Nokia N8 smartphone
Nokia N8 review: Nokia's N8 smartphone is an imaging and multimedia powerhouse, but its software is clunky and lacks polish compared to the iPhone, Google Android and even Windows Phone 7 smartphones
- 12-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and Xenon flash
- HDMI-port and USB On-The-Go
- Superb luminium design
- Sluggish performance
- Clunky UI and ultimately poor user experience
- Comparatively poor Web browsing experience
The Nokia N8 fails to deliver a satisfying smartphone experience. An excellent camera and great multimedia features aren't enough to excuse the N8's clunky software and frustrating user interface.
Price$ 749.00 (AUD)
The Symbian^3 OS offers a number of live widgets across the N8's three home screens, but widgets can't be resized. A handy contacts widget allows you to add your favourite contacts to the home screen, while the social-networking widget displays recent status updates from Facebook and Twitter. It should let you to update your Facebook and Twitter status from the home screen, but instead tapping on the widget simply opens the full client to update your status. Text is too small and can't be resized, the app is noticeably slower to load than clients on other smartphones, and the size restrictions imposed on widgets means that tapping the up and down arrow buttons to read status updates is awkward. Some of the N8's widgets have an Australian flavour, such as the News.com.au, SMH and Coastal Watch widgets, but they offer nothing we haven't seen on other smartphones.
The Symbian^3 OS on the Nokia N8 has three home screens that can be customised with live widgets.
Extra widgets can be downloaded from Nokia's Ovi Store. Though the Ovi Store has steadily improved since its release, it has far less apps than its competitors (about 13,000); there is still no official Symbian app for Twitter, eBay, PayPal or Dropbox (to name just a few). There is also a distinct lack of apps that have a 'wow' factor, such as 3D games, and the store itself isn't as easy to use as its competitors. Strangely, the Ovi Store isn't preloaded on the Nokia N8 — tapping the shortcut directs you to download and install the app.
It's not all bad news: the preloaded Ovi Maps application includes a lifetime, free subscription to full turn-by-turn navigation, which is a nice feature considering you have to pay up to $100 for the same service on the iPhone and other smartphones. The upgraded music player is slicker than ever and displays albums in a similar "cover flow" style to the iPhone. The N8 handles multimedia better than a lot of smartphones we've tested, with sound quality a particular highlight, along with the range of file formats supported. But the entire user experience of the Nokia N8 ultimately leaves a sour taste in your mouth. The N8 is packed to brim with features and has the best camera we've ever seen on a smartphone, but this isn't enough to compete with slick and easy-to-use competitors. And that is truly a shame.
The Nokia N8 is available through all Australian carriers (Telstra, Optus and VHA) but is also sold through online store MobiCity.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Google releases Android 7.1.1 images for Pixel and Nexus devices
- Lenovo promises 12 new Moto Mod add-ons per year
- The Samsung Galaxy Note7's extreme thinness may be behind battery explosions
- Random iPhone 6s shutdowns due to faulty battery component, Apple says
- What happens when you send a text message to a landline telephone?
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTJava DeveloperSA
- CCUnix Developers - multipleACT
- CCExecutive AssistantVIC
- CCSolutions Designer/Architect- ServiceNowVIC
- CCTest EngineerQLD
- FTFront End DeveloperVIC
- TPProject Manager - Documentation RebrandQLD
- FT2 x Firewall Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCWeb AnalystNSW
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- FTService Lifecycle RepresentativeQLD
- FTSenior Architect, Financial MarketsNSW
- FT2nd Line Engineer - CitrixVIC
- CCPerformance Test AnalystACT
- FTSenior Financial Planner - GeelongVIC
- CCDevOps EngineerWA
- FTSAP BW ConsultantACT
- CCIAM Technical Specialist/ConsultantWA
- CCApplication Blueprinting Engineer ( Developer).ACT
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTSecurity Delivery Manager l Security, Governance, Delivery & OperationNSW
- CCAdobe AEM DeveloperVIC
- FTInfrastructure ConsultantQLD
- CCAutomation TesterNSW