ESPOO, Finland - Following an in-depth leak and negative reaction, Nokia went forward and officially announced the Nokia N8 - which actually turned out to be a friendly smartphone, full of potential.
The device is characterized by its many colours (dark grey, silver white, green, blue, and orange), a 12 megapixel camera, new Symbian^3 software, multimedia and social networking focus, as well as the somewhat-accessible price.
The 12 megapixel sensor is a first for Nokia. The camera is composed by a Carl Zeiss lens, Xenon flash, and HD video recording capability. The manufacturer claims that the camera has a bigger sensor than its rivals, which should offer the best picture quality in the mobile market.
The first image samples of the 12 megapixel camera have been published, here.
Dolby Digital Plus surround sound is another new feature for Nokia. This will enable users to plug the phone to their home theatre systems, and playback HD video with surround sound. A great component of the N8's multimedia offerings; the device also has FM radio, FM transmitter, support for several audio and video formats, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
WebTV is a highlight on the handset, and once again, a novelty. According to Nokia, the device will be able to playback 3.3 continuous hours of web TV - which includes local, as well as international television. CNN, E! Entertainment, Paramount and National Geographic channels are confirmed, while other channels will be offered through the Ovi Store.
The N8 "Media Wall" was given some focus, cleaning the old multimedia app from S60 5th edition, and giving users a new, more intuitive interface, as seen in the video below.
The Photos app has been revamped, just like most of the system. The multi-touch and motion sensor pay a part in this, allowing users to zoom in or out, depending on how they pinch the screen, or how they move the phone.
Gaming may also be a new experience, with multi-touch, although the navigation pad is always useful - Nokia had to sacrifice it for the sake of novelty.
Unlike the Nokia N900, the N8 does not have a kickstand, which would have been ideal for video playback.
Facebook image upload has been included in the photos application, enabling quick and easy upload of images to the social networking portal.
In fact, Nokia attempted to completely integrate Facebook in the phone, seeing that social networking tools are extremely important in new mobile phones.
Widgets are able to completely retrieve relevant information to the user, from Facebook, Twitter, and even RenRen.
Calendar events can too be synchronised with the phone's calendar. The contacts integration was not shown, although it should be present, seeing that Sony Ericsson contains it in its Timescape user interface.
The fuss about Symbian^3
Symbian^3 is the much-awaited upgrade to Nokia's software platform. It is open-source, cleaned up, and with a user interface fully tweaked for touchscreen phones.
As it is a new platform, it is adapted to users' needs for social networking, and is able to cater to high-end components, such as advanced cameras and games, without lagging.
With the Ovi Store filling up fast, users will have plenty of apps and games to choose from, as well as tools to personalize the N8 to their liking.
For developers, Symbian^3 bridges the gap between Maemo (and the upcoming MeeGo), with Symbian. Now, programs developed for Qt (read cute), will work on both Symbian and Maemo/MeeGo, making developers' lives easier, and bringing more software to both platforms.
For the businessman looking for a fun phone, this can be the solution. The Nokia N8 supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, and has a microUSB port.
The GPS is made an even better feature with the free Ovi Maps navigation, with turn-by-turn voice-guidance, walk and drive feature, as well as support for third-party components. In future, it will have fully-working traffic information, speed trap information, weather details, and other tools developed by third-party programmers.
Although the Nokia N8 does not come with office-support fully licenced, those who wish to have it will surely enjoy it with the large 3.5" display, and the same applies with GPS: such a large screen completely replaces the need for a dedicated GPS.
The phone's battery is able to provide power for up to 12 hours of talk-time in GSM, 390 hours on stand-by time in GSM, HD video recording for 3.3 hours, music playback for 50 hours, video playback for seven hours (with HDMI switched on for six hours), and web TV for 3.3 hours.
It is scheduled to release in the third quarter this year, at a price of EUR370 (US$492), without taxes or other subsidies.
Print This Article