Posted by on Nov 30, 2010 in Mobile | 0 comments


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Nokia N8 ReviewPost

I have always been a Nokia fan. For most of my family when it comes to choosing a new phone, they consider what Nokia has to offer first, and prefer them over other phones. When I heard that I was one of the 60 lucky bobs to test out the sleak and sexy new Nokia N8 I was absolutely delighted! I love technology and any time that I can get my hands on a flagship product without breaking the bank and test it to its limits I am simply in my element.

So lets get down to the details shall we?

Hardware

Camera

The video camera is a 12MP beast. For a phone this is almost unheard of and is only carried by the top of the line camera’s with many SLR camera’s not matching this MP count. Was it any good though? Hell yes! The camera was simply amazing and actually lead me to just wonder at random pictures due to the quality taken by a phone. I was left in awe of the power of a camera so small. Mind blowing.

The camera is a 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics with Xenon Flash and auto-focus.  It has 3x digital zoom and can shoot HD quality 720p resolution. There is also a secondary front facing camera used for video calls (QVGA, 640 x 480) and both camera’s deliver almost unrealistic quality. Big thumbs up.

nokia-n8-smartphone3

Connectivity

I didn’t even know it was possible that the techonoloty was available to connect a phone to a tv, but with the Nokia N8 it is not just possible, it is possible in HD with the phone coming with an HDMI port! That is simply incredible that a mobile phone can now stream videos and pictures to a TV in such quality, and it was an absolute sinch to work – simply plug and play. The phone comes with said HDMI Port at the top of the phone, along with a microUSB port which is easily connected to a TV, PC or anything else really! Shoot HD video with your phone, and then easily play it back using surround sound and your HD TV. Yes please!

Space

So HD video tends to take up loads of space, and now that you have shot some quality home movies, you need a place to put them right? Simple – you could quickly and easily copy them to your pc with the microUSB port, or simply keep them on your phone! With 16GB or onboard storage space on the Nokia N8 you will no longer run out of space! Not only does it come with loads of space, but it comes with a MicroSD memory slot that is hot swappable and the phone is capable of holding 32GB in total! It’s like having a home entertainment system in my phone!

Processing Power

*FLASH* Sorry that was the phone gliding through menu’s, opening and closing apps and running multiple applications at once. The N8 is lightning fast. No wait, it is easily the fastest Nokia that I have used by a mile. I have an iPod Touch 4th generation and that thing is absolutely blitz, but the N8 manages to keep up very respectably; lagging behind ever so slightly, but after all this is a phone and not just a music device.

Aesthetics

I am a stickler for pleasing aesthetics, and when it comes to the N8 I am not disappointed. The lines, curves and shape of the phone all tend to my nerdy fantasies rather perfectly. Aesthetically, this phone is sex in the form of a smartphone. Prrrrr…. I received a silver model and was blown away. I could hear it calling my name in the night as its silver body glistened in the moonlight. *shivers*

Nokia-N8

Accessories

When I first received the silver beauty that is the N8, I was a bit confused. You see, in my haste to get my hands on it, I raced to open the packaging to discover so many adaptors and connection things that I thought I had received a unit stacked with more accessories than what was meant to be. In the box you get the following:

  • Nokia Connectivity Cable CA-179
  • Nokia Stereo Headset WH-701
  • Nokia Compact Travel Charger AC-15
  • Nokia Adapter Cable for HDMI CA-156
  • Nokia Adapter Cable for USB OTG CA-157

Seriously – any more cables or goodies and I would not have had time to test them all! There is only so much time in a day and with that many goodies at hand, it caused for some lengthy bonding time with my Betty – certainly no complaints there.

Hardware conclusion

Overall, the Nokia N8 hardware capabilities are absolutely fantastic. There are very few phones that can match the N8 for raw speed and processing power, and with a camera that powerful to go along with very talented hardware, you are bound to have a winner. hardware on its own won’t make a phone, so lets take a look if the software is good enough to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Act.

Software

Operating System

The Operating System on the Nokia N8 is a brand new version being Symbian^3. The new operating system was extremely quick and well managed but does it do justice to the brute that is under the cover in terms of processing power? The simple answer is no.

The fantastic hardware of the N8 is not supported well enough by the operation system in my books. Symbian^3 is a great operating system, but on their flagship model I expected better. It is meant to be a completely new version, but to me it simply felt like a rehashed of Symbian S60.

Applications

The N8 comes with a myriad of applications to tickle absolutely anyone’s fancy. The general Nokia applications have always impressed me and these were no different. Once again, it simply felt like rehashed version of the old applications, but I guess one does want to keep the user familiar with one’s software and its layout and ways of use. Again, it just felt like Betty was not being provided with the appropriate support of her voluptuous bosom that is the hardware that lurks underneath the sleek silver cover. With the number of applications that come with the phone and the overall speed and ease of use of all of them, I actually can’t fault the applications here. A job well done I suppose.

Social Integration

The N8 comes with a very handy feature that allows you to integrate many social accounts right into your home screen. Serious? SE-RE-US! Check out Twitter and Facebook updates right from the main screen of your phone. Handy? Oh, very much so my dear Betty. Now you can Tweet and Facebook away all while on the move. Sintilating stuff I must say. Could the silver beaut that was my Betty handle all of this plus email accounts all in one go? Without a hitch. Very impressive stuff.

OVI Store

The app store? What’s that? App store meet your Big Brother – he is called the Ovi Store. The Ovi store is simply faster, better, and more accessable than the app store. Well that is what I found anyway. It was easy to setup and get going. Registering was quick and grabbing loads of free apps was easy as pie. Dam, now I’m hungry. Now that I think about it, I think that is the only thing that the N8 can’t do – be your personal butler, but it does a great job of being your PA.

The Ovi store really was easy to use and made the experience that much better on the N8. It allowed the phone to come to life a bit more and make maximum use of the powerful hardware under the bonnet, and for me, this is what made a huge difference to the device. Brownie points? Definitely.

Responsiveness

The software at times can become a bit overloaded and slightly laggy, but is still lightning quick the majority of the time. It seems that certain applications can bottleneck but I am not sure if that is a coding issue or rather that the device can’t handle it properly. I couldn’t seem to create a consistent lag that lasted longer than a second so I not sure what the issue was, but overall the software is very responsive to your touch and virtually allows selects the correct buttons even with my massive sausages for fingers.

Nokia N8 2

Usability

The way the menu’s are laid out are fairly standard and have not changed much, or at all compared to previous Symbian versions (One of the factors contributing to my rehashed feel). Although nothing was hard to find or not laid out very intelligently, something still seemed to stick in my mind and make me feel that the overall user experience could have been tweaked and enhanced that fraction more. It is all about creating a fantastic user experience as a whole and not simply good hardware. The software needs to be just as good, if not better! The usability was good, but could still be pushed further I think.

Media

I found the built in brower on the Nokia N8 to be very laggy and fairly unresponsive. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to install a third party browser due to time, but I really thought that Nokia missed a huge opportunity to capitalize on the ability of the phone here. Watching videos and everything else online was easy, but not the browsing. It seems the basics went a bit off the wobble here. Big disappointment? Definitely.

Software Conclusion

Overall, I felt that while the software was really good at getting the job done in the end, but it still lacked that bit of magic that would make the phone truly special. The phone provides all the hardware bits and bobs, but unfortunately I feel that the software doesn’t support the powerful, monsterous brute under the hood. The software just lacked that bit of excellence that I was hoping for and took off a bit of the shine on a very impressive handset. Conclusion – decent, but I was left with a “humph” sort of feeling closer to mediocre rather than a strong desire to lavish praise on the next great smartphone.

Conclusion

Would I love to keep this phone? Absolutely! The phone is not an iPhone 4 killer I reckon, but with the price point of around R5000, extremely powerful hardware, a sexy exterior, and software that is surely to be patched and updated along the way, it is very difficult not to recommend this phone to someone looking for a top of the range phone with all the bells and whistles at a competitive price.

I actually think the Nokia N8 should be referred to as a MultiMedia Phone rather than a smart phone. The term smart phone is becoming far to generic for my liking, and instead the phone places top quality media in many differerent variations into your beautiful fingers with such ease.

Overall score

Functionality – 8.3

Hardware – 9.3

Software – 7.5

Practicality – 8.2

Price – 7.7

Usability – 7.8

Apps – 8.3

Overall – 8.2

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