Nokia N86 8MP review: Lens wide open

GSMArena team, 24 June 2009.
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You may've thought Nokia lost their touch, you may be out of love with the Nseries but the Nseries are always keeping an eye on you. Their wide-angle, variable aperture eye. On you. Whether the Nokia Nseries are making up the ground lost in the megapixel race or claiming back what they believe is rightfully theirs, they seem to have the right leadership to put them back on the megapixel map.

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Nokia N86 8MP official photos

Armed with one of the most advanced cameras in terms of hardware and features you don't just find on every other handset out there, the N86 8MP is keen to take cue from the N85 and shake the Nseries out of their slumber. Now, in case you forgot, it's still the market leader we're talking about here, and that should probably tell why everybody is so worked up.

So, the question as always is whether strong performance will deliver on that awesome promise. And you've got us to help you make a more informed decision about buying Nokia N86 8MP. Given all the comments above, the N86 8MP is more the kind to encourage impulsive spending but you'll choose wisely not to miss our write-up.

Key features

  • 2.6" 16M-color OLED display of QVGA resolution (scratch-resistant surface)
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash and AF assist light
  • 28mm wide camera lens, variable aperture, mechanical shutter, geotagging, time-lapse, camera lens cover, VGA video recording at 30fps
  • Symbian OS 9.3 with S60 3.2 UI
  • ARM 11 434 MHz CPU, 128MB RAM
  • Quad-band GSM support and 3G with HSDPA 3.6Mbps support
  • Wi-Fi with UPnP technology
  • Built-in GPS with A-GPS functionality and 3 months of free voice-guided navigation (Ovi Maps)
  • Dual slide design with dedicated gaming/audio/gallery keys
  • microSD card slot with microSDHC support
  • Beefy 8GB internal storage
  • Built-in accelerometer for UI auto-rotation
  • 3.5mm audio jack doubling as TV out port
  • Stereo FM Radio with RDS, FM transmitter
  • Standard microUSB port and stereo Bluetooth v2.0
  • N-gage support plus you get an N-gage game for free
  • Digital compass
  • Web browser has full Flash and Java support
  • Active kickstand
  • Nice audio reproduction quality

Main disadvantages

  • Camera feature set is last year's stuff (and even older)
  • Image processing isn't very well tuned at this moment
  • VGA@30fps video is no longer top of the line
  • No xenon flash
  • HSDPA only 3.6Mbps, no HSUPA
  • Poor display sunlight legibility
  • No DivX or XviD support (can be installed, possibly requiring a purchase)
  • No smart dialing (can be installed as well, but will probably set you back some cash too)
  • No office document editing (you upgrade for a fee, while some Eseries phones get that for free)

The Nokia N86 8MP offers advanced camera technologies, combined with the power and maturity of the Symbian OS and the intuitive S60 3rd edition interface. It doesn't get any better than that on paper, and if you aren't all caught up in touchscreen, you're most likely about to check it out.

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Nokia N86 8MP reporting for duty

But no matter if the glass is half full or half empty to you, we guess you wouldn't want to miss Nokia's first move in the 8 megapixel game. The Nseries proven all-round skill and the innovative camera features have us eager to explore this promising cameraphone. We're most curious of course to find out if they got the image quality right. But first things first - the handset gets unboxed and ready to roll on the next page.

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