Tag Archives: Nokia N8 Review

Nokia N8 Review: Camera – Includes 75 Photo Samples

After having used the Nokia N8 to take pictures while I was visiting Edinburgh, no doubt remains in my mind that the Nokia N8 is the absolute best camera phone that you can buy in the market today. We took a ton of pictures and video in very trying situations, without bothering to stop and compose a shot properly. Most images you see here were taken while walking around the city, N8 in hand simply snapping away. Some were taken from within a car, a bus, while actually walking (without even a pause) and the N8 kept delivering.

Of course there were some shots that were ruined by incredible camera shake, or the sun blaring into the lens and we being obstinate and still trying to take a picture. I walked away blown by the N8’s camera, infact I always had my DSLR on me, but there were times I was happy just using the N8, secure in the knowledge that I won’t regret it.

Before you scroll to the gallery of 12 Megapixel N8 Camera Samples, there are a few shots that I am especially keen to show off. Click through to see the images in their full glory.

Nokia N8 Review: 75 Camera Samples From The Nokia N8

(This picture is a great indicator of the detail the N8’s camera is capable of producing)

Nokia N8 Review: 75 Camera Samples From The Nokia N8

(Amazing depth of field, the macro mode in action)

Nokia N8 Review: 75 Camera Samples From The Nokia N8

(Its almost as if the N8 doesn’t care about low light, no really)

The following images are either in the 4×3 12 Megapixel Mode or the wide screen 9 Megapixel Mode. Switching between these modes on the N8 is very easy, just pinch the screen while the Camera’s viewfinder is on to go to the 4×3 mode and pinch out for the 16:9 widescreen. Click through to see the images in their full glory.

In most of the cases, we could have got a better shot if we had spent a little more time playing with different settings and composing it better, but I guess these ones would serve you better as they give a ‘real world’ idea of the kind of shots the N8 will bring to you.

Speaking of a DSLR, I also did try and take some comparison shots of between my Canon 550D and the N8, look out for them very soon. Plus, there’s a review of the N8’s HD video capture in the pipeline as well. Exciting times!

[Update: Nokia N8 Review: HD Video – Samples Across All Conditions]

Much credit to Iain Wallace at Do It Different for taking a bunch of these pictures.

(Note: The above images were taken with the N8 running the PR 1.0 v11.011 firmware, which is just short of the firmware the N8 is shipping with.)

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?

Initial Impressions Of The Nokia N8: Raw Potential

Nokia has a lot riding on the N8, not only is its market share in jeopardy but perhaps more importantly its down in the mindshare and brand perception department. The idea that Nokia can no longer make a decent high-end smartphone, fuelled by the media is causing serious damage to its reputation. While this is not the case in countries like India, the fact that they were late to the dual SIM party has not helped things. Nokia hopes that the N8 will mark the start of that turn around, and in this post I examine if that is a relevant possibility.

Initial Impressions Of The Nokia N8

First things first, my initial impressions are based on a proto N8 running the pre PR 1.0 v11.004 firmware so things might change (hopefully for the better) by the time it hits stores. As soon as you pickup the N8, you get a feel of premium. The build quality is nothing short of excellent and the whole metal finish really stands out. All the different N8 colours pop out and each has the power to attract a hoard of fans. As I saw for myself, the anodized aluminum construction is also highly scratch resistant, you can take a pen and scratch it without there being even a simple mark caused and if you like taking care of your phone, this is very heartening to see.

Initial Impressions Of The Nokia N8

Our preview had started off with a demo of the Nokia N8 playing a 720P action clip, broadcast via HDMI with Dolby surround sound. Needless to say, its an incredible experience and you cannot help but marvel at how such a tiny thing could be powering such great entertainment. How often you use this functionality in real life is up for debate, but the day you do the N8 will feel worth it.

I was also very keen on seeing the N8’s USB on-the-go performance as this is something I have craved for a long time and it did not disappoint. Once connected, the flash drive/external hard drive/another phone behaves as if the data were residing inside the N8 and you can copy, send, playback everything without any fuss. Infact, our N8 video demo clip was probably being played off a USB stick which was connected to the Nokia N8.

Initial Impressions Of The Nokia N8

Moving onto the N8’s OLED capacitive display. It is by far the best screen that Nokia’s shipped and coupled with the fact that it just need a finger touch for navigation, the whole Symbian ^3 experience becomes much better. Sunlight visibility is not a huge problem and you should be able to get along fine if you pump up the brightness.

Initial Impressions Of The Nokia N8

Since the N8 also uses a faster processor and a dedicated GPU, application opening and performance is also much better than current Nokia devices and this is indeed very welcome. I wouldn’t say that everything was flying but it was much faster. (Please keep in mind that these impressions are based of a play with a proto, so things will probably get even better by the time the N8 ships).

Another thing that helps the N8 experience is the contextual menus that pop-up on a long press. This eliminates the need to go through menus and makes get navigation around the UI much faster and pleasing. The phone also features a new Nokia Messaging client which is a marked improvement over the current version. The N8 also packs a new social network client simply called ‘Social’ and it integrates both Facebook and Twitter, there is a homescreen widget too. The Ovi Store app has also been worked upon and ensures a much better experience.

The one thing that disappointed on the Nokia N8 was its Web Browser, it is 2010 and you still cannot open a new window manually. In this time and age, that’s just not on. The browser UI has been worked a little to allow for better utilisation of space but at the end of the day, even with work arounds it doesn’t match up to the competition; although it has its strengths in support for flash content and pinch to zoom. I was told that the Nokia N8 browser would be getting an upgrade later this year and I hope it brings the new Qt browser that Nokia is rumoured to be working upon rather than just more tweaks to the current version.

Coming to the N8’s mainstay, its 12 Megapixel Camera. The camera UI is new and the time from pressing the camera button to the N8 taking the shot is under 5 seconds. The time between shots is also barely a couple of seconds and this makes the camera experience very pleasing. You have already seen a bunch of Nokia N8 camera samples and it does not disappoint at all. The video capture is carried out at 25 frames a second and anything further than about 60 cm remains in focus using the N8’s new  hyper-focal distance system that Nokia has implemented. The feedback from the N8’s camera button is wonderful, it is perhaps the best physical button I have come across. I have no doubt that the N8 will be the best camera phone in the market by a wide margin once it goes on sale.

Initial Impressions Of The Nokia N8

Coming to the N8’s loudspeaker. It’s a mono speaker located under the Xenon flash on the back and thus liable to be muffled when the phone is kept on its back. As far as its ‘loud’ quotient goes, it just about manages to come close to say the Nokia N900 or N97 but doesn’t quite match up to the 5800 Xpress Music. But since I was testing it in a noisy environment, I will reserve final judgment till I play with the final version.

I see a lot of good things in the N8, Divx playback, capacitive display, multitouch, the freshness of Symbian ^3, USB on-the-go, HDMI out, Dolby 5.1 and of course the camera. The N8 even with proto software seemed stable enough and if Nokia can release it with a rock stable firmware I can see the N8 flying of the shelves.

The number one reason people are doubting their N8 purchase is because they are not sure if it will get Symbian ^4, my personal belief is that it won’t. However, if Nokia can make a public announcement promising an update to the browser and pledging to support the OS, it will greatly help the market sentiment. The perception that Symbian ^3 is a transitory and will become irrelevant, must go.

The Nokia N8 is well and truly shaping up to be a long awaited success for Nokia, time and again they have resisted from calling it a high-end flagship and if they can stick to the price that it was announced at, we might truly have a winner in our hands. At the current stage I will have to give the N8 a 8/10 but if the browser gets updated and we get Swype for text entry, that score will easily rise to 9.5/10 for me.

If you are looking for more N8 coverage, we have already brought you unboxing pictures, a large gallery of the different colours of the Nokia N8 along with comparison shots with different devices. There are two 10 minute videos of a hands on play with the N8 as well, part one and part two.

Have any questions, please let me know in the comments section below.

Sunday Watch: The N8 Stars In A Bunch Of Videos

A pretty large bunch of videos showing off the N8 has popped up over the last one week. Some demoing it in general, some not demoing it but showing what you could do with it and so on. The first on the list is the viral video that Nokia’s itself released, they ask if this is the greatest foosball match ever played and if you watch the video, you will have to agree.

The next is a much more general overview of the N8, the browser, multitouch, music player, camera and so on. While its in a language most of us do not understand, you should still be able to easily make out what is happening.

Following on we have a teaser of the Asphalt 5 game that Gameloft’s been developing for the N8. It supports both multitouch control and accelerometer navigation. Impressive.

The last is a small Ovi Store and Wikitude demo, the reason I’ve put it here because it might just be showing off the reboot of the Ovi Store that was promised a while back.

Do keep in mind that these videos have been shot on prototype hardware and software and the final product should be even better. Any thoughts?