Get the most out of your Symbian mobile phone /
Series 60 tips & tricks

April 02, 2009

The battery power saving

Unfortunately a shorter lasting time of the smartphone battery is one of the most annoying difference compared to the feature phones. The feature phone's fully charged battery easily lasts for several days when smartphone's battery discharges in one or couple days of usage. The worst of all situation when you need to recharge the battery even the same day when it was full of power few hours before. One and half or two days of usage without recharging are common for the smartphone. However here are few tips to save the power of battery for a longer usage:

To save the power adjust the phone's screen brightness (light sensor) down to minimum just to see the numbers, text and multimedia content on the screen conveniently enough. Weaker brightness consumes less power.

Also shorten the back light time-out to less seconds. It makes screen light staying on for a shorter time. The back light makes reading of the phone screen easier in the bright light conditions or sunny areas so use it only when necessary.

Turn off all mostly unnecessary functions like vibrating alerts, key press tones and screen themes animation which affects a lot the battery power.

If not necessary do not keep constantly on the connectivity functions like WLAN scanning, bluetooth and activated data connection to the internet. If you are on the move or in the place where the 3G (UMTS) network signal is weak set the phone to the GSM only network instead of dual mode or 3G (UMTS). Otherwise constant automatic switching the phone between the 3G/2G depending on signal strength does drain the battery faster. If you use WLAN connection to the internet in the place where the signal is strong you may set wireless LAN transmission power level parameter (advanced settings) to the 4 mW instead of 100 mW which saves the battery power a lot.

Data communication applications like messaging, VoIP calling, browser and IMAP e-mail retrieving drain the battery almost like regular voice calls so use them only when necessary to save the power.

Avoid to leave on running the applications and games in the background. Some installed applications like multimedia player, radio, blacklist, video ringtone, screensaver and so on run continuously in the background consuming power.

Running applications installed on the memory card drains the battery more than installed in the internal memory.

The battery lasting time drops over a long time of usage mainly due to the rough usage and improper charging at multiple very short time intervals and also due to the extensive battery charging for a long time when it is already full. For the old battery types it was advisable to drain completely the phone battery until the device gets shutdown before recharging. Use only native and compatible to the phone chargers.

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March 16, 2009

Fixing the out of sync audio of FLV flash video with Avidemux

Some times downloaded flash video FLV files have audio and video out of sync. Watching the video you may notice audio slowly getting out of sync with the video. If you encounter such a problem, following is a fix encoding the video for Nokia N95 (N96), using Avidemux video editor.

Open FLV video file with Avidemux and chose suitable video, audio and format options for watching on N95. Then open File > Propeties of input file. You should notice a different Total Duration values of video and audio, that is the reason of out of sync, e.g.:

To fix the problem open Video > Frame Rate and change the rate value to the lower (or higher).

Then chose Output on the drop down menu and check if it’s video and audio properties Total Duration values became close to each other. Repeat changing of frame rate of input video to reach the cloasest output video and audio total duration values.

Test the output video playing it in a few different points to make sure the out of sync fixed.

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December 01, 2008

Converting videos for watching on the mobile phone

Nokia N95 owners might be interested in tips on converting video clips or movies for watching on the mobile phone or through the phone's TV OUT plug on TV set. It is possible to watch video on other S60 phone models too, where the RealPlayer is preinstalled. The RealPlayer is not the only program to watch videos, there are other software video players too, which can be installed on the phone separately, such as DivX player or MobiTubia. Usually software players are compatible with one or few video formats, such as AVI, FLV, 3GP or MP4. I prefer phone's native program RealPlayer so no additional installation is required. To watch the regular video on the phone we need to convert it to the format suitable for the software player we have.

Here are the detailed instructions on converting videos to MP4 file using PC program Avidemux (Windows) for watching on the Nokia N95 native RealPlayer.

After installing Avidemux free video editor start it and open the video file:

Phone's RealPlayer supports MP4 video files so we need to adjust the settings of resulting converted video to meet the phone's screen resolution and video encoder configuration. N95 screen resolution is 320x240 so we can use Avidemux menu Auto item "IPOD 320*240" to adjust resulting video file settings automatically:

After adjusting the file settings video encoder should turn to "MPEG-4 ASP (Xvid4)", audio encoder to "AAC (FAAC)" and file format to "MP4". You may check the video and audio configurations:

To begin the conversion process you need to press "Save" button, chose the folder for the resulting file and encoding will start. The encoding process may take a long time, depending on source file size. After the pop-up "Done" message the .mp4 file is ready to transfer to the phone for watching the video:

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June 24, 2008

Google introduces mobile tricks on YouTube

Google asks: "what can you do with your phone?" and invites cell phone enthusiasts to share their mobile phone tips and tricks on YouTube. I would not take serious the first video posts but who knows if we'll not see some interesting and valuable tips soon from the mobile phone users over the Globe? (more...)

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May 14, 2008

Booting up the phone

Preventing of application's auto start. It happens some time that you can not boot up your phone because some application crashes on its auto start. To prevent applications auto start hold down a Pencil key when the phone is booting. The phone will skip all applications that have been set up to auto start when the phone's operating system boots up. (Worked on Nokia 6600, N70)

Skipping the Nokia tune. If you need to switch on and boot up the phone silently skip the Nokia tune by pressing the # key just before it's animation appears and starts sounding. (Worked on Nokia 6600, N70, N95)

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May 09, 2008

Quick application keys

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The Clock application. When you are on the Clock application's Time or Alarm tab, pressing any number key will bring up the new alarm time fill field with the selection pointer on the hour position, so navigating through the Options menu is not necessary, to set the New quick alarm. (Worked on the Nokia N95)

Calendar shortcuts. The key * toggles different Calendar views: Month, Week, Day. Pressing the key # returns the selection pointer to the Today immediately from any other date on the calendar. (Worked on the Nokia N70, N95)

Call log. While on the main stand by screen pressing the Call set up key will open up the call log with the last dialled numbers, received and missed calls where you can quickly set up a new call by selecting the logged number and pressing the Call key again. Using that you will find almost all your most frequently used numbers quickly if your call log duration is set to 10 or 30 days. (Worked on the Nokia 6600, N70, N95)

Contacts list. You can jump quickly to the Contacts list to select the recipient name pressing the scroll center key if you are on the Main stand by screen (and Active standby is off for the newer phone models). The same applies while you are on the To field when creating a New message. (Worked on the Nokia 6600, N70, N95)

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March 04, 2007

Speed dialling tricks

Tips provided here are free. So if they are useful you can say thanks by clicking on any Ads by Google link / banner on the site.

Speed dialling. The handset User's Guide describes the dialling of phonebook numbers linked to the speed dialling keys <2> to <9>. It is convenient to assign favorite phone numbers to these keys, however it requires to enter and scroll the speed dialling menu to make a call. Below are suggested a couple of more useful tips to make a quick calls.

Using short numbers with the voice command. Since the handset is able to start dialing using a voice command, you may assign a short number voice tags to the most favorite phonebook entries for calling in the order you prefer to remember. Let say you create a contact card with easy to remember name "11" for the phone number of your wife or husband and "22" for the number of your mother (with corresponding voice tags "one one" and "two two" on the older S60 handsets). On the newer Nokia mobile phones you even do not need to create voice tags - speed dial will recognize your command from the contact card numeric name. Then you may quickly dial with the Right selection key depressed on the main Standby mode screen and telling the desired contact card name: let say "two two" for the calling to your mother. You need to press only one key to make a call that way! Isn't it very convenient? :)(Worked on Nokia 6600, N70)

Using numbers on the SIM card. If you know the order of memory slots of your most favorite numbers entered on the SIM card, you may quickly call them entering the slot number followed with #. For example 10# entered on the main Standby mode screen, followed with the Call key, calls the phone number stored in the SIM card memory slot number 10. For the convenience you may enter the most favorite phone numbers in the empty SIM card in the order you will remember and then call them quicker using this method. It may work not only on the Symbian phones.

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February 16, 2007

Managing phone book contacts

Tips provided here are free. So if they are useful you can say thanks by clicking on any Ads by Google link / banner on the site.

Adding custom contact details. One can store phone numbers, names, e-mail addresses or other information in the contact cards of the phone book. The list of available details to insert is under Add Detail menu of the opened contact card (Edit / Options / Add detail). However you can add also contact details that are not listed, e.g. ICQ number or Skype ID and so on. Just add any detail you choose in the list, then rename it with the Edit Label.

Defining the default detail. Once you entered more than one phone number in the same contact card, you may define the default number for the call, video call or SMS sending. It will spare your time when you use the contact. Open the contact card, choose Options / Defaults, select the type of detail, select the main number for that and press Left selection key Assign. When you make a call or send SMS to that contact, it will instantly initiate calling or sending without prompting you to select the phone number in the list.

Using voice command for the contact. When driving the car its not convenient to search for the contact in the mobile phone book. You can use a Voice Command to call the contact.

For the older S60 mobile phones you need to assign a voice tag to the desired contact card before. Open the contact card, choose Options / Add voice tag and say the word that will initiate the call when you use the Voice Command.

The newer S60 mobile phones do not need to assign voice tags since the contact card name appearing in the contacts list will be used to tell a Voice Command. You can check the name of contact card by opening it, choosing Options / Play Voice Tag. The name you hear must be used in the Voice Command.

It is very convenient to make a call by pressing the Right Selection key and holding it for a while, then telling by the voice a contact card name. (Worked on Nokia 6600, N70)

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January 01, 2007


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October 04, 2006

Quick access of favorite application

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Selection key customizing for quick application access. Some most frequently used applications or functions may be quickly accessed with the Left and Right Selection keys of the main Standby screen if customized according to your wish. You may define which application to assign to the Left or Right Selection key in the Phone settings Standby mode menu. Choosing the key take in account that the Right Selection key is more responsive than the Left, because the left one is dedicated to keypad locking function: after pressing Left Selection key system waits a bit if the * key follows, so it takes a moment.

Using Go To shortcuts. If application you frequently use has function to add shortcut to the Go To pinboard menu, you can access it in a few key presses without navigating through the phone menus.

To add application shortcut to the pinboard menu, look for the Add to 'Go to' item in it's Options menu. Repeat the same for all applications you want. However not all applications have this functionality. Once shortcut is added, you may find it in the Go To pinboard menu among others your most favorite applications.

After assigning the Go To pinboard menu application to the Left or Right Selection key of the main Standby screen, you will be able to access your favorite application quickly by one key press entering to the Go To and then selecting desired application shortcut.

If you chose Grid view of Go To menu, you will be able to select application even quicker by entering the first one or two letters of it's shortcut name when Go To menu is open. You may edit shortcut names in the Go To menu for the selection convenience. (Worked on Nokia 6600, N70)

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September 02, 2006

Profile switching

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Profile switching with the Power button. Pressing shortly the Power button once you may bring up a list of profiles. Scroll the list by pressing the Power button again, until you select the desired one item. Pressing the Power button for longer will activate selected profile. (Worked on Nokia 6600, N70)

Switching to the Silent profile. Press and hold down for longer the # key and the Silent profile will activate. Press # key again to restore the profile General. (Worked on Nokia 6682, N70)

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Active application switching

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Active application switching with the Menu key. Holding down the Menu key for a while brings up a list of active applications running in the background. You may scroll the list by pressing the Menu key again. Pressing and holding down the Menu key for longer switches to the selected application. (Worked on Nokia 6600, N70, N80)

Killing the active application. After calling up of the active applications list, holding down the Menu key, you may kill highlighted application with C (Cancel) key. Its useful when application hangs down and does not respond or when its far to scroll in the Options list for it's normal Exit. (Worked on Nokia 6600, 6680, N70, N80)

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September 01, 2006

Terminating data connection

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Terminating of idle data connection. Holding down the Hang Up (red) key while on the main Standby screen you can terminate idle data connection, confirming it's closure. Another way to terminate data connection is: go to Menu > Connect. > Conn.mgr., select the connection in the list and press C (Cancel). (Worked on Nokia 6600, N70)

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Secret key codes

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Key codes should be typed on the main screen. Some codes may not work on all handset models. You decide yourself either to try them on your own handset.

Software version. Type *#0000# to view the software version of your handset.

Handset IMEI. Type *#06# to check the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) of your handset. Appearing on the screen serial number should match a printed one on the sticker under the handset battery.

Software version. Type *#0000# to view the software version of your handset.

Bluetooth device address. Type *#2820# to view your Bluetooth device address.

Life timer. Type *#92702689# to view the life timer or warranty info of your handset.

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August 20, 2006

Copying and pasting

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Copying and pasting. Frequently we need to copy and paste numbers or some peace of text from one place to another on the mobile phone, like we do it on PC. Its easy to do it using a Pencil key. You may copy and paste in and between various applications: "Messaging", "Contacts", "Notes", "To Do list", WAP and Web browser or other installed application on the phone.

To copy text to the clipboard you need to select it by pressing and holding down a Pencil key when scrolling a cursor with the navigation control button. While a Pencil key is depressed a "Copy" option appears over the Left Selection button. Do not release a Pencil key and press the "Copy" Selection button. It copies the selected peace to the clipboard. Now you may paste it where ever you need using a Pencil key again. Go to the place you need to insert a number or text from the clipboard and press a Pencil key. A "Paste" option appears over the Right Selection button. Press it while holding down a Pencil and your text will be inserted under the cursor from the clipboard. (Worked on Nokia 6600, 6680, N70, N73, N80)

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