So, while Apple iPhone interview with Deep ended last day with a warm note and some of the new things about iPhone 4, the choice of right person was also the hardest part to me.
Most of the times, when it comes to Apple products, then we get fanboys only, who wont take it if anything goes against Apple and I was looking for a balanced one. Deep really did the same job beautifully.
The next was equally tough, when I was to look for someone to interview on Nokia N8. Like Apple iPhone 4, it was equally hard to find someone owning Nokia N8, who might not go in fan boyish tone rather than talking real and still I was looking for people outside the blogging world.
The name of Yogesh came in my mind as a person, who was very active on twitter, yet away from blogging at least till now. His insights about various phones might have passed through your eyes as well, if you are active on twitter in those Nokia/ Symbian discussions.
Anyway, I know more than my words, the interview series is going all about the common people talking about their phones, so let me leave the stage now for the person himself and the questions of mine.
Yogesh, Can you tell us something about you ? like your profession,background etc..blogging\ social life.
Hi, my name is Yogesh Nikam. I am 28 years old boy from Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Have a computer engineering degree ( BE ) from Mumbai university and have worked in my field for 4 years. But since childhood my dream was to get into the civil services, so left the job from last 1.5 years and right now going through my upsc exams.Hopefully one day I will get into the IAS / IFS service. MY interest areas are technology specially smart phones these days, reading, movies, sports and bikes.
Interesting to note that you are very active on smart phone related discussions on twitter, but still have no blog to voice your opinions? Why so? (Very much thinking to invite you as a guest blogger on my blog. You get hands on devices much before than me)
Right, I do get access to lot of phones early , but I don’t have any blog to express my impressions about the devices. I am pretty active on twitter which already allows me share and interact with lots of smart phone enthusiasts like me. Don’t have my own blog as it takes lots of time to maintain & update, but sure maybe sometime after my exams are over. Surely, I will be glad to contribute to your blog as guest writer one day.
The reason I started using twitter was that it gave me a great platform to interact with @phonedaz a.k.a. Mr. Damian Dinning, who is the chief architect behind Nokia Camera phones. From the start I have been a big fan of camera phones with SE k750i being my first gsm handset to start with. Since then I have used almost all camera phones.
Me: Sure, Yogesh, like I said, I would love to have you with me on my blog. Hope you don’t mind the name of blog that been the biggest obstacle in asking others to come with me.
How long do you use Nokia products? Any other brands, you might have been with earlier or now? Can you list out the phones you have used for last few years?
I started using Nokia products from Feb 07 with N73 ME because of being a Camera Phone lover and wanted to try out Symbian OS (before that I was using SE K750i).
I started with SE and then went with Nokia. A long list of phones used by me includes – K750i , N73ME, K790i, N82, N95 8gb, N85, N86,N79, Wave, Galaxy S and now N8. In between, I had pretty good hands-on with SE K850i, SE C905, Samsung Pixon 8, LG Renoir, Samsung Pixon 12, Google Nexus one, HTC Desire, HTC Desire HD and Dell streak.
I have seen you keep a close eye over discussions related to Smart phones and not only that but you get hands on over devices very soon. Envy you. What’s the secret?
I have got few friends who are tech freaks. And Smart phones being the latest trend in technology these days, they do get all the latest & greatest Smart phones and hence I get to experience them early. HTC Desire HD being the latest one that I really liked.
When did you plan to go for Nokia N8, (was it a plan or accident?) Knowing the pros and cons, how the final decision went?
When did I decided on Nokia N8 ? Hmm.. very early, very very early. I Came to know that Nokia is working on a 12mp camera phone sometimes in November – December last year and being a hard core N86 fanboy, I knew N8 would be something very special. I kept on teasing Damian about that but no info came out of that channel. I thought they will show N8 in MWC 2010 but sadly no luck.
Finally a Genius from Russia leaked that and we came to know about Nokia N8. Nokia then officially came out with N8. So, I could say that the decision on N8 was made very very early actually and I was waiting for N8 for a very very long time. And now I am very happy with my decision and N8 is simply a great all round device for me.
Whats your views on touch screens? Do you really feel that they are at par with Non-Touch ones about text entries?
We are into the age of big touch screen phones. With the start of 3G services in India, if you want to experience the power of internet on your handset then you will need to have a big screen device, hence even if you been fan of non-touch, you can’t run away from a touch screen device.
I personally love them after using Wave, Galaxy S and now N8. Can’t say we can type as fast as good non touch T9 keypad devices such as Nokia N86, Nokia E52 or a good qwerty ones as Nokia E71, but you can achieve very good speeds with swype keyboard that came preinstalled on Galaxy S and now on N8. I just love that onscreen keyboard and its the best thing to have happened to text entry on touch only devices.
There are a lots of buzz around symbian that they are not coping well with things and people with money prefer going with other products, what you say?
Symbian is an excellent Smart phone OS as far as multitasking, contacts management, power management etc. factors go, but they are definitely lacking in UI, browser, text input, IM & social network integration in OS and need to improve on that as fast as possible to not lose customers to other competing platforms like Android. Quality of third part applications too need to rise quickly, same can be said for quality games now that, we have pretty good Broadcom GPU inside symbian 3 devices.
Nokia N8 related Special Questions
You use Nokia N8 for accomplishing which thing most… calls, browsing, navigation, movies, twitter.. which one?
I use my N8 in various different ways- Calling, texting being the basic use of course, I do use it as my main imaging device for photos/videos, Music / Movie player using HDMI out & USB-OTG, for video calling to my friends in other cities using MTNL 3g, twitter via Gravity, Fm radio/internet radio via wi-fi, Ovi maps, Gaming with Angry birds, NFS-SHIFT etc, a bit of browsing via opera mini and a bit of gmail via inbuilt messaging client. N8 being a very versatile device we can use it a hell lot of other ways actually.
Now days, the dead Nokia N8 issue is being pushed in media, what’s your views about that? I have not seen one, but have you seen any such case around you yet?
No idea about the much talked about power management issues. No issues with N8s around me. It seems to be true as even Nokia representative has said it himself. If such problem is indeed there then we can get it replaced under warranty.
Everyone talks about responsiveness of iPhone and SGS. Nokia N8 has improved considerably due to capacitive finally. What you think different here, underlying screen tech or processor or OS itself?
N8 is very responsive, obviously because of capacitive screen technology, a powerful Broadcom graphics processor and an optimized symbian 3 OS. Its a combination of all three factors. Add to that they have upped the clock speed of ARM11 CPU to 680mhz on N8.
Hardware is undoubtably great, but there are some annoyances in hardware. Nokia Social is not a great one as people say, sharing was bring by Pixelpipe etc rather than inbuilt, what’s your views? Aren’t they really slow?
I don’t like the Nokia Social app at all. No idea why Share Online was not included in symbian 3 OS and we need to rely on third part pixpelpipe for that task. As of now, most of my media uploads are from pc only.
Nokia has been known for two thing since decades; Signal strength and battery lives. Anything improves or go average with Nokia N8.
In terms of signal strength N8 is excellent. Battery life on 2G is very good considering it has only a 1200mAh battery for a 3.5" display device. Battery life figures on 3G are not desirable to he honest.
Like in last interview, Deep said, if someone really need a great camera then digital cameras are already there and for people highly concerned on quality there are DSLRs. Is camera really important to be a part of smart phone to be treated as deal breaker?
I don’t know about others but for me, camera is very very important in a smart phone. You do carry your phone everywhere with you 24/7 and you can see a lot of people taking pictures with their phones, most of the time with poor cameras built-in. Then why not have the best camera built in your phone.
Its not about competing with digital cameras, but its about how good your cell phone camera can be. Its been a great asset for me at least. I will say again, its very very important to have a excellent camera in your phone like N86 and N8.
You must check some of my photos taken from Nokia N8 to understand that how handy and full fledged thing this is.
Anodized Aluminum is something that is very special about Nokia N8 and amazing that they managed a unique shape for their product when Samsung, HTC etc seemed to following iPhone at some places. What you find good or bad about Nokia N8 build?
I do like its build quality. Its excellent, obviously with anodized aluminum and unibody design. It does feel great in your hand and I can only say one thing “A great Job well done for Nokia” .
In the hype and fanboys around, many simple and important points get missed like Pentaband of Nokia N8 or FM Transmitter or HDMI or USB OTG Support.. whats special about Nokia other than highlighted Camera, which you find absent with others? What use cases those features make for general people?
Features like Penta-band 3G is interesting to have. You can experience 3G services all around the world, if your a businessman on the move. Features like HDMI out & USB OTG along with native Divx/Xvid/Mkv format support make N8 a very potent media player. FM transmitter is a very handy feature to have in car and I do use it regularly.
Also simple things like "quality stereo audio capture" in video recording usually go unnoticed. Nokia is good at providing all these features in a single handset. May not be noticed or important to others, but highly appreciated from my behalf.
iPhone always stood as slimmest one around. With Nokia N8 they tried to come close of slimming finally. Where slim phones stand for you? While lowest weight is sure nice, but some say that slim phones are generally easy to get slipped from hands? real?
All these slimness crazy stuff is obviously going overboard. Things like that prevent manufacturers from putting bigger capacity batteries, excellent quality camera modules like N86 or N8, xenon flash in those handsets. I am not against slim devices, but I want all these practical stuff to be included instead.
I hear about the absence of Camera cover and their explanation of augmented reality and tougher glass. Is it really unbreakable, uncatchable? If not then does this thing really cut for people, who might be buying their Smart phone for next 5 years?
Active camera lens cover of N86 , N82 type is a must for any wannabe camera phone. It saves the precious lens from all the dust, dirt etc. Nokia had to go without that in N8 due to design restrictions. But I would have liked a camera lens cover in N8.
As about augmented reality apps – let them come first, only then I can comment on that. We have to keep cleaning that glass over camera lens in N8 which I seriously don’t like. No idea how tough or scratch proof it is, I can only say after 6-8 months of heavy use.
Portrait or Landscape.. what you prefer about texting? How much it worth having portrait on Nokia N8? How it will behave with narrower width due to 16:9 screen?
I use swype keyboard in a landscape mode, that’s it. The default ones are retarded anyways. Let Nokia come with a portrait qwerty and then can I comment on its usability.
The portrait keyboard on opera mini is pretty difficult to operate to be honest.
For symbian, Nokia N8 changes the meaning of camera, gaming on phone, data transfer (OTG), what it means to you?
For me N8 is a complete device specs wise, very long speck sheet of N8 says it all. No major things are missing in it apart from led flash for video recording. But then for good quality results, you need dual LEDs of N86 class and there wasn’t enough space for those. Also as stated earlier camera lens cover would have been great.
While Qt and Symbian^3 was to bring portability of app among phones, it frustrates when we see Swype was here for C7 but not N8, Skype came and gone due to unstability and bugs. Sure confusing. Is it really same across all phones now? Is it really easy to port old apps here? What are the view of common man watching all this?
Nokia is banking heavy on QT. Hope its helps developers port their quality apps from iOS and Android to symbian easily. It sure does feel bad when you have to use swype keyboard meant for C7 on N8, before official N8 version came out.
But then Nokia should work hard on increasing no of quality apps on symbian quickly. For a common man, its great to have good no of quality apps that are productive and quality games to play in his spare time.
12) How is GPS there on Nokia N8? I found the A-GPS part better than earlier, locking instantly sometimes based on cell tower even if not precise. Whats your experience with it? Any place you visited with this only? Do you prefer to keep Google Maps installed on your N8 also?
GPS performance of N8 is excellent. GPS lock is instant with A-GPS on. No, I haven’t used Google maps on N8 as OVI maps is more than sufficient for my needs and can be used offline unlike Google maps.
After having used Muti-touch pinch to zoom in their beta Ovi Maps, isn’t age old Google Maps app annoy sometimes now?
As I said before I have not tried Google maps on N8. The multitouch support added in latest ovi maps is great. Nokia should keep on improving a very good product like ovi maps.
Now days China phones are making big in India and one thing they been concentrating on is loudness of music even if on cost of clearness. Nokia N8 is being praised for being loud and yet so clear. Whats your views on that? Do you find it louder than other or some others were better in this regard? Which one?
Mono Speaker on N8 is decently loud and pretty clear for sure. But somehow I would have liked to see Stereo speakers on N8 like Omnia HD or 5800 or X6 style. And a tad more loudness will surely be welcome. China handsets are loud, no doubt but then people do use it those handsets for that single purpose only.
I personally don’t like china handsets due to reliability issue, though I agree they are very famous among general people for that loudness factor.
Ovi Music Unlimited is a thing that is not being spread like wildfire, which it could have been if there were many WiFi’s around in India like foreign places. Did you tried that feature? What you think of it?
Ovi music unlimited is an excellent addition to N8. Yes, I have used it on pc as well as on N8 using wi-fi. More wi-fi hotspots would increase the way people use this feature.
What’s your experience about Ovi Store? Its improved, but still there seems to be less apps and sometimes even available app crashes. Isn’t it seems serious lack of quality from their software division due to race of numbers?
Ovi store experience on N8 is greatly improved compared to previous Nokia handsets. Yes, no of quality apps is low compared to Android market. Most apps I downloaded from OVI store have worked fine on my N8 till now. Surely Nokia must work on this aspect of quality apps on symbian platform.
A suggestion of mine is that Ovi store application on N8 & other symbian 3 devices should have black background considering all these are AMOLED displays and it helps in improving battery life of these devices.
Nokia Messaging, push mail that never seems to work for many with WAP at least. Whats your experience with it? We asked for HTML since big time, but isn’t it look like that keeping HTML view optional was more efficient way?
I am not into heavy email usage on my smart phones. But my Gmail account is working pretty fine with Airtel mobile office internet connection on my N8. I have heard people having various issues with WAP connection, I cant comment on that.
Do you think Nokia N8 can act as a full time phone in your hands or you need some backup phone too .. considering touch screen and battery limitations in mind?
I don’t think I need any backup device for N8. It can surely be used as a full time phone with its battery life on 2G networks being very good. Though I think Nokia should have put atleast 1320mAh battery of 5800 in N8 somehow.
What about Nokia N8 Gaming? I have written a piece on it and really love it. What’s your experience? Is it at par with others?
Due to use of very good GPU like Broadcom BCM2727, the gaming experience on N8 is very good. Angry birds gaming experience on N8 and Galaxy S is pretty same. Same thing can be said for NFS SHIFT on N8 and Wave. I really want to see more quality games like iOS on symbian platform
If you have to show off your Nokia N8 to someone new, then how you go with that? Which features you list and in which order?
Of course the best way to showoff N8 is by showcasing its camera. No other smart phone can come close to it. USB OTG and HDMI out are two other features that can impress general people.
Me: I would prefer to show off the new music gallery first and also the instant thumbnails generation across the gallery.
What about Ovi Services? With one login in start pulling all contacts from cloud, they finally seems to be on right track like others. What’s your views on it? how customizable and simple things are with Nokia N8 when it comes to data transfer across devices?
About cloud services – I don’t use them and hence cant comment on them. But I have heard they are improving but still not as good as Google cloud services obviously
Now days, smart phones concentrating on Internet Apps more and more, but availability of internet and strength is still lame in most area. Let’s say, you got a SIM with no GPRS and you have to start a fresh piece of Nokia N8 without internet, is this really cut then? Specially keeping USB OTG in mind, when you can easily transfer sis files from your friends and your computer, what’s Nokia N8 worth, if it run without internet and data plans?
Even without GPRS or any data plan , N8 is a worth device to have. With that mind blowing camera, excellent sound quality through earphones, very good Amoled display, excellent video playback via HDMI out, some good games, USB OTG, fm transmitter, you can use your N8 in various different ways which sadly can’t be said for most other android devices without data connection.
Be honest, if your younger bro ask you for some phone, then considering the price of Nokia N8, will you prefer the same again for him or you have some alternative to it in mind? Which one? Nokias like C6-01, C7, E7 or some other brands.
If my younger bro wants a new smart phone and he is not hell bent on having best camera, then I will point him towards C7 and if he is on low budget then surely Nokia C6-01.
E7-00 is just too costly with that 1200mAh only battery for a 4" device.
What you don’t like about Nokia N8? And what things stand a chance after the next coming updates?
I wish N8 had super Amoled display like Galaxy S. But then that’s a Samsung exclusive for some time now. I wish it had dual LEDs for video recording, Variable aperture like N86 plus active camera lens cover.
About software update – the browser and text input are two areas I am looking forward too. I Will be glad to see continuous auto focus in video recording mode on N8 plus a bit better xenon flash performance in future software updates of N8.
Your score points to the Nokia N8
My rating on N8 – 8/10 .. missing points due to browser, poor social networking client built-in and less no of quality apps available.
Having so many fans around with Nokia N8, it was really hard to pick one to say it all about Nokia N8 in most simplest manner to satisfy the urge of many others around to know more and more about it. And I must say, I am glad I am chosen Yogesh, who was almost certain to buy one even when it wasn’t even announced.
Sorry to all others, who wanted to speak up for Nokia N8 here, but I was to make a choice.
I want support from all of you to find people from other remaining platforms, I am sure you all want this series of interviews to continue more and more, right?