Today is a little bit of a sad day. I have tried the Nokia N8 for a week and a half, but I am returning it today to the Nokia on line shop. I am sticking with my Nexus One for now. Why? Basically, the N8 is not really a high-end smartphone, in spite of all the things it has going for itself.
I initially got the N8 to see whether I would be happier with it than with my Nexus One. The main aspect that drew me to the phone was the camera, but also USB on-the-go and HDMI-out sounded cool. Moreover, though a personal thing, I also liked the design and materials used on the device.
The camera does not disappoint me one single bit. I have never taken such good pictures and videos with a phone, as well as being able to share them very easily with Pixelpipe installed. I live abroad and my family was impressed and pleased with the pics and videos I shared with the N8. It is just great to have such a nice camera in your pocket at almost all times.
Furthermore, the phone has a nice design and together with the materials used, it really has a great feel to it. Though perhaps silly, the physical screen lock and unlock switch really makes it nice to “handle” the device.
The screen has good colours and is clear enough, for me, in sun light. I am used to the Nexus One though, so it is easy to impress me. In terms of resolution, sometimes I felt it wasn’t great, particularly with text (read: web browser). This makes me think it may be more of a fonts thing, but I can’t be sure of that.
As you can see, in these areas most of my expectations were met and I was very close to keeping it. However, there were two things that bother me and make me say it is just not a high end smartphone:
- Web. The Web browser is just not good enough by today’s standards. It can’t compete in speed or usability with Android’s browser. In part this is due to the software, and Nokia promises to bring out a new version of Web soonish. However, I doubt it will come close to my Nexus One in this department. I personally use twitter a lot and continuously open links, and this really did not work well for me on the N8.
- Applications. While on my Nexus One I have 4-5 good twitter clients, there is only one good twitter client for the N8 (Gravity, in case you wondered). This is very illustrative of the situation in the app store. It is hard to find the regular apps a high-end smartphone user uses, such as Dropbox, Evernote, Kindle, news readers, etcetera.
Besides these two gripes, it also didn’t help that I actually didn’t use USB OTG or HDMI-out in daily life. These are two important selling points, but I haven’t been able to integrate them into my life, I guess.
To wrap this post up, I just came across a good article written by Rita at Mobile RNR, in which she explains how Steve Jobs would have presented the N8. I couldn’t have written it better, and in my head I had the same ideas about the possibilities of the N8. Rita really draws a great painting of what the N8 is. However, in my day-to-day usage that did not materialise and I was stuck with a good looking mid-tier smartphone with a wonderful camera. Not what I was looking for, but it may well suit your needs.