Ronnie05's Blog

Nokia N8: A thumbs down

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on October 22, 2010

About 2 months back, I had a chance to “hold” the N8 for a “test drive”. I was using the Moto Milestone/Droid then and I intended to put the two through paces. I never got to do much on the N8. My first touch experience on the N8 was a little disappointing (to put that mildly). The Milestone was a joy in terms of its experience and user interface (Call it the Android experience). I thought it best not to rate the N8 and let the jury come out with their votes. Little wonder then, that the jury also finds the N8 to be inadequate.

The N8 was the most anticipated Nokia launch which was to restore customer faith on Nokia smartphones. The N8 clearly does not do justice to its expectations. What Nokia doesnot understand and must learn is to live outside of its wonderland. A Smartphone is a combination of Hardware, OS and Applications. All of these three in equal measure contribute to make a great or a good smartphone.

Nokia is intent to taking the war only basis hardware. So it does well to pack up a 12MP camera with Xenon Flash that shoots at 720p, HDMI port that links up with the LCD, a direct hard drive access and other specs. It also does fair in terms of integrating Flashlite, Multitasking and Capacitive touch. “Fair” because the Flashlite experience is “lite” at best, Capacitive screen is a little low on responsiveness and the 16.7 Million colours do not measure up-to AMOLED screens doing rounds of smartphone specs currently.

Now for the pain-The UI. The Nokia N8 runs the new improved Symbian 3 OS.When was the last time Symbian was heard to be a smartphone OS? That would be in 2007 when Nokia launched N95. Since then Symbian has walked baby steps whereas the Android and iOS have taken the F1 cars to improvement.

What I had experienced in my brief fling with the N8 was a sluggishness, inconsistent response of the UI and the Navigation and Lack of Polish in user experience, Cumbersome software experience, lack of Intuitiveness and sophistication in the UI. So the 12MP takes a brilliant pic, which however cannot be directly loaded to Picassa or Facebook. Instead you have to go to the menu screen, figure out the Social networking icon and select the service, choose the pic and upload it. There… that is lack of intuitiveness and smartness! Point rests!

Smartphones are supposed to be the gateway to internet. Not so much with the N8 where the web experience is sub-optimal. As compared against the iPhone or the Androids, it is just about a few leagues behind! For a better browsing experience, one can choose to download the Opera and that has a greater polish than the N8 browser.

The third is about the Apps experience: The Ovi store. What could be better said than just the fact that Ovi store is not pre-loaded into the phone. A user needs to install that on the phone!!!!! Cant imagine an Android phone without the Marketplace?? The Ovi Apps store is not the best in business as we all know. The Music library is definitely great, but software library is a little below grade.

So there you have it: The Nokia N8 redeems itself of its past sins in some measure (Remember the N97 with a Resistive screen?). However it clearly doesnot do enough to get at par with the game boys of today (iPhone and Android). Bottomline: The Nokia N8 may be the best Camera phone yet, but it is an also ran in the domain of smartphones.

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Nokia tries to regain lost ground with the N8

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on April 27, 2010

The Nokia N8: Is this Nokia’s moment of reckoning

The product page for Nokia N8 proudly greets you with the message “Its not the technology. Its what you do with it”…. Agree! My first impression of the Nokia N8 was visual (as is everyone else’s) but I found this latest Nokia Flagship to be impressive in the first sight. But that’s not enough is it? Nokia N97 also impressed, made people drool and then sank all its expectations. Getting back to N8, the specs impress… Nokia’s first 12MP, 720 dpi video recording, Dolby surround sound, HDMI and Phonebook 2.0, Conversation view for SMSs and Unified email client. Ovi Maps and Navigation are free and N8 sports the same. That’s a good first impression. The rest is the mandatory that you would expect from a high end smartphone at Euro 370. The device would start shipping in 3Q 2010. From the Nokia perspective, N8 is being pitched as a Social Networking, Gaming, HD TV out, Web TV phone and more.. (Nokia N Series “All in One” proposition)

Now this then is Nokia’s Man-of-War and this would be a pivotal device in effort to make Nokia’s high end phones credible again. Nokia has been left far behind the iPhone, Samsung, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson and even HTC in the smartphone fight. The N97 was to address all that and more but it bombed. The N900 made a splash but not the volumes.

However, one was expecting more action on the Nokia – Maemo front and this one sports a Symbian 3. Symbian 3 is evolutionary not revolutionary, but then it is a key first step if it proves reliable.

The absence (???) of the engine details in the Nokia product home page is confounding. If the web reports are to be believed this one sports a 680 MHz processor, which is not too bad, but simply put is not too great either.

Also to be kept under consideration is the fact that the iPhone 4G releases before this one. I expect the iPhone 4G to set the standards high… very high. Android is also becoming a rapidly maturing platform and the HTCs and Motorola’s new lines are coming within a good proximity of the Android. In the battle of platforms, I would still rate the iPhone and Android to be a few many notches above Symbian platform (and I would love it if Symbian 3 can prove me wrong)

The other important factor to be considered are the rapidly surging Apps market numbers. Android and iPhone are making big numbers and one hasnot heard about much about Ovi in this space. A smartphone minus smart apps is not a smart proposition.

So net of all things, Currently the N8 looks and feels good basis the features listed.. but the platform and Ovi Apps are yet to provide the edge. Nokia seems to be packing the N8 with technology and we will wait to see how it helps users do something with it in months to come.

An introductory Video On the N8:

The reviews on this product are already thumbs down basis the YouTube videos and the first viewers are already drubbing this device as being slow, clunky, aweful, dreadful, blocky, really dated, not very exciting, slow and inaccurate UI, bad touch experience. Not quite the start..eh!

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