It’s been almost two weeks since I took ownership of what is probably the last flagship for Symbian, the Nokia 808 Pureview. As in my previous article ("Unboxing the 808"), I would like to jot down some snags I've hit in the last eleven days of ownership.
The phone did restart a couple of times during the first few days as I tried to reinstall my apps and set up the phone. Maybe I was doing a little too much… But once set up, the phone is really stable and I did not have another unintended reboot since.
Which brings me to my biggest bug bear – Nokia S(t)ore. I bought many apps when I owned the N8 and I already had many issues when I upgraded to Belle. But I was not prepared for the troubles that I have to go through for the 808. Nokia Customer Care insists that many of the apps are tied to the phone but I have contacted the developers and they said that their apps are tied to my Nokia Account. As at the time of writing, the issue remains unsolved. Upgraders beware…
Battery fault. Thanks to Battery Info, I discovered that the 808's battery would not charge to 1400mAh, despite showing 100% charged. A trip to my Nokia Care Centre and they discovered a fault with the battery. However, they have no stock of the battery(!) and I have to wait for their call. But they promised a 1-for-1 exchange. Apparently, someone else in my country also has the same issue.
HDMI adapter. A reader pointed out that the 808 has a different mini HDMI port from N8. This means I can't use the N8 adapter and 808 does not ship with any.
The light for indicating charging is now gone. I plugged in my phone once and forgot to turn on the power, so the phone didn’t charge – so much for being a power user! The light would have served as a reminder.
Having got those rants off my chest, here's some more feedback on the 808:
- I purchased the CC-3046 cover for SGD25 to protect the 808 and keep the lens pristine. The cover is well-made with all the cut-outs for the ports. The lens cover is secured quite strongly with a string, so if you don't like it you can remove it. The cover doesn't add much mass or size to the phone.
- The screen is bright and clear, even under tropical sunlight. Not the highest spec screen in 2012 but videos and photos are clear. Naturally, web pages do suffer as less info can be fitted onto the screen.
- Belle Feature Pack 1 is an improvement over Belle. For more details, you can read Rafe and Steve's recent article on Feature Pack 1. I like the new toggles for 3G as I like to use 2G to extend battery life but it's a pain to always go into Settings and Power saving mode is too severe.
- The 808’s hardware is also better than the N8's. All the N8 goodies are there. There are now hardware buttons for receiving and ending calls (hurray!). The latter also doubles up as the power button. The End call button is also great for closing apps on the 'quick'.
- GPS pick up from cold is really fast. I was travelling in Malaysia and decided to test it while on the coach. I had turned off mobile data and the GPS got a lock-on within 10 seconds. The N8 at times struggled here.
- The processor is now speedier but, more importantly, more RAM has been added. The N8 can crawl when the apps are memory hungry or when I multi-task. Case in point: Fire up Airport Control on the N8 and all other apps closed, not so on the 808.
- I saw a guy with a Galaxy Note on the public transport. He was holding it in landscape mode and was swiping breadth-wise (up and down, perpendicular to the displayed icons) to locate an app. It's laughable that the 'outdated Symbian' is the only mobile OS that works properly in landscape mode in 2012. Detractors would say why the need for landscape mode – but I just feel it is laziness on iOS, Android and Windows Phone for not providing it.
- Battery life is much better and the 808 has a larger battery than the N8. I usually charged the N8 midday just to make sure I didn’t run out of juice in the evening. Now with the same usage patterns, I can reach home in the evening with 30% remaining.
- Apps for me are not a major problem. I have all that I need - Gravity, Podcatcher, SymPaper, Opera, Cutetube, Cutebox and some sterling games like Airport Control and Micropool. I don’t have Audible and Kindle in Singapore (at least not officially!) so those are not an issue. The only glaring things that I kind of miss is that there is no good Bible app and word games are scarce.
Lastly, I’ve come to the part that defines the 808 – camera. The UI is great, especially if you want to be creative. All the controls are where they should be, so customising the settings is really fast. After a couple of weeks, I have decided to use the custom setting but leave everything in auto mode. This gives me the flexibility to customise when I want to. Quality is really stunning, here are a few of my shots with it, click each to download or enlarge it.