Always have a Backup

Only fifteen years ago, it would be fairly rare to have a mobile phone. My first was a Nokia nk402 on Orange (I’ve still got it, its currently stored in the loft) which was an Orange-branded version of the 5110 which I got for the special offer of £99. Nowadays, mobiles, smartphones and connected devices are everywhere and its ‘unusual’ to be out without such a device. However, there are some instances where you don’t want to be taking your 5 inch Lumia 830 out with you (eg. if you like sports) and its impractical to keep the phone on you or use it where it could get knocked about.

I’ve kept a few of my old phones and have a PAYG mobile SIM that I can use between devices. I’ve been grateful for having a backup – I’ve had to send my C7-00 back to Nokia for a chassis replacement because it was starting to split at two screw fixing points and I swapped back onto my Nokia 6680. Most recently, I used the C7-00 whilst the Lumia 830 was away for replacement, for the problem with the screen coming loose.

I’m going to do a couple of articles on the merits of keeping an old phone usable so you can drop back on such a device, if you’re planning on going yomping over the moors one weekend.

However, what if you don’t already have an old phone that you don’t mind getting knocked about? Microsoft are still releasing this style of phone under the Nokia brand name and for such a knockdown price they are hard to ignore. The one that has caught my eye is the Nokia 215 – a monoblock device based on the Series 30+ operating system. It sports a 2.4 inch QVGA 240×320 screen in 18bit colour, supports 32Gb MicroSD cards and has a 1100MaH battery with 29 days standby time. 

You can take a look at the device spec’s in more detail by clicking the link below:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/mobile/phone/215/

Amongst other features such as an FM radio, torch and durable outer shell, but should be noted it only supports 2G networks – there are no 3G speeds here. In some ways, this is to an advantage of the device; the are parts of the rural UK that only have 2G network coverage and running it in 3G mode could have a detrimental effect on the battery life by hunting for a non-existent signal.

The device is pitched with internet-capable apps for accessing services such as Twitter or Facebook, Opera Mini browser, Messenger, Bing Search and MSN Weather. In my experience, 2G speeds are fine for getting this sort of information from the internet, you just have to set expectations that its not going to be instantaneous.

It also supports Bluetooth audio devices, so this would be great connected to a Nokia MD-12 portable speaker (though the speaker will run out of juice before the phone!)

There isn’t an official release date set yet though it can be bought on Amazon for £39.99. If anyone from Microsoft / Nokia wants me to trial / review one of these devices when they’re out I’ll gladly give it a shot!

In the meantime, I’ll take a look at the C7-00 and 6680 as backup phones in some coming posts.

Lumia News and Windows Phone 10 Preview Release 2

Bit of a mixed bag of news for this post, but stuff that’s all relevant to this blog. I’ll kick off with a mention that a few days ago, Microsoft posted that the next release of Windows 10 for Phones will include a lot more models in the supported line-up. This will hopefully include (from my perspective) the Lumia 820 – it is on the list, but the ‘final’ release may have a slightly adjusted device list if last minute bugs are found. A link to the Windows Insiders Preview Programme with the full device list (numbering over thirty phones) can be found here:

http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2015/03/27/a-quick-update-on-windows-10-builds-for-phones-for-windows-insiders/

Hopefully the next test release will be available very soon and I’ll be able to try out Windows 10 for Phones on my backup Lumia 820.

Next bit of news is to do with the Lumia 830 manufacturing fault I had back in December. I came across this article on wmpoweruser.com last week: http://wmpoweruser.com/nokia-lumia-830-has-a-serious-hardware-flaw-stay-alert-while-buying/ 

The writer of the article had the same issue I had with their Lumia 830, where the screen started to come away from the outer aluminium housing, oddly enough at the same place on the right-hand corner. Though the articles headlines I think are a bit sensationalist, ie. I wouldn’t say that the 830 has a serious manufacturing fault, but awareness is always helpful but I wouldn’t dismiss the Lumia 830 because of a small batch of faults. Nokia has always provided excellent after-care along with a two-year warranty, so as in my personal experience, if something does go wrong, its how a company deals with it and in my case, the device was swapped out in just over a week – which I was more than happy with.

The final post in this news round-up is that the brilliant HERE maps have been updated for Symbian after nothing for two years. Bearing in mind that the Nokia account closure is imminent, this seems like almost like a last ‘hurrah’ towards the Symbian platform. I don’t know what will happen to the Symbian Nokia maps, once the account service closes down, as you now have to have a HERE account to use the maps app on the Lumia. I guess that the favourites will remain on the device but obviously there won’t be any synchronisation available. To update the maps, use the map loader and check for updates – they will have a date stamp of the 26th of February 2015.