Friday, September 08, 2006

Nokia N92 and DVB-H

As I had already commented, I was going to test a Nokia N92-1 Prototype. Nokia N92 is not out on the market at the moment of writing this entry but there are some devices out there for testing purposes.

It has S60 3rd edition platform on Symbian 9.1 running on it. The operating system is really buggy. I thought it was due to the prototype thing but a workmate has just acquired a Nokia N80 and it is the same for him: bugs in WiFi connection, also in Bluetooth when trying to use some GPS which give no problems with many other phones and PDAs, browser saying it has run out of memory and not any other software is running.

On the other hand, N92 (and N80) both support FOTA (Firmware Over The Air). I checked this feature on the N92 but no new firmware around. When I commented this to my workmate, he said that there is no FOTA option available in the N80. Later, after some search, he told me that he should send his phone to the support service so they can flash it there. It looks like the new firmware will have FOTA enabled.

The keys feel great, the screen looks incredibly (the best one I have ever seen on a mobile phone) and the camera shoots good pics and records fairly good videos. For me, no phone is good at pics and videos no matter what the megapixels (a matter of lens quality and size). But it is the best in that too in the mobile phones I could ever experience.

What about DVB-H? Abertis Telecom is broadcasting some spanish channels from one single point of Gijon. That makes it hard to receive the signal with enough power in some parts of the city. Here sitting on the sofa, I get a signal with 40% of power.

TV looks great on the phone, except for some lags once in a while. I guessed it is due to the power of the signal and the decoding chip having problems with it. But being 15 metres close to the antenna broadcasting the signal shows that those lags happen from time to time (including short periods of signal loss).

It is a pity that they are transmitting EPG (Electronic Program Guide) just saying the name of the channel and that it is being broadcasted from 3 am to 3 am. A proper EPG would have let me experience some features of the N92 like turning on RealPlayer to watch a given program selected by the user or record it in the background as I normally use the mobile phone (while being idle, for example).

I have enjoyed the experience a lot and I guess the problems will be fixed if they decide to bring DVB-H out to the market. One point that worries me about the success of this technology is signal coverage. DVB-T is mostly useful for people travelling (for example, by train) and if I do not have it available all the way through, it is no fun at all.

About the phone and the software platform, I am a Symbian enthusiast and I have just read an offer of N80 phones by just 349€ (pretty cheap here in Spain... how much is it abroad? comments expected) so I am going for it tomorrow. Only 200 units available so I hope I do not have to use my Jiu-Jitsu or Aikido. Especially, because I have never practiced either of them ;-)

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