also developed a new high-precision 11-point wide-frame autofocus sensor for their first digital medium format camera.


So now all that it takes for you landscape photos to take a huge leap forward is 9400 US dollars and a plane ticket to Japan as this is the only country to get the 645D at launch.
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Samsung SHW-M120S Is The 1st Bluetooth 3.0 Android Smartphone

While the first phone out there packing Bluetooth 3.0, the Wave, is about to hit the stores in a few weeks, the first Android-based smartphone with the latest version of Bluetooth is still waiting for its announcement. That's the Samsung SHW-M120S.


We have no images of the SHW-M120S to show you but there's a nice mini specs sheet. The Android-powered Samsung SHW-M120S is apparently meant to show up only in South Korea but the world isn't that big after all. And the M120S is GSM network compatible (HSDPA support is also on board).
 
Feature-wise, the Samsung SHW-M120S is quite reminiscent of the Samsung Wave, which we previewed recently. You get a 3.3" AMOLED touchscreen (it's not clear if we are talking about Wave's gorgeous Super AMOLED display), a 5-megapixel autofocus snapper and a secondary VGA camera.


Proximity sensor and an inbuilt accelerometer are also to see on the specs list. The SHW-M120S is expected to come with a T-DMB tuner and Wi-Fi support as well as a GPS receiver.

The M120S shows up only a month after the announcement of its bro, the M100S, which has a huge 3.7" Super AMOLED screen and plenty of other mouth-watering features.

There is still no information when the device will start shipping and if we can expect its European version to see daylight at some point.
 
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Microsoft May Be Producing Its Own Branded Smartphone In 2011

Microsoft may roll out its own Nexus One competitor next year, according to a Northeast Securities analyst who reportedly discussed the possibility of a branded phone with Microsoft's suppliers and design partners.

As reported by TheStreet.com and other sources, analyst Ashok Kumar suggested that a branded phone would roll out early in 2011, manufactured by Asustek Computer. The device would presumably run Microsoft's new smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, which the company unveiled in a Feb. 15 press conference during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Scuttlebutt about a Microsoft-branded smartphone has been longstanding, even before competitors such as Google began introducing their own devices into the wild. In September 2009, I asked Microsoft about the rumor that it would introduce two branded smartphones early in 2010, which the company refused to comment on and which never came to pass. Even before that, in April, Microsoft responded to rumors that it was developing a smartphone with Verizon (code-named Pink) with a curt declaration that it was "not going into the phone hardware business."

Doubtlessly the rumors of a branded smartphone will persist until Microsoft actually makes an official announcement. In the meantime, though, the company probably has far more pressing issues to deal with in the mobile space. For starters, it'll need to convince developers that the Windows Phone7 Series is a platform worth developing for, despite the rise in Google Android and other competitors; it'll also need to convince the enterprise and small and midsize businesses that the new smartphone OS will meet their needs, despite its ultraconsumer sheen and focus; and lastly, it'll need to work with manufacturers to get the actual devices onto store shelves by holiday 2010, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted.

Those are tall orders for any company, even a particularly large one like Microsoft. And Redmond's future in the mobility space probably dictates that it focus on those goals first before devoting energies to a branded device.

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13 Best Free Backup Software For Your PC

No Matter You are a Windows,Mac or Linux User, Making sure you've got a reliable backup solution is a must for any user - and more so for an administrator. Why? Well, mostly because your users probably aren't very good at remembering to back up their own files. And so it falls to you to provide the right software for the job!

Backup software is a difficult category to tackle nowadays as the distinction between backup and synchronization apps has become a little blurred. Prices being what they are, my personal choice is to use external or removable hard drives for my backup chores - my current favorites are Bonkey and Cobian.

To make sure you've got plenty of options to choose from, I've split this list into three different categories so that you can choose from the options that are best suited to your environment.

Integrated Burning Backup Software Solution

Comodo Backup [windows]
They do make than a great firewall. Comodo Backup is an excellent free solution. It has extremely flexible scheduling and notification options, supports FTP destinations, can burn multisession DVDs, and has a synchronization mode for quick realtime backups.

DFIncBackup [winows]
As is the case with most backup applications, there's a free and paid version. The free one still handles CD/DVD backups, and it also does incremental .zip jobs as well - only backing up files that have changed or weren't present in your previous job.

SE Backup [windows]
Sports a very simple interface, does CD and DVD burning and compression, and is available as a portable application. Scheduling isn't built in, but it supports command line launching with parameters which works very well with Windows' own Task Scheduler.

File Copy Software Solution

Abakt [windows]
Though it's no longer developed, Abakt is still a great choice. It's got a great file filtering system, supports 7zip and zip compression, file splitting, password protection, and does differential and incremental backups.

Areca [windows]
Free, open source, and wicked powerful. Areca is loaded with features: compression, encryption, simulation, merging, transaction commit/rollback, filtering, and more. It's command line interface provides excellent automation options and Areca also supports scripting of post-job actions.

Bonkey [windows] [mac]
The "Backup Monkey." If I was giving points for best mascot, this one would be a clear winner. Bonkey runs on both Windows and Mac, and has a lot of great features. It supports email, FTP, and Amazon S3, compression, encryption, scheduling, and synchronization. It'll even back up MS SQL server databases.

Cobian Backup [windows]
Apart from being a great application, Cobian's developer has an excellent tutorial online to help you get started. Though it is no longer open source, you may still download the last version that was (v8). There's also a portable version.
One of my favorite features of Cobian is its ability to handle pre- and post- job events. I use it to issue net stop and net start commands to ensure safe backups of our horrible, horrible point-of-sale system. Cobian also has the ability to control and monitor all its instances on your network from your own workstation.

JaBack [windows] [mac]
Allows backup to FTP and email (as well as any drive on your computer or network), and sports a flexible scheduler. It also has a file monitor function that will perform backup operations whenever changes are detected.

Mathusalem [mac]
Offers FTP/SFTP, Amazon S3, WebDav, and SMB support for backups on OSX. Mathusalem can compress to zip and dmg, will resume failed uploads, and supports scheduling and command line launching. It's also open source.

Server-Based Backup Software Solution

Bacula [windows] [mac] [linux]
Bacula is an enterprise grade network backup solution that runs on just about every platform imagineable. It's a much more complex system than the other options I've mentioned, but is extremely powerful and well-suited to a medium or large scale network.

BackupPC [windows] [linux]
A Linux-based, client-free enterprise solution for backing up Windows and Linux machines. BackupPC uses SMB, tar, and rsync to extract backup data from client computers. It 's got a powerful web-based interface for administrators and users, and will even email reminders to users that have been remiss in performing backups.It's a very flexible solution, and is open source.

NasBackup [windows] [linux]
Uses a simple Windows GUI and rsync to perform backups from client machines to a central server. It'll do incremental backups, scheduling, compression, encryption, and the server offers useful per-client controls like limiting the number of versions to store and expiration dates. It also provides daily summaries via email.
 
Restore [windows] [mac] [linux]
The self-proclaimed "reason backup was invented." It's definitely a great product, and full of terrific features. Its web interface is very easy to understand and use - and makes it easy for the mobile admin to monitor and control Restore from anywhere.
Restore supports FTP, WebDav, SSH/SFTP, and multiple revisions. It also provides powerful admin tools, making it easy to create and control users, groups, jobs, and scheduling.
Source

Microsoft Office 2010 Will Available On May 12

Microsoft announced today that Office 2010, the latest version of its flagship productivity suite, would go on sale to business customers on May 12. While an exact release date for the general public has not been announced, Microsoft has said that it intends to release the product in June.


Windows 7 was also released to businesses a few months before it was released to the general public in an effort to spur corporate adoption of the new software.

This news was posted to the Microsoft Technet blog by of Microsoft’s Jared Fark, who is the senior marketing manager for Microsoft Office:
For businesses, we will launch the 2010 set of products, including Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010 worldwide on May 12. To find out more about the Worldwide Business Launch, visit http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/businessproductivity/proof/pages/2010-launch-events.aspx.
Fark also officially announced the Office 2010 Technology Guarantee program, which will allow most users who purchase Office 2007 to download a free copy of Office 2010 when it becomes available. To obtain the upgrade, users must do the following;

Purchase Office 2007, or a new PC with Office 2007, and activate it between March 5, 2010 and September 30, 2010.
Have, or create a Windows Live ID.
Redeem your Tech Guarantee before October 31, 2010 by visiting www.office.com/techg.
Again, Microsoft pursued an identical strategy with its Windows 7 Technology Guarantee program, which was designed to encourage users to buy Windows Vista PCs as that operating system neared the end of its retail life.


It's  reported previously on the official pricing of Office 2010 in both the US and the UK – given the heavy discounts at which Office 2007 is being sold on e-tail Web sites like Amazon.com, this could be a great opportunity for early adopters and tech enthusiasts to get a hold of the new product on the cheap.
Source
More MicroSoft Office 2010 News:
Microsoft Office 2010 Details Information
MS Office 2010 System Requirements
MS Office 2010 RC Download
How To Install Microsoft Office 2010 RC

How To Add Virtual Hard Drive Easily In Windows 7

There are two ways to separate a drive in Windows. One is creating a partition and other is creating a virtual drive. Today i will show you the procedure how to create a virtual drive in Windows 7. This is one of the new features added to Windows 7. The Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format is an image format specification that creates a virtual hard disk incorporated in a single file. It is capable of hosting different native file systems and also providing support for standard disk and file operations.

Now follow these steps to create that virtual hard disk:
1. Go to Control Pane> Administrative Tools> Computer Management.
2. From the action tab select Create VHD.

3. Create And Attach Virtual Hard Disk.At first Create a New Folder. Then Locate virtual hard drive.
4. The New Virtual Hard Drive is Created.
5. Now you must attach VHD. Locate and Attach the hard drive
6. VHD – Unallocated Drive. The Drive is created but not allocated. At first Initialize the Disk. Initialize the Disk so the Local Disk Manager can access it.
7. The Virtual Hard Drive is then available to be used. It can be accessed as the other drives on the system.

Microsoft Release Google Android Smartphone Application

Microsoft announced the release (HT)of its Microsoft Tag Reader app for Android, which is now available in Google's Android Market. It's free, and the description that accompanies the download says:

Microsoft Tag lets you discover information and entertainment by scanning mobile barcodes with your phone. Download the Tag Reader, scan a Tag anywhere you see one - in a magazine, brochure, on product packages, signs or storefronts - and access information, videos, promotions, exclusive offers, and much more.

"It's important to give more people access to Tag because there’s huge demand for reliable mobile barcoding – businesses and consumers are eager to find creative ways to use their phone and hyperlink the real world," says Benjamin Gauthey with Microsoft Tag.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made it pretty clear that the company wants more people using its products regardless of the device they're using. While his focus in that address was mainly on Microsoft's Bing search engine, the company is keeping with this philosophy, as it has now released its first Android App.

The world is still waiting on Microsoft's new generation of mobile devices, the Windows Phone 7 Series, which is looking like it will come out late this year (with phones including a Bing search hardware key).


Google already has its own barcode-scanning app in Google Shopper, which also recognizes books, CDs, DVDs, and video games by cover art, while offering barcode scanning and voice search. This app displays prices, reviews, specs, etc.

Source

T-Mobile Is The Best In Customer Satisfaction In USA

As more wireless users switch to smartphones, many retailers are readjusting their mobile strategies to address the needs of these users, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

The semiannual report analyzed evaluations from customers who recently had an in-store wireless retail sales experience. Overall customer satisfaction with major wireless carrier-branded stores is based on four factors. In order of importance, they are: sales staff (49%); price and promotion (27%); store facility (14%); and display (10%).

Nearly 40 percent of customers who visited a wireless retail store in the past six months to replace or upgrade a phone from a previous carrier, switch carriers or sign up for wireless service for the first time now own smartphones.

The study finds that satisfaction with the retail experience among smartphone owners averages 11 index points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) than that of traditional wireless handset owners (727 vs. 716, on average), despite the fact that smartphones require additional service plan options and are more complex to operate. Smartphone owners are more satisfied than traditional handset owners in all factors, particularly with regard to the sales staff.

"The increase in smartphone sales will have a long-term impact on how carriers handle their customers' needs," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.

"These phones do require retailers to adapt by constantly training sales staff to keep pace with new features and offerings, but carrying out simple tasks, such as explaining the phone's operation, provides salespeople with a great opportunity to optimize the customer's wireless experience and fosters greater loyalty to both the carrier and store."

T-Mobile ranks highest in customer satisfaction among major wireless carrier-owned retail stores for a second consecutive time with a score of 723, performing well with regard to sales staff and price promotions. Verizon Wireless trailed closely (722) and AT&T followed (712). The industry average was 719.
 
"In general, wireless carriers are succeeding in adapting to the quickly evolving landscape by ensuring their sales representatives are highly knowledgeable about newer offerings such as smartphones and the high-speed data plans they utilize," said Parsons.

"As consumers continue to take advantage of the latest technology, it is crucial for sales staff to be knowledgeable about all phone models and service plans available and to continue to display a high level of courtesy and honesty during the sales process to ensure satisfaction levels improve."
 
Source

Fraud Score Works to Protect Online Merchants From Fraudulent Transactions

Volusion, a provider of online shopping cart software for businesses recently introduced its newest credit card fraud protection service, Fraud Score.


Volusion spoke with WebProNews about Fraud Score and how it works to protect online merchants of any size from fraudulent transactions.

When an order is placed customer information is cross-checked in real-time with a large database of thousands of online merchants and more than 100 million transactions. Fraud Score screens more than 15 fields which include: proxy detection and risk assessment, IP address, bank identification and address verification. After these criteria are checked, an overall risk score is generated to determine the legitimacy of the order.

There are three levels of risk, minimal, moderate and high. The Fraud Score scale ranges from 0 to 300 with 0 being the highest level of risk and 300 being the lowest level of risk.
 
"As a former online store owner I can attest to the importance of Fraud Score," said Volusion CMO and COO Clay Olivier.


"I got defrauded out of $900 once and lost all my merchandize on a single order. It was a painful experience and I felt helpless since I wasn't able to verify the order beyond the basics. Fraud Score will greatly reduce the risk of our merchant customers falling prey to the same scams."

Fraud Score works with both Google Checkout and PayPal as well as with other payment services.

Unfortunately, fraud remains a concern for all online merchants, but being able to prevent it from happening is key to running a successful ecommerce business.
News Source

Apple iPad Pre-order Starts March 12, Available On US April 03

Apple said its much anticipated iPad device will be available in the U.S. on Saturday, April 3, for Wi-Fi models and in late April for Wi-Fi + 3G models.

All models of iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. in late April.

Beginning March 12, U.S. customers can pre-order both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi +3G models from Apple's online store or reserve a Wi-Fi model to pick up on Saturday, April 3, at an Apple retail store.

"iPad is something completely new," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.

"We're excited for customers to get their hands on this magical and revolutionary product and connect with their apps and content in a more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before."

iPad will retail for $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, and $699 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available in late April for $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB.

To Know Details  about iPad Design Feature & Technical Specification CLICK HERE



News Source

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Review & Specification Details

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is very wll known polpular Smartphone.many of you wish to buy it.So here's an exclusive review for you.I cover all its feature and specification for you.

At first Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is a full touchscreen phone and its ExpressMusic.Its also being the 1st device run Series 60 5th software. It's touchscreen o'clock for Nokia and the stage is set for the 5800 XpressMusic. Go ahead and touch it. We did and we've got a story to tell.
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is unthreateningly and unobtrusively positioned in the mid-range and the XpressMusic branding helps share some of that first-S60-touchscreen weight. Still, it's way more than an affordable music-centered handset. The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic has a strong and unmistakable Nokia identity and delivers multimedia performance.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Key features:
- 3.2" 16M-color TFT LCD 16:9 touchscreen display (360 x 640 pixels)
- Symbian S60 5th edition
- ARM 11 434 MHz CPU, 128 MB of SDRAM memory
- 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash
- VGA video recording at 30fps
- Dual-band 3G with HSDPA support
- Quad-band GSM support
- Wi-Fi
- Capable GPS receiver and Nokia Maps 2.0 Touch
- MicroSD card memory expansion, ships with an 8GB card
- TV out
- FM radio with RDS
- Bluetooth and USB v2.0
- 3.5mm standard audio jack
- Excellent audio quality
- Landscape on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboard
- Proximity sensor for screen auto turn-off
- Accelerometer sensor for automatic UI rotation and motion-based gaming
- Rich retail package
- Affordable price
- Office document viewer
- OVI and MySpace integration (direct image and video uploads)

Main disadvantages of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic:
- Limited 3rd party software availability
- UI is still immature with somewhat dodgy user experience
- Touchscreen sensitivity not the best in the class
- No smart dialing
- Poor camera image quality
- Touch web browser not quite polished
- No office document editing out-of-the-box
- Doesn't charge off microUSB

Now we can go deeper in our review section. Lets start with Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Retail package opening part.

Retail package: Box opening
What's a better way to start a review than a retail package brimming over with goodies. We cannot quite remember a handset to offer this much in the box without getting out-of-reach kind of high-end.


For starters, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic comes with an 8GB memory card - not bad for a sub-300 euro handset. There is also a microUSB cable to use for your data connections, a TV-out cable that normally ships with high-end N-series models only and a two piece handsfree. It's 3.5mm on either end so you can easily replace the provided headset without sacrificing the remote.
 
And if you're still not impressed, Nokia 5800 won't stop there. That sweet touchscreen needs protection and the carrying case sure comes in handy. Made of rubbery plastic, the case is pleasantly soft to the touch and seems durable enough. Another nice surprise is the desk stand which according to Nokia will also be included in every retail package. Well, we didn't get it so we guess there is some market dependency here.
But recently For some reason Nokia have replaced the rubbery carrying case with a TV-out cable in the 5800 XpressMusic retail package. To be honest we liked it better the way it was before but it's still one of the best (if not the best) retail packages you can get in this price range.
 
It also has an eyelet to attach the spare stylus or the plectrum-shaped alternative. Yep, if stylus ain't your game you're not entirely optionless. Now, for all we know, there's no better substitute for stylus than our very own thumb but we're yet to see about that with Nokia 5800.
 
To complete exploring the retail box, we should also mention the mandatory DC charger and the bunch of manuals and quick start guides provided. There is also a mini DVD containing a presentation of the phone features and the required PC sync software.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Size & Weight
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic stands at 111 x 51.7 x 15.5 mm in its full touchscreen shine. That totals a volume of 83cc, which isn't the most compact you get in the class. This however is mainly attributed to the considerable thickness and height.


The weight of 109g is an entirely different story and Nokia 5800 XpressMusic beats almost every other handset in the touchscreen class.

The 15.5 mm girth still isn't too bothersome while the tall and slender build do give the Finnish touchscreen a distinct and recognizable identity. We find it fitting perfectly in hand - and most pockets - but the greatest benefit is the easy single-hand operation.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Design and construction
The elongated body is the most notable design feature of the Nokia touchscreen. The 16:9 display is enough of a rarity - Samsung F490 is probably the only handset to be used as a reference.


The touchscreen form factor leaves little room for variation, and Nokia 5800 XpressMusic looks to build an identity by staying as close as it can to the house styling. So, instead of looking at just another touch phone, you're faced with a handset that's unmistakably and proudly Nokia.

Up front, the touchscreen is recessed into its frame more than usual, while the hardware keys' styling clearly repeats recent Nseries. The Nseries influence is even more distinct at the rear, but this time the cheap gloss is graciously traded for soft rubbery finish. The color accents on the sides - red or blue - are a nice touch.

The phone is a tad bulkier than we would have liked but still by no means a burden to carry or operate.

The front of the fully touch-operated Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is dominated by the 3.2" touchscreen. Above the display, it's a bit more crowded than usual. What you get there is the tiny cleft of the earpiece, the video-call camera a touch-sensitive Media key and a couple of sensors.
 
The Media key triggers a drop down menu of shortcuts to media and web. Other than that, an ambient light sensor and a proximity sensor to turn the touchscreen off during calls are squeezed between the earpiece and the front-facing camera.

Below the display we find three slim keys - Call and End knobs, with the menu button in the middle. The call buttons are just a little stiff, with not the best press feedback. The menu key is definitely better in terms of response. A press-and-hold on it launches the task manager - in the long-standing Symbian tradition - to let you easily terminate or switch between running applications .
 
It's quite crowded at the top of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as well. In the top right corner is the Power key, that also handles ringing profiles. On the opposite end is microUSB port, the charger plug and the 3.5mm standard audio jack in between.
 
The microUSB connector is hidden under a protective lid to prevent it from filling up with dust and dirt, while the 3.5mm audio jack is exposed. The possible explanation is the XpressMusic branding, which suggests frequent use of the audio jack.

Unfortunately, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic doesn't charge via the microUSB port.

The right side of Nokia 5800 hosts the volume rocker, the screen-lock switch and the camera key. The screen lock switch is an essential shortcut - the implementation in the 5800 is quite ergonomic and friendly. Locking/unlocking of the screen is marked by a short vibration.
 
The volume rocker - serving as a zoom lever too - is quite flat and stiff. The nicely projecting shutter key fares a bit better: it offers a distinct half-press but the overall feel is well short of the soft and responsive camera button of N95.

The bottom of the handset features the microphone pinhole and a small groove to place a finger and lift the battery cover up.
 
The lanyard eyelet is all the way down on the left side of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. On the same side you'll find the microSD card slot and the SIM compartment - both covered protective plastic covers. Yep - you got that right - the SIM card gets in and out on the side of the handset.
 
But don't get this wrong - it's not hot-swappable or anything. You still need to remove your rear cover and battery. Then you put the stylus in a little hole to push the SIM card out. In fact it's so unusual that they drew a manual on the inside of the battery cover about it.

The last thing to note here are the stereo speakers, marked by small clefts on either end of the phone's left hand side.

The back side of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic features the 3 megapixel autofocus camera, which comes with a dual-LED flash. The other thing of interest here is the stylus which slides smoothly into the back panel.
 
Removing the battery cover reveals the Nokia 1320 mAh Li-Ion BL-5J battery. Quoted at the impressive 406 hours of standby and 8 hours 45 minutes of talk time it is sure to keep your phone going for quite a while.
 
The commitment to 35 hours of music playback is something we're more inclined to believe than doubt. But these are of course the maximum values achievable.

The real life performance is also quite impressive with the handset easily managing to go through three to four days of moderate usage (about 20 minutes of calls, 30 minutes of browsing through Wi-Fi and 20 minutes of fiddling with the other features a day).

The large screen and the power-hungry features like Wi-Fi and GPS can get tough enough on even the most powerful of batteries. In real life scenarios you can be looking at two days of regular use but should be prepared to charge daily if the screen is constantly on and you're hardly giving the handset a break.

The general build-quality of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is good but the XpressMusic branding does make it hard to expect anything more than decent plastic. The fact of the matter is the first S60 touch handset doesn't get noticed for elaborate exterior. We guess when it's midrange, it's midrange all over. Though we wish the same held true on the high-end too (N96, anyone?).
 
Anyway, the exterior gives a nice sturdy impression, which however is ruined by the almost constant unwelcome creaks by the rear cover - the Nokia 5800 looks and feels more like a wobbly slider than a monolith block.

The 5800 dimensions are altogether friendly, and the consistent and identifiable styling will be appreciated by brand loyal users.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: An impressive high-resolution screen
The Communicator series and the exotic 77xx tablets aside, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic 3.2" display is the largest in the Finnish family. The resolution of 360 x 640 pixels is also second to the E90 business monster only. In fact, outside the Windows Mobile realm there isn't any other device to match the display resolution (no - not even the omnipresent iPhone 3G).

So the large and pixel-dense screen, building on the Nokia expertise in displays, grants the 5800 XpressMusic a top spot in the company portfolio. The contrast and brightness are great, although - we have to admit - they are no match for the OLED technology in Nokia N85. But talking about displays, size does count above all.

Unfortunatelly the legibility of the display under direct sunlight is rather poor. It is at about the same level as the HTC Touch Diamond which means that it is rather hard (but not completely impossible) to find a proper angle for working with the phone on a bright sunny day. We guess the interface isn't the only place where Apple have blown the competition away.
 
As already mentioned, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic uses a resistive touchscreen as opposed to the capacitive displays in devices like LG Prada and Apple iPhone 3G. This means there's a need for a bit of extra pressure to the screen for a click to be registered. The resistive display technology has the dubious advantage of allowing the use of stylus (and fingers with gloves).

When using the stylus, the 5800 display is absolutely on par with any competing touchscreen. On the other hand, sensitivity to fingers is quite adequate but slightly short of the, say, HTC Touch Diamond, which uses the same touchscreen technology.Haptic feedback is of course enabled. Vibration intensity is adjustable, with three different levels available.

You might have some trouble getting used to the screen sensitivity at first, but problems will be sorted in a short while of using the phone. Besides if you prefer the stylus (which we certainly don't), it gets even easier.

The plectrum is somewhat of a bogus alternative to the stylus - we mean an alternative would be anything that makes the whole thing more thumbable. The plectrum is just another thing to poke your screen with. Now, we are obviously not the kind to go Jimi Hendrix on our phone. Others might find it cool though.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Symbian S60 (r)Evolution
We now come to probably the most important part of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic performance. We do need to rethink our perspective and, instead of looking at the 5800 as a standalone touchscreen device, get to the real point of exploring the level of touch optimization of the S60 interface. How good - or bad - Nokia 5800 is very much depends on how well S60 translates to touch.

You can go ahead and call S60 the most mature, user-friendly and stable smartphone interface but that won't necessarily make its touch reincarnation any better at this point. The pains of growth can't be helped we guess.

The fact is that Nokia have not done a great job at creating a user-friendly touch interface. At this stage we're not looking at an elaborate touch interface but the first stages of touch-optimizing an existing UI. S60 is more of a curse than a blessing at this point. Honestly, at times we felt as if Nokia is using all 5800 users as a giant focus group to test out various elements of their new interface - try this scrolling and that scrolling - which one do you prefer?

Comparing the S60 5th edition to LG and Samsung touchscreen interfaces or Windows Mobile is not in favor of Nokia. And even the mere mentioning of iPhone would be devastating on the 5800 morale.

Nokia have slowly but steadily been making improvements of the interface usability. S60 touch edition is still playing catch up with the competition, and it's still behind.We appreciate the effort and the recently added kinetic scrolling works pretty well, even though only in list menus. Now if they come scrolling in icon menus, it would be just great.

This was more or less expected - there aren't absolute deal-breaker issues but the interface is obviously immature and the touch implementation inconsistent. The great asset - which could prove vital in the long run - is the familiarity, predictability and comfort of the original S60.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: User interface basics
The homescreen layout of the S60 5th edition is similar to previous S60 versions - all the status indicators are at the top, plus the clock and the calendar. A single press on the clock starts the clock application (with an option for setting up an alarm) while tapping on the date opens a drop-down menu where you can either enter the calendar application or change the currently active profile.

You have three layouts for the homescreen to choose from - an active-standby kind of shortcuts bar, contacts bar or blank screen (called Basic). Activating the latter will let you enjoy your currently selected theme but the large homescreen will be quite lacking in functionality - save for the status bar and the two touch buttons at the bottom. One launches the virtual num pad, while the other opens the Contact list.
 
In fact, we can't help but notice Nokia 5800 fails to make the best use of the screen estate that's available. Not only are the available shortcuts notably less than on regular D-pad-controlled S60 handsets but some of the additional controls (like the bar for the quick WLAN search) are also removed.

Touch navigation on the homescreen boils down to a few buttons/icons. What we miss is at least a basic degree of gesture control - a finger sweep for example could toggle the main menu or an extra set of shortcuts.

The Shortcuts bar in its current implementation accommodates four large touch-optimized icons at the top of the homescreen. Below them are the reserved lines for the search application, calendar and the currently running music track or radio station. The number of shortcuts has obviously been reduced to make each icon big enough to touch.

It still seems though there is plenty of unused space on the display most of the time so we find the decision of removing the quick WLAN search from the homescreen totally wrong. You can assign the WLAN wizard to one of the shortcuts, of course but that leaves you with only three remaining for you other favorites.

You can also access the connectivity menu by tapping around the battery status indicator, which is the quickest way to initiate a WLAN search. It is not quite as quick as the 3rd edition plug-in where you only needed a single click for the purpose but it is better than nothing.

The other option is the Contacts bar where you can place shortcuts to four favorite contacts. Given the limited number of slots here and the available space on the screen, this could've been way more convenient if displayed along with the shortcuts bar. On the positive side selecting one of the contacts brings out a list of all your recent communications.

With the latest firmware Nokia updates the contacts bar functionality as well. Now it features the contacts icons at the top and four customizable shortcuts at the bottom. The number of contacts that you can add is no longer limited to four and their thumbnails have been increased in size to make them more thumbable.

Most menus can be set to show as either a grid of 4x3 icons or a list of nine items per screen. The exception is the settings menus, which can only appear as lists.

S60 users will of course feel at home but the interface is intuitive enough as well, even if not the best in terms of touch control. Each screen and submenu comes with its contextual touch buttons, so navigation won't differ much from a D-pad and soft-key controlled device.

Strangely enough, opening an item in any of the listed submenus calls for two presses - one to select, and another one to confirm the action. Now that's something that you don't normally see in other touch phones and seems to hurt usability. You get used to it with time, but the main issue here is that the interface logic is different when you deal with icons instead of lists.

When the opened menu uses icons to represent items as opposed to lists, then a single click usually does the job fine. Sounds quite strange, right?

There's a possible reason for that - the scrolling logic used. Again we see two different implementations throughout the interface - scrolling of lists and scrolling of icons is different. And it has a negative impact on the touch usability again.

Thumb scrolling is an option everywhere but in listed menus it gets really bumpy. Instead of a smooth roll in response to every sweep (think Apple iPhone, LG Renoir, Samsung Pixon or Touch Diamond), there's a notable break as each line slowly revolves up or down. And when you stop dragging, the last item you touched remains highlighted. That's a reason why you need a second click to activate an item in listed sub-menus - to prevent accidental clicks.

But it's strange why Nokia had to use that logic in the first place, since when you scroll icon menus the last item you touch when you stop dragging doesn't get activated. So there's some intuitive solution that Nokia just didn't use for listed menus.

In the end dragging the side scrollbar turned out to be our preferred way of scrolling in all menus and we just had to put up with the double-click system in the listed ones.

The main menu and each of its submenus can be set to appear in landscape mode thanks to the build in accelerometer. Rotation is quick enough if you don't use the available transition effects (which are turned off by default).

The only parts of the UI that cannot be rotated are the standby screen and, quite naturally, the camera interface. Unfortunately, when you rotate the handset in text input mode, instead of getting a landscape QWERTY keyboard automatically, you are still offered the regular multi-tap input keypad. To get the QWERTY out, you need to activate it from the menu - again a solution that's far behind the competition.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic features a task manager, which is launched by a press-and-hold on the menu key. The task manager itself is identical to the one found on Symbian S60 3.2 devices. Also much like in the previous version of the UI, it appears on top of every pop-up menu.

The 5800 XpressMusic runs on a single 369 MHz ARM11 CPU and has 128 MB of RAM. Given the high-resolution screen, you can guess this isn't the fastest Nokia handset around.

Nokia also switched the CPU frequency with one of their earlier firmware updates. The ARM11 CPU now works at 434 MHz, which combined with some UI optimization delivers better user experience. The 5800 XpressMusic is still some way of the best in class but it is now much easier to swallow.

Major lags and holdups are still rare enough and they will hardly be much of a bother. And as to RAM - 128MB is a respectful count in Symbian terms. Depleting it is quite a challenge, unless done on purpose.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic comes with 86MB of internal memory plus the 8GB memory card that ships along. If that seems insufficient 16GB microSD cards are available and compatible. Accessing data on the card isn't any slower (not noticeably at least) than doing so on the phone memory. The phone didn't seem to slow as the memory card started filling either.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Customizing the UI
There are a number of options for customizing the interface of you Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. For starters you can change the menu view mode - the options here are pretty limited though.

You can also switch theme effects on and off. There are some really nice transition effects all over the interface but if you'd rather have your handset fast than pretty you'd be better off without them.

Finally, you can change the theme itself. From wallpaper through icons and transition effects, everything can be modified. Our unit came with a single theme preinstalled but there are already quite some of those available online.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Symbian vs. the rest of the world - the battle just begins
Before we move on, the big question is how the Symbian S60 touch-enabled 5th edition compares to the other touch UIs on the market.

For one, it is quite obvious that the S60 5th is a toddler, probably only comparable to the Google's Android OS. Some may argue that the same could be said about Apple's OSX iPhone implementation but we disagree. Apple may be blamed for being cheeky twisted snobs but hardly for undercooking the UI. There are many features that miss on the iPhone, but the ones they want to be there are there - an new ones are spawning with every other software update.

The main disadvantage of the Symbian 5th edition to competitors is its inconsistency. It uses one click here and double click there, you can flip through photos with finger sweeps but not SMS and emails - this whole thing is rather confusing, and annoying.

The other main issue is the design, which is no match for the looks of Samsung's TouchWiz and Apple's OSX, or even a plug-in like TouchFLO 3D. The Symbian S60 5th edition looks a bit too conservative for our taste and the customization options fail to address that. The added transition effects however are a nice step in the right direction and a clear indication that Nokia are about to change that.

The wasted standby screen is another thing we cannot quite accept. While every other manufacturer tries to grant access to as many features as possible straight on the homescreen, Nokia only give us 4 shortcut keys. The Contacts bar is also an option, but having both could've been way better.

The strongest point of the S60 5th edition as it currently stands is probably its structure. All the options are logically located exactly where you would expect them to be. And if you happen to disagree - rearrangement is as easy as it gets.

The file management of the Symbian S60 5th is also praiseworthy. The only other touch-enabled devices that are comparable are the WinMo crowd.

And finally, coming to third party software, Symbian touch is still too young to make a difference. The number of applications available is incomparably in favor of WinMo. Even the iPhone enjoys a larger base of available applications, even if the vast majority brings about functionality that you take for granted on other smartphones. On the other hand, the S60 already fares better than feature touchscreen phones by LG and Samsung, which are only limited to Java applications. Plus, the S60 touch is likely to catch up.

OK then, catching up may be easier said than done but Symbian Touch has one of the best reasons to think big. S60 5th - as it is now - sure needs refinement but it still steps on the market-leading smart platform. Immature, inconsistent - a beta version if that's what makes you happy - the S60 touch UI is a first attempt. We guess the verdict will be as good as the N97.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Phonebook Simple & Nice
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic uses a phonebook that's identical to what previous versions of the UI have offered. Except for the whole touch thingy, that is. The phonebook itself has virtually unlimited capacity and functionality is among the best we've seen.

Contacts can be freely ordered by first or last name and can naturally be searched by gradual typing of any of the names. You can also set whether the contacts from the SIM card, the phone memory and the service numbers will get displayed. 
 
Editing a contact offers a great variety of preset fields and you can replicate each of them as many times as you like. You can also create new fields if you happen to be able to think of one. Personal ringtones and videos are also available for assigning. If you prefer, you may group your contacts and give each group a specific ringtone.
 
The Call log keeps track of your recent communications. The application itself comes in two flavors - accessed by pressing the Call key on the stand-by screen or from the main menu. The first one brings 20 call records in each of its tabs for outgoing, received and missed calls.

If you access the Log application from the main menu, you'll see a detailed list of all your network communications for the past 30 days. These include messages, calls and data transfers (even WLAN connections are included).

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Telephone System, Smart dial missing
We didn't experience any problems with the in-call performance of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Reception levels are good on both ends of calls, the earpiece is loud enough and there were no interferences whatsoever.

We guess however that we have just been lucky here. A disturbingly large number of users are having trouble with the earpieces of their Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. The symptoms are muffled sound during conversations (changing to extremely loud at times), making it almost impossible to have a normal call.

A 5800 user's poll at one of online forum we stumbled upon shows that every second Nokia 5800 XpressMusic user (52 out of a total 100 participating users) is experiencing the problem. Now that seems as a huge thing.

Luckily, the issue is quite easy to fix if you take the phone to your local Nokia dealer and most of them do it for free in a matter of 5 minutes. It's just that the earpiece loudspeaker has some loose contacts.

There's also a number of online tutorials for DIY fix but unless you really know what you are doing we wouldn't suggest you to try them.

It is really quite embarrassing for Nokia to allow such a thing to happen to one of the most important handsets in their portfolio.

Luckily Nokia stepped in on that issue and all Nokia 5800 XpressMusic units in production after February 2009 have no earpiece issues whatsoever.

Now back to the Nokia 5800 telephony performance, we thing it's only fair that we point out that the built-in smart-dialing feature is a major absence in S60 5th edition.

Voice dialing is an option with the 5800 as with mostly any other phone. The voice dialing mode is activated once you press and hold the Call key. It is fully speaker-independent and doesn't require prerecording the names of your contacts. Bear in mind though, that if you have multiple numbers assigned to a contact, the first or the default one gets dialed.

Thanks to the built-in accelerometer you can silence an incoming call on the phone by simply flipping it over. Those feature was also available on the previous versions on the UI but only through 3rd party applications.

We also ran our traditional loudspeaker test on Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. The handset didn't perform too impressively but still scored a Good mark meaning we have seen (and heard) better. You might want to keep a closer look on it when you are in noisier environments.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic:   SMS Messaging is simple
The messaging menu is yet another part of the Symbian S60 UI that hasn't been greatly modified compared to earlier editions. There are a few changes here and there, mostly an attempt to simplify the interface even further and of course add new touch input methods. A minor facelift is noticed but looks are still pretty conservative.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic supports all common message types - SMS, MMS and email. They all share a common intuitive editor which by this point should be quite familiar to everyone. When composing an SMS, a counter is displayed of characters left to the limit of 160. An indicator in brackets is showing the number of separate parts the message will be divided into for sending.

Once you insert some multimedia content, or an email address is inserted as recipient, the counter is replaced by a data counter showing the size of your email.
 
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic also features the dedicated editor for instant recording of audio messages. Much like with Symbian S60 v3.2 you can either record the message on the spot or use a sound clip from the phone memory. The interface of all the messengers is quite similar too.

Delivery reports can be turned on - they pop up once the message reaches the addressee, and are then saved in a separate folder in the messaging sub-menu. When you are exiting the message editor without having sent the message, you get prompted to save it in Drafts or discard it.

Here might just be the right time to mention the input options on Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. The handset offers a standard alphanumeric on-screen keypad in both portrait and landscape mode, as well as a virtual QWERTY landscape keyboard. The latter takes up about two thirds of the screen and is really nice to type on.
 
It sure cannot be a match for any hardware keyboard but the 5800 XpressMusic full QWERTY fares pretty well. Typing is enhanced by nice and accurate haptic feedback and the keys are large enough so typos are reduced to a healthy minimum. Unfortunately there is no predictive typing like on the Apple iPhone or the Nokia E71 but we do not consider this much of a disadvantage.
 
Unfortunately rotating the handset doesn't bring up the landscape QWERTY keyboard as a default input method, instead you have to pick it up manually from the menu.

Another update brought by the latest firmware is the automatic switching between multitap and full QWERTY keyboard when you tilt the phone sideways. You no longer need to make two clicks to change the keyboard layout each time. That would be a real blessing for heavy texters.

Finally, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic offers handwriting recognition, which did a rather decent job, recognizing almost all the letters we scribbled in the box. You can improve its performance by taking the handwriting training - where you actually show the handset how you write each different letter.

There is also a mini QWERTY keyboard, which is only good for stylus or plectrum use but we doubt anyone will use it too often. Its main advantage is that it takes little space on the screen.
 
The email client is really nice, able to meet almost any emailing needs. The easy setup we found in the latest Nokia handsets is also available with the 5800 XpressMusic. It has even been touched here and there, so it needs even less input.

If you are using any public email service (it has to be among the over 1000 supported providers), all you have to do is enter your username and password to start enjoying email on the go. The phone downloads all the needed settings to get you going in no time.

Besides, it now prompts choosing whether you prefer POP or IMAP access to mail providers that support both. With the previous version selection was automatic.
 
Multiple email accounts and various security protocols are supported, so you can bet almost any mail service will run trouble-free on your Nokia 5800 XpressMusic.

The client can download headers only or entire messages, and can be set to automatically check mail at a given interval. A nice feature allows you to schedule sending email next time an internet connection is available. This can save you some data traffic charges since you can use the next available WLAN connection instead.

There is also support for attachments, signatures and generally, you can hardly think of something important that the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic lacks. Furthermore with a screen resolution like this reading your emails is a real pleasure.
 
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Its All About Music And Quality
Having in mind the XpressMusic branding, we thought that the music player of the Nokia 5800 will be one of the parts of the UI to see the most changes. As it turned out this couldn't have been further away from the truth - the application is quite identical to the S60 3rd edition versions. A few cosmetic changes here and there and touch-optimization is all that sets it apart.

Not that the music player isn't capable enough or something - it surely has more than enough functionality. However some more eye-candy would be quite welcome. After all the touch interfaces are usually mostly about being fun to use and nice to look at.

Your music library is automatically sorted by artist, album, genre and composer and searching tracks by gradual typing is available. You can also create your own playlists in no time. The process of adding tracks to the library is as simple as choosing the refresh option. You won't need to do that if you upload the music via the proprietary PC Suite application.
 
With the huge number of supported formats you will hardly ever come across an audio file that the phone won't handle. Album art is also supported and if you don't like the default sound of the device you can enhance it by applying one of the five equalizer presets and if they seem insufficient you can create new ones in a matter of seconds.

Quite naturally, the player can also be minimized to play in background. In this case a tab appears on the stand-by screen indicating the currently running track.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Remarkable audio quality
Speaking of music playback, the 5800 XpressMusic turned out to be the best Nokia example for audio quality to date. That's that and no fancy foreword would've made sense. We've been seeing improvement over recent devices by the Finns and now the 5800 comes to crown the whole thing. In fact, we've never seen so good numbers on any other mobile phone.

The phone flaunts an amazing frequency response keeping within the +-1db range effortlessly. Furthermore, for most of its range it is right on the perfect track. Noise level and dynamic range readings are also praiseworthy and so is THD. IMD and crosstalk are not as impressive but still quite good. All in all, you will be enjoying some of the industry best quality audio with Nokia 5800 XpressMusic.
 
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Video player is limited
Watching a video on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is a mixed bag. The built-in video player has decent functionality but only supports a very limited number of codecs, no DivX and XviD. While this was hardly an issue with previous Symbian versions, developers haven't yet come up with a 3rd party solution for the 5th edition of the S60 UI.

Some claim that their products are compatible but we couldn't get any of them to work properly on our unit. Anyway, this will most probably be addressed in the nearest future but until then you will have to resort to MP4 videos only.
 
Luckily, the Nokia PC suite has a built-in application that automatically converts all kinds of video files to the format and resolution your phone supports - you'll need of course to upload through it. We would have preferred to use mass storage mode instead, but we'll have to do it the Apple way for now. In addition, the automatic converter seems to compress the videos too much even at the highest quality setting and they look over pixilated.

The video player itself only works in fullscreen landscape mode but, since anything else would have made the widescreen display useless, this is understandable. When in fullscreen, a press on the screen shows the controls which are normally hidden.

The amply sized high-res screen is also more than welcome for truly enjoying your videos. And if you have the video stand you might as well think twice before bringing your portable video player the next time you are going out.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: FM radio is also nice
The FM radio on Nokia 5800 XpressMusic has a neat and simple interface and can automatically scan and save the available stations in your area. It also has RDS support and a first for Nokia phone - automatic scanning for an alternative frequency. This means that if you travel the 5800 XpressMusic will take care of auto-switching to the frequencies of your selected radio station.
 
The RDS is the best part of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic FM radio. The radio station name gets displayed with cool effects across the whole screen, while the rest of the RDS readings are printed in nicely legible text on a line at the bottom. Now, we would have preferred this font a bit larger.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic:  Image gallery touch really nice here
The gallery of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is yet another part of its interface that hasn't been drastically changed compared to its predecessors. It has neither the swanky 3D view mode, nor the customizable slideshow we are used to seeing in the Nseries. The only difference here is the added touch-friendliness. In fact, the gallery is one of the very few places around the interface where sweep gestures are allowed. 
 
This means that you can change pictures by sweeping your finger across the screen when looking at a single photo. Opting between portrait and landscape mode is automatic, thanks to the built-in accelerometer. Unless you have that feature disabled, all you need to do to switch modes is to flip the phone sideways.
 
The photos can also be zoomed in to see more detail but the screen resolution makes sure you won't need it as much as usual. Zoom is controlled via either the volume rocker or an on-screen touch slider. In all other cases, images are displayed full screen.

Overall, picture browsing is decently fast and smooth, but the zooming is rather slow. It takes about a second on each zoom step even when dealing with 3 megapixel photos, let alone higher-res ones. At least the panning is OK.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: File manager is still really capable
The file manager is yet another aspect where the pedigree counts big time. With the soft keys at the bottom you can almost forget that you are looking at a new device.

The Symbian file management system has been top notch for quite a while now, and you can hardly think of anything to change. The application can basically do anything you can think of with your files - moving, copying renaming, sorting or sending - you name it. You can also password-protect your memory card if you see fit.
 
The searching for a specific file or directory is also available with the phone. All you need to remember is a part of the desired name and where it was located (phone memory or memory card) the 5800 XpressMusic will find it in no time.

On the negative side, there is no drag and select multiple items on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic like on Windows Mobile devices. This is the one feature that does need touchscreen to be implemented and yet Nokia engineers left it out.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic:  Disappointing camera for such a nice phone
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic has a 3.15 MP camera with a maximum image resolution of 2048x1536 pixels. Carl Zeiss optics and the dual-LED flash might have you hoping for at least above average image quality. If that's the case, you're in for quite a disappointment. The XpressMusic handset is clearly not much of a shooter.The camera key is OK to work with, and that probably is the best thing to say about imaging.

The camera UI has been significantly altered but hardly for the better, we're afraid. All the settings are now squeezed in a common menu, except for the flash, which has its own dedicated shortcut. We understand that a tabular layout wouldn't be possible with this device but some of the more important features could have had their own shortcuts too.
 
At least the range of settings that the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic offers is extensive enough: from manual white balance and ISO to exposure compensation, sharpness and contrast. Various effects are also at hand, labeled color tones.

Geotagging has been added with an official firmware update v20.0.0.12 available to end users via Nokia Software Updater application.

The viewfinder doesn't take the whole screen - a bar on the right is reserved for the touch controls. You have a settings button that launches a semi-transparent overlay of all available shooting options, a dedicated Flash button and an on-screen shutter key. Now, that last one is absolutely redundant - it doesn't have a half press/full press action to properly handle auto focus. It would've been way better to have a Quick Settings button instead.

The picture quality of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is our main concern though. It falls well below the average performance of the 3MP cameras. The images look bad even on the portable screen itself let alone on a desktop computer.

Noise levels are well above acceptable and the amount of resolved detail fails to impress. The contrast and dynamic range are decent and the colors are relatively precise though.

Truth be told, the camera is hardly the Nokia 5800 element. If taking photos with your mobile phone is your thing you should definitely look elsewhere. However if you only take an occasional shot every now and then, the camera is by no means a deal-breaker.

We've prepared an impromptu shootout between the Nokia 5800, Sony Ericsson C510 Cyber-shot and Sony Ericsson K810. Both of the Sony Ericsson devices have 3 megapixel auto focus cameras and the K810 even sports a xenon flash instead of a dual LED one.
 
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: VGA videos sound sweet
Video recording is the better part of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic imaging skills. The phone can shoot VGA footage at 30fps. Sounds like good quality and it very well is. The good frame rate makes things all the sweeter.

Videos are captured in MPEG-4 format and can have automatic or manual white balance. The other available settings are night mode, exposure and color effects. You can also have the dual-led flash on to act as a video light.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Connectivity duly covered

Smartphones are usually well-heeled in terms of connectivity. Nokia 5800 XpressMusic makes no exception: all contemporary means of data transfer are supported.

Both USB and Bluetooth are version 2.0 and the latter naturally also sports A2DP. Wi-Fi with UPnP support is also at hand.

All kinds of network connectivity are at the user disposal - GPRS, EDGE and 3G with HSDPA. By the way if you are want to know which version of the 5800 XpressMusic you should get - the one with dual-band 900/2100 MHz UMTS or the 850/1900 MHz variety you might want to consult our Worldwide Network Bands distribution database.

Finally, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic has a memory card slot, which can usually give you the fastest data transfer rates.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Web browser is a mixed bag
The web browser of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is about the same as on the latest S60 3rd edition devices. This is a real pity. A great browser already, it could've simply kicked butt on a touchscreen device. But not this time, folks. Apparently Nokia either lacked the time or the will, so we're left with not the best touch-optimized version of the browser we know and appreciate.

Panning is the only thing that is done by sweep gestures here, and zoom is controlled by tapping on the screen. However the three zoom steps that are controlled via taps aren't the most suitable we can think of. Those include fit to width, fit to height and a third one, which seem to have no reasonable explanation. The first two are however always assuming that you use the handset in portrait position, which gets quite annoying at times.

Furthermore, even if you happen to be in portrait mode and choose the fit-to-width zoom level, the text does not automatically center onscreen. Instead you will have to align it manually, which is nonsense really.

At least the page rendering algorithm is quite good, making all the pages look as if browsed from a desktop PC. The high resolution is also a welcome bonus here, as it allows more content to fit on the screen.

Finally, the web browser has full support for both Flash and Java, which means that you can enjoy flash videos straight from your browser without having to use the mobile versions of sites like YouTube.

So, generally speaking, the first S60 touch-browser is quite a disappointment. The only advantage over previous versions is sadly not touchscreen, but display resolution. And that's seriously undermined by the not so good software implementation. We certainly hope Nokia invest enough effort to make one of the most important applications more user-friendly.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Time-management capabilities are good enough
The S60 organizer didn't obviously get too much effort beyond the actual touch optimization. Well, developers were right up to a point but, given the progress of most competitors, some new functionality would have been nice - like copy/paste of events in the calendar or a new calculator. We have to admit though that the calculator is much more comfortable operating with fingers than with a D-pad, almost as if it was designed for such use from the very beginning. Now let's just hope new non-touchscreen devices get something better.

The calendar has four different view modes - monthly, weekly, daily and to-do, which allows you to check up all your To-Do entries regardless of their date. There are the same four types of events available for setting up as on S60 3rd edition - Meeting, Memo, Anniversary and To-do. Each event has unique fields of its own, and some of them allow an alarm to be activated at a preset time to act as a reminder.

Mobile office is also very well geared, with preinstalled applications able to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files seamlessly. The PDF viewer wasn't preinstalled on our unit but you can get it free off the Nokia download center.

Unluckily, editing documents is not supported by the included Quickoffice version. If you would like editing enabled you will have to get the upgrade from the Nokia Download center for a fee.

The organizer package also includes a great unit converter, calculator and voice recorder, as well as the Notes application.

The alarm application allows you to set up as many alarms as you want, each with its own name, trigger day and repeat pattern. If this seems too complicated, there is a quick alarm setup where all you do is set the time and you're good to go. This is quite convenient for, say, setting up your wake-up alarm. In addition, the number of alarms is not limited. Thanks to the built-in accelerometer you can also snooze the alarm by simply flipping your phone, much like with the Nokia 8800 Arte.
 
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Gaming: Accelerometer in the focus
Accelerometer-based games were expected to be the focus of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Truth is, our unit only came with two preinstalled games and only one of them could make use of the orientation sensor. Moreover, control isn't nearly as precise as we hoped it to be and, while the big screen is certainly a welcome advantage, touch-operated devices are no match for a regular keypad when it comes to gaming.

You can also download an extra free game at the Nokia download center and several manufacturers have already come up with their own titles. You will have to spend some cash on the latter, though. Java games can also be considered an option but finding ones that run fullscreen would be a hard job (or better yet a lost cause).

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic doesn't have N-Gage gaming support, so if you are after that, you'd be better off with an N-series device.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Third-party applications
At the time of writing of this review, there are not many third-party applications for the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. The Symbian S60 5th edition is just too new. Back in the day when S60 3rd edition was first introduced the situation was pretty much the same. We had to wait a good six months before a reasonable amount of application became available.

Now the S60 5th edition is not totally incompatible with the S60 3rd edition apps. It's just that their behavior is rather unpredictable.

We tried running the Symbian version of Google Maps for Mobile for example and it ran just fine despite the incompatibility warning. It even had nice thumbable controls and made use of the built-in GPS receiver.

In the same time the native version of the Opera Mobile 9.5 web browser started just fine but did not respond to any of the touch input on screen.

So naturally, in times like these, users turn their attention to the Java world. We tried several Java applications with variable level of success (due to the touchscreen and high resolution). The good news however is that all Java titles can run in landscape mode too.

The Opera Mini web browser ran almost flawlessly and we were pretty happy with it. It was running fullscreen, it accepted touch command easily and it also allowed for auto screen rotation. Using the Opera Mini Java application is really nice The same goes for Gmail for Mobile.

With all Java games, the handset offers a virtual D-pad and gaming A, B, C, D buttons so you can make use of non-touch-enabled games. There's an option to hide those controls, but that doesn't mean you will be able to play Java games fullscreen - they have fixed resolutions.

One of the Java game titles that we tried (Prince of Persia) had a special version for 5800 and accepted touch commands. The other Java titles (intended for QVGA resolution) required the use of the virtual controls (which in one case were not sufficient).

So summing it up, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic third-party application support is a mixed bag and you have to either test applications for yourself or turn to the online forums for a heads-up.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: GPS is very good
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic comes with a built-in GPS receiver and judging on our experience it seems a highly sensitive unit. The handset managed to acquire satellite lock from cold start in a moving car in about two minutes which is basically as good as it gets. A-GPS might have sliced a few additional seconds from that time had it been turned on.

The large high-resolution screen sounds like a serious premise for reasonable use as a dedicated navigation unit. Unfortunately, the 5800 XpressMusic has no free voice guided navigation, unlike most other Nokia GPS-enabled devices recently, but that could be expected with that kind of price tag.

The phone also comes with Nokia Maps 2.0 Touch preinstalled. As you might have guessed this is merely a touch-enabled version of the standard Nokia Maps 2.0 application. It offers extensive map coverage for free but you do need to pay for most of its extra features such as traffic information or city guides.

As we just mentioned you will also have to buy the voice-guided navigation license, should you pick the application for the purpose. At least the actual purchase itself is quite simple directly via the phone interface. If you prefer an alternative navigation software, you might want to carefully look around for a compatible version.

The touch-enabled Nokia Maps application itself is doing pretty well in terms of features too. It has four different view modes including satellite and hybrid maps. Those however do need an internet connection. The more regular 2D and 3D view modes are also at hand.Nokia Maps 2.0 Touch application offers four view modes

The route planning algorithm is also rather easy to customize to best suit your preferences. Toll roads and motorways can be avoided and so can tunnels and ferries. Route selection can be set to either fastest or shortest. The app is also usable for pedestrian navigation or you can switch the GPS receiver off and use the phone as a hand-held map.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: Some of the available settings
However, we do have some to say about touch implementation. The lack of a dedicated shortcut on the screen means you need to enter the options menu to center the map back to your current position after you have panned in some direction - in a regular keypad handset, the 0 key will take care of that. On the positive side, panning and zooming in the maps is really fast and the high-res screen is capable of showing quite a lot of data.

One of the biggest upgrades to Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is that since January 2010 all Nokia GPS-enabled Symbian handsets have free lifetime voice-guided navigation. To make use of that, the users of devices running S60 3.2 or later (and that includes all touch devices) need to download the latest 3.3 version of Ovi Maps (that’s how the Nokia Maps is known now).

Ovi Maps navigation is currently available in 74 countries and 46 languages, with even traffic information for more than 10 of those. In addition Nokia have also substantially upgraded the Ovi Maps application itself, so it now packs a cooler looking interface, the Lonely planet city guide and Michelin restaurant guide with lots and lots of points of interest. There's also an events guide that lists all events happening within a 3km radius of your position and provides you with details on each one.

You can download the latest update from the Ovi Store or from here.

Final words On Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
OK then, what we have here is two newbies in the touchscreen league. A fact's a fact, but it's not exactly the kind of newbies everyone will look down at. Market leaders Nokia and the top selling smartphone platform must be ready to take a few beatings at the start of season but will hardly settle in for a long losing streak.

The competition is already in their second or third generation of touchscreen devices so the battle will be tough. Apple, WinMo, Samsung and LG have statistics in their favor. What's more, the number two manufacturer, Samsung, is also into S60 so Nokia may as well be taking due precautions against getting beaten in their own game.

That said, introducing a mid-range handset to debut the touch-enabled S60 sure looks a smart move. It lowers the expectations (flaws are less of an issue) and makes sure the platform sells well so that it can build up a wider user and developer base. And once it has enough reach - and testing time - the real flagship descends to reap the benefits.

For an even more effective camouflage, there goes the XpressMusic branding. And Nokia have done well to eclipse potential touch UI glitches with the best audio quality the house has pulled off to date. Not least, the Comes with Music service does get a boost too.

Anyway, at the end of this review we still feel Nokia 5800 is a worthy deal. Sure you get an interface that's immature, inconsistent and quite clumsy but the package you get for that kind of cash is a bargain and even Nokia's sworn enemies admit that.

The full house retail box and the highly competitive sub-300 euro price against most of the touchscreen competition should be enough of a motivation. It's also likely for third party applications to grow at a frantic rate over the next couple of months, as the market for them gets larger and larger.

And you can bet that there's a bargain at the other end too. Nokia's gain is feedback on its new Touch UI. We just hope that feedback gets smartly used.Information Source: GSMArena
 
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