The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

Summary: The Nokia N8 leads the smartphone world when it comes to the latest and greatest specifications and unlike other smartphones that are missing one or more specs, the N8 has it all in one.

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There are some very good smartphones available today, but as I continue to evaluate various models and hear about the latest ones, such as the Google Nexus S, I get frustrated by the best devices always leaving something out. I doubt we will ever reach smartphone perfection and no single device will ever satisfy all of us, but if you take an honest look at the specifications and functions across the smartphone world at the moment the Nokia N8 may actually be the closest thing to perfection available today.

As I stated in my earlier hands-on article, existing Symbian fans will love the Nokia N8 while people who have used iOS, webOS, and Android devices may not like the Symbian operating system. Given that the operating system people prefer is highly subjective to what you are used to and what you need to do with a device, let's take a look at the hardware specifications and functionality outside of the user interface to see why the Nokia N8 stands out above the rest.

There is a TON packed into the Nokia N8 and these specs and features listed here are just those that are above and beyond what we see in other devices today:

  • Penta-band 3G wireless radio: You can use the N8 on T-Mobile, AT&T, and other carriers around the world (850/900/1700/1900 & 2100 MHz frequencies supported) and currently only the latest Nokia Symbian ^3 devices have this capability.
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and largest sensor found in a camera phone. A Xenon flash is also found to make photographs look fantastic with 720p video capture that includes fabulous zoom capability.
  • Dual microphones for audio recording quality
  • HDMI port with FULL TV out of everything on the device
  • USB on-the-go so you can connect USB flash drives, hard drives, and other peripherals
  • Aluminum body in five stylish colors
  • Free Ovi Maps with offline navigation and maps for countries around the world. I never travel to a foreign country without a Nokia device preloaded with maps so I can navigate offline with no data plan required.
  • FM radio and FM transmitter: Once you have an FM transmitter in your phone you realize how awesome it is to listen to podcasts and your music in the car and at home without any wires.

You might find one or two of these specs in a device, but the Nokia N8 includes ALL of them in a single device that is available for just $549 in a SIM-unlocked manner with NO contract obligation. You can regularly find it popping up on Dell.com for $449 too. I am also a fan of the 3.5 inch OLED display that is fully usable in sunlight. You also cannot beat Nokia for RF reception and phone calls are crystal clear with the phone not dropping calls like so many now just expect with the latest smartphones. I also like that I have 16GB internal with the ability to add a 32GB microSD card.

There are also some hidden features in the Nokia N8 that Nokia never tells you about and these include the ability to use your Zune Pass subscription music and view Amazon Video On Demand movies and TV shows right on the Nokia N8.

The one specification that doesn't appear to lead the pack, on paper at least, is the 680 MHz processor. Today's high end smartphones sport 1 GHz processors, but I honestly have not seen any lag in my N8 and the processor has not been an issue. The processor performance is highly dependent on the rest of the hardware and the operating system. Also, keep in mind the N8 has a graphics processor that takes some of the heavy lifting off of the main phone processor.

The N8 also does not support the newest HSPA+ data networks. It does very well with 3G though and the fact that you are not limited by any carrier offsets the faster data speeds, IMHO.

My wife used my orange Nokia N8 for a couple of days and told me to get her one so she is now sporting a blue N8 and is extremely happy with the device. It isn't perfect, primarily due to some lacking OS issues (portrait QWERTY for one), but as I listed above the hardware supports so much and there really is nothing lacking from a hardware and functionality viewpoint.

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, Mobility, Nokia

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  • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

    What a rubbish article, we have a saying "flogging a dead horse". Nokia is unable to produce modern products to any quality, leave the poor horse alone please.
    pauldavidgilligan
    • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

      @pauldavidgilligan <br><br>Or, in other words, "I'm too silly and short sighted to appreciate other people's points of view".<br><br>See, the point is this: the N8 has all the features, excellent hardware, call quality and battery life. It also has a UI that is a bit frustrating.<br><br>However, as Nokia have again confirmed today, there will be a series of firmware updates released over the next 12 months which give a new broswer, keyboards and various other enhancements. And that's the thing you guys miss - you see software can be improved, hardware cannot after release.<br><br>So, we get a really good phone which will only get better and others get a rubber band to put round their phone because the aerial design is so poor or have to buy a power monkey because the battery life is poor.<br><br>I think I know who the smarter people are in this particular scenario.
      Sleeper Service
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @Sleeper Service
        Answer: The Android users.
        Theseus
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @Theseus

        Well no, not until Android sorts out its dreadful power management issues anyway.
        Sleeper Service
      • @Theseus

        Not until Android sorts out it's dismal UI issues like text selection. One of dozens.
        Bruizer
    • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

      @pauldavidgilligan

      Let's skip over the UI and concentrate on hardware features?

      Look at the photo you provided. That screen alone is even worse than the crowded desktop UI of the iToys. It doesn't matter how much hardware it has, it's still Symbian and it wins the prize as the most hated UI.

      Nor do you need a rubber band to get the latest elegant UI - get WP7 and leave the toys behind.
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @tonymcs@...

        Ah... is that 'the most hated UI' which also 'sells the most units by a factor of two'?

        Y halo thar subjective viewpoint.
        Sleeper Service
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @tonymcs@...
        The desktop can be customized anyway you like. I have an E52 with Symbian (not the same one as this, but still) and my "desktop" is clean, because I chose to do it so... and I wouldn't change this device for anything else, despite the fact that, through my coleagues I have sampled Iphone and Android alike.

        You know why?! Because I NEVER lose signal, because it has a 1500mA battery that simply put, makes me forget when I charged it last time, because this "hated" interface makes a whole lot of sense to me, it's something I'm familiar with, very easy to use and easy to reconfigure; because I can use those multiple ways to connect to internet to actually browse/use the internet (since it had Flash support long before anyone else); because it's slick and elegant (to my eyes anyway) and comes in a small package (I don't have to switch to dockers or fanny-packs to carry it around); because besides the free Ovi maps ( which by the way for you, americans, has some of the most complete maps) I also installed Garmin software wich works beautifull, since the device has a full-sized gps receiver in it that actually works on almost all weather; because it has a huge library of applications, with wich you can cover alll your nececities; because it allows me to have an uncompromizing link with the rest of world (emails, browsing, etc) while not beeing a bad telephone.

        To my mind when you choose IPhone or a full-sized Android device, you want a gadget, and ignore the telephone part. Sure, browsing/playing/communicating on a big screen is something nice to do, but I believe deep-down what I really want for all that is a tablet, or any device that's actually more mobile than a laptop, easy to cary/handle, lots of stand-by time, easy to use through a touch-optimized interface and does not compromise on it's purpose. And that's the point I'm trying to make, if you what you need is a tablet, buy a tablet, there's lot's to choose from. But if you need a telephone, buy a telephone, hybrids don't make sense, because they are not good all the way. Don't expect a telephone to be both of these and be good at both.

        There might be an exception to this, and hopefully this will be the future of us all: Atrix. If it will work, this will be a true mobile computing device with a good telephone on the side, because I never had a Motorola that didn't work well as a telephone. Those docks (desktop and laptop) will make it a true Multi Purpose device, something you can use besides playing Angry Birds.
        dragosgalben
    • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

      @pauldavidgilligan
      It sounds to me like an amazing piece of hardware. We we need to know how the thing performs. How are the browser, basic mobile functions, GPS, media player, etc.

      I thought Nokia became a world leader in mobile phones with high quality products. Am I wrong?
      Schoolboy Bob
    • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

      @pauldavidgilligan We have a saying..."Don't mock the afflicted." So...I'll leave you alone.
      Feldwebel Wolfenstool
  • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

    So glad to read this, I have an iPhone 4 but been wanting something different to augment as a backup phone. Putting in an order at the end of the week with Amazon (price is $449 there!)
    entropy1980
    • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

      Dont do it, you'll be sorry, just a thought...
      paulIT
  • this article is bull

    Seriously? This phone is a joke. I was a long time nokia fan until a few months ago and was excited for this n8. Its crap. list of reasons:<br><br>COLORS!!! right? scratches of easily.<br>GREAT BUILD QUALITY RIGHT?? wrong, no longer made in Finland for the most part made in china. already confirmed power issues etc.<br>Screen resolution is low but it looks decent so we'll let that one go.<br><br>1250 mah battery... for real?? I primarily use a nokia e72 (saving money and waiting for dual core android) and inside I have 1500 mah battery. My screen is half the size and they give my phone a bigger battery and the same speed processor. <br><br>Seriously! Its funny<br><br>Think I'm done? not even close. the software on this thing is a joke. ONLY LANDSCAPE KEYBOARD? COMMON NOW WHO IS INTENT ON RUINING THIS COMPANY. They want to compete with android and the iphone? how about getting your act together. In 6 years this company has gone no where with their phones. The browser is the same one from my e61 in 2005, its slow and basically garbage. Now they are saying look we're nokia, such a great company we are going to release updates to fix the browser and the keyboard (along with other issues) in Q3 2011. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, BY THEN MY CELL PHONE WILL BE COOKING ME BREAKFAST.<br><br>When they first created this phone... did they think no one would want a portrait keyboard? <br><br>The person who wrote this article must be living in a bubble.<br><br>The worse part of all of this is I or any other sane person could sit down with the developers team for 1 day they could release an amazing phone... just like they did in the golden days. Nokia the times are changing, I browse the web on my phone more then I talk on it now. You want to give me a bad browser for the umpteenth time? Shame on you.<br><br>Hey but its got a good camera right? All that other stuff isnt important.<br><br>The price is 449 everywhere now. <br>happy holiday shopping.
    ALISON SMOCK
    • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

      @stebidri <br><br>Right. So in other words you don't actually have one.<br><br>OK then. Moving on.<br><br>Incidentally your E71 doesn't have the same processor nor does it have a the top range Broadcomm GPU the N8 has. Bluntly you have no idea what you're talking about.
      Sleeper Service
      • E7's better, but delayed

        He's a disgruntled Nokia customer, and he's the one Nokia have to turn around to restore their reputation.

        Don't think the N8 will do it, for me, the C6 form factor was better (for pocket), or the E7 with the keyboard (in my work bag). E7 is delayed, C7 is fatter than I wanted and N8 is overpriced.

        They're just missing the target, on schedules, on price, on slimness, just not quite there.
        guihombre
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @guihombre
        That is true, they missed some schedules, so did MS, so that's not the real problem. The prices.. Sorry, but a N8 made in Finland with all the hardware in it superior to IPhone, deserves the same price of the Iphone, you lose some but you gain some too. The real problem to me is that failed to realise that if you want your market share back, you need to also give the people what they want, wich is, internet almost-tablets. That's what they want, big screen, Angry Birds and flashy interface?! Do something like that and keep your other phones as well for the rest of the world.
        dragosgalben
    • RE: This article is bull

      @stebidri

      1) The colour on it will never scratch, because it's not painted aluminum, it's anodised aluminum. The paint is in the metal, not on the metal.

      2) N8 is manufactured both in Finland and in China. The N8's that go to America come from the China factory. If you don't like it you should buy no other phone out there, because iPhone's, Samsung's, HTC's etc, are all of them manufactured in China. Maybe I could send you a made in Finland N8 from Europe. Or you can even ask one from Santa Clauss. He comes from Finland after all.

      3) N8 has the most amazing battery life of any other smartphone. I guarantee that. It can even last for more than 2 days. Don't stick to the battery capacity. The new version of Symbian is very much optimised regarding the power management. The AMOLED screen also contributes to that.

      4) It HAS a portrait keyboard, an alphanumeric one, and it's very handy. Why should one want a portrait qwerty keyboard? Do you have baby fingers?

      5) The PR2.0 update (with the new browser, keyboard etc) will come in January-February 2011, not in Q3 2011. Perhaps you confused it with the PR3.0 update (former Symbian^4), which will completely change the UI.

      6) If you don't like the built-in browser, you can use Opera (either Mobile or Mini). I use it on a daily basis, and I can assure you that it is almost excellent.

      7) A lot of people love the N8, I even know people who sell their recently bought iPhone4's to get it. If you don't like it, it's OK, you can get past it. But trying to depreciate it with lies shows only fear. I don't know why.
      bazilgr
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @bazilgr

        Anodizing doesn't make anything scratch-proof, nor does it add color. It helps the paint adhere better, but it's still on the surface, not 'in the metal.'
        msalzberg
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @bazilgr

        Nokia has kept the same interface they have had for years. So yes I find my way quickly, but frankly it sucks when only the touch mode is available.

        To me the worst flow of my N8 is OVI. This is really crapware. On a freshly installed Win7 it crashes when trying to sync with Outlook. Syncing options (priorities etc.) are for kids. Once only I managed to sync contacts (agenda and notes never worked) and it messed up all of my oulook contacts. I finally found an older version of PC suite that works fine. In later versions of PC Suite support for the N8 was turned off.

        I just can't understand how such a company can ship such bad software. Just read about it on the net, it is shocking.
        CChello
      • RE: The Nokia N8; uncompromising specifications and functions in the smartphone world

        @bazilgr
        pandemoniumctp