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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Nokia N8

Our eyes twinkled as we first set it on the big, brashly Nokia N8. It’s bold, the colors do not shy to project the aluminum brazenness and the 12-mega pixel lens elevates the phone to another level of technology wizardry. The recent crop of Windows 7 and Android shoots may not exactly divert the liking to this particular phone, but the videos, pictures and Symbian^3 OS justifies for a review on Phones.com.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

The Nokia N8 impresses with its geometric design slightly curved at the edges, just as to maintain the continuity. Thankfully, it’s not one of those river pebble phones but gets serious with its large AMOLED touchscreen occupying much of the front. Its color palette is shamelessly extensive serving factually every code number available in Photoshop. Many do not know the 3.5-inch; 640-x 360-resolution AMOLED touchscreen is a Gorilla Glass, toughened to survive a bang on the rock. That resolution is not what we would call a perfect dart throw, but it is respectable enough for a full touch bar phone. In fact, Nokia deserves a pat on the back as its legibility under direct sunlight as well as indoors is good. 

Moving on, the rear corner on the top of the piece is occupied by the video call camera with the earpiece in the centre. Near the video call camera are the ambient light and the proximity sensors as well.

Below the screen are the microphone and menu key. There are no hard call and end keys, that some, may find disappointing. However, if you are used to operating a touch screen, this shouldn’t turn out to be a major problem. On top of the Nokia N8 is the power key, also acting as the screen lock. Beside it  suitably rests the HDMI port covered by a plastic cover and the 3.5 mm audio jack. It is noticeable that the sensitive HDMI port is saved from dust and manual handling attacks. The left hand side gets its own share including the microSD, micro USB and SIM card slots. The bottom of the handset is nearly blank with nothing but the charger point space appointed. Nevertheless, the phone is chargeable through both the charger point and the USB port.

The back of the device features the 12-mega pixel lens, the xenon flash and the loudspeaker. Nokia has not provided any protective covering for the lens, but as the Finn company guarantees the glass cover is caring enough. Where everything is going so positive, there is one sinking point, particularly the battery cover. It’s not easily removable and you need a good  screw driver if you dare to remove it.

Features (/10)

The Nokia N8 is riding the horse on its 680MHz processor, but that is timid to say the least in the world of 1Ghz monsters. Coupling Symbian^3 to process the applications, the device proffers an intense, accelerated multitasking experience expected from a Nokia smartphone.

Previous Nokia phone users will be at ease with the N8. At the same time, those accustomed with the Android will be disillusioned with the same old limited widgets and annoying touch experience. Even the Ovi store is not as extensive as the Android Market, offering curbed options in the apps section.
Mercifully, the N8 is available with a single tap operation thus rubbing off memories of multiple taps in S60 devices.

In all, the experience of using a Symbian user interface has improved drastically though things could improve for the better.

Nokia N8 jumps starts with a simple-to-use feature like a speakerphone, speed dial, conference calling, voice dialing and messaging in threaded view. The phonebook availability is limited to memory capacity but the SIM does hold 250 contacts. A contact’s information is further expandable to multiple phone numbers, email, addresses, birthdays and more. In spite of all the above possibilities, the phonebook is unable to sync contacts from other email accounts and social networking sites. Mail for Exchange does so but otherwise you have to depend on Ovi or iSync plug in. In addition, Nokia N8 is supportive of other email protocols such as Lotus Notes, POP3 and IMAP protocols. It is as easy to set up accounts on the N8, as it is to send and receive email. Yet, the path to reaching a folder is somewhat sluggish though not tedious.

When we mention the Nokia N8, its 12-megapixel camera comes to the forefront. Supported by Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and a range of editing options, the pictures of the Nokia N8 level up to a new degree of superiority. Sharp and brilliant colors provide every detail expected of a camera phone. The camera could handle every possible environmental condition whether it was bad lighting, indoors or moving shots.

In addition to the camera, there is the HD video recording feature available with a HDMI cable to view shoots on capable devices. This feature works fine as well and is available with a video editor if you want to try a hand at adding sound effects to the clips.

Reviewing Nokia’s music player was never a questionable stance for it always delivered a perfect 10. Nokia N8 is no exception. In fact, the features are tweaked thanks to an improved OS backed up by multiple audio codecs. For a change, you could listen to music on FM radio.

Connectivity (/10)

Wireless connectivity is available on Nokia N8 with Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 and 3G supports.

Micro USB 2.0 covers the aspect of USB on-the-go utility as it works as both a data transfer charging port as well. The HDMI port is able to supply 720p video to similar enabled devices with the help of a regular HDMI cable.

The default web kit browser available on the N8 is decent enough as it supports Flash Lite 4.0 which means you will be able to view Flash enabled web pages. Whilst this may be true, the process of reaching a web page takes up too many steps that we think is complicated.

Performance (/10)

The wide-ranging specs list got us worried about the battery of the N8. However, the concern disappeared when we discovered that it was able to sustain all the feature usages and lasted longer compared to its competitors.

Nokia N8 puts up a performance of a 680MHz processor that is not comparable to the current 1Ghz arrivals. Nevertheless, we are not complaining since the phone does not slow down when applications are working.

Value for Money (/10)

Nokia N8 is the best phone Nokia has manufactured till date. Its arrival is during the toughest times of the smartphone market when Windows 7 phones and Android versions are trying to maintain their market place. However, its camera is unmatched for, a scoring point for any smartphone.

Symbian trackers will like this phone, or otherwise there are options such as the Samsung Wave and Motorola Milestone with similar features (though not always offering the same quality).


  • the camera & video camera is outstanding
  • better user experience than previous Nokia devices
  • free Ovi maps turn-by-turn navigation
  • anodised aluminium cover
  • good battery life


  • Expensive
  • user interface has improved but still fails to sustain the competition
  • battery isn't replaceable easily
  • QWERTY keyboard ain't available in potrait mode
  • Symbian^3 is lags behind in performance compared to Android or iOS



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Style: 8.8
Technology: 8.9
Efficiency: 9.0

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