Friday, October 15, 2010

The Nokia N8: Day 2

Last night I popped the SIM card out of my trusty Nokia N900 and stuck it into the N8. Different than most Nokia phones, the SIM card slot is at the side of the N8. Before you stick your SIM card in, be sure to read the manual first (you do read manuals, right?). When you do insert the SIM card into the slot, make sure the gold contacts are facting downwards towards the back of the phone with the diagonal edge going in first. I didn't hear a click like the manual says so my SIM card is stuck inside. I'm going to need tweezers to pull it out. I really hate this SIM card design. Although you can access the SIM card without removing the battery, you cannot hotswap a SIM card - so when you pop out a SIM card, you can't go online until you restart the phone.

Now, I need to get my contacts onto the phone. If your old device is a Nokia, you can use the N8 to automatically pull contacts, notes, and calendar entries from it. First turn on Bluetooth on your old phone then, on your N8, go to Settings > Connectivity > Data Transfer > Phone switch. Really straightforward and now I'm ready to go out with my N8.

I'm not one to walk around the pond but I figure it was a good opportunity to test the N8 in outdoor photography (all untouched photos):

I also took some indoor photos:

Not bad. As you know, the N8 doesn't include a mechanical cover like the N82 or N900 so there's nothing you can slide to get quick access to the camera. If you like mechanical covers, I'm with you on that. But, sliding the unlock key, holding the camera key to pull up the camera app, auto locking, and taking a photo actually takes less time than the N82 to do the same with a mechanical cover. And it's because the autofocus and photo capture is light years ahead of the N82 and significantly improved over the N900 as well. Plus, if you're expecting to take a lot of photos soon and just need to save battery between shots, I'd recommend just keeping the camera application open and just lock the phone - locking the phone will close the camera shutter.

A major improvement that sets the N8 camera apart from other camera phones is the camera locking to the exposure at focus lock. This allows better control of the exposure just like a real point and shoot camera.

The camera application is similar to previous S60 5th edition camera applications like the one found on the N97. It gives you control over white balance, exposure, ISO, contrast, and sharpness. But for users from Blackberry or iPhone, there's a simple camera icon in the center that automatically focusses on what's in the center and takes a photo.

By default the camera is set to take wide photos at 9MP so go to Options > Settings > Image quality to get the maximum quality photos at 12MP.

I also took a HD video:

It's even better than the videos I take with my Canon SD850i. An added bonus is the stereo microphone.

Overall a good day with the camera... I mean N8 smartphone.

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