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iPhone 4.0.1 software update has just been released by Apple. It comes along with some bug fixes as well as the highly discussed improved signal strength formula that is expected to magically solve iPhone 4's reception issues.

iOS 4.0.1

There are also some other bug fixes brought by the iOS 4.0.1. The iOS 4.0.1 is only compatible with iPhone 3G (though that doesn't work particularly well), iPhone 3GS and the recently launched iPhone 4.




The Nokia N8 has been causing a bit of a stir. This week, Damian Dinning has been taking us through a step-by-step guide to the camera. We’ve been asking you to vote on polls galore and we’ve heard the tech blogerati are itching to get their hands on the device. We already know the basic specs and the price, but is there more to the Nokia N8 than meets the eye? Here's a run-through of some of the other things in the N8 that makes it one of this year's most hotly anticipated phones.

The Nokia N8 is crafted from a single piece of anodised aluminium. The process of anodising the aluminum increases its corrosion and wear resistance. With the casings’ ultra scratch-resistant powers, you can scratch a set of keys on the back of the device and with a quick wipe the mark will magically disappear. The anodised aluminium doesn’t just banish scratches, it also means it's possible to bring the N8 to the market in a rainbow of colours.


Not one to scrimp on the detail, Nokia has made sure that all the bases – or more to the point, buttons – are covered. All the buttons along the side of the device are cut-outs from the same piece of aluminium, adding to the luxury feel of the device. Also, for the clumsy amongst us, the moveable buttons have been rubberised to save your digits from mishaps.


Showing off your mobile content at home has never been easier. The HDMI connector allows you to connect your N8 to your TV and share all the pics from your travels. Alternatively, you can watch side-loaded true HD quality content in real time via HDMI at up to 30fps. Add to this Dolby Digital Plus Surround sound capabilities, and you’ve got the complete package. In the box, the N8 will come with HDMI adapter for you to connect with a standard HDMI cable.


With the capacitive touchscreen on offer on the N8, there's the capability to pinch zoom in applications like Photos and Browser. Did you know that capacitive touchscreens will only respond to materials that are conductive? Handy if you’ve got sticky fingers and need to give the screen a quick wipe with a cloth. It also responds to just a touch rather that a press on the screen. No worrying about oops-a-daisy inputs here. With a 3.5 inches screen estate, AMOLED, 16M colours and a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels, it's perfect for watching widescreen movies too.


Battery Life
Within the Nokia N8 is an integrated battery that’ll keep you in juice for days. Talk-time at its maximum is 720 mins (GSM) and 350 mins (WCDMA) and standby time comes in at 390 hours (GSM) and 400 hours (WCDMA). Not bad for a smartphone, we think.


Social Networking
We’re accustomed to keeping in touch with Ovi, on the Nokia N8 it's even easier. Social networks can be accessed from multiple places such as the homescreen, maps and contacts. Live feeds from Facebook and Twitter are directly pushed to the homescreen for easy viewing. Also, you can comment, read and send messages, update your status and share your location, photos and more. Calendar events from social networks can also be added to the device calendar, so you’ll – hopefully – never miss an important date again.


Flash Support
YouTube fans and gamers rejoice – Flash is supported on the Nokia N8. It's a Flash 10.1 compatible Flash runtime (ActionScript 3) and player, called Flash Lite. A point to note: the device does not support all of Flash 10 features for graphics but all video-related features are supported.


Nokia N8 features a completely new email client combining several accounts into one. In addition to Ovi Mail, there is a large amount of supported email clients with POP3/IMAP. There is also support for the business email solution, Mail for Exchange.


WebTV is another new weapon added to the Nokia N8's arsenal. The Web TV application delivers TV programs, news and entertainment from channels like Paramount, E! Entertainment, CNN and National Geographic. Locally relevant Web TV content will also available from the Ovi Store.


The Nokia N8 has backlighting and ambient light sensor, magnetometer (compass), orientation sensor and a proximity sensor. Both the orientation sensor and magnetometer come in very handy for finding your way around using Ovi Maps. The proximity sensor and ambient light sensor, on the other hand, are your battery's best friend. The proximity sensor will switch off the screen every time you bring the phone to your face to answer a call and the ambient light sensor will adjusts the display's brightness dependent on your surroundings.




Luxury phones are having a tough time being unique nowadays. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pureness is having a hard time being luxurious. But that's no way to start a proper review now, is it?

There we go again then. Rare metals and precious stones are commonplace, but a transparent screen? Now, that's a first. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pureness keeps only the essential phone functions and that explains the Pureness moniker. And just like a proper luxury phone, it comes with a concierge service.

You can access the concierge service 24/7 via a phone call or email and have them book you a hotel room, buy tickets for a game or ask for advice. But it's not just a simple booking service – going through the concierge service has some perks, like free room upgrades in some hotels, discounts (well, well), complementary champagne and so on.

You see, the luxury of owning a Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pureness doesn’t just come from what's in the phone itself. But since we’re not going to be using the concierge service anytime soon, let's focus on what the phone has to offer:

Key features:

  • Quad-band GSM support
  • 3G with HSDPA and HSUPA support
  • One-of-a-kind transparent greyscale display (1.8", 240 x 320 pixels), scratch-resistant surface
  • Very lightweight, only 70 grams
  • FM radio with RDS and TrackID
  • Bluetooth with A2DP and USB (Fast Port connector)
  • 2 GB internal memory
  • Smart dialing
  • Excellent audio quality

Main disadvantages:

  • Small screen is poor on legibility
  • Looks cheap and poorly built
  • Fast Port instead of 3.5 mm audio jack means limited use as a music player
  • Fast 3G connectivity with HSDPA/HSUPA is only usable for tethering
  • No camera
  • Non-removable battery
  • Internal memory not expandable

A phone with a transparent screen is nothing short of unique. But the display certainly is a liability in terms of actually using the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pureness. It limits the physical space available inside the phone, leaving Sony Ericsson engineers with very little room to work with.

Plus, the low-resolution greyscale display makes a camera (even just a video call camera) and proper web browsing pointless. This leaves tethering as the only reasonable use for the fast 3G data.


Instead we’ll stick to the new stuff. And Apple promised lots of that: multitasking, homescreen wallpapers, a revamped email app, and more. Here is our brief scoop on all the new stuff and all that's still missing.



What's new:

  • Homescreen wallpapers
  • Folder organization of the homescreen icons
  • Multitasking and fast app switching
  • Google/Wikipedia search in Spotlight
  • Bluetooth keyboard pairing support
  • SMS character counter
  • SMS search
  • Email threading
  • Unified Email inbox
  • Email archiving is now available when you setup Gmail
  • Spell checker
  • iPod music player can now create, edit and delete playlists
  • 5x digital zoom in still camera
  • Touch-focus in video capture (for video enabled iPhones)
  • Keyboard layouts span over QWERTY, QWERTZ, and AZERTY
  • Minor icon design facelifts
  • Video call support (only in iPhone 4 and only over Wi-Fi)
  • iBooks e-book and PDF reader

What's still missing:

  • No Flash support in the web browser
  • No true multitasking for all applications
  • iOS4 for iPhone 3G has limited new feature set
  • Poor performance on iPhone 3G
  • No quick toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or 3G
  • No social networking integration
  • No info widgets on lock screen or homescreen
  • SMS tones are still not customizable
  • No mass mark emails as read
  • No proper file browser or access to the file system
  • No USB mass storage mode
  • No vibration feedback when touching the screen
  • No Bluetooth file transfers to other mobile phones
  • Contacts lack a swipe-to-delete or mass delete feature
  • No SMS/MMS delivery notifications
  • No smart dialing (but Spotlight is a somewhat of a substitute)
  • No DivX or XviD video support and no official third-party application to play that
  • The whole iPhone is too dependent on iTunes - you cannot add the same type of content (video, photos, apps) to the phone from two computers, a regular file management interface would have been much better.


With the iPhone it's never about what the phone can or cannot do. The iOS 4 however seems finally determined to catch up with most of the today's smartphones. You’re not to expect miracles though – such as a file browser, USB mass storage mode, web Flash support, and other stuff that seems irrelevant to Apple.

SMS search and character counter, Email threading and archiving

Steve Jobs mentioned nothing at the unveiling (and with very good reasons), but this doesn’t mean the messaging app hasn’t got any new features.

The first one is the SMS character counter, which honestly just took too long. It's there finally, but to use it you need to activate it in the messaging settings first, because it's disabled by default. Strange, isn’t it?

Apple iOS4 Review Apple iOS4 Review
SMS counter • Message options

The second upgrade brings SMS search. The search bar is placed above all your conversations and works like a charm. This was another missing feature that earned Apple much criticism.

iOS 4 packs some major modifications in the Email department – an aggregated inbox, thread support and email archive.

The aggregated inbox (called All Inboxes) brings all messages from all your email accounts in one place. Some may find this feature useless, or at least messy – there’re no account labels. It has its uses anyway and we are happy to see it in iOS 4.

Apple iOS4 Review Apple iOS4 Review
The aggregated email view

Email threading is also enabled and works just like the conversations in the Messages app. All emails you exchange with a given contact are grouped in a single thread. A numeric indicator on the Email main screen shows the number of emails stored in every thread.


Gallery displays Albums, Events, Faces and Places

If you use iPhoto software on any of the Apple computers, you are now able to sync your Events, Places and Faces image holders. In iPhone's gallery you will notice four tabs available at the bottom – Albums, Events, Faces and Places.

As usual, Albums holds all of your synced, downloaded and captured images.

Photos in Events and Faces can be uploaded only if you’ve pre-created them on your computer with iPhoto photo organizer. Unfortunately, you can’t populate them with photos from your iPhone's camera.

All geotagged photos (saved from web or shot with the iPhone) appear in Places where they show up as pins on a map. Tapping a pin shows a small thumb with basic information.


iPhone gets touch focus in video recording, digital zoom also available

iOS 4 brings digital zoom up to 5x to all iPhones. Unfortunately, it only works in still camera mode. We find it rather useless honestly – at least in still imaging where the camera already maxes out the resolution of the sensor. Digital zooming usually makes much more sense in video recording.

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