In part 2 of our Nokia N8 review, I looked in detail at its camera and camcorder functions, loving the raw capture but bemoaning shortcomings in the supporting software. But what about media that you bring in from outside? Videos, music, streaming media, action games - can the N8 complete with the iPhones, Android phones and personal media players on the market? And how useful are the extras, the onboard video and photo editors?
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Following the text-heavy part 1 of our Nokia N8 review, here's part 2, concentrating on the biggest Unique Selling Point of the device - it's 12 megapixel camera and 720p camcorder functions. Comparing it to previous Nokia camera phone champions, the N82 and N86 8MP, plus a run in with the only Xenon-equipped phone in the Android world, I put the N8's optics and sensor through their paces and deliver a verdict: is it as good as most people say it is? Were my worries over the unprotected camera glass justified? And what about usability?
The retail version of the Nokia N8 (and first retail firmware) is finally here and I have been exploring it intensively over the last few days. Read on for what I liked (and didn't like) about the N8 hardware and overall interface. With Symbian^3 under the hood, as well as a truck load of Nokia-written additions, there's a lot to explore though, and this is is just part 1 of a multi-part review. Watch this space for much, much more on the Nokia N8, as the vanguard of a new range of smartphones from Nokia as well as being a camera phone extraordinaire....
*Spark is another in a long line of “new home screen” applications that offer you a little bit more than the standard Symbian screens. Be it weather reports, a different way of presenting applications and shortcuts, pushing news via RSS feeds or keeping you in touch with your friends, this is a well worn path. If done correctly, you can create a base of users who'll evangelise on your behalf and you can continue to support – get it wrong and you’ll find a horrible mess of too many icons, a mash of text and instant “urgh” and uninstall from the users. How does *Spark fare? Let's find out.
Sitting in the recent Nokia World keynote, I spotted a familiar logo on the projector screen. The Foursquare logo. “Ooh that’s new,” I thought, “does that mean there’s an official application for Symbian now to join Android and iOS?” The short answer was yes, the client was on display in the Nokia Experience Lounge and the UI, and while having the obvious Symbian cues, also looked close enough to the aforementioned clients. It’s even labelled as “by Foursquare” although officially it is a collaboration with Nokia. Here's my review.
David Gilson reviews the free Pixelpipe Send and Share, the new incarnation of the popular uploading service that works independently of Nokia's Share online and thus works more seamlessly, using a wider range of file types and (presumably) on more devices. It's all win, win, win until David points out a few caveats, including less flexible authentication and a greater need to do some of the set up using your desktop's web browser.
Steve Litchfield dons his sports gear and trials the new Sports Tracker application with wireless heart rate monitor. Can this new version of an old favourite, in conjunction with some Bluetooth accessory magic, help you improve your workouts, whether walking, cycling or jogging? (Short answer: Yes. With bells on!)
Ewan surveys the freeware multi-service chat and calling client, Nimbuzz, from from its big v2.4 update. Logging you in and integrating contacts from multiple social networks and chat systems is its speciality and it sounds like it did Ewan proud. It's also not only for multiple mobile platforms, but also for just about every S60 phone currently in use, so there really is no excuse for not keeping it installed and ready for action.