Nokia N8 Review
With 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS on board, the Nokia N8 is, as expected, well connected out of the box to get you online. With an improved mail client, it’s a piece of cake to set up email accounts such as Windows Live, Gmail and Yahoo, and with Mail for Exchange support, inputting just a little more information will give you access to additional mailboxes as well as calendar, contact and task sync.
The on-board Symbian^3 browser is also improved, supporting pinch to zoom and displaying a search bar along with the URL bar. Text wraps to fit the screen well and pages are displayed accurately, however, the browser could be smoother when scrolling and pinching through larger web pages. A pretty decent alternative to the built-in browser is the free Opera Mobile 10.1, which offers a very fast and smooth performance, but unfortunately allows for just a single zoom level (which, in most cases, does the job).
The on-board GPS works well finding the Nokia N8’s position even when indoors. Coupling this with Ovi Maps makes for a very versatile phone that could double up as a GPS replacement provided you had a good data plan. Of course, with Ovi Maps you can also pre-load maps and use voice-guided directions with them off-line. The above average battery life of the N8 also means that using it as a GPS for 30 minutes won’t leave you totally empty.
Additional connectivity includes HDMI output to an HD TV. A microUSB cable to USB provided also turns the Nokia N8 into a USB stick reader, meaning that photos and videos can easily be transferred to and from the phone, and content can even be played from a USB stick directly onto a TV with just an N8 as the middleman.
The N8 doesn’t have a huge amount of software loaded on it, but what it does have is generally good. Take social networking for example, there is a social networking element from Ovi - Social. This integrates Twitter and Facebook, pulling up feeds into a widget on the home-screen, and linking it through to the installed Facebook / Twitter app. There is also Ovi Maps which as mentioned, does the job well of getting you from A to B. Quickoffice reader is also on the Nokia N8 as is Adobe PDF reader, but for the most part, that’s it. Even the on board YouTube shortcut is just a link to the URL. With the omission of things like games and other non-core software, Nokia may be encouraging N8 users to venture onto the Ovi Store. The lack of random apps also means that the phone isn’t loaded with bloat-ware which is a good thing.