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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.
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.
The N8 measures 114 by 59 by 13mm and weighs 135g.
The smartphone has a 1200mAh battery and comes with 16GB of internal memory. It also includes an FM receiver and transmitter.
The device is Nokia's first to be fully integrated with the Qt graphical development toolkit, which is based on technology the company bought in 2008 when it acquired Trolltech.
On Tuesday, Nokia rolled out a beta version of its new Qt software development kit (SDK), which is designed to help developers create graphically intensive applications for Symbian-toting handsets, as well as for devices running the upcoming MeeGo Linux OS.