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Are big smartphones the future of e-books?


Stephen King as soon as known as books “a uniquely transportable magic.” Because of mobile technology these phrases resonate greater than ever. Query is, has the e-guide revolution peaked or is it only the start?

When the Kindle first landed in 2007, the guide world was once set a-flutter. Printed-ebook aficionados lamented the encroachment of technology onto their papery turf, whereas tech-heads downloaded extra books onto their new e-readers in a day than they may ever had geared up into their properties in a lifetime. Entire libraries had abruptly develop into transportable – and but the common-or-garden paper-and-glue softback endured. Now, the 2 co-exist, if a little bit uncomfortably; the so-known as e-ebook revolution wasn’t rather as Copernican a shift as some would have had us imagine.

We expect, although, that the see-noticed perhaps about to tilt, and that the e-guide is quickly to move stratospheric. Why? Smartly, the arrival of huge screened goodphones represents a large shift in the way in which we maintain client tech every day. Straddling the goodphone and tablet markets, it manner that you may mix your moveable gadgets, in order that devices just like the Nokia Lumia 1520 will play the a part of pc, phone, media participant and e-reader. Let’s take a better appear why.

Monitor is the whole lot

Lumia1520ebooksProbably the most major sticking factors with digital books has been reveal-glare. It makes studying a e-book for your laptop outdoor just about inconceivable, however the decrease decision black-and-white displays of e-readers (which use e-ink to get across the difficulty of glare) imply that e-books lose the design attraction of conventional print. Illustrations and color incessantly get unnoticed. Sensiblephones supplied a just right work-round, however the smaller monitor measurement used to be at all times a compromise: it’s good to handiest match so many phrases on there at a time.

Now, although, huge screened goodphones provide the absolute best of each worlds – minimal glare, however an in depth and vibrant display that may deal with image books and magazines as niftily as they may be able to Tolstoy and that provide a web page-view as giant as any paperback. Take the Nokia Lumia 1520. It clocks in with a 6-inch full-color, full-HD (1920 x 1080) monitor, with a pixel density of 368 ppi. And due to ClearBlack technology, which works like a polarising lens for your shades, minimizing reflections and heightening distinction, it’s additionally extraordinarily readable in daylight.

Measurement issues

Similar to devoted e-readers goodphones are, after all, very moveable. The Nokia Lumia 1520 tips 209g on the scales, which is unquestionably lighter than many of the contemporary Man Booker Prize winners and three grams lighter than the lightest Kindle. At 6 inches, it has the identical monitor dimension as most e-readers; but with a lot, way more performance. As a result, there’s no want to load your bag up with more than one devices and the possibility of mislaying your phone or camera when you’re catching up along with your newest Ian McEwan or Margaret Atwood disappears.

nokiaLumia1520e-booksA library in your bag

The ability to carry all your favourite books around with you is one of the selling points of e-readers – no more leaving your trousers at home because  you had to cram your holiday case with new-release hardbacks. Happily, most high end smartphones offer more storage than e-readers, which tend include between 8GB to 16GB. The Nokia Lumia 1520, for instance, comes with 32GB on-board memory and an expansion slot that allows for another 64GB on a MicroSD card. By our reckoning, that’s enough room for 48,000 books. Given that most people won’t quite manage that, what you’ve got is a large screened smartphone with enough room for all the apps, photos, music and document storage you’d like, plus a library-worth of books. Not bad for 209g, right?

Apps galore

Aside from the opportunity to have a vast library literally at hand, the actual reading experience is very streamlined, too. E-book app developers are very conscious that their book-loving customers want a service that looks and feels good. Apps like Bookviser, Freda and Amazon Kindle provide huge amounts of books and reading options no matter what your preference. We’ve also got a soft spot for Nokia Reading, which lets you shop for books or import your own DRM-free EPUB or PDF files via Microsoft SkyDrive. The reading interface is really clean and easy to use, so there’s no learning curve involved. As for the shop, if you’ve used Nokia MixRadio then you’ll be familiar with the store-layout – easy to browse, easy to buy, insanely quick to download. You’ll be reading before you know it.


Easier for audio

Finally, we don’t want you to think we’re all about text on the page; we know that many book-lovers prefer to listen to their favourite stories. Smartphones are enormously well-equipped to cater to that market. Once you’ve downloaded or imported your audiobooks (try Librivox for a bunch of public domain freebies) head to the Windows Store to browse the apps. We’re especially taken with Digital Audio Book, which, as well as playing your books, supports voice commands so you don’t have to start pressing buttons to pause the recording. The on-board speakers on smartphones are designed with music in mind, so you know they’ll be good quality, and a variety of external speakers are also available. If you prefer headphones the Nokia Lumia 1520, for example, is Bluetooth compatible so you can listen wirelessly, eliminating the tangle of cables.

We think these are some pretty compelling reasons why large screened smartphones could drive the e-book revolution to new heights. But what about you? Would you choose a smartphone over a dedicated e-reader? Let us know in the comments below.

Image credit: Les Chatfield