Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 2 – First look over exteriors


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So here comes the another installment of my views over Nokia N8. In first review of mine, we taken look over what’s inside the commercial package of Nokia N8-00 and what’s about each and everything, while I intentionally kept mum over Nokia N8-00 itself. So, here is the time for the same.


First of all, I really wanted to express my joy over the last announcement from Nokia about Symbian’s future that marks the biggest make shift of recent days from Nokia and while it was much anticipated, the quicker announcements seems to be compensating many things happened in recent days and All of sudden investing in Nokia N8-00 became a bigger decision like once investing in Nokia N82 was.

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Nokia N8-00: The design

Whatever people might be saying around the globe about Nokia N8-00, the design is something that getting praises all over. While Nokia E72/71/52 were kind of looker in their range, the width and build quality in touch range was always like something to ask for more. While build quality of Nokia N97 mini was quite impressing, the world was like changing in favour of designs like Apple iPhone more (see SGS).

The challenge in front of Nokia was to incorporate a competitive design with all the Nokia legacy elements (no antennagate) and whether they succeeded or not, could be known by the fact that whoever taken it in hands said “wow!! its definitely solid”. Nokia continued their N-Series legacy very well.

The metal The Anodized aluminum grows over you like something that you like to keep the device in hands more than to keep it in your pocket. I mean I loved slimmer builds of Nokia E72 and Nokia E52, both of them were very nice to hands, but this thing is like silk.. just take in hands once and it makes you loving it.

Update: Don’t know how, while writing it last night, I missed the part of details on Anodized aluminum. Check out the great post from Aditya for the great pics and detailed comments over this part.

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While I said once that having a bigger screen in pocket is always susceptible of damage and scratches, Nokia N8-00 with its scratch proof screen and build solves the issues in one shot. While you need to remove the plastic over screen and camera lenses to get the real thing, but after that you always feel assured that this device wont let you down in next coming years. A new device forever.

Non-metal parts But its also not like its a total perfect setup… nothing goes perfect. There are flaws (?) or design compromises as well.

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Look at the top and bottom, these are all the plastic, specially plastic cover of HDMI port scares me. We have seen similar mechanism in XpressMusic sets and many others. My experience says that one ultimately end up breaking and loosing the cap. Not a big problem for people, who are not gonna use this HDMI feature a lot, but sure will be an issue with people, who would.

I understand the dilemma as well, if they would have left that open, then it was neither good looking nor a long term affair due to dust particle etc and deploying some slider based approach was not only tough, but was going to put some extra fat. Probably, this was the best way to keep the integrity of design.

Interesting to note that this time, its written as Made by Nokia in place of writing Made in Finland or Made in China.

Thanks to Nokia that they made 3.5mm like some standard that many times we even miss to mention them. nothing to comment that how useful that thing is.

Second good thing is the presence of power button, though in case of touch devices, its obvious to be there, but let me tell, I hate, when they put power button near the cancel button.

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At least I am happy to see the open MicroUSB port like it was in my Nokia N82, because I tether my 3G connection over my PC a lot. But the same time, we find similar MicroSD card and SIM slot as been with Nokia 5800 etc. With a bit better plastic, but yes that is plastic.

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Trick to open slots is like usual, you need to open the MicroSD slot first and then SIM slot.

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You will see a nice touch of silver outlining around volume buttons and camera shutter button. Yes!! the camera button, half pressing of which locks the focus is kind of essential thing, if you want to call something a photography flagship. Tap to focus might be stylish a little but doesn’t brings the natural feel of holding a camera. Thanks Nokia, you didn’t miss that.

Note that its the lock button, which stands for the only likely part that will get scratches due to the tiny and sharp edges.

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At first glance, you get surprised by seeing the IMEI and bar code as a sticker on the back but at the next moment, your mind reminds you that this is the first Nokia with non-removable battery, where else that information could have been? An engraved metallic Nokia Nseries logo is finally something that not gonna stripped even if you removed the back sticker.

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While many called it having a budge in back like feeling, but knowing the highly respected camera specs, its kind of crime to say something against it, but absence of camera cover sure pinches. Its more preferable for many of the apps not having a camera cover and even if it look like activating camera is a longer process now, its not true. Holding the camera button for just two seconds fires the camera app and opening time is sure lots better than that been with Nokia N82 or Nokia N86. In my view, its closing of camera that slows down, because pressing a tap is little position changing than closing the camera cover.

If some might be worrying about the scratches on glass, then the fact that its gorilla/ scratch proof glass gives you assurance that you not gonna loose the full functionality due to scratches over the lens.

But at the same time, there would be no denial of the fact that keeping camera lens open means inviting dust and grease particles, which sure gonna hut everyone and will be a point to care for before, you start taking your big shots. Definitely there is no easy answer to the question that they should have included the camera cover or not.

The another complaint might be about positioning of the mono speakers, which could muffle the sound, if kept at back on some bed or something like that. Though still no issues, if kept on some table, thanks to budge of camera.

Yes! Nokia N8-00 has the dolby output, but it doesn’t have stereo speakers; A single Mono Speaker (some Class D and bossed). Might look odd, but probably this is a compromise that most of the devices make to keep the form factor. People will not complaint much on it due to the fact that its has loudest volume among any of the Nseries ever. Not like those china based ones, but still louder than you would have expected.

Nokia N8 Nitish

Update: In last pics, the proximity sensor arrow was pointing wrong. Thanks @yogi_77 for pointing to the same.

People, who don’t know, proximity sensor is used to lock the screen motions when something comes near. Place your finger at the place and screen will stop responding. It holds the touch screen from misbehaving when device goes near your ears.

On another note, ambient light sensor is used to control the brightness of the device. Who wants to manually change the display brightness when light conditions around you changes. Face it against some light source and you will find it more bright and in complete dark, it gets lesser bright. big time energy saving that way.

At the front, we find a minimalistic approach with proximity sensor, front camera, headphone and first microphone. Proximity sensor really works very well about lighting control and also shuts the screen down when you bring the phone near your ears.

A single menu button, which also brings the all new task manager/ switcher where pressed for long. Though after a few days use, you will find that the lock button is also useful in a lot more cases than you were guessing that to be.

N8 2nd Microphone nitish

Finding the second microphone is a bit harder (see the small hole on the right edge of camera module), but works wonderfully to record the surrounding while making a video. Another purpose of the same is noise cancellation as well, but I have not found any visible differences yet.

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At the bottom, you can read FCC ID etc and also could see the 2mm charging point though the device could get charged by the 200 mA provided by the microUSB port as well. There is tiny light, if you would have noticed near the microUSB port, same get lit on, when you charge by any mean (by bottom pin or USB).

Notice in above pics, Nokia hasn’t forgotten their old age tiny slot to put ribbon or whatever we call it.

The camera part could take another post over the same on whole, but here I am talking about the exteriors

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If compared with Nokia N82 Xenon, then its slimmer but longer and no where lesser powerful Xenon. I twice tried to take shot of lit Xenon, once succeeded to get it half lit and once it was complete white.

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Everyone is talking about the camera specs itself and what’s inside, while one has sure many reason to fall for the beauty of its exterior itself.

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While everyone talking about the game changing camera only, Nokia N8-00 has many other new things in bag as well. One of the greatest thing that will change the way, you live with your smartphone is USB OTG.

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Specially getting handy to me, like to check out any new software that you just downloaded on your PC, you don’t need to connect your phone to PC and even for some, it might remove the need of carrying MicroSD cards for data transfer now.

USB OTG goes beyond it as many already had found out. If you connect any other phone that has USB charging feature, then it charges the same as well. And if you thought this was enough then khouryrt has even connected USB FAN to it. Fun?? Isn’t it?

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I have successfully tried connecting Amkette USB Mouse with it and it worked great. 🙂 Will come up with details in some next post.


Nokia N8-00: The display

Let me tell you my experience. When I first seen the device then I felt the screen a bit smaller than I thought, I mean with the screen, if I remember right then screen of Nokia N900 and Apple iPod touch, I had hands on once, were like having a little bit bigger.

I sure got confused for a second and asked the retailer for a Nokia N900 unit* and I got my point as Steve @aas also suggested. This was to do something with the width and resolution of device. Nokia N8-00 is actually a bit taller than others and slimmer in width, which might give whatever impression to you, but once you start living with, within minutes you realize that this design is not only a lot more pocketable but works well while watching videos as well.

* though couldn’t take a photo and really wish that @nokiaIndia or @thebloggersmind will look at my side too someday for a review unit … @womworldnokia already has sent me that once, but then there was no Nokia N8.

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Though you find many on internet cribbing on the fact that it has a lesser resolution and that includes me as well, but still when you look at the screen, your heart really doesn’t wishes to make any of those complaints neither any long term usages seems to suffer. You find the resolution more like a gimmick and point remains the visibility of the same in various light conditions.

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Tell me, have you seen something this much clearly visible under day light? Do you ask for more?

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Check out it under direct sun in noon time. its still readable, isn’t it?


So, this was all about the exteriors of Nokia N8-00 .. I am sure you wanna hear much much more on it. In next, I will cover the OS experience … may be take a bit longer than this second review took, but keep tuned in for the layman perception.

Drop me comments, if you wanna hear over some specific portions.

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Author: Nitish Kumar

I love to write and raising voice, sharing thought and heated debate is a kind of passion for me. Jobwise I am just another Computer professional handling Infra and designing solutions for a big Indian Media house but I love to write, sketch, photography and a lot more.

19 thoughts on “Layman take on Nokia N8 – Part 2 – First look over exteriors”

  1. i have an idea now about the N8, though i may not go on and buy that. Have you noticed that of late, build quality of nokia devices has been excellent? E5, C3, C5… They’re strong and look good too..

    1. Yeah mate and I must tell you.. as late we go it becomes difficult to come up with something new as most of the things might already be said about. It was the same reason that I was cribbing once when didn’t got a review unit and finally was to purchase the device in 2k higher thanks to greedy NPDs here.

      Come up with C7 soon mate.. we are too anxious to read about that as that will sell more in numbers and sure would find a great presence. C7 gonna be huge if placed and priced rightly.

  2. Good detailed post as always Nitish. In 2nd part I want you to cover more about HDMI or TV out, especially playing games, videos.
    Also how Keyboard, mouse works with HDMI out.

    1. Well.. I have a Bluetooth Mouse, but no keyboard and no HDMI screen. Have to try for that.

      As about games, then already trying Angry Birds and todays will start checking out 6-7 more big titles

  3. Hi,
    Can you please help me to check whether N8 Support Hindi or any Other Indian Language? seems nobody cares about it. It nokia has no supports, then need to buy iphone (which has Indian languages). I am using Mobile to read mail and blog in local languages, so asking…

    1. Thanks my friend for bringing up an excellent point.

      Yes! its true that Nokia N8 not coming with other language input options as of now. But there are workarounds for sure at least for most of the purposes.

      But I guess your purpose is just viewing, right? if so, then it doesn’t much of any restriction. Let me tell you another side.. this is all gimmick more than actually some issue. If you want to view some website in Hindi, then its actually possible with Nokia N8. Though its own browser shows the fonts but might have some size issues. While the freely available and widely popular Opera Mobile 10 browser shows everything perfectly as you might have wanted. So, if only thats your requirement then Nokia N8 will do fine and if you wanted to read docs on N8, then you might need the link in last para.

      Check out screenshot I just taken for you from a Hindi website.

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