Right then it’s Momchil here once more to talk Nokia — specifically the Nokia N8.
I have always used a Nokia as my primary phone and kept an iPhone and an Android device to the side. My previous Symbian mobile was the N97 which was amazing but had its drawbacks. I’ve been following Nokia touchscreen phones since the 7710 was released (and the mysterious 7700 was not). I was amongst the first to have a 7710 and I still keep it. I am loyal to Nokia and I always have one at hand for a reason – a Nokia is always practical, not overly simplified like Apple’s products and not too complex like Windows Mobile devices (pre Windows Phone 7). And another thing – a Nokia is always utterly reliable.
Nokia N8 and the sophisticated market of today
Despite being a Nokia Fundamentalist I have to admit that if this is their best attempt on the iPhone probably they could try harder. However, the N8 is a huge leap in the right direction. It has very cool features like HDMI out and USB OTG (On The Go) which allows the device to act as a USB host. The quality of the camera is impressive – both for taking still images and videos. There are many improvements to the operating system, some of which quite useful, like the built in task manager which is much better than the one seen in previous versions of Symbian. I’m sure the new MeeGo OS will be even more advanced. The Nokia N8 packs cool and useful features which I’d like to see in many of the new Nokia models to come.
Exciting Features – Nokia N8 never sleeps!
Have you seen a cat sleep? The animal appears to be always on the lookout for noises. Even if asleep, it will keep at least one ear on standby, scanning the background for potential trouble. The Nokia N8 is no different, it never actually sleeps except when the battery is flat. It will be there for you, night and day like a guiding light which never goes off when you need it. Yes, I’m talking about the standby clock. It’s really amazing! This isn’t your regular power saver which disappears in a minute, making you push a button to see it again. Who needs that anyway? The N8 features an ever-glowing, unobtrusive and essential timepiece, your very own, private, hands-on clock. Yes, always! It stays there ALL the time, no “buts” no “ifs”! The N8 sets a standard for high-end phones and poses a threat to any watch manufacturer. “My new wristwatch is an N8!” – is that even possible? No mobile phone would be a real alternative to a wristwatch, but Nokia N8 is pretty close at making the dedicated timepiece redundant. It is the ultimate substitute product, although its main function is supposedly to convey voice (and text). Possibly this cool feature would enhance Nokia’s competitive edge if it were implemented in all of their future models.
Exciting Features – Vibration
Yeah, vibration, what’s exciting about that? Well, it’s not your usual vibration, but more of a “cat purring” effect. You won’t even notice it at first. The phone actually “responds” to your touches with a subtle buzz. This gentle force feedback lets you know that the device has registered a “click” without being too obtrusive. It’s nothing like the cheap and harsh vibration on an LG Cookie, it appears to be a very sophisticated motion-emitting unit.
USB OTG – That useful little cable
The N8 comes with an unusual cable in the box, what’s that for? Well, if you have an N8, you should seriously consider taking this little cable everywhere with you. It could prove very useful. Imagine you’re meeting a friend who happens to have some cool pictures or videos on his USB flash drive or camera. You don’t have a laptop or a PC around, but you want the files. Using the USB cable provided you can download them to your Nokia N8 effortlessly! The internal memory of 16GB will easily be accommodating all the files you need. This amazing feature also enables using USB devices such as a mouse or keyboard. Coupled with HDMI and TV out, this means you have your very own, very portable and very powerful media center.
Exciting Features – HDMI
A true HDMI port on the N8 was extensively tested at the MIR office. Our in-house full-HD facilities enabled us to test the Nokia N8 in normal mode and video mode. My first attempt was to play a .mov file which didn’t work, however most of the other popular formats played easily. The results were impressive, video playback is crisp and smooth, with no unexpected glitches.
The built in capabilities of the Nokia N8 are truly impressive! Just took a test video, deliberately shaking the device and changing rooms with various amount of ambience. Then I played the clip with the N8 connected to an HDMI monitor. It performed beautifully, no sign of lagging or freezing. Well done Nokia!
The Nokia N8 has now been tested at the MIR office with a wide variety of popular video formats including high definitin .wmv, .m4v and .3gp files. The device performed beautifully both on its own and when linked to a Full HD monitor via HDMI. I must say I am really impressed with the results.
A universal Nokia (weak) point to consider
What’s with those flimsy covers? Yes, I mean the HDMI port cover, the SIM slot cover and the micro SD card cover. Just look at them hanging, is this what you call top quality? Just get rid of them! Yes I did examine them closely. I did see the cheap rubber lining which is possibly supposed to keep dust off, still not impressed! Everyone’s using them? – NOT so. Look at the 1st and 2nd generation iPhone, a sleek SIM card release mechanism, probably Nokia could even better that with some non-detachable parts (you could potentially lose the iPhone SIM card holder).
The plastic opening covers of the N8 can be seen on any Nokia device, from 6303 classic to Nokia Booklet 3G. Ok, I understand, there’s no space on the N8 for a Samsung Omnia 7 “sliding door” type of cover (the one on the USB port); but what’s your excuse for the Nokia Booklet? Couldn’t you think of something better than plastic covers hanging on a thin rope waiting to be ripped off? Yes, I’ve had literally 100s of Nokias, and yes I have ripped some of that plastic off, feels like part of my phone is missing.
In the final analysis the Nokia N8 has its drawbacks, but its features are truly overwhelming. In my opinion this is the best Nokia to date, I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. Really looking forward to the first MeeGo device to be tested at MIR.