Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

Transitioning from Symbian to Android, and Goodbye…for now.

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My apologies for those who have kept up with my site while I haven’t over the past year. A lot has changed for me since I last updated this site. I moved to Chicago following a job offer to work at US Cellular as a retail wireless consultant in late 2009, I sold my I8910 and bought a Nexus One from Google, and I’ve been keeping myself really busy with work and my new life in the city. Because of this, my interest in writing anything about Symbian declined to absolute zero. That said, I find it only fair to detail what the experience has been like transitioning from a hardcore Symbian fan to an avid Android user and to give this site a proper farewell. So without further ado, here is why I left Symbian, and why I will most likely never buy another Symbian device again.

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Written by Jonathan

October 17, 2010 at 8:00 am

Just so we’re clear…

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YES, it works on AT&T 3G in the US. Read this.

Written by Jonathan

August 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Getting the most out of your i8910HD: Manufacturer Codes

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*#0228#

As I mentioned in my review of the Samsung i8910HD, there are several manufacturer codes that can be used to tweak performance of all sorts of different features. While the phone is very capable out of the box, it’s a real advantage to be able to access these hidden settings to tune your device exactly to your liking. In this brief, I’ll go some of the major tweaks, how to perform the tweaks yourself, and how to not damage your phone in the process.

This list is my compilation of information found on the Samsung i8910 Omnia forums and all credit goes to Briggs and the members. If you’d like to read about more device codes to experiment with,  please feel free to give them a visit and say thanks if you do.

Before you attempt any of the codes found in this guide, I want to warn that it is not clear what implications this may have on your warranty. While this guide is safe to make minor improvements to the i8910HD, I take no liability for any damage you do to your phone if you experiment outside the parameters of this guide, nor if your warranty becomes void from performing any of these changes. You are making alterations to your device at your own risk. It is also recommended you write down the previous values for any settings you change in the event you want to change them back to default.

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Samsung i8910HD Review: THE device of 2009?

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The road to getting myself settled with a Samsung i8910HD has certainly been a long one. After going through 2 defective 8gb i8910HD’s and getting a 16gb that works properly, about a dozen headaches trying to get the firmware software installed and running properly on my PC, and going through almost all of the different available firmwares for the phone, I’ve finally gotten myself comfortable enough to write a proper review. Hopefully I’ll be able to highlight some features of the i8910HD that haven’t been featured in any of the other reviews that have already been published and shed some light on how the i8910HD performs for those who can’t handle one themselves so easily.

I purchased two defective 8gb i8910HD’s from CellsWholesale (pending a full refund) and I purchased the 16gb i8910HD used in this review from Mobile City Online for $725 total ($699+25 overnight shipping, now backordered).

Thanks to all who attended the live Q+A on Qik! If you missed it (and have a couple hours to kill), you can watch the full video here.

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There is NO 1GHz i8910HD, Updated

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Update: If some research and a dab of common sense weren’t enough, Samsung India has taken down the 1GHz line from the product description and replaced it with the proper specifications listed below.

Recently, a lot of mobile blogs and forums have worked themselves into a tizzy over Samsung India posting the specs of the 16gb i8910HD with an added line that reads “1GHz CPU Powering Innovative 3D UI” and jumping to the conclusion that Samsung put in a newer, faster processor for this release. For those that bothered to look into the actual CPU hardware used in the Samsung i8910HD, you might have noticed this line:

OMAP3430 – 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP (Image Signal Processor)

Paying attention to the bolded numbers, neither of them come close to 1GHz. It’s only when you add the clockspeeds of the main CPU and the DSP that you get 1030MHz, or 1GHz. That’s all well and good, but NO other mobile CPU is clocked in the same manner. If they were, then that means the N97 is running at 694MHz, the N95 is clocked at 552MHz, and the Palm Pre is clocked over 1GHz.

It also means that EVERY i8910HD on the market has a 1GHz CPU as well.

TechRadar’s post regarding the same topic digs a bit deeper and reminds of Samsung’s previous history with errors on their own website. I’m reminded of Nokia copying and pasting information from the Euro device specifications onto the NAM device pages without bothering to change even the frequencies.

Still don’t believe me? Consider the contrary. Pretending Samsung DID change the processor  it would be a production miracle if Samsung was able to…

A-1. place an order for X,000 (or more) new Qualcomm chipsets (including all of the licensing and purchasing details from TI), OR
A-2. rush their own 1GHz Hummingbird CPU into production a few weeks after it was announced,
B. re-write the drivers necessary for the hardware and operating system to work properly with the new chipset,
C. re-manufacture the next batch of i8910HD’s with this new chipset, and
D. do it all within the 2-3 months the original has been available.

There is NO 1GHz i8910HD. Or, if you like, ALL i8910HD’s are 1GHz. You decide. Either way,

it’s the same device.

Written by Jonathan

August 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Why isn’t Nokia marketing video recording?

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The day after I landed from the N97 24/7 Tour, I had a commitment to a friend to join him at Mayhem Fest, an outdoor concert with several stages of some very heavy bands (only a couple of which I was remotely interested in). Still rocking the N97 (and a spare battery), I took a few pictures and videos of some things I wanted to remember. One thing I quickly noticed was everybody holding up their Blackberry, iPhone, or even a basic flip phone to capture pictures and video the same way I was.

Trivium and the crowd, taken with the N97.

This really got me rethinking the quality of the entire Nseries line (post-N95) and it dawned on me that this would be an excellent opportunity for Nokia to make an impact in the US market. There are very few devices that can record video (with excellent audio as well) and take pictures as nicely as the Nseries devices do, and I can’t imagine those people trying to use those alternative devices are happy reviewing the media they captured when they get home. Those devices certainly don’t capture anything you’d want to effectively share with friends or upload to a sharing website.

I would guess that over 99% of the people there had a phone of some kind and Lakewood Amphitheatre’s capacity is just under 20,000. Something as simple as a commercial showcasing the high-end video recording capabilities would go a long way. I imagine a narrator talking over a guy recording a video of his favorite band at a concert, cut to him getting home to watch the video and being disappointed at how pixelated and choppy it came out. A quick pitch of x device or the Nseries while he records that band again, an after shot of him looking much happier at his desktop, reviewing and uploading a much better quality video, and you’ve got a winning commercial.

Taking it one step further, why not setup small experience centers AT the venues so people could watch that commercial and play with the devices first hand, right next to one of the stages, and see exactly how nice the video comes out? The center could have a flat-screen with an Nseries connected to it via a TV-out cable playing clips people have recorded or a slideshow of pictures captured of the various bands. After everyone gets blown away by all that, a rep could give a demo of Share Online and show them that they don’t even need to get back to their computer to share their content on their favorite sharing site. There are tons of opportunities and it would connect to people who like all different styles of music.

Hit the break for some a quick sample of video I took at the concert, just to give you an example.

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Live Qik Session N97 Tour Q+A and General Discussion

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Props to Andrew Currie for starting the first two rounds of live Qik sessions answering questions about the N97 Tour. Tomorrow at 11am EST, I will be hosting the second round on my newly received i8910 (with some pretty creative rigging since I don’t have a tripod). If you have questions about the tour, my recent N97 review, or anything else, hit up my Qik page tomorrow.

Qik.com/jbruha, live at 11am EST on 7/29

Update:

And it’s over! Thanks to everyone who showed up! It looks like we’re going to do several of these with each of the N97 24/7 Rockstars over the next week or so.

If you want to see what we talked about, you can check the embedded Qik videos after the break (Warning: It’s 6 parts and just under two hours).

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Written by Jonathan

July 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm