Nokia’s touchscreen N8 marks the first in a new series of devices built around the new open-source Symbian 3 platform.
In an effort to win back marketshare, momentum and and mojo in the smartphone stakes, Nokia has unveiled the first in a fleet of handsets to take on the iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7.
The Nokia N8
has pretty much everything that Nokia could cram into its colourful shell: a 3.5 inch multitouch screen, five-band 3G coverage (including the Aussie 3G and Next G networks), 16GB inbuilt flash memory plus a microSD card slot, 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss glass and Xenon flash, an FM radio and FM transmitter (handy for streaming MP3 tracks onto your car radio), free worldwide access to Nokia’s Ovi Map service for ‘walk and drive’ navigation – oh, and support for HD video including HDMI output. Phew, that’s some
But more crucial than ticking every tech box is that the N8 runs the new open-source Symbian OS – officially if cryptically tagged Symbian ^3, or S^3 for short.
Nokia fully acquired the Symbian OS in 2008 and handed it over to the Symbian Foundation
, an independent non-profit organisation, with the codebase shifting to open-source and royalty-free in February this year.
S^3 lets Nokia break free from the constraints of the aging proprietary Symbian OS and shift to an OS built for the modern smartphone market – aka the ‘post-iPhone era’.
This includes a multitouch UI with gestures such as flick-scrolling and pinch-zoom, support for hardware-based 2D and 3D graphics, and a customisable widget-based UI with multiple home screens and live social network feeds.
Nokia expects to release the N8 in Australia in the third quarter of this year.