The Nokia N8 is now shipping all around the world and we will see a ton of enthusiastic unboxing posts starting later today and through the weekend. The real test for Nokia comes next week though as media, smartphone enthusiasts, and regular people dive deeper into their devices and we see more detailed content and experiences being posted online. There was a record number of pre-orders and excitement seems to be quite high for the Nokia N8, even after thousands tried them out at Nokia World a couple of weeks ago. While my own pre-ordered N8 won't arrive until the end of October I do have a review unit that should arrive tomorrow that I can use for almost three weeks. While there is a lot of excitement for the Nokia N8 it is also a fairly pivotal device for Nokia and could set the stage for their future.
The Nokia N97 was the last flagship device, Nokia seems to be avoiding that label this time around, and while I liked it for many of its features and functions, the internal hardware was outdated and the constant low memory warnings really killed that device and lowered people's expectations for the high end Nokia devices. The timing was not good for Nokia as the iPhone started getting better, Android starting exploding, and RIM kept on chugging away. There has not been a true high end Nokia device released since the N97 last year so Nokia fans are looking at the N8 to be that device.
The Nokia N8 is also the first shipping device with Symbian^3 and while it is not a revolutionary software update, it looks to offer lots of improvements over S60 while still providing some familiar S60 parts and pieces. From what I saw at Nokia World, people who like Nokia devices should like Symbian^3 on the N8.
I am expecting some very critical reviews here in the US and will be very surprised to see a lot of reviews giving the N8 high marks. Most of the US media doesn't understand or know how to use Symbian devices since they are not readily available from US carriers and you have to go out of your way to buy Nokia devices in SIM unlocked fashion.
The N8 is the first in a line of Symbian^3 devices that looked quite good at Nokia World, including the E7, C6, and C7, and I will be following all of the news myself to see what people think of the device. Stay tuned early next week for my first impressions of the N8, followed a bit later by a more in-depth take on using the device for a couple of weeks.