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  • alovell83 - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    "And with one such update promised for the N8 sometime in Q1 2011, it may be the device to recommend, after the update."

    Unfortunately, after the update this phone will be what, 6+ months on the market? With no more flagship phones running on Symbian I'd never recommend this OS to a friend, even if they are familiar with Symbian.

    Meego should be able to help Nokia remain competitive, this phone, unfortunately for Nokia and it's fans, wont be of great use to a consumer outside of the cameraphone aficionados.
  • alovell83 - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Also, in case anyone wants to say how easy it is to cross-develop apps for Meego & Symbian, from what I read, that much is true. However, I wouldn't want my OS to be reliant on Meego's adoption rates and apps when Meego has no hardware release dates and is showing up to this party quite late. Reply
  • deputc26 - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Hmmm a little grandiloquent Reply
  • Antibios - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - link

    A tad sesquipedalian Reply
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    other reasons to not recommend: wifi pathetic, talk time sub par by today's standards horribly slow web browser (which is why you need more 3g battery life- the damn pages take forever to load!), screen res below what I would call the current industry standard (thanks to android devices), and lastly when you make an unlocked phone that you are trying to sell for ~$600US (typical for Nokia flagships) you DO NOT put in a 99 cent ARM 11 chip!! Can you say overpriced? And where the heck is the 1500 mAh battery found in almost every other nokia phone? I guess when you lose that much marketshare you can't afford to put quality components in your flagship. My guess is that Nokia already had this camera/sensor/flash prior to their imminent demise. Same with the 1200 mAh batteries now found on their phones. Sad really.

    A turd is a turd, even if it is well built.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Firstly, it is not selling for $600. It can be found for $399 at a lot of places and newegg is selling it for $429. For an unlocked pentaband phone, that's not a bad deal, especially since it comes with a camera as good as found on $400 compacts (S95, LX5 are ~$400).

    Secondly, Mithun's 3G talk time results seem egregious to me. The GSM talk times are a lot longer (I've had hour long conversations on the phone that did not dent the battery gauge, sadly don't have the resources/money to test talk times like AT), and there's not much to gain from going 3G for talk anyway.

    The CPU is slow, yes, but it's not a handicap for the device in practical use. It's as snappy as a 3GS, and the GPU is great for gaming - played Angry Birds, NFS Shift and Galaxy on Fire with no slowdowns. It's also played 720p videos without a hitch - remarkably, the phone stayed cool to the touch even after a 1 hr+ video session with a 720p mkv for me.

    Slow webkit browser is slow, fortunately Opera Mobile is decent for general web use (as opposed to synthetic benchmarks). Definitely one area Nokia could improve on though.

    It may not be the Ferrari of phones, but it is a far cry from a turd.
  • mythun.chandra - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I actually tested the 3G talk time twice and it was about the same. As I mentioned in the review, I could get away with using the N8 over a GSM-only network with moderate usage for almost 3 days. So yes, the GSM talk time is better. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Thanks for clarifying, mithun.

    As an aside, you can force the phone to use GSM/Edge for calls by putting it in power saving mode (click on battery icon in top right hand corner, or push power button once and select from options).
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    <sigh> there's always a nokia fanboy that bought the phone and has to post to defend their purchase... Yeah newegg has it at $429 now but do you see the "was $549"? That would make it MSRP of $549 which last time I checked would make it "~$600" (just south of $600). My point is and still remains that if Nokia wants a NEW "flagship" phone it seriously falls short by today's standards (set by apple and android phones). And the 3GS is outdated. It came out in ~August of 2009. Is Nokia then trying to compete with 1.5 year old phone hardware?? No wonder they are losing that massive amount of their marketshare. If I want to play handheld games I will buy a DS or PSP due to large quantity of titles available for them. Let's face it, these days cell phones are for 2 main things.
    1: making phone calls. And I don't care about GSM talk time. I don't want to have to go through all of the menus to find the obscure option to switch to GSM every time I want to have a long phone call and then back again to get online.
    2: Quick web surfing, including posting tweets and facebook updates and the occasional youtube upload. And the numbers for Opera Mobile aren't that good either.
    I see you have no comment on screen res or wifi performance. Yeah it stays cool at the lousy res since anything higher will stress the "great GPU". It's the same as pc's- when you increase the res it's more demanding on the gpu. Sure it's got a great camera. Which is why nokia went out of their way to say it over and over so everyone would overlook everything else.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Nokia "hater" as I have had numerous Nokia phones (most recently an E63). But I can remember the days that Nokia hardware across the board was innovative, not just feature packed. Using an outdated cpu, bad wifi, short battery life talk time (seemingly a nokia first), failing to get to 800x400... I basically already said these things. I expect better from Nokia (and so should you).
    The N900 is going for the same $429 right now. Why buy this phone? For the camera?
  • Exodite - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Pricing varies a lot between markets I presume.

    For the sake of comparison the Nokia N8 costs ~4000 SEK here while the Desire HD is ~5100 SEK (recently dropped from 5600 SEK) and the iPhone 4 16GB is ~7000 SEK (~8300 SEK for 32GB).

    I can't speak for the rest of the world but it offers high-end smartphone features at a price point significantly lower than the competition.

    Surely that's not a bad thing?

    At that price you really have to compare the N8 to mid-range smartphone, like the HTC Legend or Aria.
  • chick0n - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    do u know how much it cost for the "outdated" Apple 3gS without contract? lmao.

    Have you ever use a N8 yourself? I know I have one. ohhhhh now u gonna say im just a fanboy & trying to defend my purchase. mind u N8 is not the only phone I have, I got both Desire HD, & Nexus S. but I rather use N8 as my primary phone. sure it has its own weakness, but its not as bad as the review saids.

    I can get N900 for much less than 429. I don't know what have you been looking but you do sound like a moron.
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    yeah I can aquire one on ebay for about $100. Off contract sale of this phone through AT&T doesn't exist (at least not in the US). And I'm the moron... What the hell does the average person need 3 phones for? Well most ppl don't have that much money to WASTE on phones (and the provider contracts to boot) I pulled the $429 off the same place as voldunuit got for the N8- Newegg. Apparently Amazon is better @ 350. But if you are shopping around why not look for NEW hardware to spend your money on?

    But still my point stands... A NEW (that's right, N-E-W) flagship phone should sport NEW hardware, better battery life, better browser, etc. no one can debate this, as this is a trend ALL TECHNOLOGY should follow. No matter what you think of me my point is still valid.
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    one last thing... why buy ANY phone now with dual-core phones on the cusp of release? Maybe, maybe I am missing something. Maybe this is a test run from a design sense before Nokia releases an updated (from a hardware sense) version of this phone sporting a dual core cpu. Reply
  • Alexstarfire - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    If by screen res you mean the physical size of the display.... perhaps. A lot of people think 4+ inches is too big for a phone. If you mean by the actual resolution of the screen itself then it's got pretty much the exact same DPI as a 4 inch 840x480 screen. Why put in a likely far more expensive screen just to up the DPI? Doesn't seem very cost effective since the current screen in phones like the Galaxy S look fantastic as is. (No I don't care if you don't like how the SuperAMOLED screen looks).

    I'd agree the WiFi does looks pretty abysmal in throughput, but then again I don't think even the best phone on that list is doing a very good job considering the specs of 802.11g/n. I also don't think it's as big a deal as it looks like. 4.5 Mbps is certainly fast enough for any web page on a mobile device. The biggest and best reasons to use Wifi are power consumption and lower latencies. Don't know about it's power consumption since it's not in this review and I'd assume the latencies are just fine since nothing was mentioned. The browser might make it worse, but IDK. I don't have this phone and I don't use Opera.

    The 3G talk time could end up being a problem but I wonder if they can make an app that just uses 2G for talking and 3G for data. IDK if they even have a program like that for Android, but it'd certainly be nice since 3G for voice is largely useless.

    CPU is only an issue if there are lag problems. Again, don't know if there are any since I don't use the phone. My guess is that there shouldn't be any since most everything is GPU accelerated.

    The battery is certainly something they skimped on. Couldn't say why, but it seems to be an issue no matter how you look at it. Why put such a small battery in a high-end phone? It just doesn't make sense.
  • bitflung - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    wow - seriously, you're jaded.

    you want a faster processor, i get it. i want a better camera, apple doesn't want to give me one. see, different opinions, but i won't go calling the iphone a turd just because of that.

    you're not a nokia hater, you owned a bunch of nokias in the past, as recently as 3 years ago? yay for you. you're still a hater.

    let's talk facts, not opinions:
    - the CPU is adequate. not stellar, not blow your socks off, but adequate. the N8's selling point is not the cpu, so they didn't invest heavily on that component. of course, the CPU isn't the bottleneck for the eyecandy everyone loves to compare with. that's the GPU, and the N8 doesn't skimp there, "The conclusion is surprising, the Nokia N8 dominates, by far " (source: )

    - price: $600 is a common starting price. if it was woefully under spec'd, then it would seem a bit much. that's your real argument, after all, that it is woefully under spec'd; iOS and Android devices are only cheaper when subsidized (personally i cant stand the carrier lock-in that comes from subsidies, so i never buy in that fashion - i'd rather pay retail and remain free to leave a bad carrier. and they are ALL bad in their own ways).

    - screen res: not a retina display? good, so iphone 4 has a leg-up on screen res. yay for them. N8 has gorilla glass, yay for n8. iphone has better multitouch, yay for apple. n8 has better outdoor readability, yay for n8. on and on and on. you can't cherry pick the best of iphone and compare just those features to state categorically that everything else sucks. doing that, the ONLY thing you'll compare favorably against is another iphone. btw, iphone 4 and 3GS have the EXACT SAME GPU, as well as the iPad. so take another gander at the benchmarks for opengl performance i linked to above and reconsider you statement that, "Yeah it stays cool at the lousy res since anything higher will stress the 'great GPU'" - you know, since the broadcom chip on the n8 outperforms the powervr core apple licensed for the A4 SoC.

    - wifi performance: really? people have complained about this? my wife's N8 works great on wifi. i don't know what goes wrong for other users, maybe performance varies based on the SNR in the area? i've only tested at home, where there is no real source of noise nearby, and her N8 slurps data over wifi just as fast as my laptop does when wired into our router (~16Mbps).

    - battery life: this just confounds me. my wife's n8 lasts for 2 days solid, 3 if she's lucky. she talks on it about as much as any typical 20-30 year old woman i've seen. my boss has an iphone 4 and has a similar usage pattern, and he complains about the battery barely lasting 1 day, and NEVER lasting a full 2 days. i haven't had the opportunity to directly test them side by side, but for months i keep hearing my wife, getting into bed, saying "oh, i forgot to plug my phone in - i'll just do it tomorrow"; and my boss worrying during lunch meetings, "can we use your phone for this call, i don't think my iphone will last".

    - web browser, data speeds: yes, iphone's browser is 'better'. less complete, but far better at doing what it does do. N8's browser is very poorly executed, but more complete. don't let the browser's performance fool you though, data speeds between the devices are exactly the opposite. nokia integrated the pentaband 3G hardware exceptinally well and, as usual, side by side with the iphone (3GS and 4) the N8 holds a 3G signal better than either device, and pulls more bandwidth then either device. running a speed test ( website on the n8, native apps on the iphones) the N8 pulled down ~3Mbps consistently in my office, while the two iphones barely eeked out 1Mbps each (~1.18 for one, the ~1.4 - both average across 3 tests). we're talking about all three devices within 1 foot of each other and running the speed tests simultaneously. i would have run the EXACT same tests, but the iphone's cant render the flash based speed test website, and obviously the native iphone apps won't run on a (non-iphone) n8.

    -regarding this statement: "Sure it's got a great camera. Which is why nokia went out of their way to say it over and over so everyone would overlook everything else." ::: you've got it ALL WRONG HERE. that's like me saying, "sure the iphone has a great screen, that's why apple said it over and over so everyone would overlook the crappy camera and lack of bluetooth profiles, and poorly integrated antennae, and miserable data bandwidth comapred to similar devices, and poor battery life, and...and...and...(listed these so you don't discount my use of 'everything else' were i to have said it)". no. apple focused on the 'gorgeous' retina (actually, ALMOST a retina) display because, well, it IS ONE OF THE REASONS TO BUY THE DAMN THING. nokia focused on the camera because IT IS ONE OF THE REASONS TO BUY THE DAMN THING. there is no other mobile phone in the world that can compete with the iphone's screen resolution. there is no other mobile phone in the world that can compete with the N8's camera (sensor size, resolution, optics, flash, everything about it). that's why nokia focuses on the camera in marketing, because nokia ALREADY FOCUSED ON THE CAMERA IN ENGINEERING too.

    and you honestly think you're not a nokia hater? that's like listening to some jackass say, "i'm not racist, i just don't feel comfortable around black ppl". you don't like nokia. fine. know thyself. i like nokia. i also like apple. i hate walled-gardens. i hate vendor lock-in. if not for the intent of walled gardens and vendor lock-in, i'd probably own an iphone by now. would i like it more than my n900 (i dont have the n8, that's my wife's)? i don't know, i'd probably hate the lousy network performance, but love the apps. i'd probably hate the camera but love the screen. i'd probably be contradicted within myself when attempting to say which was better; because they are both great and the both suck in their own ways.

    you think the N8 is a turd. you proclaim it to be truth while saying you're not a hater because you owned some nokia devices 3+ years ago. yay you. and i'm not racist because i had black friends 3 years ago. doesn't that make me sound, well, like an ass? yup. so you go on now, you non-hater; go ahead and proclaim your lack of bias while asserting the truth in knee-jerk disgust of any feature that can be seen as less than iphone worthy. go ahead. in the meantime i'll happily take nokia's unlocked pentaband beauty on my travels, pop in local sim cards and use voice and data services without paying disgusting rates for leaving the walled garden of my primary carrier. i'll play the same high quality games and even hook my phone up to a big screen TV. i'll even take some pictures down by the lake late at night after the party quiets down, so my iphone toting friends can share the memories of when we all got together without the blurry-cam effect ruining everything.
  • melgross - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Please don't make too much of this camera. I've seen photo's from it, and it's nowhere as good as an S95 class camera. Not close. The lens is ok, but not really that good. There's no real zoom as compacts have. The pics are very noisy compared to the S95.

    The rest isn't worth commenting on directly, as this seems to be a phone stuck in a time warp. Great for Nokia, Meh for anyone else. Interesting that for Nokia junkies, this has been their best selling smartphone yet, and that may be a problem. If Nokia actually thinks that this model hit the spot, they're in even bigger trouble then they know.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    The S95 suffers from softness wide open and noticeable chromatic and purple fringing.

    Whereas the N8's lens is crisp even at the pixel level. It may be that Nokia is running a CA-removal algorithm like Panasonic and Nikon does on their system cameras, but the end result is a much crisper image.

    There are advantages to a prime lens, and not just in size. Many people (myself included) prefer to shoot with primes. The Ricoh GR-D was one of the most popular street shooting compacts, and had a 28mm lens. So does the Sigma DP1. The Leica X1 also has a fixed lens (35mm eq.). While a prime may not suit everybody, neither does a zoom, and I would rather be able to fit my phone in my pocket than have a physical zoom which I will rarely use.

    Yes, the N8 is noisier. Not by much, and they have stated that this was a conscious decision to retain detail and give more options to the user in post. As I have mentioned somewhere, the on-phone editing software has a NR filter. Having been dismayed by too many compacts with heavy handed NR resulting in watercolor pics, I am actually happy about this.

    In fact, the N8 camera requits itself very well:

    Yes, the 550D is let down by a poor kit lens, but that the N8 is in contention at all is pretty amazing. The 100% crops are especially impressive. Other cameraphones just don't compare.
  • raulr - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Just a quick note on the CPU. ARM11 is was Apple used on the original iPhone 2G and iPhone 3G, so more than 1.5 year old tech (when did the 2G come out, 2007?). The iPhone 3GS uses an ARM Cortex A8. And a number of Android phones were launched with Cortex A9 Dual Core based CPU's at CES last week.

    ARM11 is something you would only see in the low end Android phones and it really is quite shocking that Nokia would that into their "Flagship" phone.
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I completely agree. My point was this-
    The iPhone 4 improved the 3GS (the former 'flagship') by:
    Improving the scree res
    Improving battery life
    Improving the camera (and adding a front facing camera)
    Improving cpu/gpu
    Hence the 3GS is now "outdated".
    Lets use another example:
    The Droid X improved on the original Droid by:
    Improving the cpu/gpu
    Improving the camera
    Improving battery life
    And so on, and so on and now the Droid is "outdated"
    Funny how an "idiot" would have to simplify this for the benefit of those calling others "idiots"- now that's irony.
    All fanboys are the same. So should Nokia get a free pass while Apple does not (in regards to the MBP keeping core 2 for so long)?
    Neither do in my book.
  • Exodite - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    You make a good point, though it's not really fair to compare mobile platforms to something like a laptop.

    Mobile devices are service-enabling platforms, not software-execution platforms.

    If a 680MHz ARM 11 is enough to allow the N8 to provide the services it enables it's not really an issue.

    Once you get into the realm of desktop software underlying hardware and OS matters a whole lot more, sadly.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    "Mobile devices are service-enabling platforms, not software-execution platforms."

    BOOM-Tish! Somebody give this man a dollar, he's hit the nail on the head!

    As mithun said in his review, if a faster processor does not enable more functionality, all it's doing is sucking more power.

    Yes, we all want the latest and greatest, but it seems nokia made the smart move by focusing on the GPU and coupling it with a CPU that's just fast enough for its needs.

    The 3GS was a marked improvement on the 3G in terms of speed and responsiveness, but the N8 is about as responsive as the 3GS using a much slower CPU because of its more compact/efficient OS and being smart about offloading to the GPU when needed. This is what fusion should be about.
  • anactoraaron - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    I do see your point, however every other phone manufacturer is always updating to the "latest and greatest" while still keeping power usage under control. do they do this? tech as it evolves gets smaller- and I shouldn't need to explain moore's law to anyone here. The phone software shoud be optimized to the latest and greatest to take advantage of BOTH the speed AND power usage of the device.

    Selling the nexus one with eclair and reselling it a year later with gingerbread without improving anything from a hardware perspective is what I see Nokia doing here. All they have done is re-optimize symbian to offload as much work as possible to the gpu. But I would almost guarantee a faster cpu would speed up the browser. And then they would have to reoptimize that and the juggling act nokia has done here starts all over.

    I wonder why the N900 isn't included with the benchmarks of this phone? Let's see... Sunspider benchmark... N900: 37816.... N8-00 (with opera 10- default browser is slower): 100029. So you can say "service-enabling platform" but if you're not optimizing the platform for commonly used tasks - AGAIN for a regularly executed function (web browsing, phone calls) than what are you optimizing it for? But Nokia decided that those thing weren't that important and while you get great battery life 3G browsing (wifi numbers will likely be similiar) - by sipping a slower cpu to save that battery life you get a HORRIBLE browsing experience.

    I called this phone a "turd" because I view it as a step backwards from the N900 (the former and maybe still flagship Nokia phone) redesigned symbian and all.
    'quote' but the N8 is about as responsive as the 3GS using a much slower CPU because of its more compact/efficient OS and being smart about offloading to the GPU when needed.

    So you're saying that it's not as fast as the 3GS. This is their NEW flagship phone! And it's "about as responsive as a 3GS"- again a phone that's 1.5 years old! I simply want BETTER from Nokia to restart the "off contract" or "unlocked" market and this phone FAILS at doing so. I truly believe the N900 is a great phone! There are simply faster, much more responsive, longer battery life, all in all better phones out than this one (N8-00) right now.

    Are they still planning on all but killing off symbian with meego (should it come out)? That would have to influence a purchase decision also.
  • Voldenuit - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    iPhone4 isn't faster than 3GS either. In fact, in some benchmarks, it's slower (because of the higher resolution display).

    3GS was significant because its speedup over the older models represented a milestone in device responsiveness and user expectations.

    A phone which is faster than the 3GS would probably go unnoticed among many users, but one which is significantly slower would not be accepted.

    The N8 is definitely snappy enough to fall into the first camp.

    While AT is a tech site and its phone reviews are understandably geared towards the technical details and specifications of the chips that go into the phones, hardware specs are not the be all and end all of a smartphone. For most smartphone tasks, the N8 is quite up to the job.

    Yes, the browser is in definite need of improvement, I'm using Opera Mobile on it right now and even that is not fantastic, but it's enough for my purposes as the other advantages of the N8 (GPS, pentaband 3G, camera) outweighed it over the current crop of Android and iOS devices for my specific needs.
  • ojisama - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    I guess you didn't read the part about GPU. "Most of the heavy lifting in the N8 is done by the BCM2727". "Using an A8 Cortex-based 1Ghz+ part here to run Symbian^3 would have been overkill and power-inefficient." Reply
  • dagamer34 - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    As snappy as the 3GS except the 3GS is almost TWO YEARS OLD. Reply
  • AssBall - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    Funny, since most contracts are for TWO YEARS.

    Not every idiot gets a new phone every 6 months. Nokia has always been especially good at call quality, above other stuff. You know, in case you actually use your phone to CALL PEOPLE instead of some kind of nerdwit multimedia toy.
  • Exodite - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    While is has its issues to be sure, the browser being one of them, it's actually an awesome device as soon as you consider the phone implications.

    Audio quality is excellent and reception better than any handset I've used. The camera really deserves even more praise as it's not just better than those offered by current high-end smartphones but entirely in a league of its own.

    Then there's the many convenient features like USB-on-the-go, BT keayboard and mouse connectivity, FM transmitter, 5.1 audio output, native DivX and MKV support etc.

    My better half has one and running 3G and Wi-Fi enabled 24/7, live Twitter feeds and gmail updates through widgets, as well as snapping shots with the Xenon flash and playing the odd games she still gets about 3 days worth of battery out of the device.

    It's awesome, as long as you want a phone with media functions and not the other way around.

    That's not to say it's perfect but all the issues are really related to software and we can only hope Nokia takes fixing them to heart. Indeed, the only hardware omission I find annoying is a LED lamp for video and use as a torch.

    Funny as it may sound I've actually come to rely on using my phone as a torch.

    I have to say that I expected a bit more from this review, RightMark Audio Analyser tests, reception and signal strength tests, a more detailed look into the camera and image quality options.

    That's not to say it's a bad review, only that the real strengths of this handset aren't immediately obvious to the same extent that its flaws are.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    "The camera really deserves even more praise as it's not just better than those offered by current high-end smartphones but entirely in a league of its own."

    Yes. It's 6 times bigger than the sensor on the iPhone4. SIX TIMES!!!

    Something to chew on for a while.

    Re: LED torch functionality, I can understand why it's missing (compared to previous nokias) because the Xenon flash is not designed for continuous output and the AF assist lamp is red (although I actually prefer the red setting on my 3rd party torch app to preserve nightvision in the dark).

    I also notice that signal attenuation tests are missing from this review - maybe that's due to technical issues in measuring gain from the antenna?

    Agreed that it's easier to point out the flaws than the strengths - the whole is better than the sum of its parts, because while all smartphones have their strengths, the N8 is very well balanced in its abilities. Some phones might do X or Y better, but the N8 excels at doing nearly everything consistently well (push email support aside, which is coming, and which has workarounds) and does some things (like Bluetooth 3, FM transmitter) that other phones don't even try to.
  • melgross - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Awesome? Yeah, in mid 2009. Right now, the only thing that's awesome about this is that it's their top model, considering how backwards it it.

    All I can get from this review is that it's ok in most areas, not so hot in the others, and has a camera that's batter than in other phones but not so great when compared to dedicated compacts. That is, if you know something about photography.
  • Exodite - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Which is why I expected a more in-depth review in the first place.

    The N8 is priced like a mid-range smartphone but offer a lot of non-obvious advantages to the competition.

    In my personal experience:

    * Call/audio quality.
    * Reception.
    * Build quality/toughness.
    * Battery life.
    * Camera.
    * Features (USB OTG, BT mouse/keyboard, FM transmitter, DivX/MKV playback, free GPS navigation with no roaming fees etc.)
    * Design (like the two-stage dedicated camera button, hardware screen-lock snap-slider, lock-screen clock etc.)

    Granted, it's not a handset for everyone but what is?

    My ideal phone would be a Nokia design with Samsung electronics and HTC software and services but until that surfaces we have to make compromises. :)

    In the case of Nokia those compromises are software related, like the browser and inconsistent services.

    I could find equally serious issues with other high-end handsets, like the Desire HD and iPhone 4, but that doesn't mean that those devices don't deserve to be called 'awesome' as well.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Actually, the camera in the N8 is easily as good as a good dedicated compact, and better in some respects than most (especially the lens).

    Also, the free lifetime worldwide GPS with offline capability and turn by turn navigation is a great touch. Other reviews have had no problem with the GPS lock, so it could be that mithun's review unit had problems. I've had very fast and accurate GPS reception myself, even indoors and in urban areas.

    HDMI out and mkv support is also a rare feature.

    Battery life has also been outstanding in my experience. While the review paints a middling or negative picture of the battery life, in my experience, I have had to recharge my N8 much less frequently than my friends using Android (GalS, Desire, Bravo). My last charge cycle was 5 days and 21 hours with 15% battery remaining (light use including email, facebook, a couple calls - on GSM and music).

    Build quality is unmatched by most other smartphones. Unibody aluminum construction is something last seen in the HTC Legend and Schubert, and gorilla glass is very nice (though fortunately becoming more common in modern phones).

    The screen has also been favorably compared to the iPhone4 retina display, although the upcoming E7 with its Clearview screen which is polarized to reduce glare will be even better outdoors. Resolution is low, but viewing angles and color are great and it is very legible outdoors once you turn up the brightness.

    Having good telephony features (call quality, reception, speakerphone, LED notification light) is a feather in its cap as too many smartphone makers neglect basic telephony tasks.

    It's not for everyone, but don't knock the people who pick it as their phone of choice, because it really does very well in many categories.
  • chick0n - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    wow, what a moron.

    I mean please, please make sure u have a f-king clue b4 u start another bs again.

  • melgross - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Brilliant post. Keep it up. Reply
  • Clint_ZA - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    Really? All those reasons not to own it?

    I have two in my household. First one was acquired for myself and after three weeks I was so impressed I got one for my GF. I, therefore, speak from personal use.

    "Wifi pathetic" - This one is particularly strange. I have three computers scattered around my house, a wireless receiver for a media player, I have an HP wireless printer, I have used a wireless-G router and a wireless-N router. With the wireless G router I had dead spots where the PCI adapters in the PCs would not pick up wireless. My N8 did. My printer often battles to pick up the network but in the same spot my N8 has no issues. My N8 also switches between my wifi at home, wifi at work and my SPs 3G connection with total ease and no intervention from me.

    So this begs the question as to why you think the wifi is pathetic?

    "screen res" - the screen resolution is perfect for the size of the screen, The chasing of higher resolutions is similar to the megapixel battle where numbers are increase to fool the unknowing public while never bothering to improve quality. Many people have viewed my N8, including iPhone owners, and not one has commented on poor resolution!

    "battery" - My N8 comfortably lasts a full day with intense use! I have never pushed it further so would not be able to tell you how much longer it would last because, since acquiring my first smart phone, I am in the habit of charging my phone next to the bed every night. Perhaps the good battery life is linked to your previous complaint regarding the processor. All these Ghz processors are just battery eaters and not necessary on a symbian device.

    You are clearly an Android fanboy so probably worthless trying to convince you but perhaps others reading your comments will take them with a pinch of salt!
  • StormyParis - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    who cares about which OS a phone is running, as long as it runs the apps you need ? To me, this is geek snob, same as disserting on where your coffee beans come from is coffee snob: nobody cares except geeks. Reply
  • melgross - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    No. A geek snob is someone who asserts that even though his phone only has1% of the apps other phones have, it's enough, because who needs all those great apps that he can't get? Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I agree completely.

    One thing I, even as a tech geek myself, have truly come to appreciate with the boom of mobile platforms and devices in the recent years is that we're finally moving away from software execution platforms to service-providing platforms.

    The hardware, OS and software shouldn't be relevant as long as the device offers the services its user needs.
  • Samus - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    6+ months to market? I've had mine on T-Mobile since October. The E7-00, basically the same phone with a physical keyboard under a flip out screen and an 8MP camera instead of 12MP is schedules to be released within the next 3 months as well, along with TWO other, less expensive models based on Symbian^3 Reply
  • guoxing - Monday, June 27, 2011 - link

    this phone is really good !!! but if anybody want to buy it
    I suggest you go
    to know more about it !!! i think it wil help you very much
  • jigglywiggly - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Just give me the camera, and this phone can go to hell lawl. It's awful. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Yeah, apart from the camera I don't see much good here. Battery life below middle of the road, browser performance at the bottom of the pack, inferior OS, app store lags behind iOS and Android, etc. An equivalent camera on an Android phone or the iPhone 5 would be nice. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    With no optical zoom, I'm not even sure I need a 12MP camera. It's nice, but digital zoom is worthless.

    To me, the best part about the phone is the xenon flash.
  • Exodite - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Isn't that a bit counter-intuitive?

    With digital zoom you'd ideally want more pixels to avoid losing to much detail when you use it.
  • vol7ron - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    You'd want more MP, but it's pointless, because even when it tries to interpolate the pixels, there is still distortion, even when you scale it down. Some sort of optical zoom is def more ideal. Reply
  • GSJ - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    What could have been if it ran Android......... Reply
  • warisz00r - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Optimus One performace for Galaxy S price? Reply
  • xype - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    "And with one such update promised for the N8 sometime in Q1 2011, it may be the device to recommend, after the update."

    Oh, _please_. That's almost Android-level optimism, here. It might get an update at some point, the update might be good, it might make everything right and better.

    Have a look at how many Android phones are running 2.3, how many 2.1 phones got 2.2 updates, how many people applied those and combine with how long it took Google to actually get halfway where iOS is with its ecosystem and you'll get an idea about what Nokia can _eventually_ accomplish if they get _everything_ right.

    In short: no, it won't be the device to recommend.
  • Samus - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    You're comparing Nokia to Google. The difference in phone software experience is over two decades apart.

    Nokia updates and supports their products exceptionally well, probably better than any other phone manufacture.
  • warisz00r - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    lolno they dont.

    Suffering E72 user here.
  • Samus - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    Suffering how? I had an E73 Mode for a few months before I plucked down $400 for the N8-00, and the only pain with it was getting outbound emails to work correctly for my business and hotmail worked flawlessly. After tweaking everything, the phone worked flawlessly and I was satisfied enough to buy another Nokia.

    If you have an E72 with AT&T, that might explain many of your problems because they really screwed up the OS. T-mobile is traditionally "hands-off" with core system software and most ATT people on the forums talk about just unlocking a factory E71 or E73 from T-mobile to use on ATT. They work a lot better.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Off the top of my head (and only looking at US releases since I don't follow the international market that closely) the OG Droid went from 2.0->2.1->2.2, Droid Incredible and Droid X both are on 2.2, think the Evo is as well. Seems like for the most part the devices lagging are Sony-Ericsson (which would seem to be due to their skin) and the Galaxy S phones (which other parts of the world have seen updated, so maybe the US ones will be soon). Remember, a major snag in updating Android is the carriers and their need to test and screw with everything. That wouldn't be a problem for Nokia if they are just selling the phones unlocked and you bring whatever SIM you want. Reply
  • 7amood - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I would like to see similar review of the old Samsung Flagship Galaxy S and the new upcoming flagship (Galaxy S2 A.K.A i9100 or i9200 not sure) that should be announced in MWC2011.

    I used to be a nokia fan but they are so outdated... no more nokia for me...
    maybe I will change my mind when I see MeeGo but until then...
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    They reviewed the Epic and Fascinate (2 of the US versions of the Galaxy S) and most likely will get some form of the S2 whenever available. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    Nokia is similar to RIM in a lot of ways. They make solid hardware with outdated software. But that isn't a bad thing. Their products are reliable, refined, and built to last. I don't think many people here with HTC and Samsung phones can say the same thing. I simply don't see business users using them. Battery life, reliability, and overall finish keep most people I know who depend on their phones away. Android has great promise, but with the exception of Motorola, who makes good hardware running it? Reply
  • Voldenuit - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    I'd add HTC to the list of good handset makers (regardless of OS), although their track record does vary (as does Motorola's). And their Sense UI is a lot more usable than Moto's (horrid) Blur.

    Samsung puts some cutting edge hardware in its phones but the build quality is often wanting, and the reliability is not good in my experience. My fiancée went through 3 (!) Blackjacks in 2 years, each device would start failing after several months, and she eventually replaced it with a Moto Bravo. She had the option to get a Galaxy S variant (I think it was the Captivate?) but declined due to her negative experience with the brand.

    Definitely agree with you about Nokias being built to last. My N70 lasted nearly 4 years, and that was with some nasty drops and bumps. The N8 had a recent nasty fall the other day, and I was very relieved to find it made off without a single nick or scratch (fell onto some metal railings).
  • jonup - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    Most people that look at spec sheets do not get these benefits that Nokia phones have. All these people know is that "My phone has more MHz than yours" and "I want iPhone 4". What is been overlook is that as much as Symbian OS is been bashed it is very efficient OS and does not require as much resources as some other OSes.
    This review also does not give the phone's excellent standby efficiency justice. Since most of the time the phone is in your pocket, the standby efficiency quite make up for the not so good battery life in the benchmark scenarios in this article. With normal use you would get 3 days out of N8, something out of reach for iPhone 4 or most Androids, which meanwhile have larger battery capacities. Smaller battery allows for use of better quality materials while keeping the weight down.
    For all the performance freaks, I recommend to get a Samsung. I have own one and my boss has an Epic, they brake just in time for the newest and the greatest SoC release; which by the lay seems like is every three months now.
    To all the N900 lovers, have you seen one? It is literary twice as big as my phone and weights almost 2.5 times. And while solidly built, it still feels too plasticy.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Good job Mithun!

    I confess that I couldn't wait for the AT review, so I ended up splurging on the N8 a month ago.

    Fortunately, I haven't had the issues that you had with the Ovi Store and email - I was able to use the Ovi store on the device just fine, and I have gmail set to 15 minute synchronisations with few problems - it correctly identifies read messages in my inbox, although it will not mark a message that I receive on the phone and then subsequently read on the PC as read.

    I've also had no problems with GPS acquisition (using Ovi Maps 3.06) - lock is pretty speedy even in urban areas and accurate enough for turn by turn navigation. I like that you can download maps for offline use, very handy if you're going overseas on a trip, for instance.

    As you've outlined, the camera is great, and easily as good as a high end compact, as long as you're happy with a prime lens. In fact, the lens appears sharper to me than the Canon S90's.

    Battery life is nothing short of superb. I've just recharged the phone today - the (3rd party) battery monitor app reported the battery at 15% after 5 days and 21 hours of mostly standby and light use (facebooking, email, some calls, some music viewing). With heavy use (Angry Birds, 720p playback, music, internet), I've had to recharge the phone every other day, which is still stellar.

    Also worth noting is that there is no need to root the phone to sideload apps, and you can also run java apps compiled for general smartphones. Being a nokia, it is a phone first and foremost, and the call functionality is great - the speakerphone is crisp and clear, handset is great, and there is a LED notification light for missed calls and messages.

    When I first purchased the phone, I found the UI took some getting used to compared to, say, iOS, but now that I am accustomed to it, have grown to love the phone. If you think that Nokia is out of contention because of the weak CPU, you might be surprised by how full featured it is. Couple that with top notch build quality, great call quality, a superlative camera, very good battery life, great GPS and navigation apps, and the N8 is a definite contender.
  • mythun.chandra - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Good to know you're enjoying your N8!

    If Nokia keeps to its commitment of updating Symbian^3 on a regular basis, it actually may be a very viable alternative to the other platforms. The only issue as I see is that Nokia does not seem to have a clear cut platform roadmap. They have S40 for the lower-end devices, S^1 for entry-level smartphones, S^3 for the higher-end devices and Meego...well...we're not sure when and how Meego fits in. This, according to me is going to be a problem for Nokia.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Thanks mithun!

    BTW I notice that mention of the camera is conspicuously absent in the conclusion section. Until the rumored Panasonic Lumix phone appears, the N8 is the best choice for photo enthusiasts on the market, and perhaps some note could be made of that in the recommendations.

    For me, at least, it's more attractive than getting a S95 or LX5. Although I lose out on the zoom and capture parameters (you can only control ISO and EV in 0.5 stop steps over a +/- 2 EV range), I end up with a device with a very nice lens, good detail retention, and the ability to edit, geotag and upload my images all from the one device. If you're travelblogging, the N8 makes a very good companion. For reference I have a GF1 and a 40D, so I'm pretty keen on photography, and the N8 has delivered all I could ask of it in a carry-everywhere package.
  • mythun.chandra - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    From the conclusion page:

    "With most definitely the best camera ever seen on a mobile phone, the N8 is a worthy replacement to basic point and shoots." :)
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Hehe, my bad then! ^_^ Reply
  • akse - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I'm guessing MeeGo at first will be mobile computers. Something like N900 with better phone software and features.

    Something very high end and special. But as things seems to evolve in direction where most smartphones are close to a mobile computer in coming years, Symbian3 will probably be adopted to all their phones that they call Smartphones and maybe cheaper mobile computers, while MeeGo being on the high end phones/mobile computers.

    Nokia made the right decision to ditch Symbian^4 and decide to bring its updates as smaller updates to Symbian^3 devices.

    I've been using N900 for a year now and it can do almost anything, but recently I've really been wanting to buy N8 because I want a phone, but with huge amount of other features. N900 is mostly a computer with phone :)
  • bigboxes - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I don't know about you, but my smartphone is a mobile computer. It's a computer first and a phone second. No need to wait for the future. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    PS, the N900 was capable of video calling on Skype, hopefully, the N8 will receive similar functionality soon. Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Discussion on the Skype forums promised an update to address S^3 compatibility issues before the end of last year (I don't know if that materialized or not) and a refresh bringing video calling support to S^3 devices later this year.

    That's a month or two ago though and if there's been further developments I don't know.
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Sensor size in fractions of an inch? Lense size in mm?

    Why not just keep it all sane in mm?
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    That's how camera makers report their (compact) sensor sizes. Has to do with legacy TV tube conventions iirc. Reply
  • at0m - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    great review, the n8 is not for everyone but it has it's fans ( me included ). it has plenty of apps, takes a great picture, has clean audio output and the bonus hdmi. not to mention ovimaps has turned into a great navigation tool. top that off with 3g on all carriers and it works for me. There are some updates right around the corner hopefully to help get the software more in line.. symbian isn't as flashy as android but it has quite a bit of maturity behind it with some more love to the UI it could be perfect.

    on the GPU it actually marks a return to a discrete GPU as opposed to the first instance. the n82 and n95 both had dedicated GPU's and dual core CPUs :)
  • Lapoki - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    You really cant take Nokia love out of an Indian no matter where he lives in the world....
    just like cricket
  • mcjw - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I'm sorry but coming from Anandtech's N900/Droid review, this review is quite a let down.

    There is no technical information you cannot get from one or 2 press releases, and the entire article reads like a rehash of all the N8 customer reviews, scratching just the surface.

    The only insight I might have gotten is where you mentioned the CPU. But there the language is vague, leaving me with even more questions: Samsung or TI processor? Your language make it sound like you are not sure.

    So please, show a bit of expertise in your topic rather than writing out the obvious in running prose. Is this too much to expect from Anandtech?
  • mythun.chandra - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Sorry you didn't find the review as useful.

    Regarding the CPU, not sure where the confusion lies:

    "This MCP (Multi Chip Package) allows Samsung to stack different memory types (DDR, NAND etc.) along with non-memory logic in the same low-power package. So for basically the same footprint as a single memory chip, Samsung is able to integrate the DDR memory (256MB), NAND (512MB) and a CPU (TI ARM11 applications processor)."

    What that says is that Nokia uses a Samsung MCP which stacks DDR and NAND memory, along with a TI ARM-11 based application processor in the same package.
  • thartist - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    They'd better pull off "an AMD" before they completely sink the ship. Btw, quite a late review! Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I like AMD, but...What? Is that really the best choice for a come-back story? Staying under a quarter of the marketshare, and even less of the revenue? Reply
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    nevermind the internet which i could do at home..

    always wanted to carry a camera all the time, it's good enough as any P&S in 2003-05. I wonder if it could have manual controls..especially manual use of flash.
    very nice it could read usb storage devices, i was thinking of buying a netbook for backup/ net upload of photos taken while on a vacation.
    it could read mkv and divx, awesome.

    call it quirky but not to me as having a quirky Sigma dp2 digital camera.
    now, where could i get one....
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    You can control ISO (100-800) and EV (+/- 2 EV in 0.5 stop steps). You can set the flash to on/off, auto, red-eye and slow-sync (or a close simulacrum thereof) by invoking the night portrait mode.

    There is a macro mode, although it does not do anything close to 1:1, but it's better than nothing.

    Exposure on the N8 is uncannily good, although I'm coming from m43 and DSLR where the exposure algorithms are not as advanced (some would say idiot-proof) as compact cameras. Flash exposure is also very good (considering the power limitations).

    Noise reduction is very well balanced - Nokia has stated that they erred on the side of detail over smoothness, and it shows (in a good way). Should you want to PP away more noise, the onboard editing app has a NR filter.

    My big gripe is there is no touch-to-focus, but that's nothing a little focus-recompose can't get around.

    I imagine someone could eventually write an app to enable touchscreen focus, shutter speed control, ND filter use and/or RAW output, but I've found the existing controls more than sufficient for my needs as a backup camera. If I need more than that, I should be packing my DSLR anyway.

    PS If you want to pair a USB drive with the phone, avoid the ones with virtual/security partitions. It doesn't like them that much (won't work with my Sandisk Cruzer, no problem with my vanilla flash drives).
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    OK, scratch that last thumbdrive comment. I just checked my thumbdrive and it seems I formatted in NTFS, which the N8 doesn't support. My bad. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    thank you for all that information. good luck with it! Reply
  • inaphasia - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    There were NO 12Mp 28mm P&S' in 2005... let alone 2003!

    There were hardly any in 2007!:)
  • mrgreenfur - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    "basic point snf shoots" on page 8... Reply
  • uselessguy - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    That is one ugly phone! Reply
  • jaydip - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    There is a much bigger issue surrounding the N8 apart from the obvious.My friend bought this in the month of November and so far he had to visit nokia care for 3 times to make it working.The phone just shut down and did not power on at all.The nokia care guys were clueless and unable to help much apart from updating the firmware.So far the phone has spent more time in nokia's own "care".I know that a review unit will seldom be faulty but it is worth pointing it out. Reply
  • akse - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    There was a manufacturing issue concerning some of the phones at the early production phase. I guess it is fixed now. There is an interview about the issue.
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Yes, the problem was real, nokia admitted it, and it has been fixed.

    People with affected phones can get a replacement at a nokia service center.
  • guidoq - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I don't think so. More iphone coverage please. Reply
  • Bhairava - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Buy a 90$ Nokia e5230 and a 100$ entry level camera and you have the same risult. Really, nothing less.

  • Bhairava - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Well i was wrong, Nokia 5230 is 160$. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Then you have to carry 2 devices with you. What are the odds you'll have your point and shoot with you when you're out and about and a photo op presents itself?

    Can you edit, geotag and upload your images from your $100 point and shoot?

    Plus, the sensor on the N8 is bigger than most entry level compacts, and the lens is really great (speaking as a DSLR user with several Leica lenses here).

    N8 isn't the answer for everyone, but it's definitely a compelling option for a photo enthusiast.
  • zodiacfml - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    same thoughts. :p Reply
  • cheezyuser - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    Whats wrong with this phone? I dont see any major problems. For those guys in the States, it might suck but For Guys here in India, Nokia rocks, 24k rupees for an unlocked nokia n8 is better than a 42k locked iPhone considering the average work income is around 20k rupees Reply
  • N8fanMAN - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    "I´d like to take pictures anytime I want and look them over big flatscreen but sh**, I cant buy 500$ N8 caus my friends have 1000$ IPHONE. Oh, they _cant do_ really nothing with it but still they would laugh their ass off if I bought Nokia"

    This kind of unmatured flood and feelings all over the globe. If you value your hard earned bucks, and want a modern phone in reasonable price with good camera there should be no logical doubt that N8 is the choice of the day. If other companies flagships weren´t so expensive, situation would be different but its not, just like nokias half-empty promises.

    And what about the bullshit about batterylife omg... ANY smartphone will dry your battery if you keep wlan and widgets always running and online. I spend easily a weekend taking pictures, listening music, playing games with my friends and of course speaking (in 3G) and that was no problemo for N8.

    If you dont need good call quality, camera, navigation, hdmi and other goodies then just buy 120-150$ blade / san fransisco android 2.1/2.2 phone. There is still wlan, bluetooth, 3g, gps and 3.5" multi-touch
  • cheezyuser - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    I'm not trying to sound fanboism, but thats my point exactly, People are just harping on Android, iPhone, apps, and when it comes to Nokia, they are quick to point out the flaws, which in my point, there isnt much (except for thoes synthetic benchmarks). Anandtech is mostly right in what they say, and it gets the job done,
    Just because my phone has the highest battery life doesnt mean im not gonna charge it for long days, nor does it display web pages faster mean i can tweet faster then my friends.

    this android/iPhong hype is going over the top
  • inaphasia - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - link

    "...the 5110i served me very well for more than 3 years without showing any signs of aging. That was in the mid to late 90’s"

    Not that it matters but that phone probably came out around 98-99. I remember 'cause '99 was the year I got my first mobile. A Motorola that would take 4xAA alkalines if you wanted! I loved the 5110 but by the time my Motorola died I ended up with my favorite phone ever, a Nokia 6210. Had it for a little over 4yrs! No really!
  • jonup - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    Second on the 5110, which I had. And while not much different I was always a big fan of 6310i but the 6210 would do as one of the greatest ever. But for the pure market share 5110 was the king. Just about every one had one. Reply
  • santu - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    I was hoping that Anadtech review talks about signal loss problem when touching the phone. I have gone through three phones and all have antenna problem. Even in the user manual, Nokia recommends the user not to touch the phone in certain places. Reply
  • - Thursday, January 13, 2011 - link

    Mithun, one of the gripes with the phone seemed to be the poor browser, but you also said Opera Mobile was an excellent experience. Could you post your tests using Opera Mobile on multiple phones as to give a more accurate hardware picture? Reply
  • mythun.chandra - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I'd like to do so. But as of now, I do not have enough devices on hand to put reference numbers. Plus, even out of the few devices I do have, only the Nokia's have Opera Mobile available. But I will make it a point to include reference Opera Mobile wherever possible :). Reply
  • - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I've had my N8 for 6 weeks now. It replaced a 2 year old Nokia N95. I'm reasonably happy with it although for phone calls my N95 was better.
    I had previously borrowed a couple of Android phones (both v2.1) to try out and found then bug ridden heaps of 2nd rate hardware (both were HTC's).
    I've found the N8 to be quite a bit better than them, however all is not roses with the N8 as I have issues with the N8's front and rear speaker/ringer design and volume.
    If you put the N8 on a soft flat surface or carry it in a leather belt pouch the ringer is completely inaudible! The engineers who designed the rear speaker must been straight out of Uni without any design experience! The speakers should have been twin side mounted speakers aka N95.
    Another issue that I have is with lack of earphone speaker volume - in a noisy environment the phone is useless - hopefully this will be addresses in a firmware update.
    I'm not the only one complaining about these two issues - do a google search for "N8 volume".
  • noxplague - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    I have had the N8 for three weeks now and, while everyone on here who has never used one is all worried about the specs and the tests these, volume issues are far more relevant in day to day use.

    One thing that frustrates me to no end is the fact that on the home screen using the volume rocker does nothing! To me this should be the quick way to change my ringer volume. Instead you are supposed to use these "profiles", but having a profile with the right volume for each scenario is time consuming when I just want to turn the volume up or down but leave the rest of the settings (there are loads) alone.

    The phones that I switch between lately are a WP7 Samsung Focus, a Palm Pre Plus (need to pick up the 2...), and the Nokia N8. The email/exchange experience on the N8 is my main problem. It lags so far behind the competition to be considered barely usable. The fact that you cannot easily contact meeting attendees from the calendar is a huge oversight compared to the WebOS, WP7 OSs. When you move between meetings all day and are running late it is nice to be able to let people know quickly.

    My last comment is on Opera Mobile 10.1 - Everyone talks about how great it is but for me it crashes a far amount and doesn't support pinch zoom! This is annoying whenever you are on a full website. I often switch between Opera and Web, but even slow I find Web better just because it doesn't crash and I can zoom around a website.

    Fix the exchange experience, the volume experience, and the web and this phone would be a top contender.

    The hardware is stunning, preferable to either the palm, focus and camera is worth it alone.
  • munky - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    All you people whining about ARM11, MHz, and so-called "standards" have obviously never used the N8. Kinda reminds me of all the armchair photographers who argue about camera specs without ever using it. As a photo enthusiast, the camera alone makes this phone worth considering, and instantly makes all the other phone cameras look like stone age tech.

    It has 3G on all 5 bands, meaning I can get T-Mobile 3G for $6/month, no contract, as opposed to all your mandatory 2-year contracts with $30/month data plans elsewhere.

    The AMOLED screen has great colors and visibility in any lighting condition, something Apple still hasn't "invented."

    The multi-tasking capabilities are second to none - try following turn-by-turn navigation while listening to music while taking pictures all at the same time on your phone, and tell me how it goes.

    The reception on this phone is even better than previous Nokia's I've owned. The company with a fruit logo is not even playing in the same ballpark.

    The web browsing is smooth also, and I can view flash content directly in the browser - I don't need no stinking "app for that."

    Now, if all you do is browse the web and download games for your phone, then you don't need the N8. Hell, you don't need a phone at all - get an Ipod Touch and go brag to your neighbors. But if you want a multimedia device with some real capabilities, then don't bash the N8 until you've actually used it.
  • pandemonium - Saturday, January 15, 2011 - link

    Well said, munky.

    For everyone else needing another perspective on the N8's abilities, you need to read these two articles on;

    That site has several well thought out and fair comparisons and reviews of several brands and models.

    My personal experiences with Nokia devices in general have taught me that battery life is amazing, hardware quality is the best, Symbian OS is sometimes twitchy but very efficient and adaptable, call and reception quality are better than most, and value is very high compared to cost [against other brands]. You can compare listed specs all day long, but when it comes down to it the function of the OS against the capabilities of the hardware and the utilization and limits of software combined is what makes a great phone great. It's the same as HDTVs; so what if yours has 5,000,000 : 1 contrast ratio? Those numbers are inflated and only relevant within that brand and that brand alone and say nothing about color accuracy, black levels, viewing angle, subfield motion correction, etcetera, etcetera.
  • codedivine - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    Hi, I got a score of 8995 on a Nokia N8. Were you running Opera 10.1 or were you running Opera 10.0? I am running 10.1. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    Good point.

    I ran Rightmark Browsermark on Opera 10.0 and got 5797 points.

    I ran it again with Opera 10.1 and got 9790 points.

    That's a 68% improvement!

    NB: The Ovi store lists Opera 10.1 on its store but actually hosts 10.0. To get 10.1, I had to manually download it from
  • Voldenuit - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    Running Sunspider on Opera Mobile 10.1 netted me a result of 10,841ms, which is 10x faster than the 10.0 result and comparable to iPhone4 performance.

    Definitely worth updating the article to reflect this, as it greatly changes the performance perspective of the phone.
  • noxplague - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    Holy crap you are right! I've been using 10.0. I just trusted the OVI store. Nokia should really fix this.

    Thanks for sharing!
  • mythun.chandra - Monday, January 17, 2011 - link

    I downloaded Opera Mobile "10.1" from the Ovi Store. After seeing codedivine's comment, I checked up and it is indeed version 10.0! Why Nokia would do something like this...I'm not sure.

    I will re-run the Opera Mobile tests and hopefully the numbers in the article should be updated soon enough.

    Thank you for pointing this out! :)
  • mythun.chandra - Monday, January 17, 2011 - link

    Updated! :) Reply
  • Voldenuit - Monday, January 17, 2011 - link


    Perhaps you could update the title with an '(UPDATED)' tag so people who're curious can revisit the phone? I fear that the phone's reputation has been badly damaged by the initial results showing it at the bottom of the pack.
  • Voldenuit - Monday, January 17, 2011 - link

    PS I still think there's something funny going on with the talk time and wifi throughput figures. codedivine once mentioned to me that he got 6.5 Mbps on his N8 over wifi, which was already saturating his connection. Reply
  • sumeetm90 - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    I have been using N8 for a month now and have discovered following pesky issues:

    1) You cant mark multiple messages in your inbox. If you want to delete say 10 messages in a go you need to individually delete them. (Dont understand how can nokia make such a blunder)

    2) Cannot utilize full screen to view pdf documents in Adobe reader provided by nokia. This is really ridiculous. You are forced to use 75% of the available screen to read pdfs.

    3) I was surprised to find that there was no stopwatch feature included with the new phone. Yes you can download an app but when I pay Indian rupees 23600 (approx $500) for a smartphone, I expect nokia to put a stopwatch/countdown timer in phone.

    4) You need to download a scientific calculator. The default calculator is pretty lame and embarrassing. If you search the ovi store you will realise it is not so easy to download a scientific calculator.

    I gotta agree with Mithun about the issues with browser, mail application and
  • Voldenuit - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    >"1) You cant mark multiple messages in your inbox. If you want to delete say 10 messages in a go you need to individually delete them. (Dont understand how can nokia make such a blunder)"

    You can indeed mark multiple messages in your inbox. Go to options, and select 'Mark'. You can now mark multiple messages by clicking on their headers in turn. You can also select 'Mark All' by selecting Options->Mark->Options->Mark All.

    >"2) Cannot utilize full screen to view pdf documents in Adobe reader provided by nokia. This is really ridiculous. You are forced to use 75% of the available screen to read pdfs."

    The PDF reader is not supplied by Nokia. It's a lite version by Quickoffice, which wants you to pay to get the full version with text reflow and fullscreen. Not great, but not nokia's fault.

    Re: stopwatch and scicalc, they're available, not every phone comes with every app under the sun, either (and that's a good thing).
  • sumeetm90 - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    I have been using N8 for a month now and have discovered following pesky issues:

    1) You cant mark multiple messages in your inbox. If you want to delete say 10 messages in a go you need to individually delete them. (Dont understand how can nokia make such a blunder)

    2) Cannot utilize full screen to view pdf documents in Adobe reader provided by nokia. This is really ridiculous. You are forced to use 75% of the available screen to read pdfs.

    3) I was surprised to find that there was no stopwatch feature included with the new phone. Yes you can download an app but when I pay Indian rupees 23600 (approx $500) for a smartphone, I expect nokia to put a stopwatch/countdown timer in phone.

    4) You need to download a scientific calculator. The default calculator is pretty lame and embarrassing. If you search the ovi store you will realise it is not so easy to download a scientific calculator.

    I gotta agree with Mithun about the issues with browser, mail application and ovi store. I have been a vivid Nokia fan and thats why I bought N8. But clearly nokia has lot of issuses to address. I cant recommend this phone to my friends. Lets hope nokia is listening and comes up with a descent update soon.
  • Johnmcl7 - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    Nokia have a licensing agreement to stick the Zeiss name on their phones, that's all there is to it as the lenses most certainly are not a Zeiss design by any stretch of the imagination despite the laughable 'Tessar' branding on some of them. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    That doesn't mean that Zeiss does not have a say on which lenses their branding goes on and provide input on lens designs etc.

    This is very similar to the arrangement Panasonic have with Leica - Panasonic design and manufacture the lenses themselves, but Leica has the final say on whether or not the lens is good enough to receive their branding. In fact, while my Leica R4 had genuine Leica lenses, the body itself was a copy of a Minolta SLR, so Leica branding has been a 2-way street.

    Similarly, the Sony Alpha Zeiss and compact camera lenses are designed and built by Sony. And my Pentax SMC Takumar (ca. 1970) was manufactured by Asahi Optical Company. This is not news, it's been the modus operandi of the camera/lens industry for decades, and very similar to the ODM/OEM relationship in electronics.
  • afwjam - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    Actually Carl Zeiss designs the entire camera module. There is an interesting youtube video with one of their engineers explaining the resolving capabilities of the lens. Apparently its far superior to most SLR kit lenses. Reply
  • afwjam - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link Reply
  • Lavkesh - Monday, January 17, 2011 - link

    The new firmware is coming in Feb with improved browser, portrait qwerty keyboard with split screens. You can see the Beta version of the firmware running on Nokia N8 here
  • fneuf - Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - link

    Hello Mithun,

    I'm a little surprised by the anemic result of the Nokia N8 WiFi performance.

    Both Droid X and N8 use the same chip, the TI WL1271A (from Texas Instruments) that handles WLAN, Bluetooth and FM connectivities.

    Considering the Droid X result is 4 times higher than the N8 one despite being built on the same hardware I really wonder where does lay the N8 fault. Anyone have an idea ?
  • bitflung - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    i just looked up nokia+gpu and hit this article:

    they claim that all of the following had dedicated GPUs:
    Nokia N93, N95, N82 and E90 - all having their 'golden days' back in 2007

    i know for sure my old N95 had a GPU - that was back in 2007. i recall running some 3D accelerated apps that performed very well:

    in fact, it uses a similar core as the iphone still uses today:

    that article states that the n95 of 2007 used the powervr MBX core (also used in original iphone), while the iphone 4 (and ipad, ipod touch etc) use the powervr sgx core.

    the N8 is surely not the first nokia to ship with a GPU. where did this misinformation come from?
  • naco - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - link

    I truly cannot understand (or withstand) blind ignorance. Comments like: “wifi pathetic”, “screen res below what I would call the current industry standard”, “99 cent ARM 11 chip” are simply a clear proof that the longest time spent with an N8 was in front of a demo booth at BestBuy ... or who knows what other retailer.
    I have been using N8 for almost 3 months now (after using a N95 for 3 years, an Android phone for almost 2 months (HTC Desire) and a Blackberry Torch for another 2 months) and I find it to be well rounded, very responsive, fast (except for the web browser), reliable and versatile – in short, if you can live with the few current nudges, Nokia N8 is a respectable smart phone and definitely a good choice – but, hey, show me the perfect phone and I’ll buy YOU one right now. Furthermore, those few nudges, being software related can potentially (hopefully) find solutions either in a future firmware update or in adopting/installing 3rd party solutions.

    - The battery, although at “only” 1200mAh lasts throughout the whole day even when used extensively,
    - Fast and responsive even when pushed to the limits despite featuring “only” a 680MHz ARM processor (due to the new Qt O.S. NOT as resource hungry as Android or iOS)
    - the screen is one of the best for both outdoors and indoors and for most users the resolution would never be a problem (or even noticed to be lower),
    - the Ovi Maps is getting better and better and is becoming a solid, reliable (OFF LINE) navigation tool, at NO extra cost (bundled with any newer Nokia phone)
    - the camera is by far one of the best out there, easily at par with most point-and-shoot standalone cameras.
    - Exceptional media handling (large photos & HD videos)
    - Local sync support (MS Outlook) as well as on the cloud (Google)
    - Folder & sub folder support (after so much bashing, Android wants to implement it!!)
    - The new OS, Qt is the bridge between Symbian and MeeGo – which means both, backward and forward compatibility.

    - Slow web browser, no reflow and not really adapted to touch screens (yet, Opera 10.1 is an excellent alternative, virtually resolving all native browser’s issues)
    - Music player features, strangely downgraded from Nokia’s S60 5th edition.
    - Calendar – no agenda view
    - The speaker placement in the back of the phone is quite a nuisance (as the slot gets covered the sound is considerably attenuated)

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