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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Galaxy S user talks Nokia N8

I came across an interesting look at the Nokia N8 from a Samsung Galaxy S user. Here is their comparison from Whirlpool Forums about how the N8 compares with the Galaxy S. 

Things that I like and have noticed:
- Build quality and feel is great. The Galaxy S was very light, but very 'plasticcy' and it certainly didn't feel like a smartphone should. The N8 has a great feel in your hands and its nice to hold with a perfect weight. You can tell its a well built phone from the feel of the buttons and casing. The Galaxy feels cheap in comparison.
- Call quality (including speaker and microphone) is excellent. I always found call quality to be a bit muffled with the Galaxy and many times people had trouble hearing me if I was outside, especially if there were windy conditions. Recording video the microphone recording is much clearer.
- Touchscreen keyboard has a great feel. Little bit hard to explain if you've never used the keyboard on the Galaxy S but I find personally that the N8's touchscreen keyboard is much more responsive. With the Galaxy I found that the keyboard would lag if I was typing fast, causing doubled up characters or mispelt words.
- GPS on the N8 works really well. I struggled to pick up an accurate location with the Galaxy S. I think this was a software bug, not a hardware but I know its a pretty widespread problem. Works for some and not for others. Big bonus is OviMaps which work exceptionally well. Awesome that you can just update from OviSuite as well.
- The messaging app has a nice familiarity to it, but even more surprising is the Conversations threaded message app. Similar looking to the iPhone messaging app, the dark theme really works with it and I find reading messages and keeping track of messages is really easy. The stock messaging app on the Galaxy (in my opinion) is awful. The fonts are too large, the colour scheme awful and the general layout crap.
- Symbian ^3 might not look as flash as Android but I feel that its more reliable, stable and functions better. When using the applications they feel more polished. For example I've not had one application lock up on me or lag yet. Even after upgrading the Galaxy S to 2.2 with lag fix and other fixes it still lagged and locked up on occasions. Not nearly as much as when it was running 2.1 but still enough that it was annoying.
- Inbuilt music app is awesome!! Its got a great layout, I love the buttons and it works really well. The Galaxy S stock music player looks like an iPhone ripoff, but also feels clunky and horrible to navigate. Speaking of music, the quality also sounds better. Much deeper and clearer sound sound quality. Even compared to Android Winamp and other players like MortPlayer on Android, the Nokia player beats them in my opinion.
- OviSuite > Samsung Kies hands down. Kies is a bloated piece of crap. I dislike iTunes but I personally think Kies is actually worse than iTunes. OviSuite has a nice layout, its fast, easy to use and I had no problems connecting the N8 to it. Getting the Galaxy S to even show up in Kies was an effort.
- Battery is better.
- Camera....well theres no need to compare is there...
The N8 is just awesome.

Things I don't like:
- Web browser is a bit clunky. I know there is an update coming out to address this, so its doesn't worry me. But felt it was worth mentioning. Opera functions well enough.
- Youtube app isn't as good as the Galaxy. I've read there was supposed to be an update coming for this as well, so I'm not all that worried.
But apart from those two things, I can't fault the N8 much in anyway.
Its a pleasure to use, and I'm glad I picked one up.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Confirmed SU-8W keyboard working

Just a quick post for those trying to get the SU-8W keyboard to work with their N8. Remember that in order to pair the keyboard, you will need to set it up for detection by holding down the MAIL and MENU buttons down on the right of the keyboard until you see the two LED lights alternating in a railway crossing kinda way. Then use your N8 to go to settings - connectivity - bluetooth - paired devices - add new paired device.

Nothing now beats the N8 with a bluetooth keyboard!

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pixelpipe user fail :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The first 24 hours

What were the first things you did when you got your Nokia N8? First of all, the E72 had to give up all its contacts, sms, calendar entries, personalisations, bookmarks etc to the N8 and that was handled seamlessly using the Data Transfer and a Bluetooth connection. 

Charging or not charging?
I've been reading conflicting reports around about whether or not you need to do a 15 hour initial charge of the phone and decided to do it just in case. Its been recommended that you do this for the first few charges, draining the battery completely and then charging it for a prolonged length of time. Correct me if I am wrong.

Updated Firmware 
I downloaded the software updates to the N8 to make sure I didn't have any unnecessary bugs.  

Turned off key tones

I just can't stand it when someone else is typing an sms and every letter is making a beep sound. So I did to other what I would want others to do to me. Off. 

Updated Ovi Maps

With the phone coming from overseas, I needed to import the Australian maps into the N8 rather than sit around waiting for the program to download maps on the fly. Just doesn't work so save your hassles and potential car accidents and get these updated early. Best of all, its all free!

Checked Google docs

Was a little disappointed that even till now, mobile phones still don't know how to handle google spreadsheets well. Word documents turned out well and the touch screen enabled a much more decent scrolling. 

Checked whether Quickoffice was free

Confirmed that unfortunately, unlike the E series, this does not come with free editing. That you will need to pay for but you can still read XLS DOC and PPT files without a problem. 

Tried out the camera

Took a few shots but was a little disappointed with the results inside the house at night until I switched to night mode and the excessive flash was toned down and produced a very decent photo. Haven't tried the video yet. Customisation on the camera was much more extensive than other phones. That's why it won the awards right? 
More later... but what did you do on Day 1?

The N8 finally arrives..

My Nokia N8 finally arrived yesterday after a prolonged delay. For those that don't know, my N8 was a prize from an Ovi meetup organised by 1000 Heads in London on the eve of Nokia World 2010! It was a little disappointing to receive an opened box but nevertheless, the phone was all there. 

Initially I thought that it was missing a mini SD card but I guess I wasn't familiar with phones that have 16GB space in their internal memory! Question: Why did Nokia produce one of their first SEALED in battery device on a phone which is capable of so much? So many people would be buying back up batteries to switch between during events where the video and camera are getting fully utlised. OK I digress but that's the difference between a blog and a review. :)

Apart from someone else doing the unboxing for me, the first impression of the device was pretty good. The flaps that protect the SIM card, SD card and HDMI slots were flush to the point that it took quite some effort to open them up. As a left hander, I claim discrimination with the main button sitting in a spot that makes it a cramp-risking bend of the left thumb to reach. The E7 will be more friendly. 

As many have said over the last few months, the phone feels really nice in the hand. The portrait keypad is a T9 but many will find this useful anyway. Next post we'll look at the first steps when you get a Nokia N8.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

N8 won't turn on or won't charge

Around the world there have been reports that some N8s are not powering up or the battery will not charge. If you have a problem, you should contact your nearest Nokia Care Centre.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Norway Rates N8 the Best Twice

The 2010 edition of Gulltasten, the Norwegian mobile industry’s highest awards, was held last week and we were pleased to see the Nokia N8 walk away with two major awards – best camera phone of 2010, and best multimedia phone of 2010.

Monday, November 15, 2010

9 Things to look forward to with my N8

This blog has been nothing more than a placeholder in the last few weeks as we await the delayed arrival of the Nokia N8. However, come next week, we'll finally be able to do the things that we have only been able to talk about so far.  Here are a few things I am looking forward to -

  • Reading HTML in my emails 
  • Browsing the internet without hindrances regarding flash etc (N8 supports even Flash 10)
  • Broadcasting my music and audiobooks through the car radio from my phone 
  • Plugging the N8 straight into a HDMI port on a TV to show photos / videos 
  • Playing games such as Angry Birds without lagging or closing other applications because of lack of memory
  • Connecting a USB thumb drive to the N8 to check what its got on it without having to boot up the computer 
  • Trying out the new Swype keyboard software to see whether its faster than a Qwerty
  • Taking photos using the 12mp camera 
  • Using the voice navigation on a big touch screen with pinch to zoom on Ovi Maps! 
If you are waiting for your N8, what are the things you are looking forward to most about using the N8 for?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New General Manager for Nokia Australia

Following what must be said to be a very poor launch of the Nokia N8,  the woes of Nokia Australia have forced a change in leadership with Chris Carr, who was Vice President of sales for South East Asia Pacific, moving to Sydney to replace Emile Baak as General Manager of Australia and New Zealand operations.

Also joining him will be Steve Lewis to head sales for Nokia Australia and Greg Clark who will be in charge of retail for Australia and New Zealand. One hopes that the sleeping giant has been properly woken up and Nokia can start clawing some market share back from the up-and-comings of the mobile industry in Australia.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Now Available in Australia

The Nokia N8 is now available with all carriers (except Telstra apparently). Optus is offering the Nokia N8 with their $49 cap plan with a 24 month commitment required. As a sweetener, they are giving three months free access which is a saving of $147.

Three and Vodafone are also offering the Nokia N8 on their $49 cap plans with a $50 bonus credit. However, if the $29 cap is sufficient for you, you can get the Nokia N8 for only $10 per month extra. If you know of a better deal, leave a comment below.

Blogging on Your N8 with Wordpress App

Wordpress has come out with an application for Nokia devices which allows bloggers to submit posts via their mobile phone. Here is the video to explain this new application which is available for the Nokia N8.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apps Wanted in Exchange for Free Nokia N8

Are you thinking of doing an app for the Nokia N8? If you have the skills to be an application developer, go to and try your hand at suggesting an app that you think will be one of the top 30 application ideas and if you get your application published by the end of December, you get to keep a Nokia N8 for your efforts. You also will be earning $$ for your application as well but ok, some of us may be just motivated to get our hands on the Nokia N8 for free :)