Archive for February 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 pricing live in the Buyers Guide   2 comments

The Vodacom contract pricing for the Nokia Lumia 800 is now live in the Buyers Guide. I am very curious how the sales of the Nokia Lumia 800 is going. I got mine as my contract was due for an upgrade, and while filling out the neccesary documentation I struck up a conversation with the Vodacom sales rep. He informed me that from their first Lumia 800 shipment of 20 phones, 14 had been sold by 17:00 on Tuesday, the 7th of February. I’ll be sure to speak to some Vodashop again in the near future to find out how sales have progressed. By the way, the cash price is  R7,199 if any of you have that much cash for a smartphone, or as one of our readers pointed out via twitter, you can get from expansys.co.za for R5,999.

How to improve the battery life of the Nokia Lumia 800   2 comments

If you’re one of the first Nokia Lumia 800 owners in South Africa, you might have noticed that that the battery don’t last very long. The first full day, and I am not meaning “heavy usage” full day playing angry birds but just a normal full working day, the battery died by 15:30. Dissapointing then…

I then Google’d or should I say Bing’ed (sounds like something to do with alcohol) the subject. Apparantly there is quite a bit one can do to extend your device’s battery life without compromising its usability to much.

Update, update, update:

First things first, Nokia has already admitted that there’s a problem with the Nokia Lumia 800’s battery performance (another sign that the company is focussing more on customer service) on their support discussions website. Basically to know if your phone has a problem, open the “Phone” application, and dial ##634#. This will open the diagnostics tool. Accept the disclaimer and select “Battery Status” from the list of options. The Full Charge Capacity should read 1400 mAh or over. If it does, there is no problem and your phone is not affected.

Nokia promised a fix in their next software update, which has already arrived. If you want to see what update you have installed or what software version you currently have on your Lumia 800, just select Settings>System>About and then select the box for “More information”. If the “Firmware revision number” is 1600.2483.8106.11500, you already have the latest Nokia update for Lumia installed. To make sure that your Lumia 800 stays up to date go to Settings>Phone Update and select “Notify me when updates are found”. Then, as soon as a new update is available, your phone will automatically display a notification. Also worth noting is that Nokia  also confirmed customer’s concerns regarding audio and camera settings and are going to address those in a series of future updates. If an update’s available you can update your device by connecting it to Zune software (download link here) on your PC or even Mac.

Not all charges charge the same:

Nokia also had the following to say about which chargers to use: “Always use the original Nokia Fast USB Charger AC-16 or the Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-185CD that came with your Lumia 800, as they are specifically designed to charge the Lumia 800 as efficiently as possible. Only a charger with an output of 1000mA will fully charge your Lumia 800 battery.” It is important to note that that excludes most Nokia chargers which shipped with older Nokia’s as well as most car charges. The only Nokia car charger I managed to find that fit’s the 1000 mAh bill is the Nokia Dual USB Car Charger DC-20. It’s available  from expansys.co.za for R244.99 and is pictured below:

Software settings options:

Now that the permanent “fixes’ are well, fixed, we can move to the small things that have a huge impact.

First off Nokia advises us to Turn on Battery Saver. Select Settings > battery saver. Note when Battery Saver is on, your phone will no longer automatically receive email and calendar updates, update some Live Tiles and allow apps to run in the background. So basically only activate this when you want to be cut off from the world but still want to be able to play angry birds. Like for instance when your camping:)

Some of their other pointers are rather more usefull. The next part of their adivse basically revolves around managing your connections as you need them. Nokia advises you too:

  • Stop your phone scanning for available Wi-Fi networks if those are not available. Select Settings > WiFi > Off.
  • Switch Bluetooth on only when you need it. Select Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Use network connections selectively. For example, if the signal strength of the mobile network varies much in your area, your phone must scan for the available network repeatedly. This increases the demand on battery power. If the 3G connection is on in the mobile network settings, your phone searches for the 3G network. To switch off the 3G connection, select Settings > mobile network, and deactivate the 3G connection.
  • Use a Wi-Fi connection to connect to the internet, rather than a mobile data (GPRS or 3G) connection.
  • Switch off your phone or switch flight mode on whenever phone is not needed, for example, while you are sleeping. Note that the alarm clock is not active if the phone is off!

This all sounds like a lot of effort. and invloces accessing Settings > etc. > etc. There is a much easier way though with a free App called “Connectivity Shortcuts“:

As can be seen above, it summarizes all the above settings in one place. So for instance, I have a WiFi network at home, so when I am at home the WiFi on my Lumia is activated while the 3G data connection is not. When I leave home, I turn the WiFi off and the 3G data connection back on. It’s easy, quick and it makes a massive difference.

If that’s not enough to get the battery life you want out of your smartphone, there is more you can do:

  • Reduce the frequency of email synchronization. Select Settings > email+accounts > YourEmail > Download new content. The shortest time available is 15 minutes which is quite short but it has a large impact as your smartphone doesn’t have to have an active data connection all the time.
  • Use a dark theme. Select Settings > theme > Background > dark. Select also dark theme in applications that offer an option.
  • Disable unneeded background applications. Select Settings (swipe left to applications tab) > background task
  • Use wired headphones, rather than the loudspeaker.
  • Switch off “connect with Xbox LIVE” when not needed. Select Xbox LIVE > Settings > Connect with Xbox LIVE. You avatar won’t be visible, but for those of us mostly only accessing Xbox to kill some time with Angry Birds don’t need it to be on all the time.

Some not so good advise:

  • Reduce the screen brightness. Select Settings > brightness > Level. Disable the automatic feature first. The brightness level also affects the Automatically adjust functionality. I am of the oppinion that this won’t help all that much as your Lumia 800 isn’t on all the time, and robbing the excellent clear black display of some of its vibrancy will take a lot out of the overall experience. So in my oppinion the reward isn’t worth the saccrifice this time around.
  • Switch off location services if not needed – so the phone will not look up your location frequently in the background. Select Settings > location > Off. Locations based services plays a large part in everything you do on your Lumia. Not only does Nokia drive use it, but bing also uses your location to provide more locally relevant search results. So again, I don’t think it’s a wortwhile option, but that’s only my personal opinion.
  • Switch off unwanted sounds and functions, for example Vibrate. Select Settings > ringtones+sounds. With the loadspeaker not all that loud, turning off vibrating to me seems like a recipe for missing import calls.

At the end of the day I am convinced that one only needs a full day’s worth of battery life from your device, as it too deserves to recharge at night while most of us are sleeping 🙂

More Nokia Lumia 800 marketing and pricing info surfaces   4 comments

First of all my apologies for the lower number of posts recently, but my son was born yesterday (3rd of Feb) at 5:27am and I’ve been rather busy since then 🙂 Quite a pity that I don’t have my Nokia Lumia 800 yet, as it would have been perfect to share all the photo’s on Facebook & Twitter. Anyway…

Nokia Lumia 800 available form the 7th of February, no really:)

It is pretty well-known that the Nokia Lumia 800 will only be available from Vodashops in South Africa on the 7th of February. As I for one an’t wait to get my hands on that polycarbonate beauty, I took a small break from the hospital and walked into my local Vodashop with the hope that they might have stock of the Lumia 800 al ready… alas not. The salesperson did inform me that they have ordered stock wich should arrive on Tuesday (the 7th of Feb) if not, then Wednesday at the latest. So I gave my details and one of the Lumia’s in that first shipment is mine:) When I enquired about pricing, the sales person informed me that they will only be getting the new month’s pricing plans on Tuesday, which explains why they will only have stock come Tuesday.

I then enquired about the marketing details for the Lumia 800. The rep then correctly informed that Vodacom & Nokia are going all out to promote the Nokia Lumia 800. He then pointed to the marketing gimmicks in the store and promptly handed me a brochure. Previously most Nokia pamphlets were good quality, but did have a “standardized” feeling about them. Meaning that you’d find the same brochure in Vodacom, MTN, CellC and numerous other shops. This time it was a bit different with Vodacom branding visible throughout the very informative brochure, of which I have some pictures below:

The rep also informed me that the marketing people responsible for the Nokia Lumia 800 wanted to put up a huge sticker in the front facing display windows, but as this particular shop is quite small, they decided against it.

Nokia Lumia 800 pricing:

Further more mybroadband.co.za reports that the cash price for the Lumia 800 will be in the region of R6,999 and also confirmed my earlier prediction that the Lumia 800 will be available from CellC, and most probably MTN, by the end of March. Interestingly the sales person also shared some rumours with me about the pricing of the Nokia N9, which of course has been available for quite some time. According the sales rep, the price of the N9 will be increased as of the 7th of February in order to make the Lumia 800 more attractive. I also enquired about sales figures for the N9 and he unsurprisingly informed me that the N9 had sold pretty badly.

He was of the opinion that the Lumia 800 would fare a lot better as his first comments were that it is really, really fast and snappy. He continued by saying that the user interface was a lot better that of the N9’s and that it al ready had more apps available. Here’s to hoping his predictions are correct and that Nokia sells truckloads full of the Lumia 800.

As always, be sure to check out the Nokia Lumia 800 section in the buyers guide, as I’ll update the contract pricing details as soon as I am able to.

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