Nokia Reveals N8: Its Disappointing 2010 Flagship Phone

by Matt Klassen on April 29, 2010

Nokia N8

It seems that every year Nokia releases a phone that it hinges all its hopes and dreams on, and this year, that phone is the N8. However, as with all the other flagship phones Nokia has produced in the past several years, the N8 looks ready to disappoint even before it’s been officially unveiled.

In a recent turn of events that played out in similar fashion to Apple’s prototype iPhone fiasco, the popular Russian tech site Mobile-Review got its hands on the prototype N8, the first phone to sport Nokia’s new Symbian 3 OS, and the reviews were, shall we say, less than glowing.

The results of the analysis by Mobile-Review revealed that while Nokia certainly knows how to sell a phone, with sales rates that far outpace even the most popular mobile companies in North America, what Nokia doesn’t know how to do is actually build a phone.

The early review declares that the Nokia N8 will undoubtedly turn out to be a poor rival to Android devices or the iPhone, with the damning news that Nokia’s brand new Symbian OS 3 is little more than Symbian 1 or 2 (take your pick) in a flashy new package. This means that if hopeful Nokia customers were hoping for a significant upgrade in the Symbian OS, perhaps an upgrade that put it into the same category as Android or the iPhone OS 4.0, they will be sorely disappointed.

While Nokia’s Symbian 3 will give users the ability to truly multitask (as opposed to Apple’s bastardized version of this feature), the rest of the upgrades and keynote features are really not all that impressive. In fact, it seems that most of Nokia’s additions with the 3rd version of their operating system are more in the catch-up category; meaning that the Nokia N8 will sport features that we’ve seen on several smartphones already.

Further, it seems that out of the box the N8 will not even hold a candle to the processor speeds, functionality, or phone extras (like cameras) that are already commonplace in the current mobile market. As a flagship phone, it seems the N8 is already lagging a considerable distance behind its closest competitors.

Like Apple and its recent iPhone debacle, however, Nokia is not taking this scathing critique lying down, and their damage control plan is in full swing. Nokia made an official announcement regarding their leaked flagship phone, wherein they chastised Mobile-Review for its unfair critique, and assured customers that the prototype N8 was not, I repeat, not, the phone that Nokia will ship this summer.

While it remains to be seen whether or not this official response is simply Nokia’s spin doctors hard at work to contain the damage done to a phone that they know realize will probably be a flop, or whether the leaked N8 is really a prototype without the latest Nokia software installed, this news certainly threatens to take a chunk out of Nokia’s profits this year.

Despite the fact that Nokia sells more phones in a minute than Apple does in a year, the mobile giant has seen its profits tail off and its stock prices fall in recent months, and there are (or were) high hopes pinned on the success of the N8. But before you get too concerned, I would guess the only lasting effect of this news will be that it has made it possible for Nokia to disappoint us yet again next year with their 2011 flagship phone.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mikkoh April 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm

You cannot judge a phone by prototype..

Matt Klassen April 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm

You raise a good point Mikkoh, but only time will tell the truth of that statement. If it turns out that the N8 prototype employed an inferior OS, as Nokia claims, then I certainly may be wrong.

But if the real N8 phone turns out to have the same disappointing features and OS as the leaked prototype, it’ll be far behind other devices like the Droid Incredible and iPhone 4.0 before it’s even available to the public.

Cheema May 2, 2010 at 1:33 am

It is one of very few phones offering hd recording and hdmi out, 12mp camera with auto focus. Free GPS navigation with OVI maps. It is not just to blame an OS (Symbarin 3.0) before it is actually out. As far as the spec sheet is concerned, it appears to be ahead of competation. Some of the companies are doing larger displays than 3.5″ but again that make handset too big to fit properly in the pocket.

Please read the spec sheet and tell me which phone beats Nokia N8.

lonely cent August 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm

n8 has bluetooth 3(the fastest) ,first n-standard Wi-Fi(it’s the fastest in a smartphone), nHD screen size which is perfect for HDMI support, 12mp Xenon flesh wide angle and largest image sensor in a smartphone,first Dolby Digital plus sound in a smart phone, first multi touch in Nokia, first AMOLED capacitive touch screen in Nokia, first wireless mouse support in a smartphone, QT written applications supported.full flash 4.0 supported in the web browser,first USB on the go Wow now i can connect it to my 250GB hard disk and copy and paste the files easily with out a pc and ofcourse it will save time.. That’s smartphone. Nokia N8- lifes make easy. And coming FX studio,Asphalt 5 , sims3 and need for speed etc.. yay… Many improvements and new changes are there in laggy but speedy. Final OS will be better than what we are thinking. Hey author of above article.

envy canada November 3, 2010 at 1:02 am

highly disagree with this article…

Matt Klassen November 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm

You wouldn’t be the first. 🙂

Ameriswede November 9, 2010 at 7:20 am

Symbian is the worst OS ever concocted. I have been saddled with a 5800 for nearly 2 years. It has been like a really ugly girlfriend that you cannot get rid of. Nokia just will not listen either. Decent looking phone but still Symbian…come on Nokia are you listening…I know I am not alone…

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