Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset Review

The Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset is Nokia’s latest bluetooth headset which has Advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and two built-in microphones. The in-ear headset sports acoustic wind noise reduction and has support for Advanced Multipoint, which allows you to connect it with more than one device. It’s also the first of its kind to sport My Own Key, which enables you to assign a specific function to one of the keys. I’ve been using the headset for the past month now and thought I’d fill you in on how we got on. So check out my thoughts, along with an extensive gallery for your viewing pleasure, after the jump.

BH-607 | Overview

Connecting the headset with your Nokia phone is very easy, simply switch on the headset using the power button on the back edge, and you can pair it up using the Bluetooth application, as you would with any other device. No code is required here and every time you switch on the headset, it will automatically connect to your phone.

If you wear the headset in your right ear, the volume rocker is on the bottom side and sticks out like a switch, making it easy to adjust the volume without disturbing the fitting. The 2 mm proprietary Nokia charging port is on the top, and charging the device to a full battery takes less than an hour. I would however prefer Nokia to start using a MicroUSB port instead, hopefully on the next generation of headsets. On the bottom edge of the device, near the microphone, there is a nice curvature with the Nokia logo printed onto a glossy plastic finish.

The outer face of the headset has two decent sized keys. The larger key is the main ‘send’ and ‘end’ key. It’s molded to fit the finger nicely and has the added feature of a quick double press to call the last dialed number. The thinner key on the shaft of the headset is the customisable My Own Key, that allows you to assign a given function to it. You can set it to listen to a new text message out loud, call your favourite number, reject a call, send a predefined text, or hear the current time. To assign the key you will need the Accessory Setup Application (ACA) installed on your device. According to Nokia some of the newer devices come preloaded with this application, and for others it can be downloaded from nokia.com. The headset also comes with a selection of two different types of clear ear-buds, each in 3 different sizes, along with an ear-hook which can be attached to the headset for added comfort.

In terms of constructions, the headset is made completely of light-weight plastic. It comes in Warm Silver, which is more pewter in my eyes, with a matte finish. The keys are made mostly of metal and are conveniently designed. The main key however, feels a little loose to me, and moves side to side when you touch it, which is more noticeable when you have the headset in your ear. Other than that I’ve had no issues with the build quality.

BH-607 | In The Box

  • Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-607
  • Two Different Sets of Changeable Ear-Buds (three sizes in each set)
  • Optional Ear-Hook
  • User Guide
  • Nokia Charger AC-5

BH-607 | Usability

Even though the Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset is made primarily of light-weight plastic, the durability seems to be exceeding expectations. I probably shouldn’t really be saying this but I managed to ‘accidently’ drop the headset a few times, and it just so happened to be on different surfaces, including concrete. But low and behold, not a single scratch on the device. Phew!

When fitted into the ear, the headset sits pretty snug without any discomfort. If you decide to go for a jog in the park however, I would recommend using the ear-hook provided. But during normal daily activities I didn’t find the need to use the ear-hook.

The sound quality is a major aspect of a bluetooth headset, after all, it is the sole purpose of the device. With the Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset it appears that Nokia may have slipped up slightly. Don’t get me wrong, the surrounding noise cancellation features are superb, you can barely make out what’s going on in the background from the other end of the phone, however the audio quality itself is quite poor. First of all the audio is muffled. There’s a constant fuzzy noise apparent with a huge amount of treble when listening to music. Furthermore, the lowest volume level is too high for my liking. Even when the volume was turned down to the lowest level on my phone and the headset, I still felt it was way too loud.

As a somewhat consolation, the battery of the BH-607 lasted me just over eight hours of constant music playback which included around two hours of voice calls. This was pretty impressive when compared to some of the other headsets I’ve used.

BH-607 | Final Thoughts

The Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset is a very sleek device. From the longevity of the battery, to the My Own Key functionality, it truly does let you stay connected and hands-free. Although, like I mentioned above, the sound quality for me was way below par, and for the asking price you would expect this issue to be addressed before retail. If you still feel that the Nokia BH-607 Bluetooth Headset is the headset you’ve been looking for, you can pick it up for around £50 at Amazon.

Ovi Maps Demo At CTIA Wireless

This demo is of the Ovi Maps Website on a huge touch screen display, recorded at CTIA Wireless 2010. Have you tried Ovi Maps on your computer yet? Well you can by simply visiting maps.ovi.com. Check out the video after the break.

Time Lapse Videos Created Using The Nokia N86 8MP

The Nokia N86 8MP is still Nokia’s current camera flagship device, with its 8 megapixel CMOS sensor and variable aperture that challenges standalone digital cameras. The fast mechanical shutter ensures shorter latencies and less motion blur and processing times have been more than halved in comparison with many other camera phones. Not only is the hardware impressive but taking a look at the software built in to the camera application, there are some pretty cool features including a Time Lapse function. Check out these cool demos of a sunrise and sunset shot using the Nokia N86 after the jump.

This first video was filmed in Subang Jaya, Malaysia with the Nokia N86 8MP using sequence shots set at 30 second intervals.

Nokia Celebrates 25 Years Of Innovation At CTIA Wireless

At the 25th annual CTIA Wireless 2010 show in Las Vegas, Nokia is proud to celebrate a quarter-century of wireless industry advances, highlighting the latest in apps, content, devices, developers, and creative innovation – all of which influences the way you live with technology today. Nokia is demonstrating a wide array of solutions that help consumers connect to what matters most in their world. Making its first public debut is the Nokia 5230 Nuron, available tomorrow with T-Mobile, in addition to Ovi Maps and free navigation, and the innovative creations from the finalists of the “Push N900 Mod in the USA” – contest.  Featuring the creators of some of the hottest apps and content available on Ovi Store, the Nokia booth also includes gems like OpenTable and Shazam – just some of the examples of the vibrant and open Nokia ecosystem.

“Twenty-five years ago the actual wireless industry was at its mere inception – at a time when Nokia marked innovation with a giant ‘wireless’ car phone, the Mobira Talkman. Today, 1.3 billion people around the world have phones – devices that have evolved into an extension of people’s lives. It’s no longer about the technology, it’s about what it can do for you. We’re excited to bring solutions to life for both for consumers and developers here at CTIA. This is indeed the year of apps, maps and more – and we’re thrilled to be at the forefront.”

Mark Louison, President of Nokia.

Mapping It Out With T-Mobile & Nokia Nuron

Hitting T-Mobile stores across the U.S. tomorrow (March 24th) is the brand new Nokia Nuron smartphone, a competitively priced device for anyone looking for fast 3G connectivity, applications, free turn-by-turn navigation, Ovi Maps and more.  This attractive 3.2” touch screen smartphone is the first U.S. carrier device to come pre-loaded with Ovi Maps as well as Ovi Store. Witness this dynamic combination in person – its first public appearance is at CTIA.

Developers, Apps, & More

With approximately 1.5 million downloads on Ovi Store every day (that’s 22 downloads a second), millions of consumers are enjoying an entirely new Nokia experience. Developers and publishers from 80+ countries are providing content that reaches consumers in more than 180 countries in 30 languages with Ovi Store. At the Nokia booth, you’ll see and be able to experience just how the consumer benefits from this ecosystem.

The OpenTable for Nokia application will allow you to make free, instantly confirmed reservations at more than 11,000 restaurants. Whether you know where you want to dine, or if you’re just looking for inspiration, finding the perfect restaurant with OpenTable is easy. Use your current location to find nearby restaurants, read OpenTable diner reviews, view menus and more.

Shazam on Nokia gives you instant satisfaction for those times when you want to know the song that is playing: simply point your mobile towards the music to learn more about the artist, buy the song immediately or simply share your discovery with your family and friends www.shazam.com.

Mod About You

Bridging our commitment to innovation and consumer insights, Nokia is excited to announce the winning team of the PUSH N900 MOD IN THE USA competition at CTIA on March 24th. This will be the culmination of a global project to find the most unique concepts constructed using the Nokia N900, the most advanced mobile computer currently available. Come meet the brains behind the ideas and discover the clever inventions of the top three U.S. competition finalists, who will be at the Nokia Booth showcasing their N900 mod innovations first-hand.

The global PUSH N900 competition, held in October 2009, drew hundreds of entries and resulted in the construction of five widely varying mods. Finalists from both global and USA-focused competitions have come up with a wide range of  concepts – from transforming the N900 into a spray-can that emits light graffiti to the brains of a robot, as well as other very, very creative ideas. The capability of a truly open device such as the Nokia N900 has been a great source for innovation and creativity.

Nokia Countown | Everyone Connect

Nokia has set up a countdown on an event page tagged as ‘Everyone Connect’. We’re not too sure as to what exactly this countdown may be about, however rumours indicate something to do with messaging, possibly an Ovi Maps/Nokia Messaging integration. More rumours are guaranteed to emerge within the next 20 or so hours that are left, so in the meantime let us know what you think it could be about after the jump, or maybe what you think it should be about.

Free Voice Guided Navigation Now Available For The Nokia E71 & E66

Nokia has stuck to its word, and has increased the compatibility of Ovi Maps v3.03, which provides free voice guided navigation on Nokia handsets. The announcement today is that you can now utilize both walk and drive navigation on your Nokia E71 and Nokia E66 for absolutely no cost whatsoever. This news comes after the announcement of the Nokia N86 8MP, which also recently joined this exclusive bunch. The compatibility of Ovi Maps v3.03 has now reached around 14 devices, and more and more handsets will gradually be supported. To get started, download the Ovi Maps 3.03 instillation file from our S60 3rd Edition Applicationspage.

Once you have installed the application on your handset, simply launch Ovi Suite on you PC to download all the maps and voices you desire. This is one of the best things about Ovi Maps, once you load up all the maps on your device, you never need an Internet connection when navigating, which not only cuts down on cost, but also saves you some precious battery power.

Note to users: If you do not install the new Ovi Maps application, you will continue to be prompted to pay the license fee. So make sure you download the newer version if you see this message.

New Firmware v21.0.102 | Nokia N97

The Nokia N97 has just received a new firmware update taking it up to v21.0.102. There is no official changelog however reports suggest that the new update includes a mass memory content update feature for the newer models, desktop installation files of Ovi Suite 2.0 and Ovi Player, and preloaded maps data along with the new Ovi Maps v3.3 with free voice guided turn-by-turn navigation. New firmware updates also generally contain bug fixes and optimizations necessary for the software on your device to perform properly, therefore we recommend you always keep your device up to date. The new firmware will gradually make its way round to you over the coming weeks depending on your region and product code.

How To Update The Firmware

There are many ways of updating the firmware on your Nokia handset. To install the software on your device using FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air), type in *#0000# on the home screen or go to Device Manager. Then select Options, Check for updates and follow the on screen prompts. If the firmware update is not immediately available via FOTA, or the device you are using does not have support for this service, you can also update your firmware using NSU (Nokia Software Updater) and or Nokia Ovi Suite on your PC. Once you plug your device in, select the PC Suite option, ensuring that the phone has a Sim Card inserted and the profile is set to General. Some devices support UDP (User Data Preservation), which will preserve all your data and content on your device during these updates. However we still recommend you do a full backup in order to guarantee the safety of your data. Please share your thoughts and experiences with the new firmware in the comments below.

MeeGo Development Commences | Public Release Date Set For May

After all the OS switching in such a short period of time, it seems that Nokia’s new MeeGo OS is starting to gain some headway. Earlier today, Imad Sousou, Director of Intel’s Open Source Technology Centre, announced that the MeeGo development is now officially underway. After opening the repositories and moving all the ongoing development work into the open, developers can now begin to work their magic. Unfortunately if you own the Nokia N900, this doesn’t mean you can begin using MeeGo today, however the first public release of MeeGo is set to be unveiled in May.

What is opening? The MeeGo distribution infrastructure and the operating system base from the Linux kernel to the OS infrastructure up to the middleware layer. The MeeGo architecture is based on a common core across the different usage models, such as netbooks, handheld, in-vehicle, and connected TV. The MeeGo common core includes the various key subsystems including the core operating system libraries, the comms and telephony services, Internet and social networking services, visual services, media services, data management, device services, and personal services.

Rightware Kanzi Cross platform 3D UI Demo On The Nokia N900

During Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, Rightware demonstrated its ‘Mobile App Store’ application running on various mobile devices. Mobile App Store is designed and implemented using the Kanzi user interface solution that enables designers to quickly have their applications running in different target devices. Key advantages of the Kanzi solution is “design-once, deploy everywhere” cross-platform support for the leading mobile operating systems, including Android, Blackberry, Linux, Maemo, Moblin, iPhone OS, Palm Web OS, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Kanzi solution is build on top of industry standard OpenGL ES graphics API. Check out the demo of the app running on the Nokia N900 after the break. It also supports gestures using the front-facing camera.

Nokia Announce Ovi Store Improvements

Nokia has finished its scheduled maintenance of the Ovi Store and has provided us with a quick update as to what changes have been made. The main focus for this update was to make it easier to browse, search and discover content, improve the quality of content reviews (e.g. change from 3 to 5 star rating system) and provide more detailed product information to help consumers decide on what to buy. Check out the rest of the details of this update after the break.

When you click on an item in this new version of the Ovi Store, the details page offers more useful information. It is now easier to find and scroll through example screenshots to decide what to download or purchase (see examples below).

The new content rating system is now based on feedback from the global user experience panels, that preferred a 5 star system to the previous 3 star system. With this release and going forward, customers who have actually downloaded something will only be allowed to rate and/or comment on it, preventing misuse of the service. In addition, you will know the reviewer’s device and when it was posted, ensuring the freshness and relevance of the reviews you read.

Some additional changes have also been made to the desktop version of the Ovi Store, which includes the way you choose your Nokia device. If you’re not logged in and click to view content, you are linked immediately to the “Nokia Mobile Device Selector.” This experience is cleaner than the previous carousel-based interface. It ensures that your chosen device is continually matched with the correct content in Store. You can easily change your device by clicking the “Select your Mobile” link at the upper right hand corner of the page.

To get this latest release onto your device simply open up the Ovi Store application on your handset and click “accept” when prompted to install the new software.

Let the “algorithm” help you to improve efficiency

We all had a hectic but unfulfilled day. What can be learned from the principle of computer solutions? The answer is that we can at least interrupt ourselves.

Computer scientists – Can anyone who studies the principles of computers and programming help solve human problems, for example, too much to do and not enough time available?
Here’s a proposition made in a new book, Algorithms to Live By, by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. This is an idea that is attractive to any economist. We tend to think of day-to-day decisions as a branch of applied mathematics, as well as computer science.
To be precise, the use of computer science and the use of computers are not the same thing. Computing scientists have devoted decades to solving problems such as organizing information, prioritizing, and networking. Many of the algorithms they developed for computers are also applicable to humans. After all, the algorithm is not a computer program, but a structured step-by-step method, similar to a “cookbook.” (The term “algorithm” was named after the 9th century Persian mathematician Al-Khwārizmī, but existed thousands of years before his research.)
So, what is the best recipe for completing a to-do list? Maybe easier than you think: Doing things on the list in any order, because the total time spent last is the same. This is a somewhat talented suggestion, but it seems to suggest that computer science can never inspire us when we have too much work to do and feel stressed and confused.

Or I used to think so. Then I read a paper published by computer scientist Peter Denning in 1970 that described a problem computers might encounter when working with multithreading. Most computers actually can not really multithreaded; instead, as humans do, they quickly switch from one thing to another. The computer quickly switches between tasks such as updating Pokémon games on your screen, downloading more videos from the web, checking if you have tapped the keyboard or moved the mouse, and many other processes. But even computers can not do unlimited work at the same time, and once a certain limit is reached, a disaster can happen.
The problem stems from the use of accessible “caches” to store data. Think of it as “caching”: Imagine a pianist playing two or three pages of music in front of her. These scores are stored in the highest speed cache. There are other notations behind the score, which will be read in a moment. In addition there is a larger but slower cache: the score on the bench, the more upright scores on the attic and the more on the music store. There is a trade-off between information storage and read speed.

If the pianist plays only one complete piece of music at a time, there is no problem with this setup. However, if she is asked to change a tune every minute or so, she will take some time to remove the score on the piano stool. If she had to change a song every few seconds, she would not be able to play; all of her time would have been used to change the score on the music stand and in the stool.
This is the same as the computer’s cache: There is a hierarchy – from the microprocessor’s own super-speed memory, down to hard drive (slow) and off-site backup (very slow). To speed up, the computer must copy the data needed for the current task to the cache. If the task is toggled too frequently, the machine uses all the time to copy the data of one task to the cache, then toggles the task, clears the cache, and deposits the new content. In the limit, nothing can be done. Tanin described this regrettable state as “thrashing.”

We all had nothing to do except one, and switching from one task to another was virtually impossible. Can we learn from the computer solution? The most straightforward way is to change to a larger cache; unfortunately, it is easier for computers than humans.

The obvious alternative is to reduce task switching. Computers use “interrupt coalescing” techniques, which combine multiple small tasks together. A shopping list helps avoid unnecessary trips to and from the store many times. You can also put the bills together and deal with them every month.
But we often find it hard to switch from one task to another. One reason why computer science believes this agony is that there is a trade-off between quick response and a chunk of time to increase productivity. If you want to reply to your boss’s mail within 5 minutes, you must check the mail at least every 5 minutes. If you want to quit the net for a week to write a novel, then your response time must be slowed down to a week.
Any solution should recognize this trade-off. Determine an acceptable response time, and then interrupt their work accordingly. If you think there is no problem with replying to a message within 4 hours (no problem with most criteria), you only have to check the email every 4 hours instead of every 4 minutes. As Christiane and Griffiths suggest, decide how you want to respond. If you want to do a good job, do not exceed the response standard.