Analyzed: Nokia N8

Before the newest crop of smartphones hit the market this year, the Nokia N8 was considered among the top of the line models. Its shot at fame was all due to the 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics. It also came in an affordable package which drew a lot of customers towards it. It may have been overtaken by Nokia's own Lumia series at this time, but we decided to take a look at the N8 any way. Before we get going, here are some of the specifications:
  1. 3.5" display at a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels
  2. 680MHz ARM 11 single core processor
  3. 256MB RAM
  4. 16GB storage expandable to 48GB via microSD
  5. Dedicated camera button
  6. HDMI port
  7. 12MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss, Tessar lens with 2x digital zoom
  8. VGA front facing camera
  9. 720P HD video recording at 25 frames per second with 3x digital zoom
  10. Operating System: Symbian^3
  11. Weight: 135g
  12. Battery capacity: 1200mAh
So it's not exactly quick compared to similarly optioned phones. You will notice significant lag even while trying to do the most mundane of tasks on the N8. Considering how quick the phones in the market are these days, it really feels like you could be doing something more worthwhile with your time. In the looks department, the N8 scores well. It is very similar to the Lumia series that Nokia has introduced. You also get a dedicated camera button to showcase the 12MP camera. Once again, we just wish it were a lot quicker than it is. Taking a quick photo isn't possible. It will take you at least 7 seconds to start up the camera and take your first shot. And that doesn't take into account the recovery time after snapping a picture before you can take the next one. Take away the speed factor, and the pictures are quite crisp and detailed. But compare it to the new camera in the Samsung Galaxy S III or the HTC One X, despite having a lower resolution, the images are clearer and colors more vibrant in the Samsung and HTC. Battery life is also lacking and we were barely able to get 6 hours on a complete charge with heavy use.

Symbian is an operating system that is definitely not for everyone. It lacks the flair and look of the iOS or Android operating systems. And it also loses out in the quickness factor. With Nokia marketing their newer phones with Windows Mobile, one has to wonder how much longer Symbian will be around. Yes you do have app support with Nokia store, but it isn't enough to keep up with the big guns. There are other Nokia phones we would rather have than this one, at the same price point.

Our Rating: 

The Nokia N8 is currently on sale in India for about Rs. 19,000 (~$380).


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