N8 + Anna + Price Drop = Great Product

Posted on 22 August 2011, Last updated on 23 July 2018 by

Finally, after some 8 months or more of speculation and rumors that the N8 would get a 2.0 firmware update, it happened. ‘Anna’ arrived.

For customers that spent 500 Euros on an N8 last year it’s a huge sigh of relief. For those thinking about a new cameraphone, I can tell you that there’s very little to moan about now. The software is mature, the price is right.

Portrait keyboard, simpler browsing, a re-worked icon set (that my wife says is cheap ‘like Linux’, I think it looks good!) and fixes all-round. For example, my OVI store now works again after being out of action for a month or more.

The N8 is still no high-end smartphone but as a media phone, the value for money here is amazing. Recent price drops have brought the device down to near €300.

€300 for the best cameraphone in the market is fantastic value. The competing Samsung Galaxy S2 is over €130 more!
You’re getting a 30fps 720p continuous autofocus video camera too. I’ve been testing the recent upgrade and there’s a lot of potential here. With the 4x non-degrading digital zoom and good sensitivity, nothing else in the cameraphone world will touch it. Feel free to boast about your 1080p-capable cameras but I bet they won’t produce results that look as good as this.

More about the N8 camera upgrade ‘beta’  here.

There’s still a few features i would like to see on the N8 video camera though. 480p for widescreen, low-bitrate widescreen videos optimized for YouTube would help mobile reporters. A touch-to-focus feature and focus-lock would be nice too. There’s also an issue with the improved frame-rate because the video bitrate has now gone up to about 100MB per minute meaning it’s extremely difficult to push stuff quickly to YouTube. That’s why I’d like the 480p option! The 7-minute test video below too me an hour to upload over WiFi and a good while for YouTube to process it. That’s nothing for mobile reporters for whom time is an issue.

It’s a damn good phone too with battery life to match that simple task.

With the keyboard input changed to support a portrait qwerty mode, a quick download of swype brings excellent single handed text input.

The browser is improved but still lags in the speed department. There’s nothing more Nokia can do about that unfortunately. The quality does seem to be high though.

The rest:
The ‘Anna’ update brought better exchange sync, mail, calendar, Qt and a bunch of other stuff you’ll find in this post at AllaboutSymbian

Don’t forget you’ve got USB on-the-go for adding storage and those rather neat DAB and DVB add-ons available in Europe. You’ve got the great screen (high quality image and super scratch resistance) and general, all round quality components. HDMI output keeps a/v in digital quality until it reaches your target.

I recon the N8 is about half way through its life but starting from now, its one of the best quality and value phones I think Nokia has ever made and easily the best cameraphone on the market. What a shame they seem to be moving away from Symbian. There may never be a Nokia cameraphone with this much flexibility ever again.

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