I decided any future smartphone purchase will have to include a front facing camera after discovering video conferencing on my Nokia N8.
I’ve realized most US sold smartphones do not have a front facing camera. The exception is the Droid X and the iPhone 4. There may be others, but those two come to mind. Maybe it is a conspiracy to keep VoIP technology from the masses? Apple touts “”, but the reality is Nokia phones have had front facing cameras for years, and the ability to “Facetime” or videoconference. I’ve owned the N82, and the N97 both of which were videoconferencing capable but I did not take advantage of the feature. Primarily because most of my friends lived the US, and I never really had a need to videoconference from my phone
Videoconferencing came alive for me because I’ve had a few friends move abroad from the United States. I was walking to the subway the other day, and a friend from Greece called me from his Nokia smartphone. I use a free application call Fring and when a VoIP or video call comes in, there is a distinct ring (separate from the familiar Nokia ringtone that’s my default). I accepted the video call, and I spoke (face-to-face!) with my friend in Greece. I was standing on a corner in Brooklyn at the time of the call. That just blew my mind.
Another friend of mine who lives in Hong Kong called me from the Metro there one day. Hong Kong trains are 3G enabled. I was at home. He rang me from the train, and we had a video-conference. Actually to be honest, the connection wasn’t very good. You get a better connection with WiFi. A video or a VoIP connection via 3G will vary depending on where you are and the quality of your 3G signal.
If you own a Nokia smartphone that has a front facing camera (I believe most N-Series Symbian 3, 5 and ^3 phones are front-facing camera equipped) then I recommend downloading from the Ovi store the free application Fring. You will need to set up an account. Making voice or video calls (Fring to Fring) is absolutely free. Give it a try.
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