Nokia N8 revealed as first open-source Symbian phone

Nokia N8 revealed as first open-source Symbian phone

Summary: The smartphone will be the first to use Symbian^3, but one of the last to use the familiar Symbian user interface


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  • Nokia has unveiled the N8, the first of its smartphones to use the open-source Symbian^3 operating system.

    The Nokia N8, announced on Tuesday, will become available in the UK in the third quarter of 2010, with an estimated retail price of €370 (£321) before taxes and subsidies.

    Symbian^3 is the first release of the Symbian OS — bought out and spun off by Nokia in 2008 — to be fully open-sourced.

    However, the N8 still looks very much like recent Symbian handsets. Symbian Foundation chief Lee Williams told ZDNet UK in February that the next release, Symbian^4, will be the first to adopt a new graphical approach to the user interface. Handsets using Symbian^4 are only expected to be on shelves in the first half of 2011.

    New features in Symbian^3 that were missing in its predecessors include multitouch and flick-scrolling, along with a new 2D and 3D graphics architecture.

  • The Nokia N8 is a multimedia-centric device. It features a 12-megapixel camera with high-definition 720p video-shooting capabilities, and includes a video editor and HDMI output.

    According to the Nokia Conversations blog, where the company announced the N8, the camera "features a substantially larger sensor than any ever used in any other Nokia device — even bigger than many found in dedicated cameras". Sensor size has become a limiting factor in cameraphone image quality, as rising megapixel counts have resulted in more image information being jammed on to very small sensors.

    The 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen has an HD resolution of 640x360 pixels.

    Nokia will preload the N8 with web TV services offering content from CNN, Paramount and National Geographic, with UK-focused content available from the Ovi Store.

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Nokia N8 is an amazing device and sports some of the greatest features that you can think of in a cell. I am a proud owner of this set. You can't get better than this at this price.
  • This phone is really a cool device to have, Symbian gives you certain feature that many other os including Android os can't provide. I purchased the set online form a site along with many freebies.