All posts tagged Africa

tv

Smarten Up Your TV As Humax’s Set-Top Boxes To Carry Opera TV Store

To give people more options for enjoying TV-optimized, online content, Humax, the world’s leading set-top-box manufacturer, will launch the Opera TV Store on its new set-top boxes in 2013. Customers are able to enhance their connected TV experience simply by selecting and installing web apps from the Opera TV Store.

The HTML5-powered Opera TV Store is a fully cloud-based app store, offering a comfortable “lean-back” experience without complex interactions requiring typing or searching. Every TV application in the Opera TV Store is a web-based application and optimized to work on TV by adjusting to different screen sizes and resolutions. There are many HTML5 apps for video, music, games and news available now in the Opera TV Store for users to select.

“Your TV can now be smarter, thanks to expanded functionality from apps, just like those for mobile phones,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Apps play a key role in content discovery. With the Opera TV Store on Humax’s new set-top boxes, you can discover lots of interesting and entertaining online content that has already been optimized for TV screens. This brings users a better internet experience on TV.”

“People tend to consume more content on the internet these days. Sometimes, you need a bigger screen to enjoy them,” says Tae Hun Kim, head of the Business Division, Humax. “Humax chose the Opera TV Store to deliver video-rich and graphics-rich online content through our set-top boxes and take the TV viewing experience to a new level.”

To further engage end users with web content, brand and content publishers can deliver a unique experience through the Opera TV Store. Since every TV app is built using web standards, such as CSS and HTML5, developers can easily repurpose their existing HTML5 applications running on desktop computers and mobile phones to work on TVs. Opera also provides HTML5 templates to make the development simpler for the Opera TV Store and help the developers to distribute their apps throughout the world, easily. As of now, there are more than 100 high-quality, HTML5-powered TV apps available on the Opera TV Store. People who purchase new Humax set-top boxes will be able to enjoy various TV optimized web content, featuring Associate Press News, AUPEO!, Facebook, Spotify, Redux TV, Twitter, Viewster, Vimeo and more.
About Humax

Humax Co., Ltd. (Humax), founded in 1989 in South Korea, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of digital set-top boxes, exporting its products to over 90 countries across the globe. The company has built a solid reputation as a leading supplier of high quality, feature-rich digital TV set-top boxes and digital video recorders (DVRs), for cable, satellite, and terrestrial, IPTV, and IP-Hybrid broadcasting.

Humax is positioned as a leading brand of set-top boxes in retail markets in UK, Germany, and the Middle East. As a leading brand, Humax participated in the digital switchover projects, Freeview HD and Freesat digital TV service, in the UK. Also in 2009, Humax launched the IP-Hybrid platform in Germany. In the Middle East, Humax continues to expand its reputation by leading the HD switchover movement.

The company’s headquarters and R&D facility are based in Korea, with 16 offices worldwide including UK, US, Germany, France, Dubai, Germany, France, Italy, India, Japan, Thailand, and Australia. Humax exceeded KRW 1 trillion in revenue in 2010 and employs more than 800 people worldwide.

About Opera Software ASA

Opera Software was founded in 1994, based on the idea that access to the web should be a universal right. 275 million people (and counting) use the Opera web browsers for computers, mobile phones, TVs and other connected devices. Learn more about Opera at www.opera.com.

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Experience The Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013 on StarAfrica.com

StarAfrica.com has pulled out all the stops to make sure all internet users enjoy the Orange Africa Cup of Nations held in South Africa in 2013.  A team of sports journalists based in South Africa to bring you live and exclusive coverage of the events, and recapture the atmosphere in the host cities. Videos made on location featuring the day’s events and a news feed including the latest items available on Twitter and Facebook.

All matches with live text commentary, introducing the teams and their players, with live commentary of the matches, statistics and analysis after the game, along with interviews with the players and coaches. There is also a photo gallery to relive the action and feel the atmosphere; as well as a team of sports reporters and supporters in various African countries, providing articles and analysis of the competition.

So supporters, get ready for the  Orange AFCON 2013 fan kit, with games to support your team, a supporter wallpaper for download, and the online Mexican wave. You can also vote for your “favorite player” throughout the competition. Who will win the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations? Will the Zambians hold onto their title? Or will it be the Ivorian Elephants? Perhaps the host country – the Bafana Bafana? Or another team of champions like the Super Eagles of Nigeria?

With three teams of journalists based in Africa, StarAfrica.com provides exclusive articles throughout the year, making it a benchmark website on African football.

StarAfrica.com covers all the major sports events across Africa (most notably the competitions of the African Football Confederation) and follows more than 20 national African championships. And to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, StarAfrica.com is available in English, French and Arabic.

About StarAfrica.com

StarAfrica.com is Orange’s entertainment website providing content for all African countries. StarAfrica.com is the ‘the’ website for young people in Africa, with its two flagship channels, football and education. In all StarAfrica.com provides 7 channels, on news, football, more sports, music, education, jobs and the shop. Learn more: StarAfrica.com

yabasco

#CcHub: Sportwilla And Tiketmobile Set To Take The Stage At Showcase Tuesday

Showcase Tuesday holds every fortnight and is designed to help CcHUB Community Members showcase projects/products they are working on and get useful feedback that will help in future versions.

The first edition for the year holds tomorrow, 8th January 2013 at 3 pm and each project is allotted 30 mins: 15 minutes for presentation and the other 15 minutes for a Q&A session.

This week will see techies and enthusiast alike listen in and provide feedback to the 2 startups to be featured: Stanley Ojadovwa will be showcasing Sportwilla while Celestine Ezeokoye will give us a sneak preview of the Tiketmobile app.

SPORTWILLA

Sportwilla is a sport social network that gives sports fans the ability to talk to other sports fans about their clubs and games. It aims to become the #1 place to interact with sport fans across the globe. It also hopes to attain stickiness through its inbuilt gamification mechanism.

TIKETMOBILE

Tiketmobile lets bus travellers easily find and buy bus tickets on their phones. They would be able to pay using their ATM cards and receive notifications via SMS when payments have been made. Bus transport companies easily manage their transport schedules and passengers.

We’d be on ground to give you updates, so you can follow the hashtag #sctuesday from our handle @OTEKBITS.

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Here’s What Went Down At Tech Training eXpo: Programming ++

Tech Training Expo event was educational packed and delivered impacted training as promised, as professionals and students from tech industry attended the event to learn more about programming and Software application development. The attendees ranged from novice to expert, and all were fully taking through hands-on programming for the 2-day period.

Here’s How It Went Down At TTX++

The floor was opened by FrameFactory, a group of graphics designers who mainly focus on 3D animation and have done great stuffs for their clientelle.

Muyiwa Folorunsho, a Lead Software Developer at MTech communication and a passionate IT trainer was introduced to talk on Programming: The Enterprise Perspective. Muyiwa did shed light on how and why software should be developed. He also talked to the attendees on the need of software applications and development with some basic coding lines.

The room was split into 3 groups after Muyiwa’s session for coding hands-on. Group 1 was for Mobile & Web Apps (HTML5, CSS, Javascript and Java), Group 2 was for Linux bash scripting, Image processing & Algorithms, and Group 3 was for Programming 101 (Python).

There was a Google hangout with Dr.Guruprasad Hegde, popularly know was Guru, a Robotics Engineer at TATA Motors and Adeyemi Fowe, A Research Scientist at Nokia. The hangout session was for question and answer and some attendees asked some industry burning questions like: How can we move from just being familiar with programming languages to actually being professional Developers?” Most of the questions were tweeted via OTEKBITS’s handle and suitable answers were given by Fowe and Guru.

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Emeka Okoye took the stage after the lunch break and he talked about Mobile Application Programming: The African Perspective. Emeka known as Data man, started with real data stats like Top 8 mobile OS in Africa, Nigeria Mobile landscape, Mobile Africa stats and other informative stats. He later moved on to what was needed for Mobile development, especially the environment such as: Android (java, C), Blackberry (Java), iOS(Objective-C), J2ME/MIDP(Java) among others. He also gave list of SDKs for different environment and where to get resources. He did take a quick dive into mentorship-like talks, what developers are contributing to the society and how they chould do more.

Next was Mobile Payment Application Integration, a presentation by Paga Tech. Attendees would not forget the ‘How to pitch a project’ interactive session with speakers, as they had the opportunity of presenting ideas or projects there are working on. After pitching was the next breakout where Facebook, Twitter and Google API, Bash Scripting and SMS to Web sessions were covered, and that wraped up Day 1.

Day 2 At TTX++

The second day was fun and the excitement level only increased. At the even was Femi Taiwo of Lagos Google Developer Group, and the day started with breakout sessions with four groups. The first group was for Mobile & Web Apps, second was for Image processing & Algorithms, third was for Programming 101 and the fourth was for Entrepreneur and Tech enthusiast which was led by Femi Taiwo.

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Bod Toki a Software Engineer at Google London took the stage to talk on Principles, Patterns and Practices for developing a world-class software. Bod Toki shared his experience as an Engineer for Google and previous places he had worked with ways of having a successful coding project, Bod’s session was fun as attendees could relate to his story because it’s what they now pass through on daily basis.

There were many other interactive and hands-on session throughout the day as well as networking at the end of the event.

What People Said About TTX++

We had an opportunity to talk to some guys and here are what they had to say:

“It was an experience for me as I have been looking forward to network with fellow students and get to know what they are doing and how I can learn from them. I also enjoyed the Mobile & Web programming session”  - Ayo Oladele, a student.

“We need such platform because we cannot get the skills required in the world in school especially when it comes to programming” - Tosin oyekan, a student.

“I actually enjoyed the algorithm session, I have been having issues with algorithm in the project am currently working on +this really showed me way to go about it, Thanks guys” - Akin Owoade, a software developer at Cederview Technology

eskimi

7 Question For CEO – Vytas Paukštys: Eskimi Music, Fan Club, And Brands

Editor’s Note: Eskimi had a good 2012, with accolades like crossing the 10 million users mark, and launching some new product and features. We got CEO, Vytas Paukstys to answer 7 questions covering areas including: Eskimi Music, Fan Club, Mobile money, Nigerian brands, and opportunities.

Q1. How was 2012 for Eskimi – your milestones and top moments, and did you meet/surpass your expectations?

2012 was a year of preparation, hard work and learning. We were working to improve the product, started working with the largest brands in Nigeria, and did a lot of market education on how mobile marketing can be used and what the metrics to track the performance are. We see that 2012 was the year when brands understood that digital marketing is a good channel to communicate. We did a lot of seminars, webinars, and workshops for brands to show what mobile media can offer.

I think we have reached that point where the market actually believes that mobile in Nigeria is up to 10 times larger than traditional web and that this is the most important media currently.

We reached our goals in terms of growth, sales and partnerships. I guess the main things that we achieved include: launch of our mobile money platform, launch of our developer API, introduction of advanced and unique tools for brands, getting main brands in Nigeria to start using Eskimi as their marketing channel, becoming second mobile destination position in Nigeria, and launching Eskimi Premium Fanclub functionality

Q2. You have just recently joined forces with iROKING for Eskimi Music, how has that been so far in terms of reception?

This is a very recent product and we kept it in testing mode for the first weeks. We see that users are getting back to the service, downloading songs, but we will announce the statistics later on. Now I see that this is one of the products that people were missing. There are many illegal content sites where people cannot get quality content. This new product changes the mobile music market. And it creates sponsorship opportunities to brands.

Q3. Now you’ve got a new feature on Eskimi – tell us about Eskimi Fan Clubs

Eskimi Premium Fanclubs is a new functionality for brands to engage with their users. Our main goal is to deliver high participation and engagement rates, show that it can be much better than the traditionally used media (like Facebook pages). Fanclub is a branded page but with a lot of gaming and engagement features like Treasure hunts and Photo competitions. The participation rates we have seen so far are amazing. Pepsi fanclub reached 50,000 fans in less than a month and one of the last posts was commented and liked by 21,000 people. This is an unseen participation. People are really spending a lot of time in these clubs.

Q4. What has been the reception from brands and Eskimi users, and what are future plans to have this become core of Eskimi usage?

Brands love the numbers and they speak for themselves – we are delivering up to 20-50 times better participation rates than Facebook. We understand that Facebook has a strong brand among businesses, but we always explain that the eye balls, time spent and positive engagement is what matters. We will be launching a lot of new fanclubs in the next 6 months. The best thing is that Eskimi users like it a lot – they love the games, prizes and Eskimi coins incentives. We can even give instant airtime prizes for the most active participants. Any brand that wants to have their fan pages on Eskimi should contact us.

Q5. Any other features we should be expecting from Eskimi soon or this year?

We have recently launched J2ME chat app to improve the chatting experience and make it realtime. We will be pushing it further. We are working on our HTML5 and Android applications. The smartphone market is still very very small, but we will launch these new platforms to be up to date for the users. We are also launching a new B2B portal to showcase what Eskimi can do for your brand.

Q6. One question you wished we asked you?

Here it is: What would be your message to the brands and advertisers in Nigeria?

I guess this one: Eskimi is here for you. We have a strong advertisement and product team not to only deliver simple traffic campaigns. We think a lot for the brands to deliver the end result and not only clicks. We do consulting on campaigns, landing pages; mobile phone optimization reports to check if the landings are compatible. Agencies that we worked with are saying that Eskimi delivers best conversion rates and best engagement rates. I guess this is the most important metric.

Q7. Any opportunities for our readers at Eskimi at the moment?

Yes! There is. Eskimi is looking for the best sales manager from Nigeria. The person should have digital marketing or just digital experience, sales experience and maintain active contacts in the digital and media space in Nigeria (agencies and brands). Anyone interested should shoot me an email to vytas@eskimi.com.

The End

Thanks Vytas for taking out time to answer some of our questions. We’d be expecting stats from the Eskimi music product, and sure looking to open OTEKBITS fan club as soon as possible.

Readers can send in questions they’d like to ask tech entrepreneurs, and we’d try to get them answered – send to nubi@bits.ng.

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peek

2013: A Peek At Nigeria’s Tech Trends

Editor’s Note: Oluseun Onigbinde, 2012 Future Award Winner on Innovation (Science and Tech) leads BudgIT, a budget and public data visualisation startup.

TMS Ruge in an interview with Aljazeera gave an inspiring insight to the state of technology development in Africa. In that analytical explanation he highlighted four exciting things emanating from the African space namely Open Government, Mobile Money, Local Hardware Assembly and Tech Hubs. Unlike his eminence in technology, I shall limit my commentary to my noses – Nigeria. I think these few trends are critical to watch out for in 2013 namely:

Quality Delivery: The Nigerian telcos  bemoan decreasing revenue from voice calls especially as tariffs are tanking low on stiff competition. With rise of smartphones chiefly Blackberry, data is now the new marked turf. Etisalat and Glo seem to be leading the lowest data charges and also offering loads of incentives to ensure customers remain sticky. However, no one will like to watch the Google page load in five minutes, in 2013 empirical service quality will be a viral hymn.

I see a core focus on subscribers pitching their tent on basis of quality and the price war on data space flattening out. A chaotic push of improving last mile solutions and optimizing network performance is to be seen.  MTN keeps telling that it’s undergoing a modernization project and I hope the sign of things to come will be different. Beyond running the ‘fastest millionaire at 24’, 2013 is the year to validate it on the streets.  Number Portability has also been an overflogged issue with the suspicion that a cabal is holding the Nigeria mobile subscriber by the jugular. In 2013, excuses on allowing the customer switch network operators at ease will be spent.

Technology Hubs: The Ministry of ICT is not hiding the plan to establish three technology hubs in the country.  With the unusual pace and support of tech ecosystem, one or two might gather steam in 2013. Few private ones  will dot the Nigerian tech map in addition to a recent  iBridge Hub, Ibadan.

With Leviathan hurling the shots at developers with its TechLaunchPad initiative, are we on that ride of government getting smarter? Is the tech hub not beyond a well colored venue with excited youths fingering their laptops? How will these spaces foster mentorship and collaborative efforts, allow triumph of relevant local applications, put up targeted programmes to raise skill sets, allow lean startup approach to triumph ? Are we on a YouWin overdrive where we toss N10m at entrepreneurs and count it all glory?   Will government and private entrepreneurs open ultramodern cybercafés or will they understand how to nest innovations by harnessing the social capital?  In 2013, I think we will be scoring of the relevance of hubs to growth of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem. I am proud to be a beneficiary of the premier space.

Data: On Twitter (a buzzing city that never sleeps), Facebook, beer parlors, newspaper stands or anywhere where you find two or three Nigerians, there will be endless talk on state of the Nigerian government. The problem of reliable statistics will also emerge. In 2012, the fuel subsidy protests threw up figures form several data points with the citizen confused on who to believe. To have more critical discussion, public data will glow like coal embers.

Expect people to snoop around finding the hard facts to nail government at all levels. Harnessing this data and converting it to the Knowledge graph will be fun to watch. Scores of data might be demanded in 2013 and expect rise in civic apps (education, traffic, finance, health) woven around the mobile. Even for  the corporate establishments, it might be the time to open up to the emerging data scientist. 2013 is the time to watch for the Nigerian data scientist who takes the scattered jigsaw of data, finds an uncommon thread and crafts the right song for engagement and business growth.

Mobile Money:  Is mobile money really here to stay? Are we just in the copy settings whilst we neglect the necessity of rural cash transfers that triggered the mobile money drive in the Kenya? Figures and data are good to hear but sadly, these magnificent statistics are not yet getting to me. I still see the aspirational attitude in the Nigerian putting his savings in a brick and mortar bank and safely transferring through that means. I personally feel banks  and other vendors seem to have slowed the marketing binge on mobile money.

Maybe everyone watches which giant finds the magic bullet to go truly viral? Since the Telco’s will skirt on the sidelines on these according to the CBN rules, we might show some restraint on how this goes. I am of opinion that the mobile money needs to be well tested in a closed environment like a University, nested into every commerce within that region before its mainstreamed into the society.  Money and sentiments of safety will always abound in that excluded sector mobile money is expected to empower. Why not test gradually in 2013? I can count a few vendors going into oblivion already. In this space, creative destruction will be validated and the real actors will just stand up.

The e-commerce platforms now feel like a jungle and the Jumia and Konga  are leading the kingdom. The pace at which they are outpricing local vendors needs to be watched carefully. I imagine the rise of another startup to match the marketing verve of this duo to arrive with another unique selling point. Maybe, Traclist fills into the space. The SLOTS of this world need to be worried and late in 2013, they might realize the need to push hard online product offerings with payment options. The gaming space also offers exciting options.

The SharpSule application synced with Wema Bank brand is a trend to be watched within the corporate sector seeking youth engagement.  Finally, we might see the year of the co-founder.  Many more will emerge from competitions and hackathons.  Truly, folks will ask if  ‘the co-founder’ title is the new swag or the lamp post  of technology development.

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crossroad

The Quadrant Company Launches New Business Portal – Qlichy.com

Nigeria’s first full service Public Relations Consultancy, The Quadrant Company, has launched a business portal to link people searching for up-to-date information on businesses and organizations in Nigeria. The portal called Qlichy.com, seeks to expand opportunities for organizations, by maximizing their digital presence while reaching consumers, stakeholders and other businesses in a unique and cost effective way.

Qlichy.com will also serve as a platform for business and industry leaders to lead thoughts in their various sectors, public discussions on current issues and publicizing of News and Events on brands in Nigeria.The business portal serves as a Business Intelligence solution which will revolutionize the Public Relations industry and take full advantage of the potential of the cyberspace in Nigeria.

Speaking on the development, the Managing Director of The Quadrant Company, Mr. Bolaji Okusaga said that the Qlichy Business Portal is the first in a line of Business Intelligence solutions that will change the face of business in Nigeria. The Qlichy portal will afford anyone looking for current information on businesses to get what they need fast and easy. It also provides a thought leadership platform through which brands and corporate bodies can talk about industry issues and ideas. “Qlichy is a cross between a social network, a business directory and an E-commerce platform”, He said.

Mr. Okusaga also noted that the changing dynamics of media in Nigeria is one of the factors that necessitated the development of the platform. According to him, “the world is going digital even though traditional media is still relevant at the moment, the future lies in the online media.”

“About 10 years ago, the Television was the most consumed medium in the world but today, the internet has dethroned the Television in terms of media consumption. Today we have internet television on demand, youtube, internet radio, social networks and so much more”, He said. The opportunities for business are evident and as an industry leader, we are keying into these prospects.

Apart from the business directory, the portal also features a social forum, news and events segment and a platform for thought leadership. The portal is currently in the beta testing phase and will be fully operational in 2013.

dstv

UGANDA: DSTV, MTN Pledge 10% Discount For Mobile Money Subscription

MTN Uganda in partnership with Multichoice Uganda is rewarding its loyal customers and welcoming new users with a token present during this festive season. MTN customers will this festive season be able to pay for their DSTV subscription using MTN mobile Money and get 10% discount as well as enter a draw to win weekly prizes.

This promotion will be running for 3 months from the 13th of December 2012 to February 28th 2013. According to the Marketing Manager of MultiChoice Uganda Mr. Albert Nga, he said that, “With MTN having the biggest mobile money platform in the country, this partnership was crucial to us to ensure we bring convenience to our customers”.

He further stress that their objective is to reward their loyal subscribers who have embraced innovative methods of payment and ensure the benefits are obvious to our customers to employ when they pay their DStv and GOtv subscription.

MultiChoice Uganda was the first corporate ‘Pay Bill’ partner on MTN Mobile Money since 2010. The partnership enables MultiChoice/ DStv subscribers in Uganda who are registered on MTN mobile money to pay their TV bills using mobile money.

With over 60% of Multichoice subscribers also being MTN customers and 30% of Multichoice customers are paying their DStv bills using mobile money, this promotion will benefit both DStv and also MTN subscribers.

According to MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer, Ernst Fonternel, he said that this new promotion shows MTN’s commitment to giving back to its customers particularly now as we all get geared up for the festive season. “At MTN Uganda we continue to look as always to give back to our customers with relevant offers,” he added.

To use this service and partake in this promotion, you need to be a registered MTN Mobile Money customer with sufficient money on your MTN Mobile Money account to pay for your DStv subscriptions.There are various prizes to be won, but the grand prizes to be won include free DStv decoders and monthly subscription fees among other exciting prizes.

training

Technology Training eXpo (TTX) – Programming++. January 4-5, 2013

TTX – Programming++ is a 2-day world class training and conference event specially put together for you and it shall be taking place on the 4th & 5th of January, 2013 at University of Lagos, Guests House – Conference Hall A by 8:30AM daily. The first of its kind was held in April, and it was impactful according to the testimonies of the attendees.

This event is sure to open your mind to new ideas and opportunities in several aspects of Information Technology and using programming languages as a tool.

Features of the event include:

  • Training on real life project-based programming
  • Exploring advanced technology in programming
  • Pitching your project ideas to veterans in the Tech Industry within Nigeria
  • Google Hangout Panelist session
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Networking

TTX – Programming ++ gives you a rare opportunity to learn hands-on skills in the following:

  • Web Application (HTML5 + Javascript)
  • Mobile Application
  • Image Processing
  • Algorithms: Binary Search, Merge sort & Graph Theory
  • Bash Scripts – Automating UNIX/Linux processes
  • SMS-to-Web Application
  • Google Apps API: Google Maps, Google Drive
  • A simple e-commerce / payment service
  • Facebook applications
  • Twitter API and a lot more

This will be done in a serene and conducive environment under the tutelage of highly experienced professionals in the industry both home and abroad – they
include:

Main Speakers:

  • Emeka Okoye – CEO (Vikantti Software) & CoFounder / CTO (Next2Us)
  • Tim Akinbo – Founder (TimbaObjects)
  • Bod Toki – Software Developer (Google)
  • Muyiwa Oyedemi – Software Developer (MTech)

Panelist Speakers:

  • GuruPrasad Hedge – Robotics Engineer (TATA Motors)
  • Osho Ilamah – Software Developer
  • James Fowe – Research Scientist (Nokia)
  • Isaac Osesina – BigData Expert

Venue: Conference Hall A, Conference Center, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State,
Date: 4th and 5th of January 2013
Time: 9am to 5pm daily (feeding inclusive!).

Register Here.

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The Lumia

Gadget Review: Nokia Lumia 920, A Strong Contender?

Nokia has been a known name in the mobile phone landscape for a while, but they seem to have lost the mojo. The iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys of this world have cornered the market share and left Nokia with a meager share of the smartphone market. With the Lumia range of phones, Nokia has inked a deal with Microsoft and thus, making moves to become relevant in the market again and reclaim their share.

Let’s take a look at one of the phones that Nokia has released to the market: The Lumia 920 is available by pre-order to the Nigerian market for N105,000 via MTN Nigeria to arrive in time for Christmas. I had the privilege of having the Nokia Lumia 920 for a week from Nokia. Let me share with you what I think about the phone and you can decide if it is a phone for you.

Meet the Nokia Lumia 920

My primary phone is the iPhone 4S. I got the Lumia 920 from Nokia as a review unit. What I am sharing here is my own experience. Now that we have an agreement, let’s dive in.

Design

The Lumia 920 is sporting a poly-carbonate uni-body design with irremovable battery. I got the black unit for review. It has three buttons at the front; the back button, home screen button and the search button. There’s a front facing camera, an 8 MP camera with Carl Zeiss and a flash. On the right hand side is the phone is the power button and the volume control button. It is a 4.5″ screen display, bigger than the iPhone4S 4″ display. 

I find that the Lumia 920 is pretty heavy at 185g, while the iPhone 4S is merely 140g. That is a whooping 45g extra. If you don’t mind that weight, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The Lumia2

Specification

The operating system is Windows Phone 8, the latest iteration of the Windows Phone operating system from Redmond–Microsoft. It has a high resolution display at 768 x 1280 pixels [332 pip pixel density]. The screen is a Corning Gorilla Glass 2 and can work with the nails or keys as a touch object on the surface of the phone. It uses a MicroSIM. The phone comes with built-in Internet explorer browser for mobile phones. Due to the high resolution, you can see the phone clearly in the glaring sunlight.

Activating the Phone

This was done with ease. I popped my Airtel SIM in the phone and powered it. Boot time was fast. The first thing I did was to connect my outlook account. If you don’t have one and you are planning to get this phone, you’ll need one to gain access to the Windows Market Place. As soon as I signed in, I had my email set up on the phone and I was granted access to the Market Place.

Adding other emails that I have wasn’t difficult. Under settings, go to email+accounts, you can add your Microsoft’s accounts [Outlook and Hotmail], LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo! Mail, Google, Facebook, Nokia account, Nokia Mail and other third party email accounts. [POP and IMAP].

Going into the Market Place

I downloaded Rowi app, Facebook for Windows Phone, Twitter for Windows Phone, and Evernote. Initially, Whatsapp wasn’t available for the phone. As my trial of the phone was coming to an end, Whatsapp became available for Windows Phone 8. Unfortunately, I couldn’t download it. The error message I got when trying to download it is the same error message I got when trying to download some free games and even SkyDrive. I restored the phone to factory settings to see if there was some error somewhere, but that did not fix it as I still could not download those apps. I really don’t know what the discrimination is in this case. I have gotten in touch with the folks as Nokia and I will update the post a soon as they get back to me.

What I love About The Lumia 920

The Phone is fast and snappy: I never for once saw the phone lagging or rebooting. It was always up and running, executing the assigned tasks in due time. Sending email using the built in email app is a sweet experience. I attached 15 photos and sent them and they were sent in a twinkle of an eye. If speed of execution matter to you, you’ll love the Lumia 920.

Nokia Map works offline: I decided to try Nokia Map out while there wasn’t a SIM in the phone. I thought it was just a claim, but it worked. I was able to use the Nokia Map with voice direction without WiFi or mobile Internet data. Now that’s a very cool wower. One won’t be burning lots of internet data when using the map feature in this offline mode. And one of Nokia’s strength is in mapping technology.

Nokia City Lens: Those who travel around and those who love to see places will find the city lens handy. Just launch the app. The app launches the camera. Point the camera at the direction you want to go and it will reveal different information about food, hotels, shopping, famous, fun, sights, transport and nearby.

Nokia City Lens

 

This is a feature a lot of people will find very handy during this holiday, especially if they are spending the holiday in a foreign territory they are visiting for the first time.

The People and Me Hub: The People hub contains all the folks that are in my social hub; Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and my synced contacts–In my case Google Contact. At a glance, by swiping to the right, I can see what’s new from all the people that I am connected with on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I don’t have to look for the app for each social media profiles that I have. The amount of time I spend moving from one app and one service to the order reduced drastically. I like that Swiping allows me to move from one operation to the other. Once you get used to swiping, you’re going to find it a pleasure to use.

Other stuff: The Nokia Lumia 920 has the option of allowing USB mass storage. You can easily store media and data on the phone by connecting it to your computer, unlike on the iPhone. Since I use a MacBook and not a PC, I couldn’t do that until I got a Windows Phone 8 Connector app for Mac from the Mac App Store- As soon as I downloaded it, I was able to sync my music to the phone and access other contents on the phone. I was also able to load my songs from my iTunes library. It also asked if I wanted to sync my photos to my MacBook Air.

People Hub

What I don’t really like

Virtual Keypad – My number one pet peeve is that the space bar on the virtual keypad is too narrow and close to the emoticon and the comma button. Many times I would be going for the space bar, but I will be hitting the comma. Other virtual keypads has really been improved as I have once tried typing on the HTC HD7 that is a running on Windows Phone 7. It has auto-correct that is close to perfect. This will make those coming to all touch screen phone for the first time to be very comfortable.

The WiFi Connection – This goes to sleep when the phone goes to sleep. When the phone is connected to my WiFi for internet, I can use it. As soon as I allow the phone to sleep, the WiFi is disconnected and whatever I am doing on the internet stops. I wonder why this is so. I found that I wasn’t alone. Other folks who have used the phone made the same observation. May be an OS update will fix this.

Fewer Apps – The app collection is growing. In the week I was reviewing this phone, Whatsapp was released. This is a sign that many of the apps that are popular are still coming. There’s Evernote, but I couldn’t get a Dropbox app and one of the RSS feeds that I have been used to on Android and iOS, like Feedly, Zite, Pocket, and Instapaper for bookmarking. These are tools I use daily but are not currently available.

My Verdict

As a new entrant and an OS that has just been overhauled from ground up, I see Windows Phone 8 being a strong contender. The Nokia Lumia 920 is one powerful device, one of the disadvantage I see with the phone is that is packed with too much value. It does so much, much more than the average smartphone user can finish exploring.

Would I love to carry a Nokia Lumia 920? Yes, as a second phone, using the camera and using it for social networking. It is the best phone for social networking that I have used up till date. Time will fail me if I have to tell you everything that is packed in the phone as it’s just too much. If you also love smartphone accessories like wireless chargers, wireless speakers, Monster HD stereo headsets and more colorful accessories, you might want to try out the Nokia Lumia 920 and stand out of the crowd.

Would you be picking a Nokia Lumia 920? The Nokia Lumia 920 is indeed a strong contender, although it isn’t yet as popular as the Nexus 4 that keeps getting out of stock. The users will have to decide if they go all out in masses to get the phone when it is finally available in the market.