Friday, June 21, 2013

A Beautiful Thing Called Lumia

(NOTE: This is not an expert techie review, just the point of view of an ordinary person who sees it as it is.)

When Nokia Philippines announced that they are conducting a 5-day Test Drive of their Nokia Lumia 720 smartphone, the Nokia loyalist in me did not spare a minute to sign on and be part of the program. Maybe I signed on at the right time, I immediately received a confirmation on the date that I preferred, both on email and text. And since then, I excitedly counted the days for this 5-day affair.

As the most awaited day comes, excited-nervous-sweaty that I am, I rushed to the Nokia Store in Glorietta Digital Exchange and with wide eyed and child-like wonder, I patiently waited as the unit was unboxed in front of me. The moment I put it in my hand, I felt like Harry Potter trying on the wand that chooses him in Mr. Ollivander's shop. It feels like the phone chooses me.

The Nokia Lumia 720 is undoubtedly a looker, a stunner, if you may. And with all the funky colors available (they have RED, YELLOW, BLUE, white and black), it's a sure thing to catch attention (good and bad attention, that is, hello snatchers!). Physically, it is slim, thin and surprisingly super lightweight. For the detailed and technical specifications of the phone, just click here.

I admit I am STILL a "dumbphone" user, with a full qwerty keypad and no touchscreen. If I would just be texting and calling, I can live with that. But, if I want to play some games, browse the internet faster and take better pictures without taking a bulky camera with me, then Houston, we have a problem. It was the camera of Lumia that attracted me to it, and that's expected from a trying hard photographer in me.

I took the camera, err, the phone with me but I asked them first if there's a restriction or limit of some sort with the 5-day use. The Nokia reps said I can download and do anything with it, I can abuse it and they just emphasized one thing with so much passion: don't break it, okay, noted. tehehe.

Who wouldn't be excited for a cameraphone equipped with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens? I immediately took a sample video of EDSA on my way home, and for a video cam this size, it holds so much promise and to think that it wasn't even its selling point. The accompanying picture that I took with the video was quite blurry but that's understandable as it was night and I was inside a moving vehicle, even a DSLR in such a situation would give the same result anyway. But one thing that I noticed? Colors are vivid and bright!Hmm.

The Live Tile is fun to look at, and one can customize how you want it to look, with different themes for your different moods. The Settings may need a lot more time for me to get familiarize with, but that's one thing that you cannot learn and/or understood in just one sitting, unless you are a gifted child which I am not.

The next day, I tested its downloading prowess. I connected to a wifi and download every free application and games that catch my fancy from the Nokia Store, all at the same time. The downloading process was a breeze but the downside and what possibly could be a big turn off to some, is how limited the applications and games in the Nokia Store are, well, that's compared with Google Play and Apple. And to further broke the heart of some fans, Candy Crush is also not available. It has Facebook though, and Twitter, but no Instagram. If there is one main issue that Nokia and Microsoft/Windows will have to seriously look into, it has to be the availability of applications that Android and Ios users are currently enjoying.

While downloading apps, I am connected to Facebook at all times and was checking for NBA Finals updates. I was playing, too. And I think that kind of abuse is too much for its battery as it only lasted for about 30 hours and I need to charge it again either directly from an outlet or thru the usb.

Back to the camera. Ah, this one is on top of the league. With the main camera sensor of 6.7 MP, a resolution of about 2848 x 2144 pixels, a LED flash that can be turned on and off, the outcome are superb, very clear and the colors are just outstanding. It is can be at par or even better with some existing point and shoot digicam out there in terms of clarity and vividness. Below are just some of the samples that I took. One has to take note though that each picture/shot automatically records your location and can be seen on the pictures data once viewed on the computer. You have the option to remove it though.

Aside from the camera, there's one thing that I also really like about Nokia Lumia 720 is its Kid's Corner. If you have some hyper nephews and really curious 2-year old which are all techies and they seem to think that your phone is theirs or at least a toy or a gaming console, you can relate to some situations where they may accidentally dial a number, worst a client's number, while fiddling your phone. Well, Kid's Corner is Nokia's answer to that. Here, you get to choose what applications and games they can have accessed to and for them to out from there, they need a password which I know you wouldn't give hehehe. It's a really nice feature so there wouldn't be any more accidental dialling.

On the last of my five-day test drive, I tried the Nokia Here and the GPS/map thingy which you can have the option to either use Walk, by public transport or by private vehicle. I let it guide me from the office going to Glorietta. This is not 100% accurate as it tagged the other building in front of our office as my location/origin. Anyway, I downloaded a Philippine Map and even offline, it guided me from Taguig to Makati, Real time and the names of the streets are all accurate! Awesome!

I think I would be needing more than five days to really appreciate how beautiful the Nokia Lumia 720 is. I even asked the Nokia reps if I can just have it, they smiled and said yes, but I have to pay the SRP of around P14k.

And I might just do that.

Friday, March 22, 2013

2013 Pyromusical: Italy - The Netherlands

Another quick post but with tons of pictures. :)

Following UK-South Korea's pace setting performances, expectations for Italy and the Netherlands went skyhigh, and boy, they gladly faced the challenge and the competition just got stiffer!

Italy, that early, can be a dark horse and can easily place within the top 5, but the top spot still belongs to UK.

Before the Netherlands' set, it is very obvious that I am rooting for UK as I was very much impressed by how they executed everything: music, fireworks and drama. Then here comes the Netherlands, challenging UK which I thought was impossible. Their fireworks were so spectacular, specially those that burst from the water! They're impossibly synch and just too good to be true. If I am to use awesome again, this is it!

The 20 minutes of the Netherlands (and of course, that of UK) amazing show is more than worth the amount of tickets that I paid for the entire competition. Unless defending champion Canada can pull a much better show on the last weekend (March 23), the Netherlands must be declared one of the winners, as UK should also be.

 This is what I like about fireworks and why I've been watching all these years. The experience is just...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Pyromusical: UK-South Korea

This post is three weeks late, so to make up for the delay, here are the pictures, Enjoy!

United Kingdom: one word: WINNER! The Adele/Skyfall set, in terms of fireworks and music synchronization and design, is the best that I've seen so far.

South Korea: The UK's set is a tough act to follow. Though South Korea's performance is notably good (as expected they use Gangnam style as one of their background music) and their fireworks are also big and booming, they were just overpowered by the former pyromusical champion, UK.

After tonight's performance, the United Kingdom is clearly the front-runner, the level is excellence has just been raised and the other participating countries must have taken notice.

Next: Italy and The Netherlands


 They just challenged UK!


Related Posts with Thumbnails