Home / News / Mobile Phone News / Nokia Unveils 12MP, Symbian^3, Multi-touch, HDMI Sporting N8

Nokia Unveils 12MP, Symbian^3, Multi-touch, HDMI Sporting N8

Gordon Kelly


Nokia Unveils 12MP, Symbian^3, Multi-touch, HDMI Sporting N8

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...


N8 Product Page

Martin Daler

April 27, 2010, 6:35 pm

"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"

you demean youselves by lending your bandwidth to such unsubstantiated and unattributed tittle-tattle. Whose 'early impressions'? Which 'many common Nokia bugs'? How do you know that you aren't simply grinding somebody's axe here?

I note your caveat that you will reserve your own judgement until you have tested it yourself. What purpose does it serve to repeat gossip in advance of that time?

Hamish Campbell

April 27, 2010, 6:40 pm

Dude, you're on an advert, shave the forearms!


April 27, 2010, 6:49 pm

@Martin - not tittle tattle so much as an actual hands-on preview with substantiated product shots: http://translate.google.com...

Don't worry Martin, we won't cast any judgement until we get one ourselves.


April 27, 2010, 7:02 pm

@Gordon: You mentioned HDMI twice :P.

I'm not quite sold on the case design. Very nice price though and the 12MP photo samples look nice. Symbian's always been fairly good at multitasking so not sure where that "stability" comment came from.

No love for the N86 as successor to the 95 then?

The one thing I found odd was the way the homescreens scroll - or rather, don't. The finger swipes, then the next screen appears, rather than dragging along.


April 27, 2010, 7:08 pm

@haim: ??? Who shaves their arms!?

Mark Horton

April 27, 2010, 7:32 pm

All looks and sounds very good. However it all comes down to how good that touch screen is! All so far which Nokia have thrown at us have been less than expectable.


April 27, 2010, 7:37 pm

@ Martin Daler - Having used an early preview of Symbian^3 I can attest to it. It feels like S60 with a new skin rather than a new OS. I think Symbian have gone the cheap way around and reused S60 rather than building a new OS ground up, maybe it was just the early preview build and Symbian will replace a lot of the older code with new stuff, but it felt like S60 to me. My criticisms of it are strikingly similar to S60 on touch, too complex, too many steps, extremely unintuitive, slow. The biggest issue though is the almost non-existant third party apps, this is a problem because there seems to be no help coming from Nokia or Symbian to encourage independents or one-band bands to develop. Apple and Google have made absolutely massive help available for the smaller people, coupled with the cheap licensing it gives us huge numbers of third party apps. Nokia are sitting back and hoping that everybody else will do the work for them, wel they won't, Symbian is going to be left appless apart from the major players like Adobe or Google.

I know I tried a very early preview, but it just feels like Symbian are stuck in the stone ages unable to think outside of the box like MS did for WM7 or Zune. You can't say that MS had a better starting point either, WM has long been the worst mobile OS and was awful for full touch screens. WM7 is, however, absolutely one of the best and both of these, S^3 and WM7, will be making their full debut in Q3, I know which one I'm going to put my money on being better...


April 27, 2010, 7:38 pm

Come on Nokia - stick Android on it instead and you'll have a killer of a handset.

Martin Daler

April 27, 2010, 8:12 pm

@Gordon, wow, I don't read Russian so had to rely on the machine translation of your source instead. The only references to bugs and such that I found seemed to imply that Symbian^3 had fixed some old Symbian bugs:

"Unfortunately, the description of the functionality of the new OS is to correct the mistakes made in the design of the first touch OS from Nokia."

"There is no breakthrough, the work on the bugs, improve the individual functions, planned development of the OS."

Not crystal clear, I grant you, but obviously solid enough to support a piece from Trusted Reviews.

So where did you pull the "accusations about many common Nokia bugs and irritations remaining" from? And come to that, whose assertion is the purported existance of "many common Nokia bugs" in the first instance, yours, or theirs? The words "many" and "common" in that context are not without importance, after all, especially from a respected site such as yours.

I love reading TR, but this was just shoddy.


April 27, 2010, 8:21 pm

@ Mark Horton.

Yeah and what makes me sceptical along that line is just how slowly each move on the touchscreen interface is being carried out, as if going any faster will expose it's sluggishness or inaccuracy.


April 27, 2010, 9:31 pm

@Martin Daler: Oh get off your high horse.

To quote that article: "No development that we see in Android, iPhone OS, other systems, the same Bada from Samsung. Exactly the same as it was before with the same sauce, but with little change in functionality. Brushed, washed, but not polished."

I'd say that's pretty clear.


April 27, 2010, 9:32 pm

The video is just full of fail I cant even begin to explain


April 27, 2010, 9:57 pm

Time to sell Nokia stock! I want the N900 in a slim aluminium form factor with OLED capacitive touch screen, decent camera and a powerful processor. How hard can that be for Nokia to deliver?


April 27, 2010, 11:03 pm

This is so wrong. My phone runs s60v5 and, for the most part, it is an excellent OS. People are so easily swayed by the utterly unimportant.

What on earth is the problem with swiping a finger sideways and being presented with a new screen, rather than seeing one glide out of the way to be replaced by the next?

And the lack of apps? Don't make me laugh/cry!

My phone does everything I want, brilliantly. I don't need light sabre effects or something to make my phone fart.

The hardware in this device together with the aspects of the OS that actually matter (assuming that it is built upon, and doesn't ruin, s60v5 = fantastic hardware support (and not tied to a defined specification), great telephony, huge codec flexibility, true multi tasking, flash support, superior networking, ability to sync with multiple computers and operating systems, efficient battery management, etc) put it far out of reach of all current smartphone devices.

I actually find it disturbing that people can write off a device like this simply because it doesn't have smooth enough screen transitions. Are we really such a shallow nation?

Tim Sutton

April 27, 2010, 11:28 pm


No. Lets knock this on the head right now. Hairy arms = manly. I refuse to start shaving my fore-arms. Don't give the internet ideas. Please just stop it.

If I was Nokia though, I wouldn't get a chubby bloke in a crumpled t-shirt to advertise my new phone. I'm not sure I believe the footage of the racing game either, screen taps don't seem to quite match what's happening on the track.

@Martin Daler: You do seem to be somewhat of a tool. I prescribe 14 hours sleep and a girlfriend, stat.


April 27, 2010, 11:52 pm

As a daily user of a Nokia touch phone I must admit my life is pretty painful mobility wise. I have never regretted a purchase as much as I have with this phone. I have to admit this is my first Nokia phone, so there are no easy points with me for familiarity. What I see in the videos above look exactly like the product video of the N97 before release.

And as for the multiple faults many can be mentioned: Errors commonly showing just as "General system error" without any explanation and repeating every two seconds rendering the handset useless. Running out of memory with more then two applications open. Sad touch keyboard implementation. Programs frequently stop working eg. Google maps suddenly won't connect to my network, mail client suddenly won't connect to mail servers, updates don't work but still exist on being installed every time you open the program, and I could go on.

It may just be a unique experience for me, and not general Nokia problems - but still.

I say, Symbian S60 - bin it! and start from scratch. I will never buy a Nokia phone again, but maybe they will scare away less customers that way.

Martin Daler

April 28, 2010, 12:24 am

@Ed I'm not on a high horse. It just seems that way from where you are standing.


April 28, 2010, 12:43 am

"The biggest issue though is the almost non-existant third party apps"

What? It'll run all the Symbian^1 apps in Ovi store so that's simply not true.

As for Eldar's opinions, Nokia have a nice counterpoint to that:


Seems like Eldar is still a bit peeved at having been bumped from Nokia's distribution list and is having a public moan about it.

"The video is just full of fail I cant even begin to explain"

I completely believe you're incapable of explaining it, Jack. :)

Anyway, I look forward to the review. After the nastiness that was the N97 this had better be an improvement although judging by my X6 - which is nice but suffers from Symbian^1's quirks - I strongly suspect it will be.


April 28, 2010, 12:49 am

Well I am happy with my HTC Desire. I don't think I going to need a phone that does 720p video recording and a 12 Mega pixel camera.....WHAT!!!!. Are Nokia taking the monkeys? My first thought is the battery life, which the N95 used to suffers with. Having said that somebody might come up with a new form of battery for a mobile phone. Maybe a solar powered phone that charges at least while your not using it-in UK's glorious whether.

I can see in future that new viruses will be come out and the battle of the virus no longer sits on your computer but will follow you all over the world. Good for new ideas in business were you can remote mobile someones mobile will they are being mobile in mobile location, hey that rimes.

Technology can only move in one direction ----> forward. I just hope we as human race will move forward with it rather than backwards with our view on who gets the biggest size of the cake.

dave doubledecks

April 28, 2010, 1:49 am

In the video they forgot to mention whether it had a 3.5mm headphone jack :(


April 28, 2010, 4:28 am

@Martin Daler - I made it perfectly clear, the article makes it perfectly clear, Ed makes this perfectly clear. You're being rather silly now, I'd suggest you stop.

@scamevoli - I think dismissing all apps as fart tools is being pretty superficial myself. Like it or not, whoever has the most plentiful app store will win and Nokia is playing a painfully slow losing game at present. Fingers crossed it can turn it around.

@dave_doubledecks - it has a 3.5mm headphone jack ;)

Hamish Campbell

April 28, 2010, 12:33 pm

You are of course quite right, that shaving arms is not particularly manly.

However, gorilla arms don't sell phones either.


April 28, 2010, 2:22 pm

@scamevoli: Um... was that directed at me? I'm not writing it off, I'm a bloomin' Nokia fanboy (3310,6610i,E71,N900,5230). Aaanyway, I just found the screen transition odd because they'd already done the slidy-slidy on the N900 and in the midst of an otherwise reworked, hardware-accelerated touch-friendly OS, it seemed out of place. I could definitely get used to it and wouldn't find it any problem at all. That's beside the point in any case, I'm not giving up my E71's hardware keyboard (and battery); yet!


April 28, 2010, 2:59 pm

Nokia is my choice for buying palm. But the board are too busy getting in to the surveillance business.


April 28, 2010, 4:32 pm

@Gordon, you're right, I'll take that, but my point, whilst made in a facile way, still stands - the over-prevalence of apps is highly over-rated - there are a few that are genuinely useful, but the majority offer at best 5 minutes of distraction. Those which are essentially condensed web clients or widgets are often appealing at first glance but turn out to limit the information you are fed, to the extent that you are not properly informed, or to provide little more than an advertising platform for the service provider. That said, I'll agree with you that Nokia/Symbian has its work cut out to convince those who share your view.

I suppose the more bashing that comes from tech journos like yourself, the harder all manufacturers will work to encourage "progress", but my fear is that "progress" is measured by the wrong criteria. I hate to see what has happened to Windows Mobile; it was a slightly clumsy but very powerful, flexible and customisable OS, now it looks like it has lost all of those attributes in favour of a slick UI. It's the 'dumbed down' and controlled Apple effect, and I don't like it.

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