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Nokia N8 review- after 5 month usage
Mar 25, 2011 09:56 PM 27914 Views

Sound Reception:

User friendly:

Style & Design:

Other Features:

Look & Feel:

Value for Money:

I have purchased Nokia N8 just after a week of its release (on 24th October). It is five months since I am using this mobile. I just want to share my views on it.

My Views

Hardware:It is no doubt the most ruggedly handsome devices of recent memory. The body is almost Aluminum construction and a typical mixture of curvy sides and sternly straight lines at the top and bottom.The biggest distinguishing feature is it’s protruding camera compartment on the back, which houses the world's largest image sensor yet seen in a smartphone, a Carl Zeiss lens, a Xenon flash, and a loudspeaker.

The protruding compartment has drawback also. Since the phone spends most of its horizontal time resting on the camera section's bottom edge, so over the long run that portion of the body will suffer plenty of wear and tear. So I regularly use a cover to protect that portion.

Screen-locking slider is made of plastic. Since it is most used button, it would be better if it was made as rest of the body. The Xenon flash of camera is heavy power drain. The battery is not user replaceable and that can be a cause of concern if we want to have an additional backup battery.

Internals:I really like the USB-on-the-go support. I can connect anything to it, like pen drive, external hard disk, any other mobile phone (in mass storage mode), memory card reader, and the list goes on and on. It is also having HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) out that can be connected to a HDTV. Once connected, the handset will immediately start streaming a copy of its display to TV.

It is equipped with latest Bluetooth 3.0 that is way faster then the most used version 2.0. A 1200Mah battery is enough to give power for almost two days on normal usage. I find it sufficient considering other players in multimedia phone market.

It is having a special feature of FM transmitter that can transmit songs over a certain frequency and can be received via an FM receiver (Mobile, Car Radio) over a limited range of around 2 meters. All we need to do is find an unoccupied frequency slot within the standard FM scale between 88.10MHz and 107.90MHz.

Display: The screen is 3.5-inch AMOLED with 640 x 360 resolution (which is not good as compared to other high end phones in the market, but it is not that bad too) with Gorilla Glass which is a bulletproof (I have not checked that whether it is bulletproof or not!!!) and scratch-resistant glass. There is no visible scratch on its screen even after using it for five months. Vibrancy and color saturation look highly accurate while the auto-brightness guesses correctly most of the time and gives enough power.

UI Elements: The screen is capacitive touchscreen & there is no need of stylus. It is equipped with Turning Control, which lets us silence ringer or snooze alarm just by flipping the phone over. It is also having proximity and accelerometer sensor. It has a screensaver that makes smart use of OLED's property of self-illumination. It's a very dimly lit outline of a clock and date. The remainder of the screen remains black, and therefore consumes zero power. This feature drains very little power, and it's worth. It let us to see the time as soon as we pull out our phone without fiddling with any buttons. (I personally very much like this feature).

Keyboard: The major setback I have got with N8 is regarding its keyboard. It is not having a QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode. It is normal multitap keyboard. I am expecting this feature in yet to be released firmware update-PR2.0. Yet we do have QWERTY in landscape mode with SWYPE (initially it was not there, but later it was available as an additional app).

Camera: It is the best feature of this mobile. I purchased this mobile mainly because of this feature. I don’t need a digicam & handycam to carry everywhere. My N8 is more then sufficient.

The photos can be shared on Twitter, Facebook & Myspace just by few clicks. But the drawback is that it can be shared using an inbuilt app (Social Networks) provided by Nokia.

Media: As media goes, neither the photo nor video viewing apps are terribly notable in their functionality - they simply get the job done without much flair.

When you open the music player, the window opens is “Artists & Albums”. From “Options”, you can go to “Songs” that will display all songs. I don’t like artist and album combo. It would be better if artist and album were given as separate option. The biggest drawback is that it wont allows us to do editing in “Song Details” (that was possible in N73). Also, there are no multiple marking options in “Songs”. There is “Single” mark or “All” mark, so adding songs in playlist is a bit cumbersome process.

The inbuilt Nokia video player can play MP4 and 3GP files easily with HD clarity. I tried MKV and AVI files also, but most of the times it is unable to play those files.

Speaker/ Earpiece: For information, the speaker is provided alongwith the camera in the protruding camera compartment. The speaker is loud, and produces crisp and punchy output. Call quality is above average, as it is with all the Nokia phones. The problem arises out of oversensitive touchscreen. Due to that, my ear-bud touch is enough to put a call on hold or disconnect it. So either I use a Bluetooth headset or I lock the screen before making/accepting calls.

Browser: There is nothing great in its browser as compared to previous Nokia phones. Starting with the good things, the Nokia N8 browser has a good rendering algorithm and offers some nice functionality such as different font sizes (5 options), auto fill-in of web forms and a password manager.

Symbian^3 adds low-level support for multitouch, and due to that both pinch-zoom and double tap-to-zoom work really well -they're generally smooth and fast. When playing YouTube videos from within YouTube's site, everything came through smoothly.

N8 features built-in Flash Lite, which rendered both embedded ads and movies with ease. We can also choose to switch Flash off to cut down on loading times and save some data traffic

The Nokia N8 also allows us to browse, edit and make new office documents thanks to the preinstalled Quickoffice application (full version- comes free!!!). The Adobe PDF reader is also here to take care of those .PDF files, while the ZIP manager allows us to deal with digital archives on the go.

OVI Maps: The Nokia N8 comes with a built-in GPS receiver. The best part is that Nokia made their Ovi Maps navigation free (for lifetime) for all their smartphones, which naturally includes the N8. The more regular 2D and 3D view modes are also at hand and can be used with preloaded maps (in offline mode).

Finally:The Nokia N8 is the best phone from Nokia in recent time. The Symbian may not be as good as Android or iOS, but there are some nice multimedia features. The web browser is not that good but we get USB-on-the-go, HDMI out. There are better touchscreen phones in the market but no better cameras. I will say that it is the balance of both.

You can go for it, if-

-You have internet access on PCs at your home and office, and you rarely need your mobile for hardcore web browsing.

-You use internet mostly for twitting or facebooking.

-You want a good-looking, rugged, long lasting and hardcore solid phone.

-You want to listen music for most of the time. Amazingly, N8 gives more then 30 hrs music playback in offline mode.

-You are habitual of taking snaps every now and then.

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