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Saturday, December 17, 2011

10 things I love about the Nokia N8

In case you were thinking of getting yourself a Nokia N8 for the holidays I will try to show you the N8's best features.

1. Camera

Most people who buy this phone buy it because of the camera. It is, without a doubt, the best camera in business. It has a 12MP sensor, auto-focus and it records 720p HD video at 25FPS with the stock software. However, Nokia provides an update that adds some neat features like 720p video at 30FPS and CAF(continuous auto-focus) for the video recorder. The camera is accompanied by a two stage camera shutter key on the right side of the phone. One of the best features of this camera is the Xenon flash. Unlike many other mobile phones that carry dual LED flash, the N8's Xenon flash lights up the room even when taking a picture in complete darkness. That is priceless for a mobile phone. The N8 puts my Nikon L14 to shame.

2. Unlock

The thing I like about most Nokia touch phones is that you can unlock it very quickly. The unlock knob does that. Just pull the knob and the phone unlocks. Pull it again and it locks back. No need for additional taps or swipes on the screen. But the N8 has multiple ways of unlocking it, unlike it's Android counterparts. The unlock know is just the easiest. You can also press the menu button or the power button and the unlock screen will appear and you're a tap away from unlocking your phone. Neat, right?

3. Charger

Nowadays charging your smartphone is a thing you do very very often. These suckers drain your battery like there's no tomorrow, so you better have spare charger to keep in your pocket at all times right? Wrong! You don't have to do that with the N8. The N8 charges through the Nokia pin hole charger or through any micro-USB chargers you may find in your way. The dual charging practically doubles your chances of finding a charger. If you can't find a Nokia charger you definitely find a micro-USB one. Plug it in your computer, or your car's USB port and you're safe.

4. Battery life

Battery life is a big issue with smartphones nowadays. Most smartphones don't get through the day on one charge, so you have to carry your charger or data cable with you and plug it in whatever USB port you can find. Well, the N8 doesn't have that problem. It survives two days of moderate usage or a full 24 hours on one charge with heavy usage. You can snap as many photos as you like and record video like crazy without having to worry about battery life.

5. 16GB of storage memory

Besides the iPhone, there aren't too many phones that come with this amount of on board storage. You can store an entire collection of photos, movies and music on your phone without any problem. The internal memory is complemented by a micro-SD slot which supports micro-SD cards up to 32GB, so if you're a geek like myself you can have 48GB of storage on your N8. How cool is that?

6. HDMI out

Since I got my N8, I forgot where I put the remote of my media player. The 16GB of storage come in handy when you want to watch a movie(or TV series in my case) on your HD TV set. Just plug the HDMI cable into your N8 and you've got a dazzling media player with full support for AVI HD files and subtitles.

7. USB On-The-Go

Ever found yourself in a position when a friend tells you he's got some stunning pictures or some kick-ass movie or music on their USB drive but you can't get it without a computer? Well, with the N8 that's no longer a problem. Just plug in your USB-on-the-go cable and plug that USB drive in it. Your N8 will mount that drive and you can copy anything from it in your phone's memory. It can even access other phone's memory trough the USB-on-the-go cable.

8. Maps and SatNav

Nokia Maps

There is one thing that Nokia delivers to it's users that no other manufacturer does: free lifetime voice guided navigation. Forget about buying expensive SatNav systems. Forget about paying for navigation software. Nokia gives it to your for free. It applies to the N8 too. Besides an amazing an accurate maps application, Nokia Maps, now you get Nokia Drive too.

Nokia Drive

Nokia Drive has an easy to use user interface optimized for in-car usage. The controls are very big so you can easily touch them while driving your car. All you need is a car holder and your can throw away your old GPS navigation system. The Drive application has both day an night mode. Nokia Maps works offline too so you don't need a data connection to navigate. Just download the maps you need on your phone and you're good to go. I'm sure gonna use it when I'll visit Rome next year. The maps application has layered view, so you can choose between three types of layers. Both maps and drive apps also have a 3D view which is very useful when driving or walking around, because it provides you better orientation.

Nearby - Check in - Guides

The maps suite also comes with a check-in application, a nearby application, a guides application and a weather app.

9. Ovi Sync

Calendar events, contacts and notes are some of the most important things to me, because when I receive a trial phone, I use it as my main phone for the duration of the trial. Here is where Ovi Sync comes in handy. Just start the Ovi Sync app, enter your Nokia account credentials and in a few seconds you have your contacts, calendar events and notes stored on your new phone. In case you need to sync your music and photos too, you can do that when your phone starts up for the first time. You can pair your Nokia phones by Bluetooth and in a few minutes you'll have all your content on your new phone.

10. Social integration

Social integration is an important thing nowadays. A phone without social integration is regarded as old-school today. The social client available on the N8 integrates with your phone contacts and pairs a contact from your phone with one from your social friends. Facebook and Twitter accounts are supported so far, but more services may be added in the future.

But the social integration doesn't stop here. You can share your photos or videos straight from the gallery application by hitting the share button. The N8 will upload and share the photos to your social networks in the background and you can continue using your phone as if nothing happens.

What do you think? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mapstronaut Nokia N8 unboxing

So, in case you didn't know, I won the first Mapstronaut contest and part of the prize was a brand new Nokia N8 from the nice folks over at Nokia Connects. Alex managed to get me a silver one(as I requested, thank you Alex) and it has arrived a few days ago. Needless to say that I was jumping out of my skin for joy, because the N8 is my favorite phone(along with the N9). I actually like the N8 a tad better than the N9 mainly because it's amazing 12MP camera.

I've been a fan of the Nokia Maps and I have the post to prove it(Touring Europe with Ovi Maps). I have to say that this is the first contest and prize I ever win in my life, which makes my joy even bigger. Don't forget to participate to the next Mapstronaut competition that is developing. Just visit the Nokia Maps Blog and you'll get a chance to win 1000 Euros to spend at your favorite place.

The entry that brought me the prize was Museo Etrusco Villa Giulia in Rome, Italy.

So, a big THANK YOU to the Nokia Mapstronaut, to the guys at Nokia Connects and last but not least to the Nokia Maps team for such an amazing maps experience.

So without further ado, I give you the Nokia N8: