The Nokia N8

I was initially going to reply ArtemisSoh’s question on my experience with the N8 compared to the X6 in the comments section… then I figured it was going to be a pretty lengthy answer and since I haven’t done an initial review of the N8, I might as well just do a two-in-one here.

First, my experience with the X6.  Having used the X6 for 11 months, what I liked about it was:

– Good music sound quality.

– Vast memory (32GB – even with my full MP3 collection loaded, I only used 20GB of memory).

– Good camera (my colleagues would attest that on more than 1 occasion, when taking photos in dark pubs, only the X6 could capture visible photos!)

– I do mainly 4 things online – tweet, blog, surf, watch dramas, of which I could tweet, blog and surf on the X6 so I could go for weeks without switching on my laptop (which was dying anyway).

– Clear call quality (the speakerphone’s pretty impressive.  I don’t usually use a earpiece when driving and if a call comes in, I’ll just use the loudspeaker to answer and it never once failed me).

– Sensitive touch screen (the capacitive screen was great.  Huge improvement over the N97’s resistive screen which pretty much resisted my testing!!)

– Ovi Maps is AMAZING.  I use it on a regular basis and I’m pretty confident it’s the best GPS software you can get in any handphone (ok, maybe the Garmin ones are better, I haven’t tested but apart from that, YES.  Ovi Maps reigns!)

What I felt was lacking in the X6 was:

– Slow bootup (I guess using 20GB out of the 32GB had something to do with it but if Nokia gives 32GB of space, then it’s only reasonable to assume people WILL use it right?)

– Accelerometer bug (my accelerometer would die after a week or so and I had to reboot the phone, sometimes more than once, in order to get it to work again.  This REALLY annoyed me).

– LED flash (I was using the N82 which has a Xenon flash before this  so while the double LED flash were powerful, I didn’t like the whitish effect).

– Running out of memory space (yeap, opening up more than 3-4 programmes would result in an error prompt saying that the device was out of memory space and even though some of the apps would automatically close, to truly“free up” the memory, I had to reboot the hp, which brings me back to problem #1.)

Overall, I think the X6 was an acceptable phone but not spectacular – it was held back by its hardware limitations (as in processor speed & RAM).  In addition, the small screen size made it tiring to read lengthy articles on the Internet, but I guess it’s not fair to complain about that since this is an obvious fact to anyone prior to buying the phone.

Today marks exactly 3 weeks since I got my N8 (got it on 3 Nov, brought it to Jpn on 4 Nov, came back on 17 Nov).  What I’ve observed so far:

– The camera is FREAKING GOOD!  Check out these shots of the Imperial Palace & Ginza in Tokyo taken with the N8.  I’m really happy with the camera!

 11112010138 11112010153

The camera also allows you to save 1 “User Defined” setting, of which you can choose for it to always start in that setting.  I’ve set mine to Night mode because I usually do not want the flash to fire.  In addition, the N8 comes with a Xenon flash so the “whitish effect” is minimised.

– The photo editor on the N8 is pretty good too.  Haven’t tried the video editor though.

– The OS is more stable than the X6’s.  I haven’t experienced any running out of memory space yet.  Though I haven’t purposely push the phone to the max to see how many opened apps it takes for it to become unstable, running 3-5 apps at the same time has not posed any issue thus far.  (The apps I usually run concurrently are Twitter, Web browser, Camera, Photos).

– I also like how holding down the Menu button will show thumbnails of all the apps that are open, and the status of these apps.  To close an app, just click on the “x” at the corner of the thumbnail.  This was first seen in the N900 and is a huge improvement over the X6 where you have to enter each app individually in order to close the app.

– I’m not sure if this is a result of the better processor & higher RAM in the N8 but selecting ringtones is really fast on the N8.  In the X6, whenever I want to change my ringtone (which happens on a regular basis), opening up all my MP3s and eventually setting one of the songs as a ringtone can take up to a minute!  Doing the same action on the N8 brings almost instantaneous results so while this isn’t something that critical, I’m happy nonetheless.

– No problems with the accelerometer so far.

– Boots up in reasonable time.

– Comes with Acrobat viewer, Quickoffice (can view documents but cannot edit unless you upgrade to the paid version) & Zip manager.

– Has multi-touch so zooming in/out of photos & web pages are easier (not a big deal for me but seems like a big deal for some people).

– I’m now testing Whatsapp on the N8.  As Whatsapp results in the 3G running all the time, I was a bit concerned with battery life, however, even with heavy usage (taking pictures, having Gravity on for 2-3 hours, a few check-ins on Foursquare, a few short phone calls and a few SMSes), I only need to charge the N8 once every 24 hours, which is acceptable to me since I charge it when I’m sleeping overnight anyway.

I do hope that available apps for the N8 will increase quickly as it’s rolled out in more countries.

Okie… late.  That’s my take on the N8 so far.  Smile

3 Responses to “The Nokia N8”

  1. 1 ArtemisSoh


    🙂 Thanks for the comprehensive review.

    😛 Not sure if my “bad luck” had anything to do with it but with 1 month of purchasing my X6 I had to bring it to the care centre as it would not boot up (died at the Nokia screen). Despite doing the hard reset (I googled it), the phone continued with this problem after I opened up more than 3 apps (music, msn, gmail, whatever game I wanted to play with). So for a month, it was totally unusable for me.

    After reading your review, I feel more confident that the N8 would not be like that. My husband is psychoing me to get a Windows 7 phone though. But I would greatly moan the loss of my Ovi Maps (I am a BIG road idiot).

    1 more thing to ask (hope you will bear with me) and this is 1 of the most important imho: how’s the call quality?

  2. 2 uptowngal

    call quality’s ok for me so far. Pretty clear even when I’m outdoors (e.g. Taking a call when I’m out for lunch).

  3. 3 ArtemisSoh

    🙂 thanks good to know that.

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November 2010