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  • From the lab: Lumia 920 image stabilization and 808 drop test at Nokia R&D (video)

    From the lab Lumia 920 image stabilization and 808 drop test at Nokia R&D video

    Yesterday’s lab installment gave us an opportunity to pit the Lumia 920 against competing smartphones in a low-light capture scenario, but Nokia’s standard battery of tests is used to evaluate and improve far more than stills shooting. Several stops throughout the day brought us to a foam-filled sound chamber tasked with analyzing call quality in a variety of environments, a room with industrial freezers and ovens used to push the limits of operability, and a rig that can shoot with interchangeable sensors and apply image quality algorithms in real-time, without a handset in sight. Unfortunately, due to proprietary technologies and processes, we weren’t permitted to photograph these first facilities, though we did manage to snap away at two other stations — a platform that shifted up and down at adjustable speeds to test the Lumia 920’s optical image stabilization, and a machine that drops smartphones against a block of concrete, used to simulate that all-too-frequent occurrence of handsets plunging towards pavement.

    We’ve seen plenty examples of the 920’s OIS capabilities this week, so we won’t go into much more detail on that front, but specialized (and pricey) equipment enables engineers to introduce consistent processes — this machine simulated hand shake at different speeds, and even with exaggerated movement, the benefits were clear. A separate building contained the drop test contraption, which releases devices from an adjustable height, letting them land directly on a block of polished concrete. We tested both the 808 PureView and a Samsung Galaxy S III in this manner (with roughly 100 Lumia prototypes currently available, Nokia wasn’t quite willing to risk sending one to its death). Both smartphones remained in perfect working order following the drop, so it’s likely that they’ll be able to handle a similar fall during regular use as well (company reps offered to test our iPhone 5, but we declined handing it over). That wraps up our week at Nokia’s facilities in Finland — there will be plenty more to explore once we have a Lumia sample in hand, but you’ll find the OIS test and concrete plunge videos ready right now, posted just after the break.

    Continue reading From the lab: Lumia 920 image stabilization and 808 drop test at Nokia R&D (video)

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    From the lab: Lumia 920 image stabilization and 808 drop test at Nokia R&D (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Sony’s Xperia T is now available on O2 and ThreeUK, Walther PPK/S not included

    Sony Xperia T comes to O2 and ThreeUK,

    O2 and ThreeUK have announced that they’ll be carrying Sony’s Xperia T, the phone James Bond totes ’round in Skyfall. He’s got a tough decision on his hands depending on which network he chooses, however, with O2 offering an exclusive tie-in edition of the handset with custom ringtones and pre-release images. On the other hand, he probably gets through plenty of data reading classified files and flicking through the Tom Ford catalogue, so perhaps he’d prefer Three’s unlimited data. Either way, you can follow in the footsteps of your hero right now, with price plans starting from £30 per month.

    Continue reading Sony’s Xperia T is now available on O2 and ThreeUK, Walther PPK/S not included

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    Sony’s Xperia T is now available on O2 and ThreeUK, Walther PPK/S not included originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Facebook Gifts swaps virtual trinkets for real life goods

    Facebook Gifts swaps virtual trinkets for real life goods

    Remember the Facebook Gift Shop, that place where you could pick up virtual Troll dolls and send them to your friends? Well, it died. But, a phoenix has arisen from its ashes — Facebook Gifts — which will allow you to send real Troll dolls to your friends. You’ll be able to order gifts for people directly through the social network and suggestions to pick up a little something will be tied into birthday reminders and life events like weddings. The new initiative is the result of its decision to purchase Karma, a social “gifting” app, in May. Over a 100 retailers have signed up for the launch, including Starbucks, and Facebook obviously will be taking a small cut of each sale, which could be a huge source of monetization for the company, especially on the mobile front. Interestingly, friends can be notified before a gift is delivered and will be given a chance to tweak orders — just in case you don’t know your mom as well as you think you do. Gifts is rolling out slowly in select cities now and will expand in the coming weeks. Though, it also has a viral element since once you’ve been sent a gift you are also blessed with the ability to send gifts yourself. Check out the source links for more details.

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    Facebook Gifts swaps virtual trinkets for real life goods originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 16:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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