Free Monster headphones when you buy a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900 in Australia!

I just got an email about this new Nokia promotion and it sounds great! (literally) Basically for the next 2 weeks, if you buy a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900 handset, you will get a free Nokia Purity HD On-Ear stereo headset worth $249 RRP for FREE. The headphone is made by Monster who are famous for their Beats range of headphones. So you are guaranteed that they will sound excellent.

I’ve actually had experienced the headset first hand for about 2 weeks and all I can say is that it is one fashionable and good sounding closed-style headphones. It is well padded, has decent isolation and has a surprisingly neutral sound without any over-powering bass or treble. If you like your headphones thumping with bass however, this may not be the right one for you. But overall, they look and sound the part. They certainly can seek attention of everyone around you depending on the color so just keep that in mind. I wouldn’t go anything other than black myself but if you are all about fashion, certainly go for the blue or pink as they definitely stand out from the crowd. =)

Official press release is below for more information.

 

Latest Nokia promotion is music to the ears of Aussie smartphone fans

Free Monster headphones when you buy a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900

Sydney, Australia – 15 August 2012. Today, Nokia is launching an exciting promotion giving Aussie music lovers the chance to get their hands on a free Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster – worth $249 – with Nokia Lumia 800 or900 purchases between 15th August – 30th September 2012.

The Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset, the first in a line of top quality headsets from Nokia’s partnership with Monster, has a contemporary design and produces great sound quality.  The headset comes with an on-cable remote which acts as both a mic and also media control for the phone.

To add to that, you get all the features you’d expect from Monster’s premium range of headphones: tangle-free wires, removable cable and a hard carry case to store them.

Lumia smartphone owners can also use their headset to enjoy Nokia Music and other services such as Mix Radio, which stream hours of music for free.  There’s also Gigfinder that lets you search for local music events, share your discoveries using SMS, email or social networks and buy concert tickets online.

The Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset comes in black, white, cyan and magenta colours to match the Lumia smartphones.

For more information on the promotion visit nokia.com.au or consumers can redeem the offer at http://www.lumiamonster.com.au before 15th October 2012.

Offer applies to purchases of the Nokia Lumia 800 or Nokia Lumia 900 from 15th August to 30th September 2012 and only while stocks last. Other terms and conditions apply.

About Nokia
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia’s technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognised in the world. For more information, visit http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia

Informal Q&A with Damian Dinning @ Nokia on 808 PureView

I wish I was holding one right now. =(

Nokia 808 PureView was a bigger hit than expected by most. Yes, it had the super-fantastic mega-awesome camera but many criticized the rest of its specs such as the low screen resolution, less-popular Symbian OS, thickness etc. But despite all that, the almighty camera alone was good enough to make all the media fall in love with it and then some. Anyways, I want one soooo badly but I can’t really afford one right now and it doesn’t help when it’s not even going to be released in Australia where I live. Very upset indeed. I would have loved to write up my own 808 Pureview camera review much like my previous N8 camera review. =(

Nonetheless, I still had some questions about its specs, its capabilities, what Damian@Nokia had in store for us in the future etc so I shot off an informal email and thankfully he responded. We ended up having a few emails going back and forth exchanging our thoughts. I am basically going to copy and paste most parts of the email but please note that not all the numbered questions below were actually asked as a question. Damian just responded to some of my thoughts and I just included them as part of this post as I thought it was worth sharing.

Questions & Answers

1. What is the maximum ISO value capable by the 808’s sensor technically?

“1600 is the maximum available”

2. Why was it limited to 1600 when it surely could have done at least 3200 or 6400 going by the noise level shown at 1600?

“There is actually more gain applied than n8. N8’s ISO range was 100 – 800 which is 8x gain, whereas 808 is 50 – 1600 which is effectively 4x more gain than the n8. This was made possible through various improvements in the sensor processing as well as of course oversampling.”

3. Is there a possibility to get an update that enables higher ISO later?

“Theoretically possible, but we spent a LOT of time considering this and felt that in manual ISO providing 1600 was the best way forward for those users who knew what they were doing. In other modes it’s limited to 800 to ensure very high satisfaction related to what we knew would be a very high expectation. The challenge we have sometimes is in making sure people respond in a positive way. We know we can’t please everyone. So whilst some may tolerate the higher noise level, others may aim to create a negative reputation based around noise being higher than expected. We wanted to make sure we really delight people, sometimes that may mean a trade-off in the eyes of some to achieve that. It’s always very challenging to cater for so many different opinions. It’s one of the main reasons we spend so much time listening to people to try and get the balance right for as many as possible.”

4. What is the auto-ISO range used when recording videos? (I know you don’t do videos but just in case you knew)

“It’s equivalent to 800 ISO”

5. Is the ADC used in 808 Pureview 12bit or 14bit?

“Not sure if I am allowed to reveal such info…”

6. It seems it’s quite clear that PureView technology will be used in future WP8 Nokia phones. I admit that I’m walking on thin ice here but are you able to even hint that what we will see relatively soon (within 2012-2013) could possibly be the “same” (sensor size/MP count) or “better” than what we currently have in 808 PureView?

“What we have stated is that you will see PureView used in future products, but we have not stated when or in what way. PureView is about high performance optics, high performance sensors and leading edge image processing. Those elements can be used in a number of different ways and you will see us applying these in dfferent ways.”

"I'm not a fan of dong stuff just because digital cameras do and I don't think any digital camera currently available as what I would consider to be a reference."

7. Will we ever see a real enthusiast version of a device using PureView? (full manual aperture/shutter speed control, RAW support, jog dial or rotating lens ring controls etc) Basically more of a high-end compact camera with phone capabilities. =)

“There is a lot of change currently and I expect a lot more to come. Looking at what digital cameras is like looking in the rear view mirror. As DP review reported this week as a result of the soon to be available camera extras for Lumia products, the camera industry is now moving slowly and being left behind, still stuck to years of legacy. We are breaking free from that legacy and the 808 is the first true example of this. This means we will NOT implement elements just because they are in digital cameras, but only if we feel they make sense for the variety of users we aim to serve.”

8. Were any of the listed features that I put down as my wish list to you&Nokia been in any way mentioned in any part of your meetings? (I mean in general. I’m not saying that I was the first for any of these ideas) Such as: Displaying more exposure information at time of exposure/focus, custom function volume buttons, noise reduction setting, shutter speed priority mode etc)

“What I can say is that all of those we had discussed already ourselves. Some may come in the future, while others are not possible and others we chose not to do for various reasons, most likely because there is a missing enabler of some kind. In summary if they come they come, if they don’t, probably a very good reason why not.”

9. I can understand how high ISO noise could result in “See I told you, what do you expect cramming 41MP into a tiny sensor?” type of comments. But at the same time, I also feel that it’s little things like this which make it less of a camera than it could be. It’s a double-edged sword I know. As you are oversampling anyways, you could have made ISO 3200 option only available at 5MP or 3MP PureView mode and not Full resolution. (Note – this was not a question and was part of our email conversation later on)

“The idea of possibly having a higher ISO setting just in PureView mode is an interesting one, will take a look, but can’t promise anything, I think there was another limitation to 1600 as well but can’t remember what it was as it was academic in the end because of the reasons I outlined before.”

10. Many actually now think lower mega pixel (=density) has better IQ. Nearly all of my friends/collegues care more about low noise without flash than zoom/crop/high MP also. If Nokia made 808 Pureview with same size sensor but made it 5MP with RAW/advanced features/ISO12800 capability, I would snap one up no matter what! (Note – this was not a question and was part of our email conversation later on)

“Regards to 5mp vs 41mp, this wouldn’t have enabled zoom and that was our main driver behind the hi res sensor. 5mp sensor of the same size actually would not give any dfferent performance. Calculations have shown that the with the oversampling our performance is the same as would be possible with a same size 5mp sensor. So this way you get the best of both :)”

I would like to thank Damian Dinning again for taking time answering my questions and exchanging our different thoughts.

Nokia Lumia 800 Australia Treasure Hunt starting May 7th!

Nokia Australia and Telstra are going to give away (well, sort of) 2 white coloured Lumia 800 mobile phones every weekday of next week. Basically, they will hide 2 phones somewhere within the city (I assume the CBD?) and with the clues provided on Telstra’s Facebook page, you go looking for it and it’s yours if you find it. Not just that but you also get a $1000 credit prepaid SIM with 2GB of data. Awesome!

I hope they make it challenging enough yet not too obvious that both disappear within like 30 minutes of releasing the hint. But at least they should mention the street name as a 1st hint so I don’t search 10 km away from where it actually is hidden. =p

Anyways, a total of 10 white Nokia Lumia 800s are up for grabs as part of the #LumiaQuest treasure hunt across five major cities in Australia – with two phones to hidden in each city every day next week:

Monday – 7 May 2012 –Brisbane
Tuesday – 8 May 2012 –Melbourne
Wednesday – 9 May 2012 –Perth
Thursday – 10 May –Adelaide
Friday – 11 May – Sydney

Clues will be posted on Telstra’s Facebook page each day. Whoever finds the phones will get to keep the white Nokia Lumia 800, which will also come with aTelstra $50 Pre-Paid Cap Encore recharge with $1000.00 credit and 2GB of data to get started.

More information about the competition can be found on the Telstra blog:
http://exchange.telstra.com.au/2012/04/27/nokia-lumia-quest/

Pentile matrix AMOLED comparison – Galaxy Note vs Lumia 800 vs Omnia 7

Galaxy Note vs Lumia 800 vs Omnia 7

Here are some photos of 3 mobile phones’s displays with Pentile RGBG matrix AMOLED. For more info on PenTile matrix AMOLED, please see this wiki.

Samsung Galaxy Note = 5.3 inch 1280 x 800 resolution (285 PPI)
Nokia Lumia 800 = 3.7 inch 800 x 480 resolution (252 PPI)
Samsung Omnia 7 = 4.0 inch 800 x 480 resolution (233 PPI) (This is same screen as Samsung Galaxy S1)

Note – As I don’t have a very high quality lens on my Panasonic GH2 camera nor a macro lens ,the photos aren’t as good as I hoped it would be but it should still show you what pentile-matrix looks like up close on these phones and also show you minor differences between the 3 phones of the same text and nearly the same size. You can click on each photo in this article for a much larger version. Please ignore the slight blurriness in some photos as that’s not due to the screen but due to being out of focus. Also ignore the colors as that may be due to slight difference in white balance of each photo.

Galaxy Note vs Lumia 800 vs Omnia 7

100% crop – Galaxy Note vs Lumia 800 vs Omnia 7

All the photos are in the order of:
Left – Galaxy Note
Middle – Lumia 800
Right – Omnia 7


Please click on each “W” image for a much larger 100% crop version.

Above image is already 100% crop size. Please click on each phone’s image for a much larger non-100% crop version.

Notice how each of the Note’s characters that are roughly the same size (or even smaller) actually consists of more pixels than the Lumia 800 or Omnia 7. Just from the enlarged 100% crop photos, it’s not very easy to tell just how much difference there is between each other.  But in real life where it’s much smaller, this subtle difference makes the Note’s higher PPI display to be far more crisper and pretty much get away with having a pentile-matrix AMOLED even when reading even the tiniest of texts. This doesn’t so much apply on the Lumia 800 and more so on the Omnia 7 due to their lower resolution and PPI. However, Lumia 800 with its slightly higher PPI is still better than the Omnia 7 and it is definitely noticeable when looking at small texts.

Many people just bad-mouth pentile matrix AMOLED for what it is but when the PPI gets over 250 PPI like on the Lumia 800, the visual negatives are very much minimized and quite difficult to tell unless you point it out exactly. When it’s something like 285 or over like that on the Galaxy Note or Galaxy Nexus (315 PPI), it practically becomes a non-issue and now you are just pixel peeping just for the sake of pixel peeping. Unless you always use your phone from about an inch away from your eye. Well, my naked eye can’t even focus that close so if you can, I think you have super powers. =p