I Guess New Isn’t Always Better

I am feeling much better now that I am back to my Nokia E61. Yes, I only used the N95 for just a day and I already miss the good old QWERTY keyboard so dearly that I had to switch back. I guess I am the type of mobile user who just can’t live without a keyboard on his mobile device. 

There was numerous things I noticed to be different, and annoying, on the N95. I noticed that you can’t display your messages or email on the active standby screen. On my E61, I can easily set a default mailbox to be displayed under the active standby applications. I could choose either one of my email mailboxes or my SMS inbox. On the other hand, the N95 doesn’t have this feature.

Another thing I noticed was the bahviour of the end call button (the red button). When you press the button while using one of the built in applications that comes with the phone, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shutdown the application. A quick press-and-hold on the menu key will clearly show that the application is still running in the background. The only way to close those applications is through the application’s menu (Options -> Exit).

Another thing that was mind boggling is the device’s screensaver (or powersaver). It will only be displayed in landscape mode. There isn’t a way to change it to portrait. Now why on earth would people have to rotate the device to clearly read the time or any notices on the screensaver? I just thought it was so retarted for a screensaver to behave in this way.

One more thing I hated about the N95 is how cheap the device felt in my hand. The buttons felt somewhat loose and the sliding screen wasn’t as strong as I thought it would be. There is no doubt that the device will easily slide open accidentally just by trying to slip it into your pocket. Plus, Nokia decided to place the headphone jack on the left side of their “multimedia computer” instead of on top making it difficult to get a good grip of the device when using the headphones.

I can certainly go on and on about other things I didn’t like, but the main point here is the fact that the device failed to meet my expectations (considering the price tag) and managed, in a way or another, to make me further appreciate my E61.

So as it turns out, I am more of an E-Series than an N-Series guy.

My Nokia N95 8GB Has Arrived

That’s right, and I am using my new Nokia N95 8GB right now to type out this blog post. The phone’s build quality isn’t as good as I thought or imagined. What I did notice is the phone’s speedy performance compared to the E61. Nevertheless, it certainly serves it’s main and only purpose as a multimedia phone.

Honestly, using the phone’s numpad to blog or type a message or a web address is frustrating, painfull and extremely time consuming. It definitly makes me miss using my E61’s QWERTY keyboard. I don’t think I will be using this phone for a long time since I do a lot of typing. That being said, the phone did impress me with its kick ass camera as well as the loud and clear stereo speakers.

Windows Live Calendar isn’t available

I always seem to get a problem whenever I try to go to my Live Calendar from my Windows Live account. The screenshot above is the latest problem I got when I tried to see my calendar this morning.

The bigger problem here is not that it’s not working, but mainly the fact that this has been happening for a long time now. I have always experienced problems logging onto my Windows Live Calendar ever since I created my Windows Live account. And someone please tell me why the Windows Live Calendar Beta is taking forever to get released? For God’s sake, it’s been over a year now.

I hope I am not the only one here with these technical problems. But either way, it’s getting really annoying.


Reconsidering Samsung OMNIA i900

For some reason whenever I look at a video review or a photo of the Samsung OMNIA i900 I feel like the need to grab hold of the device and trying it out. I’ve had a Windows Mobile 6 Professional device before (HTC Advantage X7501) and I thought it had great features and excellent software library, but the device’s form factor threw me off and I had to get rid of it. 

The Samsung OMNIA, on the other hand, comes in a smaller factor, a kick ass 5MP digital camera with auto-focus, built in GPS and Wi-Fi, heptic feedback, a large batter capacity and a lot more great features. It’s a device that is hard to forget about, even if you own an iPhone. And since it’ll be running Windows Mobile you know for a fact that you will be able to use push email, your Windows Live account for instant messaging and blogging, and a lot more.

Anyways, I am still thinking if I should consider getting this device to try it out.


Once you go QWERTY you never go back

Whenever I get the opportunity to buy a new cellphone, I always look for that QWERTY keyboard. I just don’t think I can do the many things I do daily on my cellphone without it. I blog, write notes, surf the web and schedule appointments all on my cellphone. And without a QWERTY keyboard it will certainly take me longer to perform any of these tasks. Not to mention the frustration that comes from not hitting the right button a certain number of times to get that special or numeric character on a numpad. 

One of the reasons why I am still attached to my Nokia E61 is for the fact that I can type fast on it. The keyboard buttons feel great and anyone can quickly get used to it. Believe it or not, I bought numerous phones and kept switching back and forth between devices but I always end up going back to my Nokia E61. I have had this device for years now and I still see no reason to completely replace it. If anything, I might replace it with its latest successor, the Nokia E71. Hmmm, now that I mentioned it, that wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Nokia N95 – Best camera phone?

I have researched the web high and low to find the best camera phone and one phone in particular keeps showing up. The Nokia N95

Nokia Ovi and flickr has thousands, if not more, of photos take by Nokia N95 owners all around the globe and all of them prove the fact that it is the best and most popular camera phone in the market so far. The photos are vibrant and full of colour. Even videos taken by the phone look so professional and crystal clear.

So there you have it. If you are looking for the best camera and video phone out there, then look no further than the Nokia N95. It certainly won’t disappoint you. You might even end up ditching your digital camera.

So, what is the perfect cellphone?

Everyone thinks differently when it comes to choosing a cellphone. Some look for multimedia features and some look for internet and email features. And there are those whom just want to send and receive phone calls. I am definitely not one of them

For me, the perfect cellphone would have a lot of high end features as well as a large touchscreen. It must have the following: GPS, WiFi, bluetooth, QWERTY keyboard, multi-language support, at least 3.2″ high-res touchscreen, LED light indicator, at least 5MP camera with auto-focus, fast processor, large built-in storage, desktop-like browser, a large battery and an upgradable firmware. In other words, a mean pocketable machine.

Oh, I forgot to mention one more thing: It has to cost less than $700.

SonyEricsson’s XPERIA phone comes close to what I am looking for, but it will run the slow and ugly Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. The iPhone lacks a physical keyboard, a descent camera, and a good battery life. The Nokia N95 8GB is a great device but it doesn’t have a QWERTY keyboard or a touchscreen.

So as you can see, the perfect phone I am looking for doesn’t exist yet. But there are numerous alternatives that I am forced to accept to live with.

I will soon receive my iPhone 16GB in the mail which I sent to AppleCare for repairs two weeks ago, and my dad will bring a Nokia N95 8GB, that I asked him to buy for me, when he arrives to Canada a week from today. Which means I will be comparing all devices, including my current Nokia E61, and figure out which one I will favour the most.

So stay tuned.

Where is everything stored on Windows Live?

I have been thinking about this for a while and something isn’t making sense to me at all. Windows Live seems to have a strange way handling content storage.

If you have a Windows Live Hotmail account, you can purchase the Hotmail Plus service which gives you 10GB of mail and attachment storage. So, all your mail and any documents, images, and files in general are stored under the Windows Live Hotmail umbrella.

When you create a Windows Live Spaces account, you can blog and upload images to your Space. Anything you create or upload is stored under the Windows Live Spaces umbrella.

If you heard of Windows Live SkyDrive, you’d know that you can use this free service to upload and store pretty much anything you want on your SkyDrive. Up to 5GB of documents, images, MP3 files, videos, ZIP files, and any type of file can be stored on your SkyDrive account.

Were you one of the few lucky ones to get an invitation to create your new Windows Live Mesh account? Well this means that’s an additional 5GB of any type of content that you can share and synchronize between PCs, MACs, and Windows Mobile devices. The content is stored under the Windows Live Mesh umbrella.

Each of the services I mentioned above seems to have its own storage which cannot be shared between any of them.

I also have to say that I keep wondering what the purpose of Windows Live SkyDrive is now after Windows Live Mesh came out. You can store whatever file you want on your Mesh just like you would do on SkyDrive. So what’s the difference? Those two services seem to be conflicting a bit with one another when it comes to storage.

The main question here, is why have a different storage size or location for every Windows Live service? A better way to handle the storage for these services should be simple and straight forward.

Here is my solution: Windows Live SkyDrive should be the main storage location for all Windows Live services. Each Windows Live user gets a certain amount of storage on his SkyDrive which can be expanded by purchasing extra storage. A user’s SkyDrive will then dedicate a portion of its storage to every Windows Live service the user subscribes to. So, for your Hotmail account, SkyDrive will dedicate and create a portion of its storage to store your email and attachments. The same applies to Windows Live Spaces where a portion of SkyDrive’s storage will be used to store your posts and uploaded images. Live Mesh should not act as a storage centre, but instead it should just be a service that syncs data between devices that is stored either on a client computer or on the user’s SkyDrive.

It’s all about keeping it simple for the end user.


Windows Live Tags: windows live, hotmail, spaces, skydrive, mesh

From 6GB To 300MB? You’re Joking, Right?

I called up Fido today to ask about their limited time data plan promotion. The data plan option costs $30 for 6GB of data. Personally, I thought that’s as good as it gets when it comes out from either Fido or Rogers. So after talking to a Fido representative, it turns out that this offer is only available on selected fido handsets and requires a whopping 3 year monthly plan. So they expect me to use one specific handset for 3 years. Well, that’s when I was about to hang up. 

The funny thing, is when I told him that I just wanted a data plan option for my Nokia E61 phone so that I can browse the web, check email, chat, and use google maps without worrying about how much it will cost me. He then suggested a $30 data option that I can add to my existing plan which will give me 300MB. So I called to ask about a 6GB data plan and it turned out that I didn’t meet the requirements, and then he suggested the next best thing which was, sadly, 300MB for exactly the same price.

I don’t know what to say folks. It seems that the cellphone products are way ahead in technology that the wireless carrier it’s running on. You can get GPS, desktop like browsing, great multimedia features, bigger storage capacity, big bright clear screens, and built in QWERTY keyboards on a single cellular device and it will still not cost you a fortune. But try to get a decent monthly data plan to make use of all those great features and you’ll find yourself spending and arm and a leg on a monthly or yearly basis.

Our wireless carriers are still way behind and will take years for them to catch up. But then again why would they care. It’s not like they’re not making millions in profit by ripping off customers, including yours truly.

Is It Time For a Time Out?

Just recently I started to feel that I need some sort of a time out from everything related to the internet, communication and electronics. I won’t be surprised to know that there is scientific word or term that described such a symptom. I mean, somedays I can’t imagine myself living a day without being connected somehow to the WWW. Shouldn’t that be a sign that I am somewhat attached, in a high degree, to the internet and/or mobile devices? 

Recently I have been having this crazy idea in my head about totaly disconnecting myself from the web and any wireless device that can connect me to the web. Currently, I have a smartphone that I cant use to either blog, chat on msn, send and receive emails, as well as read recent news through RSS feeds or directly on a website through a web browser. And I have to admit that I do use all these features constantly and, mostly, on a daily basis. So by giving up why smartphone at home, this would tremendously help disconnect me from the web.

Another device I constantly use is my laptop. Although I do hate the fact that I have to be sitting in a particular way to use it, as oppose to a smartphone, I still tend to spend a lot of time surfung the web on my laptop when I am at home. Therefore taking my laptop away and out of my reach will also greatly help in reducing my online presence.

But will I actually do it? I doubt it. But it certainly makes me wonder. How would my life be without using computers and surfing the web as often and as frequent as today?