Unlike the other handsets we met so far the Nokia N8 wasn't announced now. However it is still not available on the market so paying its corner a visit was the only chance to get to see it in flesh.
The metallic unibody of the handset grabs your attention straight away and it feels so good to touch that you wouldn't want to let go of it. Okay that might be taking things a little too far but the N8 is one sleek device indeed.
We are even willing to live with the fact that the Nokia N8 battery isn't user replaceable (as long as that 1200 mAh unit doesn't turn out completely inadequate) if that was what it took to achieve the excellent build quality.
Unfortunately, the large image sensor that Nokia stuffed into the N8 took its toll on the device waistline and it isn't as slim as most of its competitors. Yet the camera is certainly the handset's key feature and seeing its output we cannot help but feel that the few millimeters of added thickness were well worth it.
Plus the N8 brings the same S^3 goodies as the E7, C6-01 and C7. That means that both user friendliness and performance are better than in previous Nokia touch-driven Symbian smartphones.
Again we are giving you a short demo video so you can see what the N8 real life performance is like.
We conducted a brief shootout between the Nokia N8 and the Samsung M8910 Pixon12 to see how far Nokia has gone with their N8 12 megapixel flagship cameraphone. The Samsung Pixon12 is currently on top of the cameraphone food chain so naturally we had one handy on site to do some comparative head-to-head shooting with the Nokia N8.
As it turns out the two cameras had quite different approach to shooting in the low-light conditions we had to work in. The Pixon12 chose to keep the ISO low minimising noise levels, but that resulted in a massive speed drop to about 1/15. Normally that would make clear, blur-free hand-held shots almost impossible. We used a tripod for this test so that's a bit of an unfair advantage for the Pixon12.
Even so the Nokia N8 produced sharper, more detailed images even though it has a wider viewing angle so it fits more stuff onto its 12 megapixel sensor. It's also got some livelier color output. It didn't however manage to impress with low noise levels as much as we hoped.
We also noticed that the Samsung M8910 Pixon12 images suffer from barrel distortion noticeably more than the Nokia N8 shots. Kudos to Nokia for achieving this, despite having to work with wider-angle lens (28mm vs 30mm on the Pixon12).
Still this test is far from scientific and we will have to wait until we get to spend more time with an N8 before we pass a final judgment.
Since the Pixon12 is unable to record HD video we installed the iPhone 4 as a Nokia N8 competitor in the video recording department. Check out how those two compare: