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Nokia N8 Review – A new Ferrari with a 20yr old Engine

NOKIA n8Nokia N8 is Awsome, The Best best phone ever, The Iphone Killer, its the Evoultion and Revolution in the smartphone land. All this and everything but if it was launched in 2008 or even in 2009. But is it actually Two thousand and late for nokia? well read ahead to find out….

Well Nokia claims N8 to be in competition with the high end segment of the smart phone market, in this segments there are some competitors like the Apple iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S, Epic , Blackberry Bold, HTC Desire (including coming soon HD and Z), Droid 2, droid X etc… You get the point? No? Well These are the phones which have revolutionized the market, and changed the definition of smartphones.

Let’s start with a quick look at the specs.

mid range phones2
mid range phones
High End Range Phone
High End Range

Now nokia might like the people to believe that 600MHz is the new 1GHz but is not, the phone does give occasional lag but enough to make you regret the price you paid for it. Reviewers around the world either hate the N8, dislike it, or like it and there are some who think the phone is perfect and there will not be as perfect as this one for months to come even years…But we will just give you facts and let it up to you to decide.


From the above specs you can clearly see what level N8 is and where does it stand against the competition and also these are phones just launched in India (except the iPhone 4). Nokia launched N900 in August last year and this phone has been a hit in the underground community, the phone is very customizable, the can even be rooted to install custom OS but that phone didn’t really make it in the real world because of hardware limitation, like resistive touch screen, crampy keyboard, stock UI sucked, CPU – 600Mhz RAM – 256 MB and most importantly no official support from Nokia, they launched and then few months later declared the OS outdated and shut it down, which meant no updated no improvements from nokia…. Luckily some devs (developers/programmers) liked the OS and revived it. My point here is that it’s been more than one year and there is still no real upgrade in hardware, Cpu is a ARM 11 680MHz and ram is still a 256 MB and yes 3D Graphics HW accelerator and a 512MB rom makes it better than N900 but a 12MP camera or Dolby sound support does not make this phone OMG!!! at least not any more, there have been some good camera phone in the past as well even including the Indian brand Spice(with a 12MP HD camera).

Nokia N8 sure does not belong to the market segment nokia claimed it to be and definitely not worth the price they selling it for, At the same price you can get an awsome 14MP digital camera with optical zoom, an iPod touch 4 8GB and still same money to get a decent phone phone like the HTC smart (better UI than N8). So what does this indicate? N8 is not a complete package. If you look at the design of the phone it will make you realize/regret (depending if you bought the phone or not) about the iPhone because that the battery cover doesn’t come off (weird huh?? They just hope apple doesn’t sue them for coping that…lol).

If you are a nokia fan and want to buy a N8 surely your decision maker is the 12MP camera, so we decided to do a little Research.

For More Pics Comparison Between iPhone 4 vs N8, N8 vs Iphone 4 and N8 VS Pixon12

Now you will notice in the above pictures that N8 pictures have a grayish feel to them making the pictures feel a little stale… well that because the camera in the phone is not smart. But when you look at the pictures taken from the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Pixon12 you will notice that the colours are more vibrant and pop out making them look more realistic, well there is a simple explanation for this. When a Picture is taken from an N8 it is saved as the camera sees it to be (in most cases its excellent) but not same as they appear to our eyes but iPhone 4 and Pixon12 realizes this difference and runs an algorithm which tweak the saturation level, contrast, sharpness, etc (other complex stuff) to make these pics stand out and look more appealing to our eyes, on this a Symbian blog site claimed that N8 pics are authentic and it shows the real pictures it’s just that the real world is pale colourless and ugly (yes buddy your comments are not biased).

Software, OS, User Interface (UI) and Usability

When we first looked at the UI it seemed a lot like the same thing in N97 (which means bad) then we further looked into the OS we suddenly realized it’s the N97 Theme on android 1.5, Here are few examples

  • The multiple Home Screens
  • Android like Widgets
  • Android like notification system on the home screen
  • All Menus have black background and white text

Well actually the screen resolution is very low (360 x 640 Pixels) so all of this kind a looks cheap on the N8


Also there is some flaws in this super awesome OS

  • It gives an occasional lag… If you have used Symbian before you know that there are time that u need to take out the battery but in this case you just pray that you don’t have to because you cant.
  • The Browser doesn’t support HTML5
  • The screen resolution is small making it look bad as compared to iOS and Android Phone
  • Though the Music app just looks like the one in iPhone and iPod but a hint a little cheapness and unpolished(ness)
  • They Portrait keyboard doesn’t even have QWERTY it’s the same T9 one you get in bar phones and also the landscape mode keyboard is not good…
  • This phone doesn’t have simple UI you have to go through Hurdles of menus and options to do even simple tasks like sending and email..

The phone is powered by a 680 MHz ARM 11 processor, which falls below the typical 1 GHz benchmark in today’s high-end smartphones. In our hands-on time with it, we noticed a bit of lag when transitioning between homescreens and opening apps. It wasn’t terribly alarming, but could be a point of contention for those used to the speedy performance of Android and iOS.– phonedog

What Went wrong?


Of course, even though smartphones are a small percentage of Nokia’s business, the company deals on such a scale that they actually still manage to hold 41% of the smartphone market. That’s a 10% decline from last year, and it’s at least partially because their Symbian operating system has consistently been, for lack of a better word, nightmarish. And early indications say that Symbian^3 on the flagship Nokia N8—the phone that outgoing chairman Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo recently said would “mark the beginning of our renewal”—doesn’t look much better. McDonald’s might move a lot of lattes, but that doesn’t make it Stumptown.

Nokia isn’t all that invested in user experience—which in smartphones increasingly equates to software experience. Software which, incidentally, Nokia could not care less about, according to an email from a former Nokia software engineer to Daring Fireball:

“ Hardware Rules at Nokia. The software is written by the software groups inside of Nokia, and it is then given to the hardware group, which gets to decide what software goes on the device, and the environment in which it runs. All schedules are driven by the hardware timelines. It was not uncommon for us to give them code that ran perfectly by their own test, only to have them do things like reduce the available memory for the software to 25% the specified allocation, and then point the finger back at software when things failed in the field”

Incoming CEO Stephen Elop—a Canadian transplant from Microsoft—knows exactly what the problem is, and what’s at stake. As he recently explained to the Financial Times:

“There are new patterns of communication and innovation taking place first in North America… That’s a shift from years before when the development of the mobile industry tended to start in Asia and move through Europe and then to North America. Now there’s fresh innovation in North America and it’s critically important for Nokia to be participating in that market.”

The innovation race is one that Nokia’s losing, badly. And the sad part is, there’s no indication that they’re about to claw out of the hole they’ve dug themselves. Reading Nokia’s official statements these last few months about the N8, the company sounds like a degenerate gambler just waiting for this one big score to get him back in the game. Every financial release cites its imminent release as the light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Here’s where it gets weird. If you’re a phone company, like Nokia, that can makes pretty good hardware but hasn’t got the first clue on software, you’ve got some options. You could keep throwing money at the problem, staunchly going it alone, hoping one day you’ll get it right. You could embrace, at least on a trial basis, a proven operating system like Android or a promising one like Windows Phone 7. Now this clearly shows that nokia is not one of those brands driven by user experience .Nokia could ditch or spin off the collapsing smartphone business altogether, and focus on the profitable business of mass-producing cheap candybars for low end markets.

What if the N8 had MeeGO

The Nokia-Intel rumors have been floating around all year, starting with the intertwining of their respective Maemo and Moblin platforms to create MeeGo. That move gave Nokia not one but two mobile operating systems in its portfolio, perfect for confusing the hell out of consumers (N900) (no matter how nice MeeGo looks):


The two companies are also teaming up to bring 3D interfaces to MeeGo devices, pouring millions of dollars into a new research facility and what amounts to a huge gamble on three or more product cycles from now. They may also be working on a chip together, because in for a penny in for a pound and all that.The problem, of course, is that an Intel and Nokia partnership feels suspiciously like the blind leading the blind. Intel hasn’t come anywhere close to cracking the mobile market, to the point that they’re left trying to buy their way in with acquisitions like Infineon. The two companies are matching size with size, sure, but also weakness with weakness.


The Goods

  • One of the best Cameras we have seen on a phone yet (Now don’t running comparing with your digital camer)
  • TV-out (720p video) via HDMI and composite
  • DivX/XviD/MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
  • Flash Lite v4.0
  • Dolby Digital Plus via HDMI
  • 16 GB internal storage
  • Multi-touch input method (it’s there, don’t expect it to perform like the iPhone)

The Bads

  • Resolution 360 x 640 pixels
  • Symbian^3 OS
  • No QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode and landscape keyboard also a little cramped
  • No HTML5 support
  • Processor not in par with the competition
  • Highly Overpriced, Overrated and hence very low value for money

TechGoggles View

Nokia could have done a lot with this phone and really had the opportunity to make it the industrial benchmarks. But some poor decisions like the choice of power unit in the phone and the OS it Uses makes this phone just a passerby who should be ignored till nokia pull up their socks….

The Nokia N8 is the best Nokia has to offer. A few years back thousands of people would take this to mean the best on the market. Things are not that simple today and Nokia has been learning it the hard way. But the company has been learning.

It’s been a long losing streak for Nokia in the game of touch phones. You can’t expect it to suddenly turn the game around and start beating the snot out of the competition.The Nokia N8 most certainly isn’t in contention there. And Symbian ^3 is not the best touchscreen experience you can get. And the Ovi store isn’t the best app market.

Symbian sucks on touchscreen – yeah, but there are some nice multimedia features. The web browser is not that good – yeah, but you get USB-on-the-go. There are better screens out there

So if not N8 then what?

iPhone 4 –


This phone is not available officially as of yet but this phone is due this diwali and you can still get it off ebay.

price – around INR 35,000

Samsung Galaxy S –


This phone as the best internal hardware among the android Community.

Price INR 27,000+

HTC desire –


This is one the best phones out there and the custom UI (sense UI) is the best there is.

Price INR 25,000+

Motorola Milestone –


If you really want a phone with Physicall Keyboard then this phone is the best.

Price INR 22,000+