Hands on: Nokia N8

We've just been chatting to Nokia's head of design Marko Ahtisaari, and he just so happened to have brought along a prototype of the upcoming super-cam-phone, the N8.


We didn't get too long with the phone, but here are a few preliminary impressions.


The N8 is only Nokia's second capacitive touch-screen, and it's also its highest-spec camera-phone, clocking in at 12-megapixels with a Xenon flash and autofocus. The Carl Zeiss lens is set in a protruding rectangular bit at the back of the phone, and is probably the most obvious camera setup we've seen on a phone yet.


The phone is made of anodized aluminum with a matt metallic sheen, and feels extremely light in the hand. It's really pretty stylish, with a sort of sleekness that reminded us of the 8310 days.


We were surprised to find the battery is integrated into the phone, while the SIM and microSD cards fit into external slots. Upshot? Swap SIMs and memory cards without having to power down the phone - excellent! Apparently you can still remove the battery (with some difficulty) by unscrewing the back cover if it dies or needs to be replaced for any reason.


The N8 is the first phone to launch with the new Symbian^3 OS, and Ahtisaari was very excited about the idea of increasing personalization while providing 'smart defaults'. However, since the model we saw didn't turn on, we didn't get a chance to see how this would actually play out.


Nokia was very clear about the fact that the model is only a prototype so things could still change, but in general, what you'll get is more or less what we saw today.


The Nokia N8 has an expected launch date in Q3.


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Mobile Choice

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