Nokia N8 Review: First Look

At Nokia World, Nokia gave out 1000 N8’s to all those who attended the first developer session. The devices have the production hardware and the PR 1.0 software, however even the PR 1.0 on those was not the commercial version with which the N8’s will ship soon.

Nokia N8 Review: First Look

I was unlucky to miss out on the handsets, fortunately my friend Iain Wallace at Do It Different was able to get his hands on one and was kind enough to let me have a go at the N8 for the entire time I was in Edinburgh. Soon we concluded that the N8 is a little better than you expect in all departments and this came as a very pleasant surprise. The way he summed it up was ‘You get the iPhone and are immediately wowed, and with time you start to notice the shortcoming and get frustrated. On the N8 you keep liking it more, the more you use it’. I completely agree and I have to say that I liked the N8 much more on day three than I did on day one. It is definitely a device that grows on you and the sheer number of underlying improvements to Symbian^3 make for a huge jump in the overall user experience.

Anssi Vanjoki wasn’t kidding when he said that you should use the N8 before passing judgment on it. Get past the similar looking homescreen, the underlying experience will make it worth it. Without further ado, here is my first look at the Nokia N8 in glorious HD.

I personally am not too bothered about the alleged delays, Nokia is bent upon doing a good job with the first firmware and an additional one/two weeks is a small price to pay for a stable device.

What do you make of the N8?

32 thoughts on “Nokia N8 Review: First Look”

  1. I haven’t found an N8 in the grass yet, but I’ll keep looking. πŸ™‚

    Do you know if swipe is/will be available? I love the N8 mainly because I want a good phone in my camera :), but I also like a hardware qwerty keyboard. Swipe might be a good alternative for me.

  2. Good thoughts on a good device… I see so many videos of illiterate iphone fans trying to use the N8 and complaining about the device they dont even know to use… Glad to see its so very well responsive…Yes about the browser, it needs the new browser update.. keeping my fingers crossed…

  3. Ok, N8 is good. Can any body comment on C7’s graphics power and whether same GPU used on is same as N8?

    Is there any difference in available user memory or other internal configs?

  4. Good review Vaibhav.

    I wonder how are the basic phone functions like GSM reception and the GPS fix.

    My N97 has the antenna reception issue like the iphone 4 when I hold it.

  5. Sadiq, all the new S^3 devices, including the C7, have the same internals as the N8 when it comes to the processor and the GPU. They have different amounts of available user memory though.

    N97, the N8 had solid reception and the basic functions work just fine, its a Nokia! πŸ˜‰ The GPS is pretty good as well, if you want more detail, look this part of the review up:

    http://thehandheldblog.com/2010/09/24/video-review-the-new-ovi-maps-with-search-assist-pinch-to-zoom-on-the-nokia-n8/

    On the N97’s reception issues, I disagree. I haven’t really had any trouble when I had mine.

  6. great review, just let me buy the damn thing already! my birthday is in october, and im definitely getting one! (hope my girl friend is reading this :), i got her the stupid iphone she wanted so bad on hers )

  7. @Ajit
    I see so many videos of illiterate iphone fans trying to use the N8 and complaining about the device they dont even know to use…

    Doesn’t that speak awful lot about the iPhone? It’s not for tech savvy people like you and me. The fact that people don’t understand the N8 is infact as point against the N8.

  8. Dude what about the Dolby Digital technology?
    I am very much impressed with two features Dolby Digital technology n 12 MP camera. Could you please write or talk about the Dolby digital technology of Nokia N8?

  9. @Vaibhav – I did buy an N97 thinking that the basic phone functions would work, given that it is a Nokia. Unfortunately it didnt.

    Personally, I think the only competitive advantage with Nokia over other smartphones are its high res camera, really good free navigation maps(except the N97) and free music(in certain regions).

    I assume N8 has the same screen size as that of N97 and that might suck.

    BTW Symbian OS is more intuitive than Android(version that is found in HTC aria). Just that, they have to make symbian more stable. But too many versions and variants might make it harder to manage their test matrix.

  10. Good review.But how look design of N8 is ugly!Despite is diffrent platform N900 vs N8 much better N900.This N8 is for a year on your pants but N900 for life!

  11. dpr, not yet, But when Swype comes along, you will be able to use the a portrait QWERTY to Swype or even type as a regular keyboard.

    vyzk, They are different. Symbian^3 will run on mid end devices as well, but Froyo needs the absolute smoking latest to do a good job. Once that happens it becomes a hardware fight rather than the OS debate.

    Sony, the Dolby out is great. I have seen it in action many a time and it never ceases to amaze you with the quality and how such a small thing is powering it all.

  12. Any words on multitouch on virtual keyboard on n8?

    It is important because it le me typevery fast, the swype input is just not enough

  13. Great review! Can you tell me what actions can you do after quick searching the contact on the dial pad? And how do you do them? Is it a popup menu or simply contact’s page?

  14. N8 will is just great! I especially want the camera (even I use usually a DSLR), since then I can have a good camera with me all the time since a phone is with me all the time!

  15. wat kills symbian ?……

    1.lack of DECENT applications store
    2.getting buggy with more installed apps
    3.same old UI without user created apps to modify them
    4.widgets sizes are fixed
    5.bad bad browser
    …….i wish someone contributes few more..lol

  16. Hey, what you you mean by “Alleged delays” when they’re quite obvious?
    Clearly, the event in which you change homescreens aren’t “live” as with iOS and AndroidOS – they are processed AFTER your “keystroke”

    I don’t like this.

    And also what @Sayantan Nani said:
    1.lack of DECENT applications store
    2.getting buggy with more installed apps
    3.same old UI without user created apps to modify them
    4.widgets sizes are fixed
    5.bad bad browser.

    Despite all this, I STILL want one.. I guess I’m just hooked to Nokia.. too bad I might get disappointed.

  17. @Sayantan Nani
    1 True, but its getting better. And with QT, hopefully there will be more apps coming.

    2 if you mean slows down when memory is getting full, yeah, so do others. If you mean that it might kill off some apps running in the background, withous notice under load. Dont know about symbian^3, but sure that happens. Or do you mean that when you install untrusted apps, you run in to stability problems over all?

    3 SPB Mobile shell for symbian. Should work on Symbian^3 devices as they dont run the QT UI. The reason why the UI is a bit boring, is to save resources. iOS, Android are made to run on latest hardware. Symbian is meant to run on reasonble priced hardware.

    4 True. It make the thing look more tidy, but yeah, it makes widgets limited.

    5 there is a new coming, rumours talk of november, and its coming to N8. So we know its coming, maybe hold of till its here, before we pass judgement on Symbian^3s browser.

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