Just Tap with NFC on the Nokia 600 , 700 and 701 Symbian Belle Smartphones
Nokia is preparing to launch its latest range of Symbian Belle phones in India and I was invited to Goa last week along with a small army of bloggers from across the country. We were shown the improvements which are part of Symbian Belle and also the possibilities with NFC or Near Field Communication.We got to play the the the Nokia 600 , 700 and 701 and also get around Goa at the same time. I was personally using the 600 which is the most affordable of the lot and I was actually impressed by the all round performance.The Nokia 600 is the loudest handset of the lot , the 700 is the smallest and the 701 has the brightest display. All the 3 devices have pretty good specs , performed very well and have the potential to fare well in the market if Nokia gets the pricing right !
Thankfully the folks from Nokia did not do much of the usual marketing talk about the devices but they let us play with the devices instead. NFC is expected to be the next big thing in the mobile space and Nokia certainly has an early mover advantage here. The Google Nexus had NFC and the BlackBerry Bold 9900 has NFC too but I’m hoping Nokia gets the pricing of these devices right and it can certainly increase the adoption rate of this technology. I know a lot of you know about NFC but for the rest of you who don’t I’ll try to explain how NFC can make ours live easier. NFC is a short range wireless technology which let you exchange data between two devices which are in close proximity to each other. You can carry out financial transactions, exchange content, use coupons and connect to other devices by just tapping your device. While the technology and ecosystem is not yet mature, Nokia is trying to demystify NFC with the Just Tap tagline as you can see in the image above.
You can share pictures and content between other NFC enabled devices with a mere tap. We saw that you can unlock levels in a game of Angry Birds Magic by just tapping with a NFC device. You can also download coupons on to your phone by just tapping on a promo leaflet. You can also pair with Bluetooth devices like the Nokia Play 360 speaker by just tapping on it. To disconnect , you just tap again. Nokia is planning to install NFC tags at retail stores where consumers can download apps and discover content by just tapping their phone on the tag. Nokia is still not highlighting the digital wallet aspect as the ecosystem is still not ready for it at least in India. But since the company has Nokia Money, it not too hard for them to come up with a offering. How cool would it be to tap your phone with a friend to send him money ? I would love to see Nokia doing something on those lines. In a country like India innovations in such areas can make lives easier by reducing those long lines at various counters.
Lets dive back a bit into history of NFC and the big names behind it.The NFC standard is governed by a body known as NFC Forum which was formed by Nokia, Sony and Philips in 2004. Today the forum has over 140 members including companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel, Visa and MasterCard .Most handset makers have started including support for NFC in their high-end handsets.
Coming back to the handsets and Symbian Belle, Nokia has done quite a good job with the UI if you compare the Belle UI to Symbian^3 or Anna. My Nokia 600 was on 3G and we were constantly clicking pics on the cam and tweeting from Gravity or Nokia Social. The phone showed a low battery sign towards the end of the day. I was impressed with the camera on the 600 considering its a entry level EDoF cam. While I always prefer a auto-focus camera on a phone after having gotten used to the Nokia N8 and iPhone 4, EDoF or Full focus cameras actually make life easier for the average consumer. The camera on the 701 is pretty awesome. I did not get to play with the 700 much but I’m a huge fan of the design and the AMOLED display.
I’m going to ask you to identify the phone used to click these pics below. These were all shot with either a Nokia 600 , 700 or 701.