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Nokia N8 review - best camera phone ever

Review by Michael Oryl on Tuesday October 05, 2010.

nokia n8 · at&t · t-mobile · symbian reviews · smartphone reviews · nokia news · symbian news · smartphone news · michael oryl

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Calling / Data calling: 5 of 5 score

Calling tasks on the Nokia N8 generally worked well. Call quality was very good, especially for the remote caller, but the speakerphone function seemed to be pretty weak, requiring the N8 user to be no more than a foot or two from the device's microphone. Reception was solid on T-Mobile USA's network in general, and I appreciated that the phone's 5-band UMTS 3G support meant that I could just as easily have used an AT&T SIM card and I still would have had access to 3G data.

Speaking of data, the Nokia N8 posted some of the fastest download speeds we've seen on a non-HSPA+(INFO) device. The phone routinely could overwhelm DSLreport.com's mobile speed test, and posted download speeds above 2Mbps with ease. Wi-Fi is also supported by the phone, and it worked as expected. Unlike with some other Symbian devices, the connections for Wi-Fi and the wireless carrier were easy to manage, requiring little to no input from the user, once setup. Bluetooth is also on board.

USB support includes not only the normal ability to connect with a personal computer, but also the chance to connect USB thumb drives and other mass storage devices thanks to the phone's USB On-The-Go support. I do have to mention that it did not work with all expected devices, though.

Messaging messaging: 4 of 5 score

Nokia's messaging system offers basic SMS/MMS as well as email support for POP/IMAP servers and Microsoft Exchange servers. The text messages received on the N8 can be viewed in the normal, non-threaded Inbox folder, as on older Symbian phones, or through the new Conversation View application linked from the Messaging app. The conversation mode is quite attractive.

I setup a Gmail account for use with the N8 with no problem, but I was displeased to find that there was no support for Google's contacts. Exchange support seemed to work fine, though a couple of times the phone seemed to forget my password. I'm guessing this was really a connectivity issue that was improperly handled since I never actually had to re-enter the password. The email app offers a fair bit of functionality, including HTML support, but it is a bit old looking.

The N8 has the ability to synchronize contacts, calendar, and notes with a Nokia Ovi account, but that is likely to be of little interest to current users of other smartphone platforms. The built-in Exchange support will be more useful for some, though.

The N8 has no built-in instant messaging support (check out eBuddy for free on the Ovi store), and I found the built-in social networking support for Facebook and Twitter to be weak. The application was very slow in use, though it offered the basic functionality required by most people. The N8 does not pull in contacts or photos from social networks.

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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