Some say it’s an intergalactic space craft, others say it’s ahead of its time…All we know is that it’s the new Nokia N8.
On receiving this phone it was evident that we were meant to be together. As I opened the box it was as if the “Hallelujah” choruses from heaven were being sung by angels which featured Justin Biebers “Baby, Baby, Baby ooooh”. So you may be thinking what is so phenomenal about this phone? How about its sleek look, its 3.5” AMOLED touch screen, 12MP Carl Zeiss lens camera or even its 16GB internal memory.
As I turned it on, it came to life with an outstanding 5sec boot time. Some of you may be thinking this is very uncharacteristic of a Nokia but they have moved ahead in leaps and bounds with this phone. One of the fantastic features of this phone is its screen. A 3.5” AMOLED touch screen which is anything but your average screen. The clarity is amazing and watching HD movies on it is as good as an Iphone if not better. Apart from the clarity of the screen, the Dolby Digital Surround sound speaker which has been integrated at the back of the phone (not the ideal place) gives you the true cinematic feel while watching movies. One of the downsides about the exterior of this phone is the HDMI port flap which seems very flimsy and looks like it was an afterthought. This feature is overshadowed by the plug and play flash drive adapter which comes bundled in the box. You plug your adapter in and then your flash drive and you can browse and view files directly off it.
One of the several amazing features of this phone is its camera. Packed with a whopping 12MP sensor, Carl Zeiss autofocus lens, Xenon flash and a mechanical shutter, this camera is anything but ordinary. Nokia have really taken a huge step since their previous flagship camera phone (N86) and big improvements have been made. These improvements are evident if we compare the artificial looking photos of an iphone 4 to the detailed quality pictures of the N8. The camera interface is very easy to use which makes photography a pleasant experience
The video camera records in 720p at 25fps. However this is not one of the stronger features of the phone as Nokia just haven’t hit the nail on the head yet when it comes to smooth videoing. The main problem with the video camera is that Nokia has decided to use a hyperfocal system instead of the conventional autofocus. This results in a choppier image. This being said, the video is still a pleasant experience and you can definitely capture all those funny and memorable moments with no hassle.
Another first for Nokia and the N8 is its all new symbian^3 software. The look and feel of the OS is the standard Nokia layout. It must be said that it is a more snappier and crisper device than previous Nokia phones. The home screen is filled with icons and apps which are completely customizable. The main menu of the phone, which is accessed by pressing the only button on the front of the phone, is identical to all the previous Nokia phones running Symbian OS. The browser is not all that great considering all the refined features on this phone. I found it a little jerky when scrolling a website while the page is loading; however YouTube videos buffered and ran smoothly. A neat feature in the browser and photo viewing, much like the Iphone, is the pinch and double tap features which both work extremely well. There are two options when using the keyboard, landscape or portrait. In landscape mode you get the full QWERTY keyboard. It is very simple to use although Nokia has put very little thought into the situation of keys. In portrait mode you are given the normal mobile keypad which works identically to the standard keypad on a non touch screen phone.
Listening to music on this phone is something to behold. The N8 produces a very crisp and clear sound via the speaker on the back of the phone. Its phenomenal clarity bundled with cover flow gives you the Iphone feel but at a much better price. Another very neat feature is the FM transmitter. This means that you don’t need to lug around those big cigarette lighter FM transmitters anymore. You simply get into your car set the frequency on your phone and auto search for it on your car radio. The built in radio is a big improvement on previous versions and the phone keeps the frequency very well.
A major talking point about mobile phones today is the phones GPS navigation. The new Navigation which Nokia is using is called OVI Maps. It is exceptionally fast and navigating it is a breeze. It is also very accurate in terms of location and the database of places is astounding. One downside to OVI Maps is that the traffic service doesn’t really work all that well.
All in all Nokia sure knew how to hit the market with a BANG! With a very reasonable price tag Nokia is certainly giving Iphone, HTC and Blackberry (albeit without BBM) a very big run for their money. The refined software, sleek finishes and a screen that your mother would die for brings together a phone that even Chuck Norris would be proud of. If you are a media freak and are looking for a phone that will cater for all your media and business (to a certain extent) needs then this is the phone for you. I have the privilege to say, without a doubt, is the best phone Nokia have produced to date.
What’s in the Box and specifications
A big thanks to Nokia for giving me this phone to review for 2 weeks.