Home > Nokia, Nseries, Reviews, Symbian, Video > Videos: PhoneArena’s 2 Part review of the Nokia N8 – a good phone? Of course it is, we’d even go so far to say it’s a GR8 phone

Videos: PhoneArena’s 2 Part review of the Nokia N8 – a good phone? Of course it is, we’d even go so far to say it’s a GR8 phone

PhoneArena reviews the N8 wondering if it lives up to all the hype.

  • Design wise, N8 feels extremely solid – good weighting behind it.
  • Flat top and bottom edge – we were dubious at first but it really helps when picking up the handset.
  • AMOLED colours are really vibrant and pixel density is good.
  • In direct sunlight it’s still perfectly usable – though gloss may prevent from watching movies.
  • CAMERA – Nokia says this could double up as a compact camera replacement – let’s see if it does later on…
  • Overall, we really like feel of the N8 – due to the non removable battery, Nokiia have made it more refined – feeling solid dense and secure in the process.
  • S^3 doesn’t feel different enough or more to the point, LOOK different enough [oh boy here we go, ]
  • Very happy with the music player – it has been rethought through. Once opened, immediately brought to artists and albums – no wading through menu as these are all available within one click from the menu.
  • Album art and song integration list – really great idea – makes one handset scrolling a real pleasure
  • Loudspeaker is a littlebit tinny and not good for prolonged use
  • Photo viewer loads up extremely quickly. Given that these photos were taken by the 12MP camera, we’re really impressed by this.
  • There’s absolutely no lag – really happy that this makes the N8 a really good photo viewer and sharer.
  • Keyboard layout much improved – in portrait, half the screen is now for your message
  • In landscape, keyboard is extremely usable, with a lot of superfluous icons taken away. (ODD, this is something eve Steve Litchfield has issues with)
  • Video playback – thoroughly impressed with the N8’s codec support – it just works seamlessly.
  • Really great, N8 can double up as a media hub through HDMI – Really is a multimedia solution for all occasions.
  • [quite a big general overview on the camera.]
  • Web pages loaded on N8 well, but S^3 browser quite jerky. We’re sure Nokia is going to remedy this in the future. We found ourselves switching to Opera Browser, even forgoing pinch to zoom
  • USB – to go functionality is fantastic.
  • Overall S^3 is a little bit of a let down, whilst it does do a good job of anything it does and doesn’t royally stuff up anywhere, design wise it’s just not pretty. [woohoo, come on style over substance]
  • When iOS and Android are stealing the show are making us want to use it, Symbian is lagging behind a bit, not paying enough credence to design which to this day and age is becoming increasingly important
  • N8 a good phone? Of course it is, we’ve even go so far as to say it’s a great phone.
  • One of the best if not the best camera we’ve seen on a mobile phone [the latter boys]

Whilst we can argue about S^3 usability, in terms of Symbian as a whole, erm YES Symbian ARE paying attention to design of their UI. That’s why there is S^4 – but good to know that whilst achieving all the functionality through the current UI with a rating of “good job” is deemed a fail, for the intended market – this should be more than enough and the N8 will satisfy through the host of multimedia features with a decent UI that pulls it off without frustration – leading to MOST importantly, an excellent overall USER EXPERIENCE of the ENTIRE handset.

via PhoneArena


  1. Nocare
    October 9, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Oh mistake, n8 will be in singapore end of NOVEMBER, well done NOkia!

    Long live

  2. Stylinred
    October 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    so glad to see all these good reviews for the n8
    but it also makes me more impatient in my wait for one

    • Stylinred
      October 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      and it also makes me hungry to read more about it its like a curse

  3. Jim
    October 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    hi Jay. I wanted to tell you that yesterday I signup to ovi store to publish one of my software, and the signup now costs 1 EUR , not 50EUR like it was a month ago. Cool huh? maybe you can write a post because I think there are a lot of people who might be interested.

    • IMarius
      October 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      really ? i must check this out , sounds good to me cant beat 1 Euro.

    • October 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      YEAH i can confirm it
      1 eur/1 time!
      http://mobileperry.com/?p=615

    • alex68
      October 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      What is your software name? Is it on the ovi store already? I’d like to try it.

      • Jim
        October 10, 2010 at 11:10 am

        not quite. it’s in beta stage. I will submit it in about 1 -2 weeks. Thanks for asking

  4. October 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Jim

    The GR8 N8

  5. chfyfx
    October 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    this is a best review so far, bravo!

  6. dpr
    October 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    cant believe you agree with keyboard being good. For qwerty keyboard you have to turn to landscape everytime.. why not qwerty in potrait mode? And to show up the qwerty keyboard in landscape takes few seconds and with more apps installed..it might take even longer… grrrrrrr.

    and why not keyboard use overlay – not to cover up the screen you are on.

    • chfyfx
      October 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      he said good, and improved from S60v5, not great, or magical, or anything…

      • David
        October 10, 2010 at 12:09 am

        Try Swype
        This would give you qwerty in portrait mode

    • Stylinred
      October 10, 2010 at 3:22 am

      other phones did this too, i think it was either samsung or htc and you needed an app/hack to get qwerty in portrait

    • Average Joe
      October 10, 2010 at 7:14 am

      I think they left out the QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode to improve out-of-the-box usability: for one-handed, thumb-oriented usage, the T9 keypad is much more fit than a portrait QWERTY.

      The 5800 had the overlayed mini-QWERTY mode, and I remember that many phone reviews of the time labeled it as “unuseful”.

      I agree with you that anyway portrait QWERTY should be offered as an option, especially for those use cases where T9 is less suitable, such as entering URLs.

      My bet is that Nokia will fix many issues with subsequent firmware updates: the N8 has to get Qt 4.7, which has already been released but was not in time for the N8 shipment, and a new web browser has been promised to appear IIRC before the winter… I’d say that a multitouch virtual keyboard could have some chances of sneaking in, too.

      • dpr
        October 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm

        Wasn’t Nokia saying that they want the N8 to be perfect when they release it. I believe firmware upgrades should be fixing any missed bugs but not to add important features.
        qwerty potrait keyboard, nice default browser, and nice transitions is what is missing to attract US customers.. ofcourse a carrier contract..

  7. Nocare
    October 10, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Any improvement in widgets?

    Size of Email, calender widgets should be able to extended to size of two, three, four or five widgets to contain more useful information and contents

    the clock-profile widget should not be fixed!

    Calender should not be like n97 style!

    Music palyer should show more infromation

    there should be a widget to slide to unlock the screen!

    How about a quicknote widget?

    How about a game in widget?

    • A-S-D
      October 10, 2010 at 5:00 am

      How about you be patient and wait for S^4 if you’re not happy with S^3.

    • Average Joe
      October 10, 2010 at 7:19 am

      Re slide to unlock: if you don’t like the dedicated unlock switch, you can unlock the screen by pressing the Menu button and then tapping the on-screen unlock button that appears.

  1. October 9, 2010 at 10:48 am
  2. October 10, 2010 at 4:06 am

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