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)
So where do we start with our Nokia N8 review? Nokia, one of the world's largest mobile phone manufacturers, has been doing it tough in recent years. Despite Symbian being the world's most popular mobile operating system, the company has struggled to produce a high-end smartphone to rival Apple's iPhone and handsets that run Google's Android platform. The N8 smartphone is Nokia's latest attempt at dethroning the new kids on the block and it has a clear multimedia focus; its 12-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and a Xenon flash is without doubt the best in the game, it records 720p HD video, it has an HDMI port so you can watch high quality footage through a television, and it also supports Dolby Digital sound. Unfortunately, the Nokia N8 suffers from software that isn't as intuitive or easy to use as competitors' offerings, making it a tough sell in an incredibly cut-throat market.
Check out our Nokia N8 vs. iPhone 4 smartphone showdown.
More information on the Nokia N8 price.
Nokia N8 review: Design and hardware
Along with its camera and multimedia capabilities, the Nokia N8's physical design is one of its best features. The aluminium body feels excellent in your hand and build quality feels superb. We particularly like the small but classy touches, like the raised screen bezel, and the curved edges; all make the N8 much more comfortable to hold than Apple's iPhone 4. Nokia fans, however, will be disappointed with the lack of removable battery — like the iPhone, the N8's battery is built into the phone and can't be removed. The Nokia N8 is available in five colours including orange, green, black, silver and blue, but the blue and green versions are not available in Australia at this stage.
The Nokia N8's display is also much improved compared to previous Nokia smartphones. At 3.5in it is the same size as the iPhone 4's. While it may lack the vibrant colours and higher resolution of the iPhone, the N8's capacitive touchscreen is responsive and possesses excellent viewing angles. Its performance in sunlight is also quite good, though the resolution of the display is lower than the screens on many competing smartphones, so smaller text is often difficult to read.
If the Nokia N8 was judged on its hardware specifications alone, it would be a clear market leader. In addition to the afore-mentioned 12-megapixel camera (the performance which we will detail in a separate imaging review), the N8 boasts an HDMI output, Dolby Digital sound, an excellent external speaker, an FM transmitter and USB On-The-Go, which allows the connection of USB flash drives. A mini-HDMI-to-HDMI adapter included in the sales package allows the N8 to be plugged directly into the latest high-definition televisions, and multimedia quality (both audio and video) is excellent. The USB On-The-Go feature is also very handy. We connected a flash drive with a range of audio, image and video files — including a 50 minute DivX file — and all of them played directly off the USB device with no issues.
The Nokia N8 smartphone has an impressive 12-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. It also features a Xenon flash, and records 720p HD video.
Nokia N8: Software
The Nokia N8 is the first smartphone to run the Symbian^3 mobile operating system. Symbian^3 improves on its predecessor in many respects and the N8 is smoother, faster and easier to use than devices like the Nokia N97 mini. But the N8's interface still looks inferior to most of its competition and is clunky to use compared to the iPhone and Android phones. Performance is sluggish, especially when you have a few apps open simultaneously. Multitouch zooming, particularly on maps and in the browser, isn't as slick as competitors. Swiping through home screens results in a noticeable delay and transitions between menus aren't smooth. The included Web browser takes longer to load and renders pages poorly in comparison to the competition. It does display Flash, and there are a few nice touches, such as browser history shown as separate thumbnails. But text doesn't automatically fit the screen when zoomed and basic tasks like refreshing the page take way too many touches on the screen.
The Nokia N8's hardware and build quality are impressive; the smartphone fits nicely in the hand and has a smooth, well constructed, aluminium finish.
Despite Symbian^3 being a clear improvement over its predecessors, it's still evident the OS just hasn't been designed with a touchscreen in mind. A perfect example is the on-screen keyboard; there is no QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode. Instead, the N8 has a numeric keypad with T9 predictive text input. You do get a full QWERTY keyboard if you rotate the phone to landscape mode, but the keys are fairly small and there are no intuitive, context-sensitive buttons like .com. Symbian^3 also brings up a new screen when you have to enter text, meaning you can't see any messages you are replying to as you are typing.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Toys for Boys
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 TCL X2 review: QLED escapes the premium market
- 2 Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- 3 Acer Spin 5 review: Value for money but conditions apply
- 4 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 5 Sony LF-S50G review: Google Assistant and then some
Latest News Articles
- Nokia 1 Release Date, Price & Specification Rumours
- Android 9.0 Release Date Rumours: When is Android P coming out?
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- Sony Xperia XA2 to be Available in Australia
- CES 2018: Alcatel Embrace 18:9 Aspect Ratio In 2018
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- JBL Link 10 review
- Amazon Alexa and Echo set for Febuary launch
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSenior Rail Project Manager, Fleet TransformationOther
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCLead Pega Systems ArchitectACT
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior AEM ConsultantACT
- TPInside Sales Process Improvement AnalystNSW
- FTLead Business AnalystOther
- TPProcurement ManagerACT
- FTBusiness Analyst - TableauOther
- FTEmail Production SpecialistOther
- FTProject Manager - NSW Health exp essentialOther
- FTMainframe DevelopersOther
- FTPHP Developer (Codeigniter / Cake)NSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperWA
- CCNetwork Engineer (Juniper)VIC
- CCIT Service Desk Specialist - BrisbaneVIC
- TPChange AnalystVIC
- FTDevOps Engineer, Continuous Delivery, Cloud AutomationOther
- FTSiebel Project Manager - Immediate StartACT
- CCCall Centre Operator /AdministratorNSW
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- TPSystems ArchitectNSW
- CCIT Service Desk Specialist - BrisbaneNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst (Engineer) Mining SystemsOther