Not your normal MeeGo news but i was curious to see how the nokia N8 would suit the average blogger with being his travel companion to cover a conference, so that's what I did. You've got to keep in mind when Nokia brings a MeeGo device to market then it might inherit some of the same pros and cons as this device with how it integrates into the cloud and peripheral devices.
So in this post we are going to look more specifically at its use case in this scenario and also a few likes, dislikes and observations. Now what I need to make clear is that NO Blogger could use this phone as a single primary on the move solution. This is my opinion. What I used to compliment this device was the Samsung Galaxy Tab which was used for Multiple Email aacounts, Calendar, Web access, Google Maps, Skype, VOIP, VPN, DropBox, IM Messaging (gTalk / Kik Messenger / WhatsApp / LiveProfile), Location sharing services, Weather, WordPress, eBooks, Mobile access point, Impressing people with out the hell i can do 🙂
- The Build quality is exceptional and definitely in keeping with Nokias normal way of doing things. The phone is enclosed with Anodised Aluminium which supposedly makes it exceptionally strong, but as I didn't use it as a hammer i've no real idea, but it definitely felt the part.
- Call Quality. Exceptional. What ? Its a Nokia and their Radios are second to none in my opinion.
- Camera. Oh Baby. The Camera. I've seen the high Quality Pics spread all over the Web but taking the pictures yourself really brings home what a AWESOME job Nokia have done.
Below is a simple Picture that was taken in a moving vehicle and I was stunned that the camera could deliver a good picture. You press the button, it delivers. AWESOME.
Pic from a moving vehicle. OMG !
Good vivid colours and colour separation.
What a Nokia N8 wants to be when it grows up. Lol
More pics further down for your enjoyment.
- Video. In broad daylight this phone offers unparalleled video performance, but understandably when the lights fade, So does the performance.
- Fm transmitter is always good when you are on the move. Good User Interface and easy to tune in to Radio Stations
- Nokia Sleeping Screen. This is a App available from Noka beta Labs that brings notifications visual notifications on the screen to the next level. Good for seeing at a glance whats going on with your phone and also give a very good night clock. A screen saver remains on the screen ALL the time. There is some wizardry behind it, but I think its some hokus pokus. On ALL the time without affecting battery life, see what I mean, doesn't make sense.
- Gravity. Although this is a Symbian based Twitter app that has a huge following and much love as well, it has never got my going weak at the knees. It is good but I prefer Tweetdeck on other platforms, but what this app has that say TweetDeck doesn't have on Android is Push Notifications and I love Push Notifications. When I'm in a foreign country I tend to use my twitter account (@meegoexperts) to keep the MeeGo masses upto date with the MeeGo news but also to chat and co-ordinate with people locally on the ground. I rely on 3G data but also Twitter SMS Commands, So if theres no data, then its no problem.
- Exeptional Battery life. Even with the Always on Screen. I was able to use the phone for 20 mins Calls / SMS / Taking over 30 pictures and 90 mins video without charge. This outshines any other phone that I have EVER used and the last thing you want to do when you are on the move is to run out of power.
- Nice cover art - These little niceties are appreciated on a long flight and they are implemented well and are easy to navigate through.
- Good multitasking. The best symbian multitasking implementation that I have seen. Holding the home screen brings up the running apps and simply selecting one takes you there. Works Well.
- Ovi Maps. Awesome GPS lock, a thing that Samsung could really do with learning about as my Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Galaxy S can not get a GPS Lock in 3 times as long.
- Screen rotation. Homescreen Widgets and apps rotate and fill the screen in portrait mode and ALSO landscape mode which isn't always the case when compared to other OSs
Well you thought everything was going so good. With the good comes the bad and when it gets bad, i mean it.
- No portrait Qwerty keyboard. MY BIGGEST GRIPE. On the move with the my bakcpack and luggage in a strange place trying to key a message is near impossible for me. Am i used to a QWERTY keyboard ? YES, Would I say other Bloggers are as well ? YES. A nice portrait Qwerty keyboard is a sought after app. I'm not quite sure if the screens big enough for it but we will never know. There is news that this will be included in PR2.0, but it isn't here NOW !
- Out of memory. *Grinds Teeth* We all hate the Out of memory message. Does the phone need more memory, better resource management, I don't know or care, Please Nokia sort this out, your followers will not accept this any longer! Now at times I was getting this message when I didn't push the phone too hard and at times required a reboot and it was always at the WRONG time. Possibly future firmware updates will resolve this but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth for now.
- Ovi store is clunky. After using Android Market place and its simple select and download experience, going to Ovi Store is a "clunky" and problematic experience. When I request an App to download am I crazy for wanting it to download ? or is repeatedly asking it and begging it the done thing?
- Camera. Yes, I listed this as a Pro and now i'm listing it as a Con. No I'm not mad. As you can see from these pictures the phone does struggle with low light and thats why I can't see it suiting this use case scenario. Lots of conferences are in Low light.
UPDATE: Possibly I got some of this wrong and twiddling with some of the settings would of helped as pointed out by LS in the comments section. Heres on of his pictures:
- Notification light only supports calls and sms. The phone has a lovely notification light surrounding the button on the bottom left of the phone, but it only supports notification for Calls and SMS. Would have been great for this feature to be part of an open API architecture available to third party apps. Come on, its 2011 you know !
UPDATE: A couple of people have mentioned that WhatsApp does in fact work with the notification light. Thats is really good to know. I installed a few applications and didn't see the option for them.
- Confusing on screen virtual buttons. Some buttons with no background are not well defined. Confusing.
- No timed profiles from the homescreen. Is this more of a pet peeve ? We have seen the ability of timed profiles come and go appearing and dissapearing from various phones, so its good to see it on the N8. You can go through the menu option and select a different profile and select that you want it to be timed and for it to revert back at an appointed time. Good to keep the phone quite during the night. You can set have a widget on the homescreen that lets you select a profile, but NOT A TIMED PROFILE. I know theres also Nokia Situations as a option but thats not for me.
Well. I was more impressed with this device than I ever thought possible. Good GSM radio / fantastic screen and the camera ... the camera is an engineering masterpiece in its own right.
Could this suit me on the move. NO. Considering all the good or bad points the virtual keyboard made it quite a painful experience to message on the move and this is a necessity that I could not compromise on. Possibly the PR2.0 update will resolve this but that is a question for another time. This device does suit someone who primarily wants a good camera, calls, some messaging and apps, but for a Blogger I would say a No. What do you think ?