Nokia Connection 2010

Hands-on with the Nokia N8

Hands-on with Nokia's Latest Phones

The annual Nokia Connection event has always been about their new devices, and true to that tradition, this year's showcase is no exception. A total of three devices were presented during the event, one of which is the much anticipated 12-megapixel Nokia N8 that has seen the light of day over the past few months. A familiar face makes an appearance though, albeit with some slight upgrades - the Nokia X6, now with an 8GB variant. And for the trendsetters and teenyboppers, the Finnish outfit is throwing a bone in their direction with the hip Nokia X5, with a unique, squarish form factor. Here's a quick video overview of these phones for those interested in a more interactive and hands-on sort of experience:-

The Nokia N8

Let's kick off with the star of the day - the Nokia N8. Nokia will be riding a lot on the N8 for a few reasons. For one, this will be their first Symbian^3 device, a revamped version from its earlier Symbian S60 version 5 lineup. The changes are subtle, like having three pages of homescreen to work with instead of just one. Unfortunately, the units being showcased at Nokia Connection were still running on beta firmware, so we'll be reserving our comments on its capability at handling the user interface.

The N8 will also be preloaded with the Nokia Social Network widgets, which links up both your Twitter and Facebook account to the device. Nokia has stated that there are plans to fully integrate the content on both social network platforms onto supporting Nokia devices. This includes calendar and contacts integration. For now, there's still no firm word on when the full integration will happen.

The Nokia N8 comes with a 3.5-inch screen displaying 360 x 640 pixels resolutions. Multi-touch is supported on the capacitive touchscreen.

You can access the SIM and microSD cards without removing the battery. In fact, there's no battery to be removed, since the N8 will integrate the battery and device together.

In light of its competition serving a plate of humble pie for the Finnish group, the Nokia N8 will be bringing a few features to give it the edge. The most obvious of which is a 12-megapixel sensor and its long-standing Carl-Zeiss lens. It also ups the ante with Xenon flash, and the real deal is its 720p video recording capabilities. Though late into the game, the N8's specifications will put it at the top of the ladder, amongst other similar devices such as the iPhone 4, Sony Ericsson Vivaz or Samsung Galaxy S, all of which employ a camera sensor with a lower resolution.

If you're interested to see the N8's immediate competition and how it stands out amongst its rivals, you might want to check out our quick comparison article here.

Another unique feature of the N8 is the use of a HDMI output to display videos at up to 720p resolution on external displays. At Nokia Connection, demonstrations were given, showcasing the device's ability to handle a 720p video displayed on a HDTV. As mentioned earlier, due to the pre-release nature of the N8, we weren't able to make a conclusive verdict on its video rendering performance, but fret not as we'll surely let you in on the full details as soon as we lay our hands on the final retail unit.

In between the Power and 3.5mm audio port is the HDMI output, which will let you play 720p videos and output the video onto a 720p capable TV.

The Nokia N8 will be available in Q3 2010 at a price of 370 euros before subsidy and taxes. In local context, that should average up to the S$750 range for a unit without contract.

Nokia N8

Key highlights of the Nokia N8

  • Symbian^3
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • HSDPA, 10.2 Mbps / HSUPA, 2.0 Mbps
  • 3.5-inch capacitive screen with multitouch, 360 x 640 pixels
  • 12-megapixel Carl-Zeiss lens
  • Xenon flash
  • 720p video recording
  • HDMI-out

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