by Simon LR
ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s no surprise that The Fanatics have the N8. We went to Nokia World. We did the whole Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“look at us with these shiny new devicesĂ˘â‚¬Âť thing. Well, weĂ˘â‚¬â„˘re back and weĂ˘â‚¬â„˘re taking a look at the N8.
First and foremost, thanks to the gorgeous people at WOMWorld/Nokia for getting a review unit out to me. The N8 I received is dark grey and it sure is wicked sleek.
It ships in a very thin box with the regular raised/embossed logo and adorned with shiny branding. Flipping it over, youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ve got all the pertinent information and hardware buzzwords printed on the outside.
Inside, as always, the device sits on top in all itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s glory. While Nokia is very well known for shipping all of the required accessories and other little nice amenities and, still, the N8 includes cables and adapters that most manufacturers skimp on, but doesnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t include the regular slip case or screen cloth that previous boxes had, rest assured – only those who regularly purchase unlocked Nokia devices will notice this.
And we have the N8, itself;
Amazingly built. Anodize aluminum. Laser cut. Single slab sealed design. The N8 feels like the quality kit it is.
The height and width of the device, coupled with the slippery back Ă˘â‚¬â€ś make for holding onto the N8 a real chore. As many with many Nokia devices, it does feel that it can take a dropping and keep on rocking. The Corning-made Gorilla Glass, solid slab of aluminum and what seems to be high-impact polystyrene caps, for absorbing the brunt of drops, provide a real confident feeling about tossing this device around.
Rolling the N8 in your hand, youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll immediately feel the camera bulge. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s not intrusive, but it is powerfully pronounced and justified so. Sporting a 12 megapixel 1/1.83Ă˘â‚¬Âť sensor behind an industry-proven Carl Zeiss lens and ionized Xenon flash, you can leave your point-and-shoot at home from now on.
Due to the sealed design of the N8, the microsd card and SIM slot are covered by hard plastic doors. At the top, we have a door to cover the HDMI (type C) port, the 3.5mm jack-in and power/profile toggle button.
The right side has the volume rocker, lock slider switch and the two-stage camera key Ă˘â‚¬â€ś which is absolutely the best dual-press camera key that I have EVER used. IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘m a stickler for detail and really appreciate the angled-cut ports in the aluminum casing for the right-side keys. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s when engineers and designers work together wonderfully and produce perfection.
Nothing is without slight niggles, so IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ll tell you what I dislike about the hardware. The menu key. ThatĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s it. One button. One major annoyance, however.
I would have much preferred to see the menu key in the center of the device, ala E7. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s not ergonomic at all being placed very so far down on the outskirts of the device. In all honesty, I would actually prefer to have a key on the side that acts at the menu key, opposing the lock slider. Left or right-handed, if youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘re holding the device, your thumb or peter-pointer is hovering directly over it. Just makes sense to me.
The other reason I dislike the menu key? The LED used for notification.
It is not bright enough. It does not grab your attention unless itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s absolute pitch darkness. The amount of light given off is a pittance, not to mention the fact that itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s a white LED. IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘m going to go as far as to say, itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s the worst of all Nokia devices that have this feature. The E7 has the same design and I can only hope it stops there, and the N9 continues from where the N900 left off with a completely programmable RGB LED.
IĂ˘â‚¬â„˘ve always been a huge fan of everything that goes into the design and building of a Nokia device. For the most part, itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s just laid out properly (and yes, I like the off-set spacebar of devices gone by). The materials used are of the highest quality and nobody can contest the durability or reliability of a Nokia phone.
Like many other devices nowadays, the N8 is essentially a housing wrapped around a 3.5Ă˘â‚¬Âť screen, some buttons on the side, some ports on the bottom and a camera on the back Ă˘â‚¬â€ś yet, it manages to stand out and shine brighter than its counterparts.
Okay, so the hardware is bold and beautiful. How does the software fare? Stay tuned while I vigorously put the N8 through the paces and see how it all turns out.
If you can’t wait for the second part of my review, you can pick up your own from Amazon for $549. Unlocked and full penta-band 3G support means no worrying about a carrier or unlock code!