Review by Michael Oryl on Tuesday October 05, 2010.
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The Nokia N8 makes a fine personal music player. The phone organizes tracks nicely, and it even offers a very visually appealing, and smooth scrolling, cover flow like view of the album art. The built-in speaker is quite loud, and puts out reasonable sound if you don't have a pair of stereo headphones available. Both wired 3.5mm headphones (included) and Bluetooth stereo headphones can be used with the Nokia N8.
Nokia also includes an FM radio in the N8, so users don't have to rely on pre-loaded tracks. But when you are playing some pre-loaded content, you can make use of the phone's FM transmitter function to output the sound to a nearby FM radio, such as that found in most cars.
All of these music related functions can be controlled from available home screen widgets, which is convenient.
The Nokia N8's 1200mAh battery is rated for up to 5.8 hours of 3G talk time or 16.5 days of 3G standby time. Non-3G talk time will be significantly longer. Even with Wi-Fi running 24 hours a day, the screen brightness at its maximum setting, and the clock screen saver running, I still found the Nokia N8 to be good for nearly two days of light use. Turning down the brightness and removing the clock screen saver will improve things further. In any event, the phone's battery should make it through a full day of fairly heavy use with no real problem.
The fact that there is no real access to the battery, as with the iPhone, could be an issue for some frequent business travelers, though.
I have a hard time with the Nokia N8. I love the phone's industrial design, and the fact that it is available in cool colors. The 3.5 inch touchscreen is adequate in size, and the phone's camera is truly a wonder. HDMI support and an FM transmitter are gravy.
But while I really love those aspects of the phone, the Symbian^3 OS still leaves me unimpressed. Don't get me wrong, though. This is worlds better than what was offered on the Nokia N97 and N97 mini. There is no comparison in my mind. The OS is more consistent and the phone offers better home screen customization. I could actually use this device. But it still feels dated on many levels - especially when it comes to the main menu.
In the end, I'd love to have a Nokia N8 personally - but running a different OS.