Nokia n8

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by Silent_Buddha, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Silent_Buddha

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    OK, just have a quick question on this one. Couldn't think of what other forum I could stick it in so hopefully it'll be fine in here.

    I'm going to be picking one up soon to use on a "Pay as you go" provider. Don't really need a smartphone but thought I'd give this one a try as it's relatively modern, has what sounds like a decent camera, and most importantly has offline maps (I won't be using any mobile data of any kind). That last is the important part. Oh and the gorilla glass and aluminum body are nice from a sturdiness POV.

    For offline maps, I'd get a Win8 based Nokia Lumia 92x or 82x but they are all carrier locked. And I'd get a Nokia Lumia 620 (250 usd? Sign me up!), except it isn't coming to the US, wtf? So, Nokia N8 it is as it's under 200 USD new at the moment. And the Win7 based Lumia's won't be getting offline maps, otherwise I'd look at one of those. :(

    Anyway, to the question at hand. I've been doing a little bit of reading about it, and it appears there are lots of resources for it, but that it's also been a big target for virus and malware writers.

    Could anyone point me to reliable/"safe" online resources for Nokia Symbian based phones? Not sure if I'll bother trying to mod it or install apps, but if I do, I'd like to be at least somewhat "safe" about it. :p

    Regards,
    SB
     
  2. manux

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    Not sure but usually gps fix could take a long time if you don't have network assistance(i.e. datasim).

    Nokia's own store should be ok. for most regular apps and whatnots.

    As for 620 I would be surprised if at least amazon didn't carry it.
     
  3. ToTTenTranz

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    I was a N8 user for almost two years, before that I had another Symbian-powered Samsung i8910HD for two years, and I never came across any virus, malware or trojan.

    OTOH, I've had a trojan in my Android tablet after some 4 months of use that pumps me an advertisment in the taskbar every time I boot up and I haven't been able to get rid of it. But I digress.


    The reason for the non-existance of malware in Symbian^3/Nokia Belle is the same for MacOS back in 2005: no one really cares about the platform, so you're good and safe.


    What I can tell you about the N8 is that, like you said, it's a very reliable and sturdy phone. The excellent camera, free worldwide maps, pentaband with very good reception and long battery life make it an ideal travelling companion. Which is why I'm thinking about keeping it even though I've switched both my everyday phones to Android.
    Sound output quality is also very good and loud, and there's a half-decent FLAC player that sips low amounts of battery, so it's also a very good music player with large amounts of available storage (16GB internal + MicroSD).

    The hell comes when you try to use it like a modern always-connected smartphone:
    - Web browsing is downright painful due to the slow CPU
    - App development have practically stopped for nearly 2 years and when you go to the market, there's a 90% chance that the app you're interested in was actually built for Symbian S60v3 (the ones with numerical keypads) so you have to interact using a virtual keyboard and an old, 1995-looking GUI
    - The screen is (for my medium-sized hands) way too narrow for portrait text input, so be prepared to go landscape whenever you have to write something down
    - The OS won't let you create a WiFi access point (this was eventually the breaking point for me). It only does ad-hoc connections so forget about tethering your 3G internets to an Android tablet, for example. Or at least it was until not long ago. Jelly Bean is supposedly compatible with WiFi Direct, but I don't know if this is restricted to file sharing.


    So as I said, the phone is an excellent travelling companion. By travelling I'm assuming you won't use it for 3G/WiFi internet anymore than checking your e-mail or seldomly changing your facebook status. For making calls, taking pictures, using the GPS without losing reception and not being very concerced about battery life, it's excellent. For a 2011+ "smartphone experience", it's terrible.
     
  4. Silent_Buddha

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    Thanks for the info. Yeah, right now the only thing I'm planning on needing a network for is to potentially load up songs in Spotify. And I plan to do that over wifi and then switch it to offline mode.

    Other than that, I just need the offline maps to be useable, the camera to be useable, and the bluetooth to be robust enough to stream music from the phone to my car stereo.

    BTW - does the USB connector work well with thumbdrives? Guess I'll find out in a few days.

    Like I've said elsewhere, I really don't need a smartphone. So the fact that it has a dead OS doesn't really bother me.

    I'd just get another flip phone, but I like the idea of having offline maps with GPS. Means that's one less device I potentially have to carry around with me. And if the camera quality can at least match consumer "quickshot" camera's, that's another thing I won't have to carry around with me.

    BTW - does Nokia Belle allow the N8 to capture 720p video at 30 fps? Or is it still stuck at 25 FPS video capture for 720p?

    Regards,
    SB
     
  5. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    There is a Symbian app for creating a wireless access point called joiku spot or something like that. I was using it on my nokias years before other phones could manage this.

    Offline maps work well in Symbian also. I used them all over Europe and China in 2007-2010.
     
  6. Silent_Buddha

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    Speaking of travelling. Anyone know what a good SIM card company to use for Travel to Japan would be? Good per minute rates and reliable service?

    This will be my first cell phone that actually uses a SIM card. I'm rather excited to be able to use my own phone the next time I go for an extended stay in Japan, rather than using one of my relatives phones.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  7. tongue_of_colicab

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    Japanese provider? Then you don't have much choice. Softbank of the only big company that has pre paid cards but I'm not sure if you can actually get a data plan with that. Plus I'm wondering if they'd actually sell you one withouth a alien registration card.

    You also got Bmobile, you can just order online with them from what I heard. Fairly cheap and you can get a data plan as well (though connection will be best efford). Calling is probably fine. I'm thinking about getting bmobile for my htc sensation. Sim only contracts with data are stupidly expensive at the major players.

    Btw, why not get a android phone? For 200 dollars you should be able to find a nice (used) one. Plenty of offline navigation apps available as well.
     
  8. Silent_Buddha

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    I haven't heard many good things about the offline navigation apps on Android. I believe Nokia still has the best offline maps + GPS on cell phones. While Google Maps is slightly better as long as you can be online. Online is not an option though, I'm not planning on using any cell data on this phone.

    Buying a softbank SIM card won't be a problem, as my relatives there could just get me one. I'm just wondering if that's the cheapest (reliable) option. Never bothered to check into it in the past as I've never had a phone that used a SIM card before.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  9. tongue_of_colicab

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    I've used sygic and that worked perfect. You got tomtom now as well. Should work just fine.

    If it's just calling you want I don't think it really matters which one you take. As far as I know calling is always around 40 yen per 30 seconds (local). Though I've never looked into it as I hardly ever call. Softbank is probably the easiest option then as your relatives can just get a prepaid card at one of their many stores.
     
  10. ToTTenTranz

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    From everything I tested, at least FAT32 works flawlessly.
    Also, the phone's retail package gives you almost every cable and adapter you'll need: Nokia charger, micro-USB to USB, micro-USB to female USB for external storage and peripherals, mini-HDMI to female HDMI and in-ear phones with call+volume controls.


    I think the latest Belle enabled 30FPS but I'm not sure.
    But you can always get an app called Camera Pro (one of the very few that have been getting frequent support and updates in Belle because it also supports the 808) that lets you record 720p @ 30FPS with GPS info. I recommend getting that app if you want to take the most out of the camera, mainly because of the video functions.




    Regarding the offline GPS maps, the ease of use and cost-effective features of the Nokia maps are unchallenged IMO.
    Android offline maps often require you to pay for the maps of each country, which can lead to a small fortune in per-map payments. With the N8 you can just select which map you want, anywhere in the world, and you can just download it in-app through 3G or WiFi or use the Nokia's manager in the PC.
    And this is a silly plus, but if you take your photos with GPS coordinates, the Maps app will show small thumbnails of the photos you took in the place where you took them. It's great for showing-off to friends and family, lol.
     
  11. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    Is sygic free? I know Tom Tom is not...
     
  12. Silent_Buddha

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    Thanks for all the info mate.

    Fantastic. I'll definitely be sticking that on my phone then. :) And the other bit sounds like fun as well. Are the GPS coordinates on the pictures accessible through other photo viewing apps? Like on PC? If so that'd be fantastic to be able to always know where you took a picture.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  13. ToTTenTranz

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    Yap, the GPS coordinates are embedded into the JPEG file and you can access it from many programs, for example Picasa.

    Careful with sharing these pics, though. There are thieves that go around in Flickr to gather info about your place in order to plan an assault.
     
  14. Silent_Buddha

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    Yeah, I almost never post photo's online. Although I do have a web facing WHS machine that relatives can access. They are all required to have strong passwords though, so I'm not terribly concerned on that front. :)

    Well, my N8 came in early. I have to say it's a nice piece of kit. Blows the pants off the Samsung Android device that my g/f has that came out at about the same. Will have to get around to throwing on the Nokia Belle refresh. No SIM card yet, so have only been able to play around with it on Wifi.

    And while nice. You do run into odd things in Symbian Anna. Do things change radically in Belle?

    Have also run into many people mentioning using CFW. Is the only benefit to those being able to run unsigned apps? If so, I'll skip them. Or do any of them add or improve on the functionality of the device?

    Regards,
    SB
     
  15. ToTTenTranz

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    Belle brings camera improvements, lots of new nokia+microsoft apps, kinetic panning in the homescreen, some performance improvements.
    It feels like vanilla Android 2.3.

    Also, check the symbian-exclusive Nokia Sleeping Screen. Aside from the camera, it's the only thing I sorely miss from my N8.
     
  16. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    symbian app, usually on my-symbian.com

    about CFW, i have been using Symbian since Symbian 6 to Symbian^1 and CFW really helps.
    + more free ram
    + responsive menu
    + faster phone
    + nice scrolling (looks smooth, not choppy)

    about viruses, as long as using properly signed app and not blindly press "YES" on install screen if opening unknown .sis file, you should be safe.

    about web browser, use opera mini.
     
  17. loekf

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    I had a N8 in 2011, but only for 3 months. In the end I sent it back to Amazon, from which I bought it (unlocked). Got my money back. Few impressions:

    - Worst hardware quality from Nokia. After the first month or so, it kept crashing and rebooting itself (story is/was is the N8 had a hardware flaw, related to power management)

    - After the second month, it wouldn't turn on again, unless you removed the battery or reflashed the firmware in DFU mode.

    - Camera: great

    - Body/design: good and sturdy

    This was my last Nokia, switched to an iPhone and never looked back. Symbian with touch is like an old car model (e.g. Opel Astra) produced by a Korean manufacturer (e.g. Daewoo) a few years back. Nice try to enter the modern age, but never gonna work.

    Before the N8, I had an 8500 XpressMusic, which also had nice features (crashes, failling SD cards etc).
     
  18. Silent_Buddha

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    Argh, just ran into the most infuriating "bug" on the Nokia N8. When connecting a bluetooth headset through A2DP (for music) the volume level on the N8 is set to maximum. And then the volume console on my bluetooth headset then only goes from that maximum to even louder. In other words maximum volume is assumed by the headset to be minimum volume. /sigh. And to make it worse, the volume controls on the N8 then just controls the volume of the headset and not the N8 itself. /argh.

    Up until that point, I've thought it was a great phone with phenomenal battery life for a "smartphone."

    Regards,
    SB
     
  19. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    if using TTPOD music player does the volume still not work?
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    I'll give it a try but I think it's a system controlled thing.

    And, yeesh, it's hard to find a signed version. And I'm crossing my fingers I'm not downloading a version with a malware payload in it.

    Regards,
    SB
     
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