Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cosplay + N97 mini camera/video test

Hey everybody!! As promised, I will be doing an extensive test of the Nokia N97 mini for daily use, as I have been contemplating recently which phone to get. Considering that the N97 mini is quite expensive here, it does have alot to live up to.

I started off the day by taking testing the N97 camera, as I was intrigued by the quality of the shots produced by the phone. And I must say, it didn’t disappoint. Take note, I haven’t done anything with the settings yet, as I’m just using the default settings. But regardless, these are relatively great shots, compared to most 5 Megapixel camera phones out there. Here are some shots taken with the N97 mini:

  • Front Facing Camera (VGA):

front cam

  • Back Camera (5 megapixel):


  • Low Light (with Flash):

lo light flash

  • Low Light (without Flash):

lo light no flash

  • Under Artificial Light / Indoor shots:

artificial light 2 artificial light 3 artificial light

  • Under Natural Light / Outside shots:

outside 2 outside 3 outside

  • Zoom 50%:

zoom 50

  • Zoom 100%:

zoom 100

After messing around with the camera, I went out. I was supposed to be handling a meeting of some sort with my group, but apparently everyone was pretty much busy so I canceled the meeting and went to a local mall instead. I was inside SM Megamall (which is like the go-to place here in the Philippines on a weekend by most people) and as I was on my way home, I came across this place inside the mall where a cosplay event is going to take place.

Intrigued, I went in and found myself in a pretty good spot that’s quite near the stage. As the event begins, I suddenly realized that I haven’t exactly done a video test with the Nokia N97 mini yet!! This is a perfect opportunity for me to combine both my love for cosplay and gadgets!! Man I’m such a geek… :-D So I decided to start using the N97 mini and take videos of the event. And here’s some of the footage I got:

Overall, the cosplay event was pretty okay. I love the efforts with War Machine, Optimus Prime, as well as the highly detailed and gorgeous design of Spawn Orient/Mandarin. As for the other contestants? Meh. I wasn’t able to finish the event, but I was glad that atleast my favorite Spawn Orient/Mandarin won a spot there. I wasn’t around to find out who won 1st and 2nd, as I was really tired and hungry.

If you are wondering about the fuzziness in the video, that’s because I had to zoom in real close just to get the shot right, so this one is definitely alright with me. What I do like about the quality is that the sound cancellation was great, and that the colors are vibrant. Sure its not exactly HD quality, but for a 5 megapixel video camera? This is simply gorgeous. I also love the fact that there are no skips in the video itself. Unlike my previous fone; the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, this one records videos smoothly with no skipping or choppiness. I love it alot!! XD

The one thing I hate though, was that the battery life didn’t last long for me to cover the whole event. As I was about to cover the last cosplay finalist, my Nokia N97 mini died out on me. I guess its pretty understandable, considering I’ve been doing some heavy usage with the unit (FM Radio, MP3 player, camera, Internet browsing, downloading apps via ovi store, calls, etc) but I do wished the fone had a better battery pack. It would have been great if it worked for 1 day straight of heavy usage.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Will be adding more of my experiences with the N97 mini next few days. Man I’m beginning to get worried that I may get too attached to the fone… T___T

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Yep its finally here!! Just got my package early this morning. XD

Image0909I was actually surprised it only took a few days for the package to arrive. Pretty sweet!!

Here’s my small unboxing of the unit:

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I got the one that’s gold plated, and I must say it definitely looks sexy. The best part is that it doesn’t have much plastic parts as most of the phone’s body is made out of durable alloy. Not only does it look good, but it feels good in the hand too. Add the fact that its definitely durable and solid. Here’s some more photos of the phone itself:

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Build quality is something that I was worried about, particularly the slide mechanism. As you may know, I’m not a fan of sliding phones as they are easily prone to wear and tear. And as soon as I got the phone out, I immediately checked it out.

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As my contact in Nokia informed me, the sliding mechanism found in the Nokia N97 mini is simply “genius”, and I guess he’s right about that. The phone seems sturdy and doesn’t wobble at all as soon as I slide it open, and the phone’s ribbon is safely tucked in and as far as I can see won’t get easily ripped off due to wear and tear and constant sliding of the phone. Honestly, I’m slowly warming up to the phone, much more than the Nokia N900. The build quality is solid and looks durable, the OS is far more easier to use since its using Symbian, and it fits right in my pocket!!

I’ll definitely be looking forward to using the phone and learn more about it. XD

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Oh man I missed blogging… It feels soooo good to be back. XD
Hey everyone!! It’s been pretty busy these past few days, and I haven’t updated my blog for quite sometime. I’ve wanted to but I’m either too tired or too busy. Thank goodness for weekends. XD
Anyway, as my blog post title says, I’ve been going thru significant upgrades recently. My current job is definitely a huge upgrade over my old one. I’m pretty much doing managerial level work nowadays. And since I do managerial work, even my everyday work outfit got upgraded. I have to wear formal suits and stuff to look presentable to clients and stuff. Man I kinda missed going to work wearing jeans and t-shirts. Now the only thing left for me to upgrade? My phone.
nokia-5130-e-1This is my current phone. The ever-reliable Nokia 5130 XpressMusic.
Back then, I only had a few notable needs for my phone:
  • Very good MP3 player
  • Has a camera
  • Simple yet intuitive interface
  • Decent battery life
And with those in mind, and after countless months of research, I finally nailed what I was looking for in Nokia 5130 XpressMusic. And after a year of owning it, I can say I’m impressed. It’s definitely reliable, durable and doesn’t fail me particularly in the music department. But now, my needs have changed, I decided its time for me to get a new phone.
Currently, I need the following features for my phone:
  • Support for 3.5mm audio jack and decent MP3 player
  • 5 Megapixel camera with flash
  • WiFi enabled phone
  • Internet browser with flash support
  • Email client
  • IM functionality
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Durable build
  • Affordable price tag
  • Office functionality/viewer
During my research, I have currently narrowed down my choices to 2 phones. The Nokia C6 and the Nokia E63
gsmarena_004First on my list is the Nokia C6. This one is relatively new and is currently priced at around PhP 13,000.00 - 15,800.00 Here’s the lowdown with the Nokia C6:
  • 3.2" 16M-color resistive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
  • Slide-out four-row full QWERTY keyboard
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Tri-band 3G with 3.6Mbps HSDPA support
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and VGA@30fps video recording
  • Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth v2.1
  • GPS with A-GPS and free lifetime voice-guided navigation license
  • microSD card (16 GB supported, 2GB included)
  • Built-in accelerometer for display auto-rotation, turn-to-mute
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Web browser has full Flash support
  • Good audio quality
  • Office document viewer
The Nokia C6 has all of my needs covered, however my concern is the hefty price tag, as well as the fact that its a sliding QWERTY phone. I never owned phones with slide features due to the fact that I wanted my phones to be durable and not have any moving parts in them. That’s why I have my second option the Nokia E63:
The Nokia E63 has been around in the market for about a year or two, and it currently costs at around PhP 8,500.00-10,300.00. The unit has been proven to be very reliable and good. Here’s the lowdown of specs of the Nokia E63:
  • 3G support
  • Landscape 2.36" 16M-color display of QVGA resolution
  • Wi-Fi
  • 2 megapixel fixed focus camera with LED flash
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP support
  • Comfortable full QWERTY keypad
  • Convenient shortcut key
  • Office document editor
  • Nokia Maps
  • Great battery life
  • Web browser with limited flash support
It almost gets everything right, except ofcourse for the 2megapixel camera, as well as the web browser. What I did like about it though its using a very solid form factor and doesn’t have any moving parts. The battery life is also a great bonus as well since I love my phone to last for more than a few days.
Sigh…. who knew upgrading a phone would be so damn difficult?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

HTC Smart Philippines launch

Yesterday I went to this product lauching of HTC’s newest smartphone; the HTC Smart.

HTCI was already thinking of backing out, but then again I don’t have anything interesting to do anyway after work, so I decided to get to the event.

Because of traffic and stuff, I got there a few minutes late, but I was just in time to witness the unveiling of the new HTC Smart. It looks pretty cute and slim too. Sadly I never got a chance to picture the unit as there were no demo units to try it out. Instead, we had a Q&A session with HTC’s newest spokesperson; Ms. Rhian Ramos. Here she is shown signing the contract with HTC as their newest brand endorser.

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She’s all smiles as she is photographed by the media (me included) as she happily becomes part of HTC. Then, after the contract signing, she went ahead with the Q&A about the phone, detailing many of its features. She particularly focused on one feature that she loved the most; the Friend Feed; which streamlines her twitter feed, text messages, emails, etc. all under one window. She mentions its pretty convenient as she doesn’t need to switch from one window to another to check her text, twitter or emails. A pretty sweet feature indeed. Oh and yeah, apparently Rhian is a twitter addict.

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However, in the middle of the Q&A, other media people started to change the topic and questions started to become more “showbiz-centric” and less about the phone. Rhian was all game and she was alright with it, but for us peepz who simply wanted to know what’s new about HTC Smart and how it can challenge the already dominant presence of Nokia smartphones and Apple’s iPhone, that part of the Q&A was simply a waste of time really…

After the Q&A, HTC made a surprise announcement that a few lucky people from the media would be getting their hands on an HTC Smart unit free. Sadly I never got to win anything, but that’s perfectly fine by me.

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Man, they sure are lucky to be bringing an HTC Smart home. After awarding the media folks with their own HTC Smart, HTC announced the names of the 10 lucky testers who will go home and try out HTC Smart for a period of 1 month with free 1 month’s worth of unlimited dataplan. These lucky testers also get an additional bonus, where the top 3 testers will get to keep the phone for free, while the rest will be able to avail of a 50% discount to the phone. Not a bad deal indeed. Here’s the pics of the winning testers:

Image0855Congrats to the winning testers!! After the awarding, there’s another Q&A session with Ms. Rhian Ramos where thankfully this time its more related to the product, and not some showbiz crap. I mean seriously, I came there for a product unveiling and not finding out who’s Rhian’s current flame sheesshhh showbiz media people. Anyway, after the Q&A Rhian was nice enough to have a pictorial with her adoring fans.

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And ofcourse, I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity of having my picture taken with a celebrity such as Rhian. So here’s yours truly with Ms. Rhian Ramos:

Image0871After the Q&A and the mini photoshoot, the event started to become a party complete with loud disco music, dancers, and stuff. Yeah, its getting rowdy, noisy, booze being passed around and alot of people are starting to get to party alright. Too bad I ain’t got much cash to spend and have a few more drinks of my own before heading home.

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There were also models posing with the unit, but its more of look don’t touch. Damn how I’d want to get my hands on those 2 babies… the HTC Smart I mean:

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Then afterwards, I got a chance to talk to Ms. Rhian Ramos again backstage and I asked her more about the phone this time, as there are still lingering questions in my mind about the phone. Rhian seemed to be very much happy with HTC Smart that she actually challenged me to name a particular smartphone brand and she’ll give her thoughts on how it compares with HTC Smart. And here’s what I found out:

  • Compared to the Apple iPhone – Rhian told me she used to have an iPhone and she STILL prefers an HTC Smart. One of her rants about the iPhone was the fact that she hates the messaging system and its auto-correction feature where when she tries to type something in tagalog, she gets to get a different word altogether.
  • Compared to the Nokia N900 – Rhian mentions this was her previous phone before she got an HTC Smart. She admits to being someone who isn’t a techie person and she hates over sophistication in her devices, and if you guys remember my review of the N900’s Maemo OS, it definitely confused her alot. Another thing she hated about it was it lags or crashes every now and then.
  • Compared to the Blackberry – Rhian told me that since she’s a twitter addict she used to have a Blackberry unit of her own. And while she does admit that the Blackberry is excellent for twitter, she hated the small screen and the browser speed.

I’m surprised that Ms. Rhian Ramos was actually nice in person. I have this notion that most celebrities are snobs and are fake, but as we are talking at the back she seemed very sincere and was very nice. She’s also very down-to-earth which also added more to her bubbly appeal. So before I go, here’s another picture of me and Ms. Rhian Ramos backstage after I had a little chat with her about HTC Smart:


Hopefully one of these days, I can get to try out HTC Smart myself. XD