Archive for the ‘south africa’ Tag

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.

Amazing Lumia launch party in Cape Town!   Leave a comment

What an amazing experience! Look, all in all the launch party wasn’t much different to the launch event in Jo’burg last week. That’s not to say it is a bad thing –  not at all. The effort put in by Nokia and their media partners was clear for all to see.

Most of the launch details were already revealed at last week’s party, for a summary of that event see my related post.

There was however one or two other interesting points:

  • Vodacom has exclusivity for 6 weeks. That means that if you start counting from the 7th of February, which is when the Lumia 800 will be widely available through Vodacom, the other service providers should have the Lumia 800 by the end of March.
  • The partnership between Nokia/Microsoft and Vodacom is a really strong one. Vodacom was again the only service provider present. Steve Kerrigan, the head of sales at Vodacom in the Western Cape described it as a partnership of great brands, which is quite a strong statement.
  • Nokia really has a lot of locally relevant content already lined up. While having som hands-on time with the Lumia 800 I had a look at both the News24 app as well as the local content in Mix Radio and I must tell you both are really impressive. especially Mix Radio, as in each selectable genre, you have a “local artists” section. Everything from Kurt to Kwaito.
  • After spending some time with the Lumia 800, I must tell you that it really is an AMAZING device. Everything from the polycarbonate body, curved screen, to the lightning fast interface  translates into a truly exceptional package. One truly cannot form your final opinion about the Lumia 800 without spending some time with it.

Now for more of the very impressive marketing at the Lumia launch event. While waiting for the event to start laser beams located at the front of the room were shining on the wall at the back of the room.

The event then started in ernest with a string of speakers:

  • First of all Mark Strathmore, Head of Ecosystem Alliances SA took the stage basically punting Nokia’s reach.
  • Afterwards Patric Henchie, Head of products SA, officially introduced the Nokia Lumia range of smartphones. In short he went through most of the selling points of the Lumia range as well as mentioning some of Nokia’s built-in software, like Nokia drive and Mix Radio.
  • Next up was Anthony Doherty, operator channels director at Microsoft SA. He claimed that after tonight the impact the Nokia Lumia will have locally will be clear to see.
  • Steve Kerrigan, Head of sales at Vodacom in the Western Cape, the describes the partnership between Microsoft, Nokia and Vodacom as a partnership of great brands. He also mentioned that there would be a huge marketing campaign starting from the 7th of February.
  • Patri Henchie, who to a large extent played MC for the evening, then finished off the speeches with an invite to play with the Lumia 800 at the back of the stage.

All through the evening there was enough to drink should anyone need to after the breath-taking events

Again there were numerous dance events to keep everyone entertained. First was the Neon dancers seen @ Vodaworld:

To get the party started tap dancers joined one another on the dance floor untill there were quite a large number of dancers tapping away. They tapped untill fire works revealed no less than 3x DJ’s who took over the music playing responsibilities.

Just as the dancing on the stage stopped, the dancing on the floor began, with streamers falling out of the roof and other special effects on stage to ensure everybody is in the party mood.

All in all it was a very successful evening in my opinion. Throughout the evening there was a palpable feeling of excitement in the air. You got the sense that all the role players were convinced that they nailed it. They honestly believe that they have great hardware, with amazing software backed by the country’s largest service provider – and I would agree that they have a winning formula!

Again I would just like to thank Nokia and their marketing partners for my invite to a great event. Hopefully it was the first of many…

Something amazing coming to Cape Town   1 comment

At first I thought that Gauteng got all the Lumia love, but I am ecstatic to be wrong! I today received an invite (many thanks to Nokia) to what I expect to be the Nokia Lumia launch right here in Cape Town! Below is the invite I received:

I know, I know, the RSVP date has al ready passed. Although I suspect that my relatively young blog needed a bit more time to have the necessary impact. I do not expect anything new to be announced on the 31st of January, but I do think that the Lumia 800 will be available in the Cape Town area before the 7th of February. I know, I for one can’t wait, so that in itself will be great news!

I do however suspect that there will be a promotion similar to the free Xbox deal officially revealed yesterday at Vodacom World. Please note though, that this hunch has no basis more reliable than my own optimistic expectations.

If anyone knows of any other Vodashops where the Lumia 800 is al ready available (Excluding of course Vodacom World, Midrand), please mention it in the comments section so all the Nokia fans out there know where to go to satisfy their Lumia hunger:)

As with the event in Midrand, please note that it is a private event. Be sure though that you can get all the latest updates from the launch by following @allaboutnokiasa on twitter .

Confirmed: Nokia Lumia 800 to be released locally on the 7th of February   9 comments

Ladies and gentlemen: The eagle has landed. The following image is strait from Nokia RSA’s facebook page.

Categories:

  • Nokia Lumia, Try it like you own it: This is just a link to a demo of the Lumia 800/710. It’s basically the same demo which I posted a link to earlier.
  • Countdown do 29 days of amazing: This is probably a 29day marketing campaign which will stretch the length of February.
  • View reactions : Links to more info ont he Lumia 800
  • Make everyday amazing in every way: This is probably a Facebook based marketing campaign or maybe even a competition…
  • Arrives 7 Feb: This is the big one. Looks like we only have to wait 21 more days (more or less) for the Lumia 800 to be available locally.

Be sure to check in frequently, as I’ll post pre-order details as soon as its available!

Posted January 17, 2012 by allaboutnokiasa in Lumia 800, Nokia, vodacom

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Nokia Lumia 800 launch details to be confirmed 25 January 2012   Leave a comment

Before I say anything else, please note that this is a private event and only those lucky enough to receive an invite like the one below will be allowed in. No, I am not one of the lucky ones, that privilege fell to an anonymous tipster who tipped off WPCentral.com by sending them a copy of the invite seen below:

It doesn’t explicitly say that it’s a launch event, but it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines. As stated in a recent post, Nokia looks set to continue with its elaborate marketing campaign seen globally, right here at home. I really hope the Lumia will be available as soon as possible as I for one, can’t wait to get my hands on one 🙂

As always, the contract pricing will be updated in the buyer’s guide as soon as its available.

 

Why your next smartphone should be a Windows Phone based Nokia   Leave a comment

Reason 1: Nokia’s back!

The main reason for this is debatable, but most would agree all the changes is thanks to a certain Mr. Stephen Elop. Stephen Elop (born 31 December 1963) is Nokia’s CEO and a Canadian citizen. This is significant because Mr. Elop is the first non-Finn to be named CEO of Nokia and replaced Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in this position on September 21, 2010.

That in itself says a lot about how the company has changed. Nokia was founded as a company in 1871, so it took them 137 years to change to a non-Finn. That in a word has been Nokia’s biggest probelm…change. In March 2007, Nokia launched the Nokia N95 with the slogan “what computers have become”. It dominated sales charts worldwide. At almost the same time Apple launched the first iPhone – a totally different form factor with its touch-screen only interface and it revolutionized the smartphone industry. It took Nokia almost a year to respond to the competition by releasing the 5800 XpressMusic – an entry-level touch screen smartphone with a user interface which pales to the then magic of iOS. 11 Months in Tech terms is a life time to respond to change.

The resistance to embracing change has been a trait that has defined Nokia, a trait that ended in February 2011 when Stephen Elop sent the now infamous “burning platform” memo to company employees.  In it he bemoans missed opportunities and identifies multiple strategic challenges to the mobile phone company. Technology insiders and journalists have since remarked that the memo was a wake-up call for Nokia (“It is one of the most combustible and gripping documents ever to emerge from a major corporation – BBC.”) It was issued ahead of a Nokia analyst briefing in London, in which Mr. Elop was expected to announce big changes to the company’s strategy and senior management and he did. He basically changed how the company fundamentally functions.

Since he announced the change to windows phone in February 2011, Nokia has changed significantly. Nokia has made the change to Windows Phone, have announced 3 Windows Phones, two of which have all ready hit the market. They have decreased their workforce to optimal levels and according to Forbes, Nokia Corporation’s rating on financial markets has changed from “underperform” to “outperform”. This week they officially entered the US market by force and they are selling out all their Lumia 800’s at various stores in Europe. All in less time it took them to develop and launch the Meego based N9.

So all in all, Nokia is embracing change and are on the way up, they are starting to gain momentum by means of better management practices and that bodes very well for the future. A report by research firm Stanley and Morgan has produced the following predictions for WP based Nokia sales below:

From the report you can see that according to their predictions Nokia’s Windows Phone partnership is predicted to be a success. If the trends continues, 2014 can only lead to very impressive sales numbers.

Nokia’s marketing has also improved in leaps and bounds all around the globe. In London, Nokia got Deadmau5 and a team of light projection specialists to put on a 4D show at London’s Millbank Tower (Check it out on YouTube). In India, Nokia gave passenger planes a Nokia Lumia theme (pictures). In the United States, a market which Nokia has almost no market share in – YET), Nokia just kicked off a $200 million marketing campaign, internally refered to as “Operation Rolling Thunder“. “Operation rolling thunder” is going to focus on more engagement with tech enthusiasts, more work with retail to EDUCATE sales people on Windows Phone so they can effectively inform consumers. There will even be sales incentives of around $10-15 per handset sold to retailers. All strategies which is new to Nokia globally, never mind the in the US.

Under the fantastic headline “The Hail Mary pass is now in the air“, Tech Republic’s Jason Hiner argues that two of the big reasons that Windows Phone did not gain a larger market share in 2011 are now solved, and that if 2012 doesn’t deliver in America, they won’t be able to blame it on the handset hardware or carrier support. He does however predict that it will work and that Nokia  and WP will make a huge splash in 2012.

Heck, Nokia has even moved its regional head offices from Nairobi, Kenya to Johannesburg, South Africa (source). The new offices opened in Jo’burg at the beginning of January 2012, only a week and a half ago. A move, which I’m sure will only improve Nokia’s presence locally and further shows that Nokia is now embracing change.

I believe that if one looks at the situation in its entirety, Nokia can only succeed. The company chose a great direction and is executing it step by step. According to Anna Pavlova (1885 – 1931): “To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret to success”, and I see Nokia is following their plan, without halt and with one aim.

Reason 2: Windows Phone:

Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android both are selling really well, and in their own right they are both good operating systems. That said, if you think about it, they both are based on the same basic principle. Namely icons, widgets, home screens and shortcuts. Testament to this, is the various patent infringement court battles between the two in the recent past. Windows Phone 7 (WP7) has a totally different and much cleaner interface as can be seen below:

 Galaxy SII (Android)

Apple (iOS 5)

 Nokia Lumia (WP7)

 

Windows phone’s logo is “Put people first”. That says it all. It’s whole makeup is designed to make life easier for the consumer. Its fast, its clean and it’s a joy to use. The exact reasons why is a post on its own, one which I’ll publish as soon as I get my hands on my own Lumia 800, but the OS itself has won great praise from reviewers around the web. Some independent reviewers, like Jon Rettinger, head at Techbuffalo.com (link) and Rich Trenholm, news editor at CNET UK (link) even trading in their iPhones for a Lumia because they find themselves reaching for the Lumia 800 powered by WP7 more often than reaching for the iPhone.

All through Stephen Elop’s tenure, he as refered to the tussle for market share in the mobile phone space as a “War of ecosystems“. So he knows very well that it’s not only the user interface, or the phone design that is important, but the entire ecosystem. A big player in the ecosystem space he is referring to is the app market characteristics for the specific platform. The WP marketplace has recently reached 50,000 apps and as can be seen in the chat below, it has done so quicker than Android, Symbian and Blackberry, and only marginally slower than Apple (source).

With regards to the total number of apps in their market place, Microsoft is still behind, but not only is it growing at a very rapid rate (as can be seen above), but most of the “must have” apps are available al ready. Apps like Angry Birds, WhatsAp etc. are all available and are being updated frequently. Those which aren’t available, almost always have an alternative.

Mary Branscombe from ZDNet.com switched to WP7 (source) and concluded that: “Windows Phone is an OS that you’re not going to appreciate without using it. And ultimately, the best technology is the technology you use and want to keep using because it makes your life better.

That, in a nut shell, is what makes Windows Phone great.

Nokia has exclusive access to WP7:

Some say the partnership between Microsoft & Nokia is a last gasp effort between two has-beens. Nokia, even in the recent Symbian days has always had excellent hardware. Microsoft’s software has been the standard for a long, long time on PC with windows . Now they have combined to add what they do best to the Mobile mix. I say the its two giants combining their strengths.

The questions remains however that with Nokia putting all their eggs in the WP7 basket, how will they differentiate themselves from the competition. HTC & Samsung, amongst others, also make WP7 based phones and quite good ones at that. See, WP7 is very different to Android in that Microsoft has restricted access to the OS to ensure the experience stays on the same level, doesn’t matter which manufacturer’s phone it’s on. Android on the other hand let’s manufacturers play around with their OS as they please. Samsung has “Touch Wizz”, HTC has “Sense” and so forth. All WP7 based phone’s interfaces will look the same, except for Nokia’s that is. The answer lies in the details. To seal the deal with Nokia, Microsoft promised exclusive access to the OS. Nokia has all ready launched Nokia Drive and Nokia MusicRadio with the Lumia 800 to set them apart but that’s not all. Expect Meego’s Swipe interface, as well as other advancements to make a showing in future mainly because Stephen Elop has al ready confirmed that Nokia’s top research and most impressive hardware will all be directed towards WP. This, along with the great hardware we associate Nokia with will make them stand out from the crowd.

Reason 3: Great hardware:

Nokia has always had great hardware. Over time they have built a reputation for hardware that lasts. I still know people today, granted they are quite old people, who’s 3310’s are still fully functional. With the Lumia range of smart phones the trend is not only continuing it is improving as well. The Lumia 800 & 900’s bodies are made out of a moulded polycarbonate plastic. A design which doesn’t only ooze quality and durability, but it also stand out from the a crowd where iPhones/Android all pretty much look the same.

Nokia has a history of great camera’s as well. From the first Carl Zeiss lens on the N95 to the 12 megapixel unit on the N8, Nokia has been on the fore front of great cameras on mobile phones.  Currently both the Lumia 800 & 900 “only” feature 8 megapixel units, but to large extent that is mainly due to the limitations put down by Microsoft. If the rumours are true we will be seeing a WP bases successor for the N8 before the end of the year – now that is something to look forward to.

Conclusion:

Sure one would probably be happy with your Android/Apple smart phone, and they are both great products in their own right, but if all the reviews and buzz around the web is anything to go by, Nokia based Windows Phones will be the buzz in 2012. An example of this is the multiple awards the Nokia Lumia 900 won at CES 2012 (largest consumer electronic show in the US) which just finished in Las Vegas , USA, namely:

  • CNet’s “Best of CES” smartphone.
  • Popular Mechanics editor’s choice award for CES.
  • Popular Science “Product of the Future”.
  • LAPTOP magazine’s “Best of CES” finalists.

In my opinion, Nokia is starting to go on a roll – the only question is: Will you be part of it?

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