The Media Guru

May 20, 2010



The first Symbian^3 device has finally been unveiled - the Nokia N8. A flagship with a monster camera.


Got an N8 for review. Here are the posts:



Let me get straight to the point - the main reason why you'd want to buy the N8 is because of its 12MP camera.
"Ah, 12 megapixels on a cameraphone? Picture quality should suck!"
Wrong. Because the N8 doesn't only have more megapixels, but also a much larger camera sensor - 1/1.83”. This is 35% bigger than most compact cameras. My own Nikon L20 has a 1/2.33” sensor. 
The N8 has a proper Xenon flash with a red LED for autofocus assist. No more bluish night photos limited to a range of 1m!


The N8 has a focal length of 5.4mm (a 28mm equivalent wide-angle lens) & a mechanical shutter (compact cameras have electronic shutters). 
However, just like about everything else, the N8 isn't perfect. The camera lacks the variable aperture of the N86 8MP. :(
In intense lighting conditions, this fixed aperture can cause problems – although Nokia have partly solved this by adding a neutral density filter that slides in bright conditions.
Here are some sample photos:

n8 picture sample




Photos in bright light exceed expectations, better than a compact camera. But the best one is the night shot – EPIC!  



If you're going to put a 12MP camera on a phone, it should better have enough power to quickly process the data. Fortunately, Nokia didn't do the same mistake as with the N97.
The N8 comes with a 680Mhz CPU, 256MB of RAM, 512MB of internal memory & a graphics chip. It is this powerful graphics chip that allows it to record 720p video & playback 720p video over the HDMI port (above).
Compared with HTC & Apple with their 1Ghz smartphones, the 680Mhz ARM11 looks quite tame. However, raw CPU performance isn’t the only factor in overall device performance - it also depends on the efficiency & resource usage of the OS. That’s one area where Symbian^3 is well ahead of other OSes.


Internal flash memory is surprisingly not 32GB, but 16GB with a microSD slot.


It was a space constraint coupled with a unibody design that caused the removal of such features, including that of a camera cover. With the large camera sensor, Nokia were also forced to make the battery non-removable to fit in the design. But rest assured, the battery can be removed by unscrewing the 2 side torx screws.


Battery life should last more than a day with the energy efficient OLED screen & most of the graphics rendering being handled by a graphics chip instead of the CPU.

n8 connected to usb otg

The N8 comes with one awesome feature that was already available on the N810 – USB On-The-Go. It allows USB devices to be connected directly to the N8 - flash drives, card readers, cameras & even hard disks (if >200mA requires external power).


There are some drawbacks – the video camera has two mikes, but the phone itself has 1 mono speaker. & the design is not exactly appealing – it looks more like the phone has been fitted with an outer anodised aluminium casing. While the other buttons are ok, the menu button seems to be a bit smallish to my taste.


S60v5 vs Symbian^3


Symbian^3 features a revamped UI & thanks to its open-sourcing, the Symbian core features better multi-tasking with improved memory management (writeable demand paging). More processing power, more memory & a graphics chip should mean a faster OS & more iPhone-like bling-bling. (Above true pop-up menus.)

Let's compare the recently-reviewed N97 Symbian^1 with the N8. I really liked it that Nokia showed hands-on demo videos of the N8. It shows the actual performance & look of the OS.

The Home screen


I wanted multiple home screens & I got it - the N8 has 3 home screens, all to be filled up with widgets.
Live wallpapers - thanks Android!


The Menu


You can't believe how glad I am that they've finally scrapped those ugly space-wasting buttons for the more consistent buttons found at the bottom.




N900-styled multitasking. :)


Threaded Messaging


Support for animated emoticons & threaded messaging according to




The right-sided menu hasn’t totally disappeared…




New editing features & a much much better looking interface.


Video Playback


The N8 has native support for mkv! Still no xvid support, but I don't really care - 75% of my movies are in x264 mkv. Now, I hope they didn't make the same mess as in the N97 - no mp3/ac3 audio support in videos. Above photos show the new Video Editor & a new feature called Web TV.


Music Player


With Cover Flow Media Wall… ;)




Thanks to the graphics chip, all i8910 Omnia HD games can be played on the N8.


The Keyboard


I was getting warmed up to the N8 until I saw this... Nokia still has some work to do with Symbian^3. :|


Full Specs
- Size: 113.5 x 59 x 12.9 mm
- Weight (with battery): 135 g
- Casing: anodized aluminium in silver white, dark grey, orange, blue, green
- Screen: 3.5" capacitive touch screen
- Resolution: 16:9 nHD (640 x 360 pixels) 24 bit AMOLED

- CPU: 680Mhz ARM 11
- GPU: Broadcom BCM2727 (IVE3) with OpenGL-ES 2.0 (32M polygons/s)
- RAM: 256MB
- Internal memory: 512MB - 135MB available to user.
- Mass storage: 16GB
- MicroSD slot up to 32GB

- GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
- HSDPA (3.5G): 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
- Wifi: WLAN IEEE802.11 b/g/n
- USB: microUSB 2.0 with USB On-The-Go
- Bluetooth: 3.0
- HDMI Tv-out with Dolby Digital Plus audio
- 3.5mm AV out
- A-GPS, FM transmitter, accelerometer, magnetometer, proximity sensor

- Battery: BL-4D 1200 mAh Li-Ion internal battery
- Talk time: GSM 12 h / WCDMA 5.8 h
- Standby time: GSM 17 days / WCDMA 16 days
- Video playback: 7 h (H.264 720p, 30fps, HDMI to TV)
- Video recording: 3.3 h (H.264 720p, 25fps)
- Music playback: 50 h (16GB, offline mode)
- WLAN browsing: 9h

- Resolution: 4000 x 3000
- CMOS Sensor: 12.0 Megapixel
- Sensor size: 1/1.83”
- ISO range: 100 - 1200
- Digital Zoom: 2 x
- Focal length: 5.4mm (28mm equivalent)
- F-Stop/Aperture: f/2.8
- Focus range: 10 cm to infinity
- Image Formats: JPEG/Exif
- Features: Auto Exposure, Auto Focus, Carl Zeiss Optics, Face Recognition, Exposure Compensation, Full Screen Viewfinder, Geotagging, Red-Eye Reduction, Self Timer, Xenon Flash

- Video camera: HD 720p capture at 25 fps with codecs H.264, MPEG-4 & stereo audio recording
- Video playback: HD 720p on HD TV through HDMI cable
- Secondary camera: VGA  (640 x 480)



orange nokia n8 front

The N8 is a massive improvement over the N97 & with Symbian^3, the UI seems to be almost near completion. Combined with a competitive price of €370/$500 (before taxes), I expect the N8 to establish itself as the best cameraphone on the market. More importantly, the legendary N82 can finally rest in peace, it now has a worthy successor...
Can’t wait to get my hands on the N8… (Hint! Hint! @WOMWorldNokia) :D

Related links:
- AAS - Nokia N8 - content creation and consumption on Symbian^3
- AAS - The making of the Nokia N8's camera
- AAS - The Nokia N8: Imaging champion with a five year legacy
- AAS - Nokia N8 image and video samples
- AAS - What does the internet think of the Nokia N8?
- Nokia Conversations Blog - First 12-megapixel sample photos shot on Nokia N8 – untouched!
- Nokia Conversations Blog - Nokia N8 and its HD video smarts
- Nokia Conversations Blog - Nokia N8 revolutionises cameraphones
- Wikipedia - Nokia N8
- Exclusive first-hand experience of Nokia N8, Symbian^3 improvements – link
- Hands-on with multimedia monster Nokia N8 – link

Update 1:

The N8 has support for both Bluetooth keyboards & mouse! :)

Update 2:

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Comments 7 comments
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Bruno said...

:S This will be way too expensive for me :S

Chaya said...

Carrot won't be able to use the qwerty keyboard :P

Anonymous said...

hii!!..thnx for the comment!..i actually used photomerge in cs4!!..think it's auto stitch!!


Nice phone the Nokia N8 with the reasonable price I think Nokia N8 will be launched in India in 4th quarter. Because its officially launching in 3rd quarter. checkout my review for Nokia N8 .


Nokia N8 is the good phone with reasonable price not to much. Its 12 MP camera ia amazing in its way. and also who can forget that its first symbian 3 device checkout my blog for INTRDUCTION TO NOKIA N8

Anonymous said...

this is all i have ever asked for in a phone i must have one hip hip hooray to nokia for once again coming top of the class..

Ced Saintas Chuck-Bass said...

What's the name of this car-game??

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