It may have been leaked around the Web more than a Paris Hilton 'indiscretion', but Nokia has finally admitted the cat is out of the bad and formally announced the 'N8'.
What is most important about the N8 is it is Nokia's first Symbian ^3 handset and consequently comes packed to the rafters with a top notch tech spec.
Highlights include *take a deep breath* a 3.5in OLED 640 x 360 capacitive touchscreen, a 12MP autofocus camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash face recognition and 720p HD video recording, HDMI output (via a mini HDMI jack), 16GB of internal memory, HDMI, GPS, 802.11n WiFi, Adobe Flash Lite 4.0 integration, an FM radio and a microSD expansion slot. *And breathe*
As for Symbian^3, it brings multi-touch, an extensive graphical makeover, Cover Flow style media UI, multiple home screens with widget support, proper 3G/WiFi data switching and better performance and stability when running multiple apps.
At 113.5 x 59 x 12.9 mm the N8 is a little chunky, but with a 135g weight it is roughly the same as its main competitors (iPhone, HTC Desire/Nexus One, Palm Pre, etc). Less positively, early impressions of the N8 aren't great with accusations being laid that Symbian^3 is little more than a spit and polish with many common Nokia bugs and irritations remaining.
As always, we'll base our definitive judgement on our own experience with the handset and with a €370 (£320) RRP it will certainly be priced aggressively. Furthermore, with a Q3 release planned there's plenty of time for Nokia to get the N8 fine tuned. A truly competitive Nokia high-end handset has been lacking ever since the N95 (don't even mention the N97 *shudder*) so let's hope the N8 puts Nokia back in the game...