Expert Review of Nokia N8
Nokia N8 can easily be stated to be the best Symbian device of the present times. The 12 megapixel of a superb camera of the phone can’t save it despite of capable of producing DSLR camera like results. However, as we have already pointed out that Symbian 3 operating system has not been received well and lags behind in competition despite tremendous improvements in it, Nokia N8 is only for the Symbian or Nokia smartphone patrons. It is offered in a range of bold metallic colors like dark grey, silver white, green, blue and orange. The device comes packed in a size of 113.5mm x 59.1mm x 12.9mm and holds a weight of 135 grams, including the weight of the battery. For that matter, Nokia N8 will also lose the battle. Even the 3.5 inch screen size and 720 pixel video recording capabilities of the phone are not novel. Many a smartphones are flaunting even better and bigger screens and are already recording even 1080 pixel videos.
User Interface and UI functionality
It is certain that the design and display of Nokia N8 are both beautiful and sturdy. There are no glossy sides and rounded edges. Instead, there is a clean aluminum construction with a typical mixture of straight lines at the top and bottom along with a range of palette color options. The phone is very different in looks relative to other touch-screen devices available in the market. The protruding big camera unit at the back also distinguishes Nokia N8 from any other smartphone. Nokia N8 runs the Symbian 3 operating system and enjoys having a distinct Broadcom GPU along with the 680MHz ARM 11 CPU processor. It takes over when things get intensely graphic and delivers great performance. Consequently, even 720 pixel HD videos would run smoothly on Nokia N8. The Symbian 3 operating system is just capable of providing one widget size that covers up entire width of the screen in portrait mode. There is the old “Turning Control” feature that let users silence their ringer or snooze their alarm just by flipping the phone over.
There is the best in class Corning Gorilla glass technology based 3.5 inch Super AMOLED display in Nokia N8. The display screen is so sturdy due to it that one can keep the phone anywhere without ever worrying about it getting scratched or bruised. The display is amply saturated and thanks to its auto-focus, correctly adjusts itself to varied lighting conditions. The resolution of the display is 640 x 380 pixels which is neither too good nor too bad. Sadly, Nokia N8 Symbian 3 does not support multiple home screens, configurable between one and three. It also boasts of small touches and arbitrary bits of gifted design throughout the platform but none of them is actually novel. For some keen tech enthusiasts, it may be a cause of concern that Symbian 3 is not a very competent operating system and also the screen resolution of Nokia N8 is poor. Then, there is a nice screen saver that makes good use of OLED property of self-illumination. The rest of the display screen remains black and consumes no power. There is no QWERTY keypad in the portrait mode.
The picture and video viewing applications of Nokia N8 are not worthy of a mention. The music application allows the users to select from some pre-selected equalizer modes, toggle FM transmitter to chosen frequency and export songs to make them ringtones directly. There is a DivX Mobile Player for S60 5th edition in Nokia N8 but it is also not that great and keeps producing some general errors. All this is done admirably and also the audio quality on the loudspeakers and headphones over Nokia N8 is quite enthralling. The audio formats supported by the audio player are MF, WAV, AAC, AMR, MP3, WMA and MIDI for playback whereas for recording the format supported is WAV. On the other hand, the video player supports various features such as Flash video streaming, YouTube browsing, video streaming Progressive video download, Video Recorder, Video Streaming, Video Call, Video Editor, Video Sharing, etc. that makes your video making experience wonderful.
The image sensors of the 12 megapixels camera of Nokia N8 are housed at the back of the device along with Carl Zeiss lenses, loudspeakers and a Xenon flash. Nokia N8 has the biggest camera unit never ever seen in any of the smartphones that are launched before this Symbian handset.
Pictures and Video quality
The camera of Nokia N8 is so competent and so extraordinary that we find no words to describe its potential. Nokia N8 has a 12 megapixels camera which is LED assisted and has Carl Zeiss optics with Xenon flash. It’s not a fancy camera like that of iPhone 4 rather it is performance-driven. It takes natural shots which are of excellent quality and with sufficient details. The images are captured with a resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels that fills life in the quality of pictures. The dark and dim light conditions are ideal for the camera of Nokia N8. It takes fantastic shots with its Xenon flash on from macro to about 6-feet distance. It uses hyper-focal system to keep the objects in focus instead of the auto-focus. The camera results can be edited and tagged but not directly uploaded on social networking sites. Also, the videos shot by the camera of Nokia N8 are awesome. It records 720 pixel videos by capturing 25 frames per second and the audio is damn clear even in loud surrounding environments being captured in stereo.
There are plenty of useful settings like the scene mode, flash control, white balance, face detection, color tone and contrast. Camera user interface is easy to use for people familiar with Symbian operating system.Sadly, one has to seek help from an applications for using the panaroma setting. Other features supported are 1/1.83'' sensor size, ND filter, Geo-tagging, face detection and auto-focus. There is a VGA secondary camera too that allows you to take self portraits and enables you to make live video calls to your friends and family members.
Nokia N8 features built in Flash Lite but its browser is not contemporary enough. The browser of Nokia N8 is definitely not impressive. With this kind of browser, the users will not be able to acquire enough juice of its otherwise capable processor. Symbian 3 operating system low-level support for multi-touch does help users to pinch and zoom along with double tap to zoom on the browser. The browser is just good enough to load the mobile versions of websites and halts to ground while scrolling through them.
Internal and External Memory
There is just 256MB of RAM for Nokia N8, which is almost half of what other smartphones are offering and this makes it not one of the best choices amongst the available competition. There is a 16GB of internal memory in the device and it certainly let users expand the memory with external microSD memory card of 32GB capacity. Yet, we favor the Nokia N8 because the device has such an inherently efficient Symbian 3 platform that the figures on the specifications sheet do not adversely affect the real life use. Rarely, the memory of the phone is shown full. And with the external memory support you can easily store a huge amount of data in the device.
Applications and Gaming
Nokia N8 has very good photo editing capabilities, thanks to this app the users can edit the pictures in ROM, which is also distinct from its photo editor that enables users to re-size, rotate and crop the pictures from pictures gallery. Photo editing and video editing applications are also there in Nokia N8 that increases your fun and usability. It works on the single touch experience and does not let users pinch and zoom which makes it awkward to navigate with its help. Then there are messaging and emailing apps out of which the “conversations mode” is most distinguishable. It let users read text messages in a threaded view. Ovi Maps app is not pretty much likeable because of the flaws in it.
Nokia N8 is blessed with a very strong battery as the camera supported is very powerful so it need a very sturdy battery. The camera (may be due to its over sized lighting unit) rapidly depletes the battery of the phone. Otherwise, it sustains itself for a pretty long time. Nokia N8 has a lithium ion 1,200 mAH battery, which is one of the high points of its internal status. However, it is completely inaccessible to users being enclosed inside the metal chassis of the phone. It can last for a full day but only if the Xenon flash is not put to extensive use.
The array of connectivity features is pretty comprehensive on Nokia N8. Thanks to the Matroska format compatibility, the downloaded videos files could be directly viewed on the phone and also transmitted and viewed on external display screens. Despite the frequent system nags and prompts, we admire that the device has in store all the latest technologies inside it. There’s 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 plus A2DP, GPS (both the real and assisted kind) and USB on-the-go support. The 3G HSDPA downloading speed provided is 10.2 Mbps whereas the HSUPA uploading 3G data speed offered is 2.0 Mbps. The use of the HDMI connection over Nokia N8 is also pretty easy and hassle free.
Apple iPhone 4, the apex smartphone, is also an ace rival of Nokia N8 device. The two smartphones fare alike in aspects such as screen size, body weight and hardware quality. It has a 3.5 inch AMOLED touch display but with barely 640 x 380p resolution. The user interface functionality of Nokia N8 (due to the haggard Symbian 3 operating system) is also not at par with world renowned user interface functionality of iPhone 4 iOS 5. The Retina Display technology and screen resolution of the 3.5 inch touch display of iPhone 4 is its high point against Nokia N8. We find the 12 megapixels autofocus camera of Nokia N8 is its biggest plus point against iPhone 4. It clicks much better pictures and videos (just like a DSLR camera) while 5 megapixels camera of iPhone 4 stands no chance against it. The two phones are not for price bound users and as such a little higher price of iPhone 4 is not a parameter at all. Nokia N8 has very compatible multimedia features and great audio quality while the iTunes is not the hot favorite of every user. This might give Nokia N8 some edge over iPhone 4 too. The other handsets that give a strong competition to Nokia N8 are Sony Xperia P, Apple iPhone 4S, Apple iPhone 5, HTC One V, Samsung Galaxy S Plus, HTC Desire S, Sony Xperia Ray, Sony Xperia U, Sony Xperia S, Samsung Galaxy W, HTC Desire HD, Motorola Atrix, Nokia Lumia 710, HTC Radar, Nokia Lumia 800, Samsung Omnia W, HTC Wildfire S, HTC Sensation XE, HTC Sensation 4G, Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Epic 4G touch, Motorola DEFY, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, HTC Titan, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire X, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, Nokia 808 PureView and many more.