Nokia N8 Review – Extensive Features & Tech Specifications
Good:Fantastic 12MP Carl Zeiss Camera, with high end specs including an on-board graphic accelerator.
Bad:General Symbian OS issues and it is a pricey device.
Finally after all the speculations about whether this monstrous smartphone actually existed – Nokia have finally announced the confirmation of its new generation power device – the Nokia N8! The Nokia N8 boasts some extremely powerful and exciting new features including a revamped Symbian v3 Operating System, an option to record 720p based High Definition […]
Finally after all the speculations about whether this monstrous smartphone actually existed – Nokia have finally announced the confirmation of its new generation power device – the Nokia N8! The Nokia N8 boasts some extremely powerful and exciting new features including a revamped Symbian v3 Operating System, an option to record 720p based High Definition (HD) video with Dolby Digital Surround Sound and HDMI Output, an unbelievable and off the hook quality 12 megapixel camera (which presently has the world’s biggest sensor ever to be installed on any smartphones!!) supported by an auto focus lens & a Xenon flash, a 680MHz CPU with a hardware accelerated 3D graphics engine and 256MB of RAM! Obviously it has all the other features that you usually find in any of the high end N-Series devices like Voice Assisted Gps, WiFi, 3G, lots of space (16GB memory is built in & it is expandable to 32GB) etc. This powerful device sure packs a lot more beef than any of its existing cousins for the tagged price $485 (in USD) or 370 Euro!
Series 60 Symbian ^3 OS – The brand new OS of the Nokia N8 may come as a surprise to many and I am sure that most of us will wonder if the upgrade was wise or will it kill the speed down of the operating system. Let me tell you that the new Nokia Symbian OS v3 looks really great all around with many combined features of the Apple iPhone OS and the popular Google Android OS built in. The new Symbian ^3 brings in the power of running multiple custom sized home screen widgets at the same time which is similar to that of the Maemo OS of Nokia’s own N900. With an interface like that of the Google Android OS and pointers like that of the iPhone, the circle indicators at the bottom of the home screen points to which screen you are on! There are a total of 3 home screens that can be set in Nokia N8. Nokia have also streamlined the main OS menu navigation and have upgraded the image viewer to include a grid based navigational structure with smooth transitional effects. The new Symbian OS ^3 also includes an iTunes like cover flow display for all your songs and the video player comes with HD video recording as default!
An Exceptional Camera – The N8 bangs with A 12 Mega pixel Carl Zeiss Optics based camera with a Xenon Flash and an auto focus lens. That means that the Nokia N8 can take pictures of up to a maximum 4000 pixels x 3000 pixels. The camera comes with a built in auto focus feature to automatically optimize any image so that your images don’t end up being in a blur. However, to give you a better understanding of how good this particular 12MP camera is on its own let us consider the tech specs of the N8 camera. This Carl Zeiss wide angel camera has a focal length of 5.9 mm which turns around to 28mm wide angel optics or the effective focal length and has an aperture value of f/2.8. The ISO value of the camera is measured to be at ISO 1200 and can shoot at nHD 16:9 resolutions. The Nokia N8 uses a 1/2 inch CMOS sensor which is 30% larger than most compact digital cameras and it comes with max shutter speed of 1/1000.
One of the most important factor that determines a camera’s performance is actually measured by its sensor ratio. The higher the result of the sensor ratio – the better the image quality. That means the lower the value in the divisor – the better the camera will perform. Most digital cameras comes with a sensor of 1/2.33. In terms of performance the lower the value in the denominator the better the sensor is, the less the image noise will be and the better a camera actually performs in real life. Badabing Badabang and the sensor ratio which Nokia N8 packs is a super impressive 1/1.83!! As of now the Nokia N8 is using the biggest sensor that has been ever put into a mobile! If this is right then the Nokia N8 will be able to take pictures almost as good as the pricey Nikon Coolpix P5000 which has a similar sensor ratio to Nokia N8 i.e. 1/1.8.
To give you an even easier summary of Nokia N8’s amazing camera in terms of performance and quality let us compare it against some existing camera focused smartphones and even against some dedicated digital cameras – the Nokia 8MP N86, the Samsung Pixon 12 MP and the Sony Ericsson Satio all have a sensor ratio of 1/2.5, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz has a sensor ratio of 1/3.2. The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W80, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Canon PowerShot A570 IS has a sensor ratio of 1/2.5! Almost all the regular Kodak Coolpix Digital Cameras or Nikon Point & Shoot Digital SLR Cameras have a sensor value of 1/2.33.
Here are some of the sample images that were taken by the Nokia N8 camera. (Please click the images to view a larger version!) I am sure that you will be astonished at their high clarity and unbelievably good quality.
Image quality of the Nokia N8 Camera:
The camera also has some built in added functions that are generally found on digital cameras. These functions include Geotagging and a Face/Smile Detection Shutter. Beside taking some exceptional photos the Nokia N8 camera can also record video in HD format of up to 720 p at 25 frames per second. It also has a built in LED back light that optimizes video recording under low light conditions. Also, there is a secondary VGA camera for video calling. Want to see how exceptionally the camera actually is in terms of video recording?
Check out this video below to see the actual quality of the video recording through a Nokia N8. I had to reduce the video size by 90% to actually be able to show you this because in 720p HD, 1 minute of video equals to 178MB!! The quality of the has not been altered in any way, it is only converted to FLV format:
Video quality of the Nokia N8:
Physical Dimensions & Display – The N8 has a volume of about 113.5 x 59.1 x 12.9 mm, 86 cc. It weighs about 135 G (with the battery intact) and comes with 4 rounded rectangle corners for both comfort and style. The phone is also quite nicely protected by the rugged E71-like aluminum case which ensures a longer operation life of the phone in general. The 3.5 inch scratch resistant touchscreen display of the phone thankfully is not TFT based, rather it is powered by an AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that can yield 16M colors and supports multiple touch inputs exactly like that of the iPhone. With no other physical input methods like QWERTY or Keypads present – the smooth transition of its touch operation is one thing that needed to be up to the highest standard and thankfully it is! The display is based on the standard 360×640 pixel ratio of S60 9.4 OS devices and includes a proximity sensor for automatic turn off, handwriting recognition system and an accelerometer for auto rotation in landscape mode.
Primary Hardware – The N8 is powered by the ARM 11 680 MHz CPU processor alongside an Open GL 2.0 supported 3D Graphics Hardware Accelerator. The Nokia N8 comes with a built in 16 GB of internal memory, 256 Megabytes of RAM based memory and an additional 512 MB of Read Only Memory (ROM). It also includes a microSD slot for memory expansion of up to 32 GB. The N8 supports all major GSM & CDMA networks including GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 2100 /1900 based telecom providers.
GPS, Data & Networking – N8 comes with voice Assisted GPS (or A-GPS) support built in. The N8 also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connections with UPnP technology based wireless connections. There is a 3G modem for fast HSDPA internet connectivity that can transfer data at a maximum speed 10.2 Mbps. It also supports HSUPA networks of a maximum data transfer rate of 2.0 Mbps. The standard EDGE, GPRS, WAP based modem connections are obviously all supported as well.
Slots, Ports & Expansion – The N8 includes the encoding/decoding of Dolby Digital Plus audio and can route the music along with the HD video to any Television that supports HDMI (or to any other HDMI composite player) based connectivity. This means that the Dolby HDMI connection can channel audio up to 2.1 surround speaker systems. The Nokia N8 also includes a version 2.0 micro USB port, an A2DP supported bluetooth which also features a direct output. It has a standard 3.5mm audio jack for wired based direct audio output. It also has a Stereo FM Radio player & transmitter (RDS) which can export music through the very same port to any headphones or any stereo supported speaker systems. Lastly, another smart feature of the N8 is the SIM Card slot which is located just below the USB slot on the side.
Power Consumption – The Nokia N8 supports battery charging through a standard 2mm USB connector which I personally think is yet another smart & thumbs up feature of the phone. N8 comes with a standard 1200mAH Li-Po battery (aka BL – 4D) which can serve talk time up to 12 hours & 30 min in 2G mode and up to a maximum of 5 hours & 30 minutes in 3G mode. The music play time for the N8 is estimated to be 50 hours straight. The standby time of the battery in 2G mode is up to 390 hours whereas it is 400 hours in 3G mode.
Awesome New Extras – The N8 comes with the Flash Lite 4.0 player and it is also QT compatible! It has a built in digital compass, a brand new face recognition system, 3 home screen widgets etc. The N8 includes a TV app for watching on demand Web TV on the HD compatible N8. The SMS messages in the Messaging menu are displayed in ‘Threaded SMS‘ style. Also, as mentioned above, the new transparent media player displays album artwork in an iTunes style ‘cover-flow‘ format when you are playing a track or a playlist.
Standard Features – The upgraded media player for the playback of MP3/WMA/WAV/eAAC+ files. The media player also supports video playback for MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV video file formats. It has an office document viewer, comes with OVI Maps 3.0 for voice assisted GPS navigation, includes a video and image editor among other things. The S60 ^3 internet browser supports all major web formats like HTML, SWF etc while the messaging system supports sending and receiving of regular SMS, MMS, E-Mail messages etc. It also supports push e-mail servers! The phone comes with an unlimited support for displaying contacts/messages/logs etc.
Color Options – You can choose your N8 from over 5 different color combination which includes Dark Grey, Silvery White, Green, Blue and Orange. From the looks of it my favorite so far is the Silvery White one – so damn elegant!
Nokia N8 Retail Box Contents – The Nokia N8 retail box includes a bunch of stuff in it. Beside the obvious Nokia N8 smartphone aka mobile computer there is a BL-4D Li-Po battery, a CA-179 connectivity cable, a branded Nokia stereo headset (WH-701), a AC-15 travel charger, a CA-156 HDMI cable, an USB cable (OTG CA-157), an optional SU-36 stylus (varies by countries) and a quick start guide.
Nokia N8 Gallery:
Here are a few shots of the Nokia N8 from all sides to show you all the extras, slots and ports that are on the phone.
Prices in Different Countries – The N8 is expected to be priced at around $480 in the USA (in US dollars), €370 Euro in most of Europe, £324 GBP in the UK, about $490 in Canada (in Canadian Dollars), Rs. 22000 in India, $530 in Australia (in Australian Dollars), RM1540 in Malaysia and BDT 32000 in Bangladesh.
If you are looking for Nokia themes, applications or mobile games then check out the relevant categories of our blog and I am sure you will find what you are looking for. Also, feel free to let me know about your opinion and personal views on this truly phenomenal phone! Your comments are most welcome! Lastly, always remember – it’s not technology – it’s what you do with it! Cheers!