Friday, July 23, 2010

Nokia N8

I am not one to worry too much about trends. I tend to define my own trends. I don't buy into the masses just because the masses say to do so. That being said, the iPhone hype is one thing I choose to not take a part of. I don't necessarily dislike Apple, neither am I a hater of Apple, because I'd much rather use their computer hardware than any other manufacturer. However, I don't necessarily buy into their mobile devices, mainly the iPhone. Just not what appeals to me.
I have been following Nokia handsets for a long time. I love their handsets, I love Symbian (call me an idiot, or crazy) but it is a very intuitive mobile operating system. The "aesthetics" aren't pretty like iOS 4 and some Android phones, but it runs like I feel it should.

The Nokia N8, due to release in October, is the most excited I have been over a phone since the last Nokia N-Series device, the N900. The N8's spec sheet is massive. Just to list a few, the N8 includes:
  • 12 MP Carl-Zeiss camera with 720p video recording and Xenon flash
  • 3.5" Capacitive OLED touch-screen
  • HDMI out with Dolby Digital Plus audio
  • Pentaband UMTS radio (in other words, practically worldwide 3G data)
  • ARM 11 680MHz along with dedicated 3D graphics accelerator
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • Symbian^3 operating system
Nokia manages to stuff a huge camera sensor (1/1.83″ for those who know) this impressive mobile, along with 720p video capture. Anodized aluminum body gives it a high-quality feel that is resistive to scratches, and a now-standard front-facing camera for video calling.
One aspect I have found to be utterly amazing is the support for a Bluetooth keyboard ... and mouse. I found this on YouTube, and I must say, that add an entirely new aspect for this device. Also, according to the user manual, standard video out is supported with the 3.5mm jack, if an HDMI input is not within grasp. Couple that with the fact that the entire user interface gets exported to the external display, it is hard to imagine this device not being a workhorse for business travelers, whether it be viewing presentations, checking emails on a hotel television, or enjoying a movie in HD. With remote desktop capabilities, this can also be a mobile office access point, complete with the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
Now, all this hype, I do have concerns, as a loyal S60 user for the past few years. The GUI is not a work of art, but I love it's functionality. Although my Nokia E71 is now over two years old, it performs very well, even with newer apps geared toward higher-specification mobiles. RAM management works fairly well with the E71, and since the platform is essentially the same for the N8, along with improved RAM and hopefully more efficient management, it should be a great device to multi-task with, even with a small battery by standards set forth by Apple, HTC, and Motorola.
I would love to see a US carrier pick up the N8, however. I feel the pre-order price of $549 is great, but with taxes, it would climb to over $600, and a carrier could lower that for more people to attain. I still think at $600 for a completely unlocked world phone, it is a great deal.
App availability is another cause for concern, although my tastes do not lie a lot with the apps Android and Apple have out. A few games already run on the Qt framework that are popular (Angry Birds, Doodle Jump) and there are utilities like JoikuSpot, PuTTY, and Shazaam are nice to have, and should be available for the N8 out of the box, along with Opera's Mobile 10 browser, which is much nicer than the current browser Nokia has for S^3 (MeeGo's browser will be the winner for mobiles).

I may get a lot more attention with the new N8, if I do indeed purchase it, since it is not an iPhone 4, or any of the 5.000 Android devices out right now, but I bet that there won't be much hype for the non-technically enhanced population, since you won't be seeing N8 commercials during Jersey Shore or Glee, but I don't let that affect my feelings towards a phone I know I want to buy with out adverts harassing me.

The N8 is poised to win - and hopefully in about a month, I will be able to review it in great detail, and hopefully win some followers in the process.

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