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.