Wow! I almost never expected this to happen, but its true. Ladies and Gentlemen – Nokia no longer has the top spec S60 powered handset. Samsung has powered ahead of Nokia’s upcoming flagship the N96, at least as far as core specifications go. The upcoming Samsung i8510 also known as the InnoV8, is based on S60 OS v9.3 Feature Pack 2 and comes with the 2.8″ QVGA screen. Like the N96, this is also a slider and looking at both these handsets from a bird’s eye there is not much of difference. Samsung has extensive experience with sliders and Nokia also has been learning, slowly but surely so the difference will most likely come down to user experience. That being said, the Samsung offering is better at least specwise in quite a few areas and here’s how.
CAMERA – The i8510 boasts of a 8(!) megapixel camera that can also shoot VGA video at 30 FPS and QVGA at an impressive 120 frames per second. Not only this, software wise also it offers features such as Face & Blink Detection and Panorama Modes out of the box. An extensive onboard video and image editing with Movie Maker and Storyboard is also present. Now, a bigger megapixel count doesn’t always mean a better camera but it sometimes does become a little difficult to argue with 8 megapixels.
VIDEO – It will also support video formats Divx and WMV out of the box. unlike the N96 which depends on third party software and still can’t do WMV. (Edit: I will eat some of my words here, the N96 can if fact do WMV out of the box. Not only that it can also output SDTV resolution on TV-out, something I, like Jukka below doubt the InnoV8 can do).
BATTERY -This is like running salt into the N96’s wounds, the InnoV8 comes with a 1200 mAh battery as opposed to the N96’s 950 mAh.
SIMILARITIES – While the above were advantages enjoyed by the InnoV8, there are loads of similarities too. The same OS, the same screen size and resolution. A 3.5 mm jack, an accelerometer for automatic screen rotation, AGPS, 16GB of internal flash storage, stereo RDS capable radio and the same August/September launch window.
IMPACT – Looking at the specs one would think that the Samsung would probably blow the N96 away, but in my opinion that will not happen. For one, Samsung lacks the a trusted base of S60 loyalists who are used to their kind of product. When I personally have tried non Nokia S60 phones, I frankly haven’t found the experience to be as enjoyable. May be its the slightly different UI or the fact that Nokia’s home grown application suite that they regularly churn out of Beta Labs is missing.
If Samsung can create the right buzz, hopefully we’ll see Nokia pushed, something that hasn’t happened recently. This also augers well for the S60 developers who will now have a larger base to make applications for. Also, Nokia is sure to hit back with a top spec Nseries phone of their own but until then its wait and watch.