Nokia N8 Review Week – The Wrap Up

When we set out to write the Nokia N8 review on FoneArena, we wanted to bring you a diverse, all-encompassing, balanced opinion of the first Symbian^3 device and the long time coming imaging flagship from the Finnish manufacturer. We were lucky to have had review units sent to many of our team members and that’s how, all throughout last week, we took you through a full Nokia N8 review from 6 different writers, each one discussing a certain aspect of it.Our team members in India, USA, UK , Europe and Middle-East contributed to this review.

We all hope you enjoyed the way we handled this review and plan to bring you more of the same in the future. I will be wrapping it up today and sharing some pros and cons, based on our previous coverage of the device, so that you can decide for yourself.

The N8 is a great device in terms of hardware and looks. I have been been carrying a green N8 for a while and many strangers have come up to me and asked “what phone is that?”. If you have used the Nokia N82, which was the first camera phone to come with a Xenon Flash, you will certainly appreciate the N8, especially since it also adds a 12 MP Sensor. Although the Camera is one of the best in its class, it does not come with a lens cover like the N82 or N86, which exposes it to fingerprints and dust. The 2 stage shutter button is actually nice to use. Face detection as well as high-definition video recorded at 25fps are welcome, however, Smile Detection and 30fps videos would have made it perfect.

Symbian^3 is much better than S60 5th Edition, but it’s certainly lagging behind the competition. In short, the N8 has overwhelming hardware and underwhelming software. The Ovi Store, Email, Social have improved but still need some major updates to make their experience enjoyable. The N8 and Symbian^3 have brought many new options in terms of connectivity, but they are still scattered and bring the experience down instead of tuning it up.

I have been an Eseries user for a while and really love the call and hang up buttons present in most Nokia phones. It’s really frustrating to see these missing on the N8 as even the C7 has them. Also, typing on the N8, especially using T9 is not the easiest thing in the world. The landscape mode, even though not perfect, is a lot better.


  • Excellent hardware which can surely withstand accidental drops
  • Pentaband 3G and Quad Band GSM for the Globe Trotter
  • Decent Call quality
  • One of the best Cameraphones in the market
  • Above average multimedia performance
  • DivX and Xvid support
  • USB OTG and HDMI support
  • Decent battery life
  • Ovi Maps with Free Lifetime navigation.


  • Hardware is great but call and hangup buttons are missing
  • Symbian^3 is better but still not very user friendly
  • Videos are recorded only in 25fps while many phones in the market record at 30fps
  • Portrait QWERTY keyboard input is sorely missing
  • Browser needs upgrade badly (it should be coming in 2011)
  • Battery is not removable by users
  • Connectivity management is a mess.

So there you have it. Is the Nokia N8 perfect, like we once proclaimed here on FoneArena? The more we use this device, the more we notice new things to love and new things to hate about it. It may not be perfect in the absolute sense of the word, but it’s a welcome come back from Nokia, a nice change from the publicly trashed N97 and its derivatives, and the camera will keep baffling us day in and day out. With future firmware updates, the N8 is only set to get better with time, and it’s unlikely we will see any handset on the market soon that challenges its build quality, multimedia features and camera performance. So if that’s what you’re looking for, go ahead, get the N8 without pondering the question, if not, hold on, there are new devices coming every day, and your perfect choice might be there.

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Author: Varun Krish

Varun Krish is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast and has been blogging about mobile phones since 2005. His current phones include the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge , Apple iPhone 6S Plus & Nexus 5X. You can follow him on Twitter @varunkrish and on Google+ You can also mail Varun Krish

  • aryan

    “One of the best Camera-phones in the market” OH come on Varun i have N8 (still waiting for Hype phone 4) and takes fabulous photo even though it not the full finished firmware and is to be bettered with next updates as Nokia has history problem doing that but with hyperx modification N8 just rocks though it is sad that i will be selling it because of S^3 which really sucks

  • Karan Sharma

    Hi Guys …
    I appreciate your work here ..its a great review and gives a good idea to the buyer if he should buy it or not . “The hardware is great on Nokia N8 but the software is not up to the marks ” is the most common sentence seen in any review on any site .
    So could you tell me if Nokia N8 gonna get Meego as an Firmware update …
    THANKS !!!!

    • Michael Hell

      Hi Karan, thanks for the comment!

      The Nokia N8 will not get Meego, it will stay on Symbian. It will however get the Updates that will come with Symbian^4

    • rumad4it

      People who think Meego is going to save Nokia have a day of truth in their future. I have used Meego and I will NOT be using a Meego device until someone greatly improves Meego. The only people who want Meego on their devices are people who have never used or even seen Meego.

  • aryan

    no way Karan MeeGo needs raw power which can only handled by dual core
    ARM,INTEL or Even now confirmed AMD, Intel’s oldest and boldest nemesis, has added its name to the list of companies actively supporting the development of the platform — which got its start as a joint project between Intel and Nokia — and has pledged the contribution of its “engineering expertise” to the further advancement of the open source OS. In simpler terms, AMD must be aware of the great potential of MeeGo and is seeking not to be left behind so wait for N9 Buddy

  • Kumar

    I was once a die hard nokia fan, used to fight with friends regarding the options given by nokia. I feel that i have grown older but nokia is still stuck back, they need to grow in terms of software.

    Yes nokia as always led the hardware market with new varieties, but as said need to improve in terms of the software.

    Just look at apple, when their 1st gen iPhone came out it even lacked some of the very basic functionality but look at the current market every damn person needs an iPhone and its multi touch capabilities.

  • RAJ

    hii frnds..
    I am in a mood to take a new cell phone of nokia and my budget is rs.7000. So please suuggeas me some good mobiles.

    and hwz NOKIA X2 should i go for it?

    or u will suggest some other phones or some other brands rather than nokia?
    pls rply as soon as possible.


    ONE: N8 does not have TV capability – with 3G in India it is important.
    TWO: Battery life much shorter than claimed by NOKIA.
    THREE: Maps don’t work where operator signal is not available and OVI maps very poor inadequate and difficult to manage.
    FOUR: Phone too complicated to be easily operable.

    • Michael Hell

      I can’t comment on 1)
      2) those times are usually under absolutely perfect conditions, and of course will slightly differ from the numbers on the website. however, i found the N8 battery life very good.
      3) I found Maps to be great, no matter which device. Difficult to manage? not really
      4) true, updates are needed desperately imo

  • chris

    FOR SALE:Nokia N8 Quadband 3G HSDPA GPS Unlocked Phone (SIM Free)

    Nokia N8, the latest smartphone that intuitively connects to the people, places and services that matter most. The N8 enables people to create compelling content, connect to their favourite social networks and enjoy the latest on-demand Web TV programs and Ovi Store apps. With a large 12 MP sensor with Carl Zeiss optics and HD filming you can capture and enjoy great images, videos.


    1 Nokia N8 phone
    1 Nokia Battery BL-4D
    1 Nokia Connectivity Cable CA-179
    1 Nokia Stereo Headset WH-701
    1 Nokia Compact Travel Charger AC-15
    1 Nokia Adapter Cable for HDMI CA-156
    1 Nokia Adapter Cable for USB OTG CA-157
    1 Nokia Stylus SU-36
    1 Quick start guide