Nokia N8 Smartphone – Personal Review

As we know, I love to try out different phones or gadgets or applications and I will give my honest view, in the simplest terms for people to understand.  This time I’ve been lucky enough to trial a Nokia N8 Smartphone, thanks to Womworld/nokia.

From opening the box…….  

The N8 is extremely pleasing to the eye, its sleek, slender style and the courageous metalic green colour gave me visions of a Porsche or a Ferrari racing car racing around a track. A truly beautiful design.  It felt good in my hand, a comfortable size and it doesn’t have a plastic feel to it as some phones do. This phone feels light and floaty whilst also feeling strong and sturdy. Astounding quality.
  • ·                       Size: 113.5 x 59 x 12.9 mm
  • ·                       Weight (with battery): 135 g
  • ·                       Volume: 86 cc

Fabulous, I loved the look and feel of the N8

There were however two small things I didn’t like about the design,

The flaps at the side covering the slots for the microSDcard and the SIM card: I found them difficult to use and they don’t look like they would take much pulling around before they came off. Also it was tricky to get the cards in and out, how you’d manage without nails, I’m not sure.
 I also noticed that when I typed or pressed on the screen while using an app there was a vibration of the screen moving in the casing, maybe this was misuse from a previous tester, I’ve not heard of it this problem before.
Its not as easy to set up as some mobile phones I’ve used.  I was stupidly struggling with the T9 keyboard  due to my impatience to get going with it and I didn’t realise until someone mentioned that if you turn it landscape you get a lovely qwerty keyboard.  I never learn to just read the instruction booklet first!  Having to turn the N8 to Landscape every time I needed to type was a bit of a pain to be honest, maybe I’m just fussy.

Then I had the problem where I couldn’t connect to the gateway – which I wrote about at the time. Finally finding out it was the simple fix of just setting the date.
Once that was all sorted, I could get on with playing around with it.
There  have been countless blogs, pictures and articles on the web about how brilliant the camera is on this phone. Head over to James Burland’s site Nokia Creative to see these amazing N8 photographs .   I agree the specs on the camera are great for a phone. Even though as I’ve mentioned before I didn’t get fantastic photo’s from it as I expected, that’s just me. I seem to fair better with a standard Camera.
What would you expect with these specs of the N8 Camera.
  • ·                12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics
  • ·                       Large 1/1.83″ optical format image sensor
  • ·                       Fullscreen 16:9 viewfinder with easy-to-use touch screen parameters
  • ·                       Xenon flash with automatic red-eye removal
  • ·                       Face tracking/detection software
  • ·                       Autofocus
  • ·                       Focal length: 5.9 mm (equivalent to 28mm in 35mm film format)
  • ·                       F number/Aperture: F2.8
  • ·                       Still images file format: JPEG/EXIF
  • ·                       Zoom up to 2x (digital) for still images
  • ·                       Zoom up to 3x (digital) for video
  • ·                       Secondary camera for video calls (QVGA, 640 x 480 pixels), still image       and video capture
  • ·                       Favourite settings feature
  • ·                       Still camera manual controls for white balance, scene mode, exposure compensation, colour tone, viewfinder framing      grid, sharpness, contrast, flash control, light sensitivity (ISO), self-timer, face detection

The screen size is good, its big enough for most things, and the picture and colours are sharp, bright and clear. I was surprised at this because reports had said that pixels are much less that other Smartphones. Even though the N8’s touchscreen is more responsive than the N900 that I trialled  I still found that I had to press harder than I wanted to get a response.  Something you get used to I’d imagine, as I have with my Android Tablet.
I know a lot of people that are extremely happy with the Symbian^3 operating system and others that aren’t so.  My own personal experience of it was that it was extremely clunky and sluggish and I found the whole menu system complicated and difficult to navigate. There doesn’t seem much point as this time to say any more than that. 

It is difficult in two weeks to try out all of the applications and features of the N8 but I did love the music library – and the sound that came from the N8 was brilliant using the BH 905i   Nokia headphones.  
I did not want to focus on the partnership with Microsoft and Nokia, 
1) This isn’t a blog about that  
2) I do not completely know the background and politics involved and 
3) Of course we are all concerned about peoples jobs. 

However I can’t help being excited  to see what Nokia’s fabulous hardware like the standard of the N8 would be like a with a different OS, such as Windows Phone.  I’ve not used WP7 but it sounds like there are updates and new features that might challenge Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android mobile phones in the future. 

To Summarize briefly – Outstanding Hardware – Software would take some getting used to. 
Photo’s taken with the iPhone 3gs!

Best Camera N8 or iphone? Who Cares.

There has been a lot of controversy this weekend about which mobile phone has a better camera , or more importantly takes better photographs, namely the Nokia N8 and the Apple iphone. Although its not just now, comparing camera’s on camera phones is always going on, I don’t get it!
If you want a high quality photograph, buy a camera!
As an almost average user, I believe a camera on a mobile phone is just a wonderful added extra, its useful to have if you want to take a shot of where you are to send to your friends or a shot of something funny to post on to Twitter or Facebook.  Those photos do not have to be perfect, those photos just need to be seen.  
I have an iphone and I personally cannot get very good pictures out of it, I’m not that fussed.  I know some people that take brilliant shots using the iphone, I don’t know if they use app’s or Photoshop to make them better but if I want to post something to twitter, its just ready, shoot and send, I’m not concerned enough to mess around making it look better. Its just a snapshot.
Most of this is just about the user, knowing how to get the best out of any camera. Different people get different results with the same camera. 
Lighting hinders my shots, I was trying to get a good shot of a van that someone wants me to draw and the lighting wasn’t right. I took these three pictures with the same phone, in the same place, within 5mins of each other, and look at the difference just because of the lighting.  (These weren’t shopped at all just resized.) So those shots we’ve seen recently comparing camera phones could be affected by light anyway. 
I’m not a photographer, I’m just a happy snapper and sometimes if I do capture a good shot I am pleased and will post it as a good shot here.  I don’t think we should expect the camera phone to take exceedingly high-quality photographs.  I can’t see photographers ever saying “Oh I’ve got my phone that will do to take shots of this wedding.”
Surely if you want to take lots of great photographs of an outing, a holiday or an event you will take a proper camera.
Yes!  It is useful and convenient to have a camera on a mobile phone, as its always there with you, I couldn’t do without it now, I’m not saying I couldn’t. Even though the shots I achieve aren’t great, I’m seriously not that fussed that the megapixels or accuracy, sharpness or colour to be any greater.  (The days are gone when you had really bad, grainy, blurry shots)  I do get an accurate representation of the item photographed which is what I need. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t buy another phone just because it has a slightly superior camera. I would rather purchase a decent camera. 
Is it that important? What do you think?  A lot of fuss over nothing it seems to me.