Nokia, which remains the world's top phone producer, introduced the Nokia N8 smartphone on April 27, a newest flagship device on which it seems to have spared no expense.
Where to begin with the Nokia N8?
For one, the N8 runs Symbian 3, the latest edition of the world's most popular smartphone OS. What this means for users is support for gestures such as multi-touch, flick scrolling and pinch zooming.
Symbian 3 also has a new 2D and 3D graphics architecture, said to deliver a faster and more responsive user interface. Plus, multiple home screens can be personalized with applications and widgets.
Another breed of consumer, however, may think the real news to lead with is the N8's 12-megazpixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and an optical sensor said to rival those in compact digital cameras.
The N8 can also record and edit high-quality, high-definition video with a built-in editing suite. And additionally on board is Dolby Digital Plus surround-sound and access to Web TV channels such as E! Entertainment and National Geographic, with additional television content available in Nokia's Ovi Store.
Social networking? But of course. Using a single app on the home screen, users can update their status, share location information and photos and view live feeds from Facebook and Twitter. Calendar events from social networks can also be transferred to the N8's calendar.
Additionally, the N8 arrives with free global Ovi Maps installed, for walking and driving navigation, as well as highlighted points of interest, for more than 70 countries.
There's also 16GB of built-in storage and support for a 48GB microSD card. An included memory card slot also makes for easier transfer of large files.
Last but hardly least, the Nokia N8, in addition to being the first with Symbian 3, is also the first Nokia device with Qt software, a new development environment that, according to Nokia, makes development simpler and enables developers to build an app just once and deploy it across multiple software platforms. Still in an initial beta stage, the Nokia Qt SDK is now available to developers.
On Jan. 29, Strategy Analytics reported that Nokia had a strong fourth quarter, shipping 126.9 million handsets worldwide, which was its best performance since the first half of 2008 and an increase of 12 percent from a year earlier.
Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston noted in the report that while Nokia, despite competition from Apple and RIM, among others, was able to grow its share of the smartphone market by 39 percent, it still held a below-average share of the "high-growth touch-screen market." With the N8, Nokia seems ready to begin meeting that challenge as well.
The N8, which is exactly the weight of an Apple iPhone 3G S and nearly the same dimensions, will begin shipping in "select markets," per Nokia, during the third quarter of 2010 for an estimated retail price of 370 Euro - or approximately $492 US. It will come in a choice of Dark Grey, Silver White, Green, Blue and Orange. No carrier partners have been announced yet.