24 Hours with the Nokia N8 – A Quick Overview

Its been exactly 24 hours now since the new Nokia N8 arrived at my doorstop, and the first thing I did, was shoot a quick unboxing video, which I posted about here over at Nokiausers. After this, I charged up the N8 until it was fully juiced up, then once done, switched it on, and started setting everything up on it. Hardware aside, I will now detail my experiences with the N8 from switching on, trying out the pre-installed stuff first, then onto the 3rd party applications choice, and quick overview.

Now, be warned, and don’t make the same mistake as I did. In my haste, I decided to set up everything I could “without first fitting a sim card”. Big mistake.

Reason I say this, as without a sim card fitted, everything you set up, once switched off, and then fitting a sim card you lose all your settings once you power on the N8 again, including your Nokia Account log in. Gutted, and not sure if this is supposed to happen or not, but my guess is it was my own fault in the first place, but thought I ought to mention this to you so you too do not make the same mistake. On a positive note, I guess this is a far safer way in case your device is lost.

Anyhow, with sim card fitted, I continued to set up the various pre-installed applications first, Communities was the first thing I set up, and although it was easy enough to set up, its very very basic when compared to the third party application Gravity. For example, although you can add multiple twitter accounts in communities, you can only be logged into one of them at any one time, and signing into one account, automatically signs you out of the other/s. This was a PITA for me, and on the timeline view, there is no indication of which account you are actually using either. I thought, ok, thats enough of that, and planned on installing Gravity later anyway, which will do more than fine.

The second pre-installed application I set up was email, and again, although this was very simple to do, in my case, GMAIL, it automatically pulled in all my settings, and I was away in no time.

I was keen to checkout Ovi Maps on the N8, so the first thing I did was attempt to see how well it would perform inside our apartment. Wow, launched it, and bam! Located me instantly, and signed me into my Nokia Account automatically using my previously entered credentials when N8 was first switched on. Impressed.

Contacts, I synced my contacts effortlessly with another of my Nokia devices, and was pleased to see my contacts photos/avatars transferred ok too.

Internet, photos, and video I will cover in depth in my upcoming series of posts on the N8.

Third party applications I grabbed from the new Ovi Store client went very well, I was automatically logged into Ovi Store when launched, and I was set to search, and download the content I wanted. First application I installed, (Although not from Ovi Store, but via Developer @Janole) was Gravity, then from Ovi Store I grabbed, Foursquare, Pixelpipe Send & Share, Skype, Nokia Panorama, Screensnap, and Mickyfins World.

The downloading, and installation of files from Ovi Store is a nice overall experience with you being informed of every process, including a nice subtle popup prompt telling you which internet connection is being connected to access the data.

Once I had installed what I needed for certain areas of my N8 review, I started off with Gravity of course, and what a lovely experience Gravity for Symbian^3 brings to you, such a smooth, quick, and very easy to navigate around the various menus, and windows, it was a joy to use.

Having said that though, this was now the first time I have experienced text input in the sense of writing sentences using the N8′s touch screen. I have to admit first, i prefer an hardware QWERTY keyboard personally, so this may reflect on my experiences with the touch screen of the N8.

I found myself getting annoyed, and frustrated with text entry, finding out the simplest of things like inserting a comma after a predictive underlined word was really arse about face, and fingers and thumbs. Here is an example. You write a word, be it in portrait, or landscape, using the on screen keyboard, you have predictive text set to aid you spell words correctly, once you have come to a point in your sentence when you need to insert a “,” comma, if the proceeding word is still underlined after being spelt using predictive text, the only way to insert a simple comma is you either have to press “0″ for a “Space”, then “delete” to go back to comma wanted position, then press “1″ for full-stop, then to change to a comma, press “*”, then “0″ for space ready for next word in sentence. Either this, or hit arrow right after underlined spelt word, then 1, then star, then space. See what I mean, this is way too many key presses, or should I say screen touches to be comfortable with.

As said earlier, maybe me not liking touch screen only devices, and preferring an hardware QWERTY keyboard may be why I oppose the afore mentioned procedure in obtaining a simple character.

Now whilst talking about the touch screen on the N8, I would like to mention another observation, the screen don’t appear to respond to your touch if you select an option, say in ovi store when you press it quickly, you have to press and hold for a millisecond longer than I would like to be perfectly honest. This becomes a repeating pattern throughout the device, and options, and I can see that Nokia have actually intentionally set this up, whereas you are shown a green colour prompt with most touch options when the phone has registered your choice in key-presses/touch, but this is not carried out via the onscreen keyboards fully, as with the onscreen keyboards, you can type a lot quicker than selecting options, which can result in many accidental key-presses sadly.

What I will be doing over the next few weeks is sharing my N8 experiences daily on twitter, but at the same time, making notes for up, and coming series of posts on the N8, including photos, screenshots, video demos, and more.

I will mainly be answering many questions I have over on Nokiausers, where forums members have been asking me things to test on this N8, suggestions for tests they would like me to test to see if the N8 can carry out certain things out the box, and much much more. If you too would like to ask anything for me to try out, head across to Nokiausers forums here, check in the thread to see that your particular question hasn’t already been asked, and if not, post your question in the related thread, and I will get to it eventually. Im starting today on page 1, here, and working my way through the various posts, marking each and every one with a “Thanks” when done, to not only remind myself of which tests I have carried out, but also to personally thank each member for their question, as I do like testing out things for people, and particular, our Nokiausers forums members.

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  • Dan Carter

    Great write up Micky, welcome to Disqus too :)

  • http://thenokianetwork.com SteveRowlands

    Thanks for the info on setting it up without a SIM card! That’s exactly what I was planning on doing today when mine turns up!

    I’ve got a feeling I’m going to struggle with the text entry, as I’m a QWERTY man too.

    Oh, and Disqus working ok here mate!

    • http://nokiadna.com Micky

      Cheers Steve, no worries, plenty more tests coming! BTW, Disqus is cool, but I do miss the desktop notifications I had when a comment was left on a post.

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