Nokia N8 looks like a winner

by Volker Weber

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Tonight I had a small group briefing of the Nokia N8 where we got to play with a few prototypes. I was generally very pleased. The N8 has a solid aluminum shell with two plastic ends that cover the antennas. The display looks good, but is bound to have some difficulties with direct sunlight. AMOLED looks good indoors, but not so much in bright surroundings. With a screen resolution of 640x360 it's better than an iPhone 3GS or any Blackberry, but well below the iPhone 4 and current Android devices.

Nokia is going for a feature war. The N8 comes with worldwide free navigation with maps you can preload, it sports a 12 MP camera with Xenon flash, you can capture 720p HD videos at 25 fps and edit them right on the device. An HDMI output mirrors the display to an HD TV and the N8 can send 720p videos with 5.1 surround sound over the wire. The phone comes with two dongles, one that connects a regular HDMI cable to the smaller HDMI output and another one, that lets you connect USB plugs like thumbdrives to the MicroUSB port. The N8 comes with 16 GB of internal memory, expandable with 32 GB of microSDHC cards and it can talk directly to thumbdrives and external disks that provide their own power. All of this makes it a very solid portable multimedia device.

I am holding off judgement of Symbian^3 until I have played with it for a while, but on first contact it looks very usable, much better than any other version I have seen before. I was promised that ^3 solves my major headache, the network stack. It should be connecting to all sorts of mobile and Wi-Fi networks without ever bothering the user.

An N97 survices only a couple of hours until I run screaming. The N8 is a breath of fresh air, that I could find quite likable. From what I have seen today, Nokia is back in the game. The N8 is no iPhone killer. But it plays on level ground. I am looking forward to giving it a longer run in a couple of weeks. And I want a silver one. ;-)

Comments

Pre-emptive snarky comment: 5.1 surround sound? I'm curious how they're going to deliver that with a single microphone.

Martin Böhm, 2010-08-31

Yeah, right. Nokia isn't going to advertise the fact you can play all your downloads. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2010-08-31

I'd go with a black one ;-)

Heiko Müller, 2010-08-31

As far as I read (on Nokia pages) the N8 got 2 microphones, one on the front, one on the rear.

Wolfgang Siebeck, 2010-09-01

Silver? And i was so sure you would go for the orange one.

Dirk Steins, 2010-09-01

I shall be interested to hear how the software update process for Symbian^3 is - that became the deal-breaker as far as I was concerned using the S60 OS. Both for the maps and for the firmware it was a nightmare. Especially as it was all done with .NET, which meant you needed to run WIndows to do it.

John Keys, 2010-09-01

I will update my Nokia E71 with a green Nokia N8. The Nokia E71 will stay for backup purposes, :)

Albert Buendia, 2010-09-01

Newer Nokias than the E71 update their firmware over the air. And youi can load maps from the Mac now, also to the E71.

Volker Weber, 2010-09-01

Hi Volker,

FYI there is an ABSURD and STUPID discrimination for Spanish Nokia users. If you try to update your Nokia E71 firmware version your will be noticed that the last version is a 3.x release when today the real last version is a 5.x firmware. So, what stupid game is playing Nokia with us? Can anyone explain to me?

Albert

Albert Buendia, 2010-09-01

How is it for -hum- placing calls? Something the iPhone is miserable in, due to a bad codec and/or quality assurance when calibrating things. I alwqays liked my Nokias for the excellent Quality of speech.

Armin Roth, 2010-09-01

Albert, could it be that you have a branded phone and there is a network operator in the loop which didn't update their version of the firmware?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2010-09-01

Martin - HDMI connection to your amp? Assuming HDMI 1.3 onwards.

jonathan lewis, 2010-09-05

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