While they remain the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones, Nokia has had to rely increasingly on the developing world for its sales and profits. Apple and Google Android based smartphones are considerably more popular than Nokia’s own efforts but with the release of the N8 and the N9 they hope to take some of the market share away from the two smartphone giants, but will they manage it?
For a start off they are releasing the phone with just about everybody conceivable. The N8 will be available from O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Three Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone as well as Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U, and Tesco Phone Shops. It will cost around £429 on pay as you go but will be available for free on £35 per month contracts.
So, to the phone itself. The N8 will feature an imrpessive 12mp camera with Carl Zeiss lens and the usual stock of Nokia camera phone goodies. It will have an HDMI port so that you can connect your mobile phone directly to your computer and look at pictures in glorious TV definition. The AMOLED touch screen should offer excellent performance.
Beyond that, and perhaps more importantly, we need to look at the open source Symbian operating system to see whether it stands a chance of taking customers away from Apple and Google.
The Symbian boasts multi-tasking and multiple home screens as one of its primary features and this is good news assuming that it doesn’t slow the phone down or drink too much in the way of battery juice. It has social networking integration but it seems we’ll have to wait and see exactly how it will be integrated as we’ve not really seen anything yet.
You do get Ovi maps which means free satellite navigation interaction, and you also receive access to the Ovi app store (how long before your kettles and toasters include access to their own app store we wonder).
All in all, the Nokia N8 shows a lot of decent promise. The phone itself has in many ways taken a back seat to the capabilities of the operating system but such is the way of the modern smartphone. The Apple iPhone, for instance, has arguably enjoyed a lot of its success thanks to the incredible app store that users can access.
Will Nokia make a serious go of the smartphone wars?
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