Apr 9, 2012

Nokia 603, The Software Talk Part 2

The Nokia 603 Software Talk Part 1 speaks about the operating system as a whole, the touch experience, messaging, web and email. This post will tackle the rest of the software side and my concluding thoughts. Click here for the Part 1 backtrack.

Social Connectivity

Most of my often used applications on my smartphone are social network related, that’s because I prefer to use Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook on it rather than on pc being easy to carry anywhere, first time users could be assured that the Nokia 603 doesn’t fall short of connectivity options. You’ll find one or more downloadable application for every social network sites that exist, and you have WiFi, 3G, EDGE on the phone to connect you to the web.

As competing systems try to create and integrate these social networks into one cool application, Symbian Belle fell short on this area as the Nokia Social remained mediocre as compared to Meego’s social panel or Windows Phone’s Metro UI. The world had already shifted its way to communicate, it would be high time for Symbian to take this feature seriously and come up with a modern style social app. There were a lot of alternatives though that can be downloaded and installed like Gravity, the best social network app in the world, but it’s for sale.

Music and Audio

Like the rest of the current Symbian devices, Nokia 603’s audio player is one of the best and most customizable in the market playing top of the line music. For first time users, you’ll get to enjoy, a feature-rich music player with customization options like Equalizers, Settings for Balance, Loudness and Stereo Widening, like no other.

Music Menu is top notched, opening music application gives you a lists down songs by artist and album with a smooth and fast album side swipe effect added with cool 3D transitions. Hitting the play button will give you a music player panel with a huge album cover, song details and music control grid as well as the repeat song and shuffle buttons at the bottom. I’m a huge fan of these adjustments because it fully utilizes the screen size making it more pleasing to look at. This is one of the many stellar changes that Symbian upgraders will enjoy on the phone from Symbian^1 or Symbian Ana. And as an added bonus for upgraders, the phone has now a music recognition capability via Shazam.

Being a midrange device, the phone is supplied only with a regular earphone which could fell short on crispness, clearness and deepness of sound. I would recommend if you’ll buy a terrific ear bud headphone to compensate this weakness so you could enjoy the music player more. Stereo speaker was not that loud rather so you need to adjust to this as well. Music Player supports MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC+ files.

The Radio player was typical among Nokia phones, it’s lively and interactive. It has RDS which is capable of getting information via internet including time, station identification and program information and visual effects that make user experience enjoyable. The radio player can only be played with a headset inserted.

Video Playback

For new users, the video player on the Nokia 603 is no less than the best in the market at the moment, it works perfectly well on every possible video codecs that exist at the moment; DivX, Xvid, WMV, H.264, H.263, RV, 3GPP, MP4 files etc., the phone plays them all flawlessly being platform embedded unlike other operating system that needs a third application software to do so which often results to hangs, video to audio discrepancies among other problems.

Unlike the music menu, there were no big improvements seen on the video menu for Symbian upgraders, no side swipe mechanism, 3D effects whatsoever, only additional shortcut widgets for Nokia Store downloadable video clips and youTube. The last video watch was also a welcome addition except that it won’t continue on the last portion played but instead plays the video from the start. Thought video forward and playback is a breeze handling skips in an instant, thanks to the fast processor on board, I still prefer the automatic back play.

Camera and Video Recorder

The phone has 5MP camera optics (2592х1944 pixels), fixed focus EDoF, geo-tagging and face detection. Quite minimal camera specs in here but is very capable in delivering casual images. (Inset sample images below.)

Some disadvantage of its camera specs; EDof cannot take macro (close) shoots, the image comes out bland and it doesn’t have a flash, so taking images in dark environment is hopeless unless you have a creative mind. (Night shoot samples below.)

The phone also have editing features, users can add effects and tones that can be readily access on the camera menu or on a separate icon.

Video capability of the phone is very casual, though it supports 720p HD quality video with 30 frames per second, the video doesn’t live up to its frame rate specification and it also fell short to rendered proper color saturation and contrast.

The video editing feature of the phone is perfectly timely especially now that video sharing sites such as youTube is very popular. Users will now be able to make mini movies on the go and will encourage creativity in coming up with the best impromptu videos to show to their friends and to the world. Options of the video editor are still very much limited at the moment and must be further develop.

Photo and Video Browser has its own folder in the gallery menu. This makes browsing of photos and videos easy and fast. Photo viewing is very delightful with a smooth image transition and pinch to zoom. What are missing on both browsers are the 3D effects implemented by competing systems.


The Nokia 603 has a 2D/3D graphics HW accelerator with OpenVG1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0. For first time users, this would mean that the phone is a capable of handling moderately heavy 3D mobile games. The phone has two FREE games in pre-installed, Fruit Ninja (Full version) and Angry Birds Magic (Free Trial), both fun and addicting games. There were tons of free games on Nokia Store though.

If you may ask how good the 3D graphic performance of the phone, thetrial versions of the graphic-rich Need for Speed Shift of Galaxy on Fire games were handled impressively well, no lags, no broken graphics, etc., the 1Ghz processor must have done a wonderful job in the matter.

Nokia Services

This is why Nokia is miles above from the rest of the competition; it has the following services that only other manufacturers can dream of. The potent combination of the following makes Nokia a stand out since these services were had become an integral part of smart mobility.

Nokia Maps

The Nokia 603 is fully equip with no less than the latest FREE full map and navigation software with walk and drive guiding system, services that you need to buy with a renewable license per year if you’re using phones from others manufacturer’s. With the massive developments going on with the application at the moment, it has now become the leading maps and guidance navigation software in the world rendering the best with the widest coverage.

Nokia Store

Nokia announced recently that the Ovi Store have now reaching 15million downloads a day of its more than 100 thousand active applications, huge numbers from a humble start roughly three years ago. No doubt to its success since the store had evolved into a user friendly, informative and intelligent source of mobilephone applications. This is where users get to access everything they need to customized there phone to taste. Download everything you need from Business, Entertainment, Music, News and Info, Photo and video, Reference, Social Networks, Sports and Utilities applications, Games from the top developers, Audio and Videos and ringtones, themes and wallpapers to further personalize you phone.

The store, like the Nokia Maps had also undergone massive developments with the current version offering a more interactive and usable interface, the store is poised to deliver one of the best user experiences to the next billion.

Concluding Thoughts

The Nokia 603 got the looks, charm and software system that works. For instance if you are looking for a fashionable phone, the Nokia 603 fits with its gorilla glass flash facade. If you are looking for a vibrant screen that can stand even against bright sunlight, the Nokia 603 with IPS LCD and Clear Black technology gives you the best experience, while if you’re looking for a total entertainment package, the phone could satisfy all your cravings by playing the most important video or music codec’s, etc. It’s an almost complete package for an affordable device that’s why I would consider it the fiercest competitor in the lower end mid-range market and my most recommended. Users will be getting incredibly more for less.


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