Nokia N8 smartphone review

By on October 28, 2010
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Is it too late for Nokia

Editor's Score
The Verdict:
Excellent hardware is sadly wasted on sub-par software.

The Nokia N8 is the first phone that comes with Symbian’s v3 OS. Some of the additions that the Symbian team has developed over the previous generation is faster performance, multiple home screens and multi-touch capabilities.

On the home screens you can easily add widgets and shortcuts and I was impressed with the amount of things Nokia managed to fit on the main home screen- date and time, profiles, eight application shortcuts, four favorite contacts, mail and social activity. You have two more home screen which you can fill with multimedia or RSS feeds allowing a lot of flexibility.

The Nokia N8 also came loaded with plenty of applications. Starting off you have Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN TV, National Geographic channels, Adobe reader, OVI maps and market, movie teasers, Quickoffice, YouTube client, Photo and Video editors (which are fun) and Social networks. These are on top of your usual accessories such as voice recorder, dictionary etc. A Message reader is also present that, as the name suggests, reads messages out for you. The following video shows the interface and apps of the N8.

We couldn’t show you web browsing in the above video because of a lack of data connection but it works pretty much as most other Nokia phones with a webkit browser. What’s sad is that Nokia was one of the first ones to include a webkit based browser but has sadly not updated it much since then.

The biggest problem with Symbian is that although it work well, it’s interface looks extremely dated when compared to the iPhone or Android based handsets. Add to that a lack of a soft keyboard in portrait mode and you feel like you’re playing with something out of the 90s. It may be good for people that are too used to the Nokia interface and don’t want to experiment but for everyone else, it just doesn’t have the gloss or finesse to instantly connect.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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  • sideswipe

    The hardware is great, the applications are great for the most part but the overall UI experience is marred by the outdated Symbian OS. Nokia needs a major revamp and Symbian just doesn’t cut it in today’s world of smartphones. If only the N8 came with a choice of OS then it would be a hit.

  • shk @ Myliteraturetechlife.COM

    wow,,this is quite a nice cell phone but outdated OS is decreasing its attraction.

  • Laurent

    Well, I was an early adopter of the N8 – as my E65 was dying. After the “Waou”, “Superb”, my 3 weeks of intensive use of the N8, I discovered a list of ALT (Anoying Little Things) that frustrate a user.
    1st, I am a Nokia user for day 1; and 90% of my previous handsets came from the Fin.
    Battery life: phone and only phone great. Start using GPS, Camera and you need to go back to the plug.
    Ovi Suite issue: huge debate on Nokia discussion forum, finally found the answer, thank to some zealot.
    Latency: big issue on my handset, sometime the phone freezes for over 10 sec – an eternity
    Black screen: I knew the Windows Blue Screen, thanks to Nokia, I experienced the black screen.
    I don’t know the exact N8 technical architecture, but the resource management in term of cache or bus (thinking like a computer) need a serious improvement.
    OviStore: need more business like applications

    Overall, does the N8 was ready for market? Well they had to provide an answer. It is more like a high end mid range phone, not in the league of the Android world in particular vs. the HTC devices.
    Nokia is promising some firmware upgrades that will bring new enhancements.
    My conclusion: looking forward for the Nokia E7.

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  • Ali Jibran

    N8 is a good phone. I like it :)

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