Dictionary, Slow Motion Videos and more on apps this week

Instadict

Browsing through a page, find a word you don’t understand? Instadict to the rescue. Just highlight the word and shake your device. Currently has language packs for English, French and Italian.

Android –

Instadict
Instadict
Developer: Shashank.Mishra
Price: Free

645 Pro

Interested in iPhone photography? Do you like manual controls and dials? 645 Pro is the app for you. Let the video below explain it all:

645 PRO Mk III from Jag.gr on Vimeo.

‎645 PRO Mk III
‎645 PRO Mk III
Developer: Michael Hardaker
Price: 4,49 €

 

Groove Music

Microsoft has really stepped up it’s game when it comes to services. One of the newer additions to their suite of multi-platform apps is Groove Music (formerly XBox Music). What does it do? Well, you could get a Groove Music pass for $9.99 per month and stream from their collection of songs. What makes it much better though, especially for users of OneDrive or Office365, is that Groove Music allows you to stream from your music collectons stored on OneDrive, at no additional cost.

Android – 

Microsoft Groove
Microsoft Groove
Price: Free

iOS –
Microsoft Groove
Microsoft Groove
Price: Free

Windows/Windows Phone – Download from Windows Store

 

Le Kiosk

This section is more focussed on the service than the app itself and it’s availability would be limited to certain countries, but if you’re a magazine subscriber, I’d recommend Le Kiosk. There are different plans – 3 magazines a month for around €3.99, 10 for €9.99 and 25 for €19.99, with a 30 day free trial. It also offers a magazine discovery service and has most of the bigger publications along with a collection of the smaller magazines, the list varies by country. Currently, UK, France and Italy only.

Android – 


iOS – 
Windows/Windows Phone – Download from Windows Store

 

TruSloMo

TruSloMo is a must have app if you shoot slow motion videos on your iPhone and want an easy way to export and edit the videos. It’s much easier than using iMovie on your phone and even has an option to easily publish to Whatsapp or Instagram.

iOS – 

TruSloMo
TruSloMo
Developer: William Wu
Price: Free+

 

Morecast

For detailed, hyperlocal weather forecasts, you have the apps that use Forecast.io. However, the accuracy will depend on the weather stations available. If you’re in Europe, there’s another option – Morecast. With weather data from UBIMET which is a large weather data provider, the app is detailed and even looks good. The one downside though, is the lack of a 5 row wide widget (if you have a phablet).

Android – 

iOS – 

‎MORECAST Wetter App
‎MORECAST Wetter App
Developer: UBIMET
Price: Free+

The Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone Review

Thanks to the good folks at Nokia & Nokia Connects, we got our hands on the Nokia Lumia 900 to take it out for a spin quite a while back. We have to apologize for not getting this review out to you sooner, but we just got held up with a lot of other things which have been keeping us busy. Here’s our much delayed review of the phone.

The White Lumia 900 is quite a looker, and feels quite sleek. Having used the Nokia Lumia 800  which also has a polycarbonate body, but the White Lumia 900’s body feels much more slicker that the 800’s.

The Lumia 900 is the third phone in the Lumia series after the 710 and the 800. All 3 phones come with the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system. We have had the opportunity to use all 3 phones extensively. The Lumia 900 is Nokia’s flagship device and will be launched in India in Q3 2012. Let’s get a quick look at the specs before heading out in to the review.

Nokia Lumia 900 Specifications

  • 4.3″ AMOLED Clear Black Gorilla Glass Display
  • Display resolution – 800 x 480 px
  • 8 Megapixel rear camera, with Carl Zeiss Optics and a 1 Megapixel front facing camera
  • Video Capture at 720p
  • Dual LED Flash
  • 3G / WiFi / DLNA / Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity
  • 3.5 mm Audio connection & MicroUSB wired connection
  • FM Radio
  • Windows Phone 7.5, upgradable to 7.8

Hardware

The Nokia Lumia 900The Lumia 900 stays true to the Nokia’s of old and has excellent build quality and a solid polycarbonate shell. There were absolutely no creaks or deflections during our time with it. We put it through some rough use and there wasn’t a single mark of our abuse at the end. It is one of the most solidly built devices I’ve ever used. All this solidity has a downside which is weight. It weighs in at 160 grams which is by today’s standards, quite a bit. Just for the sake of comparison, both the new Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X weigh 130 grams. Its 11.5mm thick compared to S III and the One X’s 8.6mm and 8.9mm respectively.

It has a Qualcomm APQ8055 Snapdragon chipset with a 1.4 GHz Scorpion CPU which is the same clock speed as the Lumia 800 and the Samsung Omnia W. The 710 has 16 Gb of internal storage with 512 Mb of ram and an Adreno 205 GPU. I

t comes with the usual array of sensors and A-GPS with GLONASS. Being a windows phone based device has the usual 3 buttons at the bottom which are the back button on the extreme left, the home key in the centre and the search key on the right. There is no micro SD slot (like other WP phones) which could be a problem for some. The display is a 4.3” capacitive Nokia ClearBlack unit protected by Corning Gorilla glass.

The Lumia has around ~217 ppi. The 3.5mm headphone jack, noise cancellation mic, micro USB slot for charging/data sync, and the micro sim slot are at the top of the phone. The right hand side has the volume up/down buttons, a, power button and dedicated camera shutter button. The back has an 8 megapixel autofocus camera with Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash. There are no buttons on the left hand side of the phone. The bottom has the speaker grille that’s beautifully drilled through the polycarbonate.

Interface

The Lumia 900 uses the Windows Phone Mango operating system which pretty much says it all but we’ll elaborate as much as possible on the interface and its advantages and disadvantages.

After slotting in the micro SIM card and the device is switched ON for the first time, you need to enter or create a Live ID. Without a live id, you cant download apps through the marketplace. After that’s done, you can go ahead and setup as many Email IDs as you like from the usual options like Gmail, Yahoo mail, MS Exchange and so on. Facebook and Twitter are fully integrated into WP and also can be added during the initial setup. Contacts can also be synced through your online accounts or from your PC using the  Zune software which is freely downloadable.

Windows Phone has a user interface called Metro. There is never a want for more processing power or memory. The response is extremely fluid and I was never left waiting for anything. It basically replaces the icons found in android and IOS with live square tiles. Just like you would add a shortcut icon in android phones, you can add tiles of your most commonly used apps, contacts etc. Live tiles are really easy to use and visually pleasing especially if you’re used to the boring icons in other operating systems. You can create live tiles for apps or for particular contacts. That live tile will then display that contact’s profile picture and any Facebook and twitter updates. You could have individual live tiles for each of your email ID’s or you could link all of them to create one linked inbox. The email in all WP phones is really good and I didn’t see the grouping errors seen previously on the other WP phones.

All windows phones have universal volume and you cannot change volume for specific apps or events. For example, you cannot change media volume without also affecting the ringer volume. I really liked this change because it meant I could reduce volume before music or videos started.

Windows phone has the PEOPLE live tile which can be use to access your People hub which has Phone contacts, your contacts’ Facebook and twitter updates on one page and live tiles of your frequently used contacts. There is also a ME live tile which can be used to update your Facebook and twitter status, view any notifications and updates.

Messaging on WP phones is integrated with Facebook messaging. Provided you are logged into Facebook, you will receive all your Facebook messages and phone messages in the same inbox which is a nice touch. Windows marketplace is quite good and is growing everyday. There are thousands of apps that can be downloaded. The marketplace is still not as evolved as IOS and Android but it’ll get there eventually. The quality of apps is still not up there. There are some inherent flaws in the WP operating system. For example, new mails and missed calls show up on the lock screen but any other notification from any application will not show up on the lock screen. This will only show up on a live tile. So, if you don’t have a live tile for that application, seconds after it goes bleep bleep, there is no further notification. This is a problem with apps like Whatsapp, Meedoh (twitter app) and so on. The other problem is the only way you can receive mails instantly is through MS Exchange. If you set up the email account as well standard account, you’ll have to set it to poll for email at predefined intervals. All in all, i do not think these are major problems, but they are problems none the less.

Screen

As stated earlier, the Lumia 900’s display is a 4.3” capacitive Nokia ClearBlack unit protected by Corning Gorilla glass with ~217 ppi. This is quite low because all 3 Lumia series phones have the same 480 x 800 resolution and the same number of pixels have been stretched to fit this screen. If you compare this to the S3 and the One X which have 720 x 1280 pixels side by side, you can definitely make out the lower resolution. The iPhone 4S which was released last October has a resolution of 640 x 960 (on a smaller screen) just as a comparison. But, although the ppi count is low, the pixels are not that easily visible, so it’s not that much a problem during everyday use. It has decent sunlight viewing ability and extremely good touch response.

Telephony

All aspects with respect to the telephony on the phone were subpar. Most voices were muddled and it was difficult to comprehend many sentences. I also found it quite uncomfortable to hold at my ear and during a long call and i ended up with really warm ears after some reasonably long calls. The in-call volume is also quite low. The signal also suddenly dropped to zero from 3-4 bars many times and it gets back the signal in 5-10 seconds. The volume on speaker is also compartively lower.

Camera

Lumia 900 on the left and the Samsung Galaxy S3 on the right

In our camera tests, we did notice a pink or purplish hue on some of the day-time snaps which we took on the Lumia 900. As you can see above, the snap on the left is from the Lumia 900 and the right from a Galaxy S3. Notice the difference?

Apart from the stock camera app on the phone, you can also now use Camera Extras app from the Windows Marketplace, which extends your phone’s camera to take Panorama photos and the Smart Group shot feature. In the Smart Group shot feature, you can take up to 5 photos of your group and choose the best poses of your friends across these photos and create a single “Perfect” shot!

Here’s a video of the Camera Extras available for the Lumia phones:

Wifi HotSpot

The Nokia Lumia 900 was the first of the Lumia range of phones to get the Wifi Hotspot feature. You can turn you phone’s 3G connection into a Wifi access point, and allow other devices to  use your phone’s Internet connection. This is a useful feature for people travelling around with a lot of Wifi gadgets, but just one 3G connection on their phone.

Nokia Music & Nokia Mix Radio

Mix Radio on the Lumia 900Nokia Music and Mix Radio allow people using the Lumia 900 to get access to ‘free’ legal music from Nokia. Nokia Music subscription service in India is free for the first few months, with DRM music downloads, which is yours to keep even after the subscription period ends.

If you don’t feel like searching for new music to listen to, Mix Radio is just what you need. Select a music genre on Mix Radio, and you get streaming music based on that genre of music. You can also take the your Mix music on the move, by downloading them for offline use. Of course, tracks on Mix Radio cannot be copied off the device. For that, there’s Nokia Music.

Nokia specific Apps

As with other Lumia phones, the Lumia 900 comes with your favorite Nokia apps as well like Nokia Drive, Maps and Contact transfers among others. The list is becoming bigger as time progresses.

What do we think?

The phone is generally good. We did face some issues with call and signal drops, but the device being a review piece this could be attributed to the pre-release quirks of the device. The camera’s pink splotches need a firmware fix to fix that. Apart from these quirks, we just loved the large screen on this phone. Nokia should make more devices with larger screens like this. It makes using the phone and apps so much more enjoyable. The build quality has the usual Nokia goodness, and is quite the looker!

Number one on the list is the late introduction of the Lumia 900 in India. Q3 is way too late in the game to release a phone like this in the Indian market, especially in the light of Microsoft’s latest announcement that the current Lumia range wouldn’t get a bump up to Windows Phone 8, but rather an intermediate 7.8 only. This should have been out in the market months back!

For more information about the Nokia Lumia 900, head out to Nokia’s Lumia 900 product page.

 

Vinu Thomas contributed to this review.

The Lumia 900 Photo Gallery

Create This Summer’s Hit With PocketBand Uloops

Are you a person with an Android device who loved to play with Fruity Loops in your free time? Then come, I have something that will make you happy; Pocketband is a music composing app which you can find on Google Play. You just create your loops and combine them and let the app do its work to make you a happy music composer.

PocketBand has a nice icon which pretty much explains what it does. You create your loops on your Android device and it sends the information to the server and retrieves the loops you wanted to create. As the developer told in the Google Play description, this is why it needs a solid internet connection. Or else, you would not get the best from the app. The term “solid connection” made me think that the app will run very laggy or bad on my device, especially considering my slow WiFi connection and data connection but that turned out to be false, in a good way.

I have a 1 Mbit internet connection which increases to 2 Mbit time to time. I can download at 120 kbps with that connection. Uploading rate is approximately 25 kbps. This proves to me that, your connection doesn’t need to be ‘that’ solid. But it won’t hurt, of course. I haven’t tried with my data connection because it barely connects to google.com.

I don’t really have to go into details on how to work this app because when you run the app and sign up for the site (or skip that part for now), PocketBand welcomes you with a short tutorial. I admit that I was not that happy with the tutorial because the app looks very detailed and the tutorial was too short even for a less detailed app. Besides, I couldn’t figure out the way to restart the app in the first moment. I saw that it was just in the menu. But then I wanted to listen to the “Demo Song” they made.

If you couldn’t wait the end of this article and just installed it, you will know that the song was created using only the lite version features. Of course, with the help of a guitar and the built-in microphone of the device. Demo song is more than just a demo song, it is also a more detailed tour of the app and a more detailed tutorial. This kind of tutorials always make it fun to learn. I bet everyone would prefer it to reading a guide which includes lots of definitions and theory.

Like I said before, the app doesn’t lag even if you don’t have a very good connection. But it definitely needs one. I tried to open the app in the airplane mode, but since you have to be logged in to use the app, it doesn’t do anything. This means “no internet no fun”, but it looks like this is the price we pay in order to get good service.

After you complete the tutorial and compose your first couple of loops and combine them then listen to your first song which was created using your Android device and PocketBand, you will notice a gap between your loops and between the repetitions of the same loops. Normally, this issue would render the app completely useless. There is a calibration option in the settings under the Engine tab and that may help in some cases. If that doesn’t help, do not worry about your ‘gapped’ song because the final version of the song. I asked to developer about this problem. Let’s hear them:

“Yes, we noticed the gaps between loops in edit mode, varying with the model of phone and Android version. Sadly our execution model is concatenating loops and there’s no way to make them fit well, we’re waiting for some fix from the Android team. We give a way to calibrate the gaps trying to reduce it, but sometimes it just won’t work. The good news is that after you publish the song, the loops will fit perfectly because we render the whole song server-side.”

So, don’t worry and concentrate on composing the parts of your feelings into the loops and then combining them into one cool song.

Speaking of composing, PocketBand offers you an extended set of features and parameters which would normally take another article to talk about. But if I would talk about it briefly, there are four devices and a recording channel, you can choose between 61 synth instruments in total (In full version, this number is 197), 30 drum sets (In full version: 66). There are 5 channels available in loops which would increase up to 16 in full version. You can make up to 6 loops (Full version: 16) and choose from 2 FX effects (3 in full version). You can set different volume levels for each of the instruments in your loops and add FX effects. Of course it is also possible to record using the built-in microphone of your device.

You can mute some of the devices or make one of them play solo. You can clone your loop and edit the clone and/or the original loop later. It is also possible to clone a song by long pressing on the song and choosing remix. If you wonder what other people could add to your piece of music, you can enable the ‘Collaboration feature’ and wait for people to make changes or additions to your music.

PocketBand offers so many parameters to apply on instruments, and needless to say, “The rest is up to your imagination.” Except the composing part which you will figure out easily, there are other features of PocketBand which you might love.

You must have noticed the bar on the top of the app which has four tabs; Workspace on which you concrete your magic; My Profile on which you can edit your styles and description, add a profile photo, see your favorite, published and private songs and your bands; Community on which you can listen to the songs of the other people and look for people and bands; and News on which you can see the activities of the people and bands you are following. You can switch between these four tabs by swiping your fingers right and left.

Also, in the menu, apart from  the settings, refresh, exit and tutorial options, you will see the forum. You will be automatically logged in to the forum and you will be able get help if needed or just meet people.

The most unexpected feature of the app, if I may say, is the collaboration feature. It seems the developers hated the idea of multiple people pawing the same device collaborating on a song and thought about this feature. Instead of composing the song in one device with ten hands on the same device, you can compose it with ten devices and ten hands. This looks like a good feature to have for your friends who say “Let’s form a band and play some cool songs, huh?” all the time. Just get them sign up and make their dreams come true.

Now back to Community tab… If you think there are some talented artists out there who haven’t been explored yet, this is the place where you can find them. This is also a good place to find out what the app can achieve and to be amazed about it. Surely, there are users who are more experienced than you and me and they publish their works here and let you listen to, favorite and like the song. You can communicate with the writer of your favorite song in the community and convince them to collaborate with you.

The developer told us that a new update is on the way: “We’re working on a new version including a new Sampler device right now. The users will be able to record their own sounds and make custom synth instruments with this update. We hope to release it in the coming weeks.”

So, PocketBand offers you a band in your pockets and the opportunity of publishing your songs to a growing community. That sounded like Fruity Loops and MySpace in your pocket, right?

If you enjoy making music on your own and sharing with people, you should definitely give PocketBand a try. Currently, there is a 50% discount on the full version of the app which makes it $ 4.99. This is probably a good time to buy the app and get the updated version free if you are into the music composing applications. Here are the Download links for you to try out the Lite version or get the Pro version.

Download PocketBand Lite:


Get it on Google Play

Download PocketBand Pro:


Get it on Google Play

Screenshots from PocketBand Pro:

Moodagent for playlists based on your moods

Want to listen to some music but can’t decide what to listen to? Try out the Moodagent app for Android. This application auto-generates and plays music for you based on the mood you select on the sliders. If you want some “Happy” music, just side the Yellow Happy slider all the way to the top and slide the rest down. Mix and match these sliders to get a playlist to listen to.

When you start-up the  Moodagent application for the first time, it syncs your music collection with the  music profiles they  have online. The music profiles for your collection are then downloaded to your phone, and this is used to create the playlists when you play with the sliders in the application. Anytime you add more music to your collection on the phone, the application re-syncs these profiles, or you can trigger a manual sync as well.

You also have control on playlists which are generated. If you long press a song, you get options to exclude the track and the artists from the playlists.

Here are the features supported by Moodagent:

  • Automatically profiles your music based on emotion, mood, genre, sub-genre, style, tempo, beat, vocals, instruments and production features
  • Instantly create mood-based playlists
  • Create playlists based on seed track
  • Save playlists
  • Remove songs from playlist
  • Share your mood and taste in music on Facebook and Twitter
  • Renew the playlist within the slider settings
  • Customise the desired length of playlist
  • Lock tracks to the playlist to keep them in your generated playlists
  • Exclude tracks or artists you don’t want to show up in your playlists

To download this application, search for Moodagent in Android Market app on your phone or scan the QR code above.
This app should work on any device running Android version 1.5 and up. A data connection though WiFi, Edge, or 3G Network required to receive profiles.

Learn more about this app from the publisher’s site at www.moodagent.com

mSpot releases an Android Client

mSpot Android Client Screenshots

mSpot is a service allowing users to upload their music to the cloud and listen to it anywhere on a PC or mobile phone. They’ve just released their Android client, so you can access their services and listen to your collection streamed straight to your phone.

Scan to Download

mSpot’s free service provides you with 2GB of online storage. They’ve got premium plans going up to around $14 per month for 100GB of storage for your music collection on the cloud. A useful service to have if you have limited storage on your phone and an unlimited data plan. Apart from streaming your music collection to your mobile phone, you can also listen to your collection from your desktop at home or work.

To use this application, your has to run Android 2.0 or higher. The app itself if free, but you’ll need at least a free mSpot account with 2GB storage to use it. Learn more about mSpot from their site. Search for mSpot on the Android Market to find this app. Alternately, you can scan the QR code on the right on your phone to access the application.

Want to get an idea of how mSpot works? Check out this video –

Playlist DJ now available for non-touch Symbian phones

Syntonetic, has just released the non-touch version of the popular application, which creates playlists based on your mood, according to this press release. This application is available for free on Ovi Store. If you have a large music collection on your phone and find it hard to decide on what to play, this is one application you shouldn’t miss out on.

From their Press Release:

Designed for music enthusiasts, Playlist DJ is the ideal solution for people who feel their music libraries have become unmanageable. This app gives users a unique tool to create playlists in less than 5 seconds. Playlist DJ finds the best tracks to cater to an unexpected mood, to change a mood or to find music that works well together. Listeners can also ‘seed’ a song to create an entire playlist based on one tune, remove songs from playlists and save and name favorite playlists.

If you want to see how this application works before you try it out, check out this video from Nokia Conversations:

Playlist DJ now supports:
Nokia 5320 XpressMusic
Nokia 5630 Xpress Music
Nokia 5730 XpressMusic
Nokia 6210 Navigator
Nokia 6220 Classic
Nokia 6700 Slide
Nokia 6710 Navigator
Nokia 6720 classic
Nokia 6730 classic
Nokia N78
Nokia N79
Nokia N85
Nokia N86 8MP
Nokia N96
Nokia 5230
Nokia 5233
Nokia 5530
Nokia 5800
Nokia N97
Nokia X6

For more information on this application check out Playlist DJ on Ovi Store or Syntonetic’s site.

Mobbler – Last.fm music on the go

If you’ve got a Last.fm subscription and want to listen to that on the go, try out Mobbler, the Last.fm client for Symbian phones.

You can listen to your favourite music streamed straight from Last.fm to your phone. Mobbler allows you to listen to your Favorite ‘Loved’ Tracks, your Radio Station, your Neighbourhood. You can also listed to the music based on tags or artists search.

While you are listening to music, you can add the currently playing track to your play-list on Last.fm and even mark tracks as favorites, so you can listen to them later on any Last.fm client.

Are you Scrobbling?

If you have Mobbler running in the background, you can also have the music you are playing on your phone’s music player ‘scrobbled’. What ‘scrobbled’ means is that Mobbler send the information about the song you are playing to Last.fm .

How is this good?

Based on your listening history, Last.fm can recommend other songs and artists that you may be interested in. You can listen to these recommendations as well on Mobbler.

If you’re planning on using this application for your listening pleasure, make sure you’re connected on WiFi or have an Unlimited Data plan on your number. This application does use a lot of bandwidth. If you’re on a lean bandwidth plan and don’t mind a little bit of degradation in sound quality, head over to the Settings menu and change the bitrate to 64kbps.

If you just want to scrobble what you are listening to on your phone, you just need a free last.fm account and Mobbler is also a free application. If you want to listen to music straight from Last.fm and listen to your recommendations, you’ll need a Last.fm paid subscription which is $3 per month.

You can get Mobbler from Ovi Store at store.ovi.com/content/27017

Mobbler is an Open Source Software,  you can head out to their Google code site to learn more about the project and follow them on twitter @Mobbler.

Nokia 5233 – Size Comparisons

The 5233 is exactly the same size of a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic both measuring 111 x 51.7 x 15.5 mm.

To give you a better idea of size of the 5233, here are a few snaps of the 5233 alongside Nokia’s current flagship the N97.

Let me know if i’ve missed out anything and what more you’d like to know about the 5233.

Follow us on twitter, we’re @myportableworld!

Nokia 5233 – Final Roundup


We’ve had the Nokia 5233 for a while now and its about time we gave you a list of the things we liked as well as disliked.

First up the things we didn’t particularly like about the 5233.

Removing the SIM card– Putting the SIM card in the 5233 is quite simple, taking it out though is another story altogether(as is the case with the 5800). You need to remove the rear panel, the battery and the stylus, then use the stylus to gently coerce the SIM out of the phone. This procedure is quite a pain especially if you have multiple SIM cards. There has to be a simpler alternative to this process, hopefully this will be addressed at some point for  future models.

Removing the sim card is quite tedious.

The Media key– Like the 5800 the 5233 has a dedicated media key at the right hand corner above the screen. It manages to reduce the clutter on the homescreen and makes accessing your music,  the web and your images very easy. But unlike on the 5800 it isn’t illuminated,I was totally oblivious to the button for the first day.  Its such a neat little option to have, unless you already knew it was there you’d miss it completely. The tiny details matter and this is one of them.

Media key has no backlight

No memory card in the box– Well given the extraordinarily low price of the 5233, I can’t really complain about a missing memory card in the box.The phone memory is adequate, but if you want to download Ovi maps onto the phone or store your favorite music on the phone, its quite insufficient. I’d suggest picking up a memory card for the phone(it can support upto 16gb). Another thing that you’ll miss is the micro USB cable which isn’t included in the box.

Makes sense to invest in a MicroSD card

Kinetic Scrolling–  The main menus don’t have kinetic scrolling, but surprisingly the sub menus do. I found this really weird and annoying, for the first few hours at the very least. This is a minor grouse especially since it can be rectified(hopefully) with upcoming software upgrades.

No Auto Focus– The 2Megapixel camera is good enough, works fine in indoors and gets the job done in low light. You won’t really notice the absence of a flash, but for those close up shots you’ll really miss the auto focus.

And now to the things we liked about the 5233.

The Screen – The screen on the 5233 is top notch, it really makes the phone feel like a quality product, it is incredibly vibrant and crisp, the clarity is incredible. Honestly the phone’s screen is miles ahead of Nokia’s current flagship device the N97, which is four times as expensive. The resistive touch screen is incredibly tactile and offers good feedback.  It manages to keep itself quite free from smudges, and even if they do happen to show up you’d hardly notice them.

The screen is just brilliant.

The Battery Life- The 1320mAh Bl-5J battery has a decent backup, with heavy usage it held out for over a day and a half  on a single charge. When stretched out it lasted almost four days. I’d say with normal usage the 5233 should last two days on a single charge without much trouble.

The Recessed Camera Lens– The 5233 is built exactly like the Nokia 5800XpressMusic with the camera at the back. There isn’t a lens cover for the camera, instead the lens of the 5233 is recessed and protects it really well. You’d have to be pretty talented to scratch the lens with normal use.

Recessed Camera Lens a boon

Wrapping it all up I’d say the Nokia 5233 is an excellent phone. The features on offer at the price are incredible. At no point does it feel cheap, it has a real quality feel to it, sure there have been a few bits trimmed out to fit the price bracket.  This is after all a budget touch phone, and that has to be taken into consideration.  If you’re on a budget and want a touch screen smart phone look no further, the 5233 is what you need.

Nokia 5233 – Music and Camera

Coming to the music, Nokia doesn’t classify as the XpressMusic phone. Nevertheless it seems to function as one, it has the dedicate media key just above the screen making it easier to access the web, images and music. The loud speaker situated on the left hand side on the device isn’t stereo and isn’t very loud, quality is mediocre at best. the headphones supplied with the phone are quite sufficient and maintain audio integrity. The only thing you’ll miss on the headphones is a music control option, even more the volume control on the headphones is missing. I’d have though volume control would’ve been a minimum requirement for any phone with headphones.

The media player on the 5233 is the standard player as with most Nokia devices so you won’t have any problems navigating your way through the menus. Creating your own playlists is a real breeze, so mixing and matching is never an issue. To fully utilise the music capabilities of the phone you will need to pick up a microSD memory card, the phone memory is simply not large enough to hold more than a couple of songs. You can extend the phone’s storage using microSD cards upto 16 GB.

There is only one camera on the 5233 and you won’t miss a forward facing camera on the phone, especially since it doesn’t have 3G or WiFi capabilities. The 2 megapixel camera is good enough for daytime shots, and the 5233 doesn’t have a flash. But what you’ll really miss is the auto focus, trying to take any close up shots is just impossible. The saving grace on the 5233 when it comes to imaging is the screen. You’ll really be able to enjoy the shots you’ve taken because the screen quality is exceptional.  The camera comes with usual adjustable camera settings like ISO, white balance and exposure to name a few. The camera lens is recessed so you won’t have to worry about any scratches on it. It also comes with a self timer, but the only way to balance the camera on a flat surface is by putting the phone upside down, a minor nit pick, the i’m sure the more industrious will be able to figure out way to counter it.

I’ve put up a  small gallery of snaps taken on the 5233 with varying conditions.

Indoors with Bright Lighting
Outdoors with Bright Lighting
Close up shots turn out quite blurry
Indoors with Bright Lighting
Indoors with Low Lighting

Let me know if i’ve missed anything in this part of the review. Also, do let us know what else you would like to see.

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