Nokia N8 vs Apple iPhone 4
The camera interface of the Nokia N8 is not very touch-friendly - icons and sliders are tiny and not easy to pinpoint correctly at times. Older Symbian habits rear their ugly heads here, such as two taps to select some settings. This is also expected to be fixed in the firmware update, but it doesn't really do the 12MP shooter with Xenon flash justice. The interface for the 5MP camera with LED flash on the iPhone 4, in contrast, is very simple, touch-optimized and easy to use. No numerous settings, just a flash setting, HDR switch, and a video mode toggle .
The Nokia N8 offers photographic choices aplenty, including white balance, exposure, ISO, focus modes, and various scenes and effects. Its 12MP camera with powerful Xenon flash is aimed more to shutterbugs, who know what they are doing, so it adds abilities to tinker with settings like sharpness and contrast, or shoot in a vivid mode, which produces the bright, saturated photos and videos that so many people prefer. The iPhone 4 produces saturated photos by default.
The shots produced by the iPhone 4 camera are considered one of the best coming out of a smartphone. There are phones with more megapixels, but pixel count means very little for quality, and the 5MP snapper in Apple's handset beats most other phones with its bright, saturated photos, offering plenty of sharpness and detail, that are immediately pleasing to the eye. If we add to that the camera's ease of use, and the simplicity of taking HDR shots that produce even better results, most users will be satisfied with what the iPhone 4 offers in terms of casual photographic capabilities.
Nokia N8 takes higher resolution photos, but doesn't capture that much more detail for a 12MP shooter. It produces more natural, even murky and plain looking colors by default, allowing for numerous adjustments and scene modes, and the resulting material is a rich playground for post-processing. Nokia N8 offers several metering modes, whereas in the iPhone 4, the exposure is set depending on the object you focus on. In vivid mode, the Nokia N8 produces high-contrast, oversaturated photos, which are usually more likable, and are similar to what the iPhone 4 is producing by default.
Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4
The indoor photos from the iPhone 4 when there is some light, turn out fine, thanks to the back-illuminated sensor, which helps lower the ISO, and noise levels are kept in check. The image in fluorescent lighting (for example in the kids bookstore) came out very good, whereas the ones under incandescent lighting from our traditional indoor samples setup had a yellow overcast to them. That seems to be a white balance calculation mishap, and might be resolved in a software update to compensate better for the light bulb illumination. The Nokia N8, on the other hand, performed admirably in low-light situations, thanks to the powerful Xenon flash, which we found to lend a helping hand with illumination up to a ten feet distance without ambient light, whereas the iPhone 4's LED flash was notably less useful. The night shots around town again came out brighter and slightly overexposed on the iPhone 4, with blown-up highlights (the Happy bar neon sign, the cathedral lighting). In macro mode both smartphones performed admirably, correctly focusing only on the nearby object, blurring the rest of the frame.
Medium fluorescent light
Apple iPhone 4
Medium fluorescent light
When recording 720p HD video, which both handsets are capable of, Nokia N8 records in stereo, thanks to the dual-microphone system, but in 25fps, while the iPhone 4 does 30fps and uses its LED light for filming situations in the dark. The Nokia N8 offers a very usable 2x digital zoom while shooting video.
Video capture from the iPhone 4 comes out slightly smoother than the one on the Nokia N8, especially when you pan around, due to the higher frame ratio. The brightness is higher and colors stand out more on the iPhone 4 video samples, which is a good thing on a cloudy day, but consequently sources of light in the night clips come out a bit overblown (headlights on all cars looking like cheap halogens, street lamps halo, etc.).
The Nokia N8 videos, on the other hand, look slightly undersaturated, and vivid mode has to be turned on to easily remedy this, or a bit of tinkering around with the settings would do as well. The camera on the Nokia N8 has a wilder field of view, allowing it to capture more of the scenery around. All in all, for smartphones, both handsets performed admirably in the camera department (with the exception of flash illumination, where Xenon works much better), and it will depend on ease of use vs functionality preferences, if camera was your main choice criteria.
Apple iPhone 4 Sample Video 1
Nokia N8 Sample Video 1
Apple iPhone 4 Sample Video 2
Nokia N8 Sample Video 2
Apple iPhone 4 Sample Video 3
Nokia N8 Sample Video 3
Apple iPhone 4 Sample Video 4
Nokia N8 Sample Video 4
Apple iPhone 4 Sample Video 5
Nokia N8 Sample Video 5
Apple iPhone 4 Sample Video 6
Nokia N8 Sample Video 6
The multimedia gallery looks better on the iPhone 4, whereas on the Nokia N8 the grid of thumbnails doesn't even offer discernible borders to distinguish the separate files, it just looks like a quilt. From the iPhone 4, videos can be uploaded to YouTube straight from the gallery, while on the Nokia N8 uploading to popular services directly from there is not supported. Nokia N8 has the photo and video editing functionalities built in, while the iPhone offers the iMovie app for $4.99, as well as a plethora of other photography-oriented programs.
Being the name resurrected from the ashes by the ubiquitous iPod, Apple has done a great job with the sound quality on the iPhone 4, at least in headset mode. Nokia N8's music player, on the other hand, just now supports such Cover Flow-like eye candy. However, its true virtue is the work of the Dolby Mobile technologies in both headset mode, and through the speaker. It can play sound encoded with Dolby Digital Plus, which adds to the immersive experience, especially if viewing a properly encoded HD movie on a big screen with 5.1 channel surround sound via Nokia N8's HDMI-out socket.
Speaking of video playback, Nokia N8 plays anything thrown at it, including DivX/Xvid, and the .mkv Matroska container. Those have to be converted to work on the iPhone 4, and everything has to go through iTunes and the proprietary connector, which is annoying. Both chipsets are powerful enough to play HD resolutions without notable issues. If you have a 4”, or a 4.3” display, you would sniff at watching video on a 3.5” one, but it's still a decent size for that nonetheless.
1. bucky (Posts: 1288; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
doesnt seem like nokia can really compete with any of these new phones. Camera and battery life yes, but thats it.
11. thatdude1 (unregistered)
Nokia can compete with any handset manufacturer anywhere, anytime. The only handset os not manufactured by Nokia capable of competing with it is Android.
30. htainlintha (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)
How abt new features like flash on web browsing(no apps for dat), FM transmitter(no apps for dat), wifi hotspot(no apps for dat), usb on-the-go(no apps for dat), large sensor and digital dolby sound cature(no apps for dat), moreover,d device they used is outdated in UI.(old version,needs update)
iphone 4 doesnt even have a dedicated camera key,actually apple really sucks,they can never make a phone which can make a call without line drops T_T so sick of it
2. clevername (Posts: 1428; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)
Actually a great offering it seems from nokia. I'm impressed by the camera. Seems to be the first real competitor to the iPhone 4's camera. But I wonder if the shrink the pixels for the 12MP sensor like so many other manufacturers do when they make larger sensors, or if they are 12 actual sized megapixels. Too bad symbian isn't quite up to snuff. And I'm also curious about internal storage and how powerful the processor is.
4. dan_md (Posts: 66; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)
The N8 has a "real" 12MP sensor (not interpolated, if that's what you mean). I agree, the Symbian interface does need to be optimized to be used by people across all intellectual levels. Internal storage is 16GB with 256 RAM. Processor is rated at 680MHz with VR graphic accelerator supporting Open GL 2.0.
13. thatdude1 (unregistered)
@clevername-Symbian has always been "up to snuff."
3. dan_md (Posts: 66; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)
Privileged to have both the Nokia N8 and the iPhone 4 for a while. Here's my verdict: Build Quality: N8 with its aluminum build and scratch-resistant gorilla glass display Display: iPhone 4 with higher-res screen, faster response Connectivity: N8 which aces the competition with pentaband, HDMI out, USB Host function, FM transmitter Call Quality/Telephony: Nokia N8 (at high signals, both perform equally), BUT N8 has better reception when tested VS the iPhone using the same network SIM in a thick-walled, lead-shielded operating theater Imaging: N8 with 12MP camera, Xenon-flash Video capture: Draw - both phones take gorgeous videos Music playback: iPhone 4 (integrated iPod/Music app with direct access to iTunes, podcasts, etc.) Video playback: Nokia N8 (multiple codec compatibility) Durability: Draw - slight upper hand for the N8 (doesn't chip/crack as the iPhone does when dropped from a height) SIM and Memory card handling: Draw In-box package contents: N8 - in addition to the charger and, comes with mini HDMI adapter, USB-on-the go adapter, better quality in-ear earphones Ease-of-use/Ergonomics: iPhone 4 (intuitive menu structure, direct access to most functions, faster response, software stability) Battery Life: Draw Navigation: N8 with the free lifetime navigation care of Ovi Maps Apps downloadable: Apple iPhone 4 (the App Store Collection is compelling - an understatement) Price (unlocked): Nokia N8 US$ 530.00, Apple iPhone 4 (unlocked) 16GB - US$ 800.00, 32GB - US$ 950.00 Total Tally: Nokia N8: 7 Apple iPhone 4 The iPhone 4 is the epitome of elitism and will find itself as the most common gadget/status symbol of the upper class. The iPhone has snagged "user-friendliness" that for so long has been equated to Nokia. The closed (but highly functional) App Store ecosystem is designed to maximize to secure Apple's earnings even after device purchase. What the device "lacks" is made-up by the myriad of apps that serve to extend the phone's normal utility. If you relate it to therapeutics, Nokia has gone "shotgun method" putting every conceivable technology in the N8. Some may call this "trying too hard" but one cannot deny that it is a very compelling device giving you more than decent bang for every buck spent. The review fails to mention the reliability of the Nokia N8 as a phone per se and the better PIM functionality of the phone (contact, calendar management). Nokia N8 challenges the iOS' simplicity and eye-candy paradigm with the tried and tested versatility of the Symbian OS legacy. If you are as fortunate as others who can afford to have both phones, then choosing which one is not the question. But if you could only afford one, I would recommend any of the above phones that would suit your needs. If price is really an issue, there is a myriad of mid-tier and budget phones to choose from.
23. Christo1903 (unregistered)
i am a Nokia fan and I do love like their products, but you failed to even look at web-browsing. The iphone is superior to the N8 by any standard. So too is the app store. Two compelling reasons for a smartphone buyer in 2010 would choose the IPhone.
5. dan_md (Posts: 66; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)
This is something that has never been compared: Symbian ^3 VS Blackberry 6.0. It would be exciting to see a comparison of the Nokia N8 and the Blackberry Torch.
6. Symbian vs OS6? (unregistered)
Lol Symbian will kick OS6 butt. Even ugly at it is, Symbian has more functionality than OS6, the only strong part of OS6 is the Instant Messaging and Business oriented features (Exchange, Office, Calendar), and that's it,While Symbian can play any video codec, play flash directly from the browser, 12 mp camera, usb on the go, fm transmitter... well you got the point, OS6 is for business and Symbian is for multimedia, nuff said.
7. Bulakbuk (unregistered)
Symbian OS has been the pioneer in smartphone technology. While I do agree that this OS has aged, it is still a very capable feature set that can get the job done. Also, multi tasking is also a very strong point for Nokia since the iPhone had to have its applications re-written for this aspect. Therefore, Nokia will always be the smarter of the two and a true powerhouse at that.
8. dolph227 (unregistered)
I looveee my N8! just received mine yesterday by pre-order in Indonesia. It's like having the best of three worlds of easy on the eye-Android combined with MeeGo-strength on your familiar Symbian interface! Iphone just need to do better than OS4, how many years since Iphone 2G, this year they just introduced semi-multitasking (lame!) while Nokia made full-multi tasking from 2002 Symbian handsets (7650). I totally love the look of Iphone 4, but it's just the same as you see most blonde girls, they are dumb. Nokia N8? New invented outlook, premium built and premium operating system. Just wait for the ovi store to grow, after all Symbian^3 has just launched right.. Remember how iphone 2G just launched? how many apps did they have? I assume, it is Nokia's Rebirth. Time for Iphone OS overhaul... too slow progress on their new OS over the years. Android? How far can a cheap operating system go? Too many diversities on their handsets, it's just too confusing for the app. developers to make the apps.. Reaching from QVGA screen to WVGA screen, 600mhz processor to 1ghz processor, and so on. Not to mention their too fast OS development, makes you feel your 3 months old handset like 2 years old ones already (remember Sony Ericsson X10) from donut to ice cream, be careful guys it almost melts already.. :)
9. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)
The N8 is good, but not good enough. Iphone4 all the way.
14. thatdude1 (unregistered)
The N8 is FAR superior to the iphone4.
10. Trx (unregistered)
nokia symbian is old os I remaber when I used first time in 1999 WoW I'm that time symbian like ios today every boday happy with nokia but that's before now the things is change there is a new and lot of os comes out specially ios the best os used in the phone apple they invent lot of staff one of them ios. But in other hand saymbain will always the easiest os ever
15. thatdude1 (unregistered)
First off-use spell check. Second-learn english. Third- I think you have your os's confused. Ios is so simple, a 5 year old can master it. Symbian is for the more sophisticated. Better crafted handsets, true multitasking, to name but two. Ios has never stood a chance compared to Symbian.
21. Lollipopjones (unregistered)
thats why symbian is failing right? Symbian is old, the devices look like crap, the OS is tired and worn out, and finally the apps are worthless. Also Mapquest offers free Turn by Turn for iOS so both have free Turn by turn.
Sorry the only thing the N8 has is some gimmick hardware that most users will never use.
35. the x (unregistered)
LOL totaly AGREE WITH Lollipopjones
36. thatdude1 (unregistered)
Symbian is no where near falling apart. Mature? Yes. Crap? Not even close. The device looks better than most on the market today, they have apps that have a purpose, not a zillion fart apps and NO WAY mapquest compares to ovi maps. Ovi maps is waaaayyyyyyy better. You have no idea what you are talking about.
12. Rudeboi (unregistered)
It's a good competiton for those who are looking for a device to go against Apple one and only device but let's remember that this phone wasn't meant to go against the higher end devices out there. For what it's worth the N8 is a better value for the money on so many scales and symbian is still ahead of android and ios and so many ways. Yeah it may be a little old on the os and a great job of them spicing it up a bit but symbian still gives you more while the rest is still catching up. I only see ios simplyfing things and locking you into a ecosystem where you have no choice on what more you can do with certain files, while symbian opens the door for more choices and gives you a pc feel in your pocket.
16. RJC (unregistered)
"Nokia N8 takes higher resolution photos, but doesn't capture that much more detail." Excuse me!? Are you perhaps visually impaired, because that's the only way I can understand that comment. N8 produces tons more detail. Just look at the night picture of the theater for example. You can't seriously tell me that N8 doesn't have a lot more detail than iPhone 4. Look at the poster stand. Or the poster on the wall. Or the doors. N8 has much more detail.
20. Rev (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)
Agreed. Every comparison I've seen gives a huge edge to N8. Only better thing with iPhone pics is less noise and even that simply comes from way heavier preprocessing which also causes other problems like actually losing details. If you want the unnatural colors of iPhone you simply select Vivid on N8. No way to get realistic colors with iPhone though.
27. iphone-user (unregistered)
You may be right about the night pics, but the difference is not big during the day - this is when most of my phones pics are taken.
29. htainlintha (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)
iphone doesn't even have dedicated key for camera and shitty glass body, dis review is very biased and UI on N8 is way different rom my current N8
17. drizzle (unregistered)
I SUPPORT NOKIA. NOKIA PHONES HAVE TOO MANY VERTUES. IT WILL BE PROVED AFTER PEOPLE USE OTHER PHONES FOR SOME TIME.
18. RJC (unregistered)
Oh and you really can't call iPhone 4's camera great. Not even good because it produces pictures that don't correlate to reality at all. Photos are overexposed, colors are wrong and too saturated, low light performance is below average. Sorry, but those aren't qualities of a good camera. Quite the opposite to me.
19. Rev (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Oct 2010)
iPhone has become the phone for the masses and using it is starrting to be embarrasing. I finally decided to choose N8 and the phone is really good. Hope they fix the browser to make it even better. BTW, something many reviews seem to get wrong... The two press camera selection is actually a nice feature. The first press is preview so you can click through the list to see the effects and then clikck again to actually select.
22. rafaelinux (Posts: 31; Member since: 29 Jun 2009)
Deeply biased or just ignorant review. At least on the camera part. (And that is an important item when shopping for a mobile phone, at least for me).
Saying that the 12mpx shots of the N8 have no much more detail for a 12mp shot, against the iPhone's 5mpx is just blind.
Today's 5mpx shots, by any phone or company just seem plain detail-less when compared to the N8's! look at the shadows, or at bright areas, or, well, wherever you want, photos are way better than some point and shoot cameras, even! (beats the hell out of my Canon 1200 IS)
The iPhone's is simple, I'll give you that, but that's all you get. You don't have any control at all. Want to change this or that... I'm so sorry.
On the other hand, the Nokia N8, while not that good in terms of UI looks, lets you do some little tweaking for a photo easily. Even then it doesn't have all the settings one would like it to.
OS designers should indeed put a "Stupid User" giant button in the center of the screen, so you can swap between an UI and a 1-button OS.
24. ecko23 (unregistered)
Symbian is fuckin crap!~!!!!!!!
25. ecko23 (unregistered)
Symbian is straight up garbage!!! Not impressed one bit!
37. thatdude1 (unregistered)
You are fuckin' crap!!!!
26. Bridget (unregistered)
N8 is a true world phone. iPhone, US version is locked—forever. N8 wins!
28. Jack1059 (unregistered)
I dont give a rats backside about apple, sony, nokia or android. Im shelling out the cash I want the friggin thing to do what I want. I want good battery life, real around the world use (all int'l frequencies, etc), good camera, good call quality, and I want OTA updates so I can feel the love of the company. If you leave me out in the cold, Im leavin you baby. It just wont work if you wont pay attention to me, and at least pretend my cash outlay was meaningful to you. Apps are great, but not essential to me. So based on all that I can say Nokia hits the marks for me. It has shortcomings but I can forgive them, because they check most of my boxes. Once you get used to Symbian its fine, not great, but fine. Im a fickle date though, if someone else comes along who checks more boxes, Im moving to them. Sadly Im a smartphone floozy so stay on your game and at least try to keep me and I'll stay. For now though the N8 is looking like the best for me based on my criteria.
31. iPhone sucks (unregistered)
iPhone sucks, the "new" feature in iOS 4 and iPhone 4 is multitasking which my LG Cookie has from the start, and it doesn't have full Bluetooth support (iPhone).
I think Nokia is better in quality, build, support, and price. Also, most "upgrades" for iPhone came when 3GS was released. Too late. N8 has them from start.
iPhone, and all apple products are for designers, not for business and normal people.
iPhone's just glassy piece of s**t with partially working antenna.
38. random passenger (unregistered)
from giving much thought and comparison, i think nokia is most fitting for my current condition and so..
being best is not everything, well sure iphone is very good. if someone giving me free one right now from the two, i would probably choose iphone.
but, its really designed for only not average person. if average person try it, like you can only afford the phone but not apps external and probably future product, well, youre going to hit walls someday. definetely
and one thing is bugging me, it doesnt feel as handphone,smartphone whatever u call it. but it doesnt feel primary as phone. more like a new generation of machine.
and i heard from my friend, u must buy much other app/accesorry etc. for someone with upside down income like me which cant even guarentee high income in future, and cannot do alot of modding, in short, average its probably best choice to choose nokia since it doesnt need as much extra payment like apple product.
well, although 100% good phone is impossible, 99% or 80% is not. both are imperfect anyways and it just take time to get used to it.
besides, considering handphones/smartphones probably updated massively each month, long term used in your phone will become deciding factor, unless u rich. seeing apple mostly just for those which wants a premium item, its not fitting for me buying new item now, and old 3 months later since im barely updated about new phone..
39. ukiya21 (unregistered)
Did you said n8's dynamic range is weak?? OMG.... If it is weak how about Apple's?? Weak but still strongest in camera phone world.... sorry but i think your review is a little bit bias...
40. diamondlord (unregistered)
we are phone lovers and users of devices, wen we say device we mean a small machine that can perform multiple operations.
i have both the Nokia n8 and the iPhone 4 but if u ask me to make a choice i will choose the Nokia n8 1 million and 1 times because of the ease and smart abilities to do so many things on the go any where.
The angles where the iPhone 4 is credited is the safari browser, the retina display, on screen keyboard that's where i can commend them but leave the others to Nokia 8 is money well invested cos its truly an amazing phone from Nokia and d Symbian company
an elder is never a child cos it has seen Wat the little baby will see when it grows up.
THE APPLE IPHONE 4 IS A SMART PHONE BUT THE NOKIA N8 IS A SMARTER PHONE.
verdict Nokia n8 is rocking above d iphone 4.
41. Aaron 4 (unregistered)
N8 sucks you can't compare n8 with iPhone 4
i4 has 1ghz processor compared with 600 - 700mhz in nokia n8
And iPhone 4 also has retina display which is enough to make someone buy iPhone 4
And don't forget that iOS is years aheadfrom simbian because of it's stability and and ease of use. It's response to touch is far better. And iPhone 4 also has double the
RAM of n8. And iPhone has a much sleek design compared to the bulky n8. And if n8 is better then why is there such huge difference between their sales? iPhone is light years ahead of n8.
42. N8 (unregistered)
Hahaha! somebody still actually believes that 600$ iphone can out-think 400$ n8 or even 200$ android when in any case both loses when it comes to hardware, especially camera.
43. iPhone (unregistered)
But iPhone is easy to use, of course there are limitations but who cares ! Im rich ! I dont care ! My systers boyfriend whos idiot, iDont care !
44. Lik (unregistered)
Pretty biased review this...;well what do we expect?
I've test driven both phones and my verdict is :
if you want to buy a status symbol to look cool amongst your peers, iphone
if you really want a phone and want to be cool nokia n8
The "strength" of the iPhone is the app store....but how many of those apps do people really use?
Well, the iPhone is being pushed by the same generation pushing reality tv...bunch of mentally challenged morons. 'Nuff said.
It's not about technology, it's what you do with it, people, and the N8 let's you do what you want, and will still be relevant in 4yrs. Like my friend's 2 yr old N97 which wowed him, although he also has a BBToch...Nokia gives you freedom, but you chose the golden cage of self-conscious bling bling ..
45. rudeboi (unregistered)
n8 is nothing in front of i phone 4
46. antidote (unregistered)
@rudeboi you´re right lol
Now. Cam you please teach me how to send a file through Bluetooth in the iphone 4 to any of my friends?
Also teach me how to make a video-call to any phone out there non smartphone via?
Well. I cant. This one of the reasons i choose symbian. I can make a video call using skype (wifi) or the old fashion way. To anyone who as a 3G handset.
And the pics or videos i made, i can also send to my friends via bluettoth.
I cant make a video-call to an iphone nor send files to an iphone cause it doesnt support those LOL
Damn... basic things.. a phone that costs 700Eur cant do those?!?! NO WAY!!
48. SHERAZ SHAH (unregistered)
Nokia n8 is the best camera phone,,,,,i love it
49. J.C. (unregistered)
It would be interesting to do the same comparison using a Nokia N8 with Symbian Anna or Symbian Belle...
50. juvay (unregistered)
n8 all the way!!!!!!!!
51. davy jones (unregistered)
what about android smart phones . nokia is losing to it.