N8
N8 captured in HDR

On the 6th of August, we had the opportunity to be one of the select few to play with the new unreleased Nokia N8, Nokia’s latest Nseries device. This device from Nokia is very much aimed at putting it squarely back in the game.

For the record, the N8 we played with were prototypes and not completely production ready.

So what is the N8? A funny question to be asking since we all know what is the N8. But what is it actually?

The N8 is a device that clearly more than just a phone. Sure, but aren’t all smartphones this and that little bit more? Yes, but the N8 represents a forward movement, a movement from being just a smartphone device to a media, entertainment and imaging powerhouse. The N8 sees Nseries and Nokia play up on the strengths of the Nseries category. It also sees Nokia becoming clear with this line up. Nseries devices aren’t just about music, they are about giving the complete experience – creating content, editing it, sharing it with the world and consuming it too.

I’m sure this definition above will continue to expand in the times to come.

For now let me tell you what I was able to observe about the N8 and the tiny tit bits of info I was able to get from Nokia.

1) Build quality is definitely something you haven’t see Nokia deliver before. Current Eseries devices also don’t match up to this build quality.

2) Symbian^3 is responsive and really felt stable, no quirky feedback whatsoever. The landscape layout has been improved and is a welcome change.

3) The UI and OS have really been overhauled tremendously. Expect a fresh feel thanks to Qt implementation.

4) The camera on the N8 is phenomenal, the N82 finally has a successor. If you have this, you don’t need a digital camera. Also one mic (out of the 2) will be for filtering out noises like wind noise while shooting videos, there by enabling you to get better sounding audio.

5) HDMI out is of the ‘mini’ kinds (Mini HDMI v1.3). The quality of the broadcast on a 44″ hdtv will make you happy indeed.

6) The UI when viewed on the HDTV wasn’t scaled from 640 x 360, which mean it wasn’t pixelated at all.

7) USB-on-the-go will support USB3 memory devices too. Which means the next generation USB3 will work just as well on the phone. This has been confirmed by Nokia India officials.

8) The N8 has a loud and clear sounding mono speaker, though we’ll be better able to guage this once we have the device for review.

9) DivX will be supported out of the box (Finally!!!)

10) Auto Focus is possible on the N8 while taking a video (on a hardware level) but hasn’t been implemented until some bugs aren’t ironed out. So yes, one can expect auto-focus for video to be coming soon on the N8.

11) With Symbian^3 being more open than its predecessors, expect much better access to APIs. For developers it means developing better apps. For consumers it means a plethora of things to do with the phone. Who know maybe that app for taking HDR photos is around the corner then?

12) Tapping the battery on the homescreen, throws up the power management (Power saving mode) and also shows the remaining juice in percentage.

13) Dolby isn’t just a little sticker with a little bit of a punch, no. It is the complete package in terms of experience. If you have your TV connected or even your speakers connected to your N8, you will be truly amazed with the audio quality.

14) Picture and Video editor are very easy to use and have quite a few features. Thus editing on the N8 will be quite possible and is likely to be a highly used feature.

15) Social Networking has been finally integrated with the phonebook, just like you see in BB devices or on the Maemo platform. So now you can sync your Facebook contacts with your contacts in the phonebook.

After having spent time with the device for that brief moment, I really look forward to getting a review device soon.

For now here’s a huge gallery of photos of the N8

In case you want to see the slideshow –

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