Jan 15, 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 - Review

Got a chance today to check out my friend's new Nokia Lumia 800. The design is spectacularly sleek. Weighing just over 140 grams, it fits perfectly in your palms and the out-of-the-box experience was just so lovely. The sliding happens very seamlessly, thanks to the 1.4 GHz Scorpion processor powered by Qualcomm. Such processors have the circuitry to decode High-Definition video (HD) resolution at 720p (or 1080p depending on the chipset). You can read the complete specifications of the phone here.

The New Nokia Lumia 800
The beauty of this phone must be the combination of simplicity and stability. It's Microsoft & Nokia I meant. I never read a book to learn using Windows XP, and I never saw a Nokia phone causing any problems within an year after the purchase. The name Nokia has a lot of respect in India, and till date it is also the most sold phone here. Same goes with the case of Windows which leads the OS space. I know many people who synonymously use the words Computer and Windows XP, and would ask me, "What is it?" whenever I talk about Linux and Ubuntu.

The Menu navigation is pretty simple and superb. There is no flashy backgrounds such as a picture of a mountain or waterfall or sunset. It is very plain, but looked professional expressing Microsoft's very own elegance. With two backgrounds modes: Light  & Dark, and 11 color themes: Blue, Green, Red, Orange, Nokia Blue, Magenta, Brown, Teal, Purple, Lime, Pink, Mango, you have 22 different combinations to style your menus.  

Absence of a Front-camera is a big minus in this phone. If it comes to affording 30,000 Rupees, one would expect almost everything in it. Nokia has overcome this limitation in Lumia 900, which is yet to release in India. By the time it comes, this Lumia 800 price will go down between 20,000 - 24,000k. And there is no support for Micro SD cards. You will have to live with the internal memory of 16GB which I feel is more than enough. Like Apple, only the Micro SIM card is supported which means you either need to break your normal sized SIM card or ask your service provider for a new micro one. Another Apple emulation is the limitation of Bluetooth connectivity. You cannot connect to every available device! The only mode of data transfer then is by installing Zune (a software like Quick time) and synchronizing your phone with your desktop. I heard Airtel sells Micro SIM cards for 49 Rupees to its existing customers.

With Samsung leading the Indian smartphone market with its Android-powered Galaxy phones, Nokia has finally come back with a strong statement. As this review is only from my first-hand experience, I am eager to see the public response for this phone. With Apple looking formidable, and Android catching up at a rapid pace, it will be interesting to see what revolution would Microsoft make, with its Windows Mobile OS.

Jan 12, 2012

Out of The Box - The Inside Story

"Is it an out-of-the-box feature or does it comes with the product?", my colleague remarked. "What?", I puzzled back. He repeated the same thing again: "Is it an out-of-the-box feature or comes along with the product?". The catch here is the usage of the phrase out-of-the-box. He was thinking that it meant something which does not come by default with the product. Though the name indicates that way, my understanding o that phrase is the exact opposite. Many techies I have interacted with used this phrase to indicate a customization/modification of an actual software component. I used to think they are all wrong, and I am only right. Today, after a long debate with my colleague, I started reading about it on the internet. Such phrases come from nowhere, without any context, and their usage might vary.

As Wikipedia remarks,
Out of the box is the term used to denote items, functionalities, or features that do not require any additional installation. In addition to being used for tangible products, the phrase is often used in a less literal sense for software, which may not be distributed in an actual box but offer certain functions "out of the box," i.e. without modification.
Since we hear such phrases from people, it is quite easy to get convinced that it is what we think it is. I forgot from whom I learnt it and I really wonder why I was so firm about its actual meaning. We are convinced mainly because of a similar phrase: "Thinking Outside the Box", which would refer to creative thinking. So it also sounds correct to give a similar meaning to it.

To generalize the problem, let's take a horn in a vehicle. With my current understanding, I will say, A Horn is an out-of-the-box feature of a Car.

My friend added relativity to the usage. He feels that it can be used only in places where a product X has feature A, which product Y or Z does not have. In that case, he would say, A is an out-of-the-box feature of X.

It looks more like we are on the same understanding but looking at it with different perspective. The question still remains unanswered: "Does out-of-the-box feature mean something that comes by default with a product or something that does not?"

Any thoughts on this? 

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