Smartphone with 12 MP camera and Symbian^3 takes great photos (but isn't revolutionary)

On April 27 Nokia finally came clean and announced the official details of their flagship N8 Symbian^3-powered smartphone. The device sports a whopping 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Xenon flash and the largest sensor ever seen on a mobile phone but (according to those who have had hands-on time with the device) its brand new operating system leaves room for improvement.

The Nokia N8 was originally slated to become the Nokia device that rivalled Android and Apple handsets. It is the first phone to run Nokia's brand new open-source operating system (Symbian^3).

The N8's smartphone-worthy hardware specs give the phone a good foothold into the market. Its 12 megapixel camera puts the phone's image capturing skills in line with some of the compact digital cameras available in stores today.

The device can also capture high definition video footage, connect to your HD TV with its HDMI support and has social networking aggregated to your home screen as a standard feature. There is free global walk and drive navigation with Ovi Maps, a 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen, access to Ovi Store apps, and support for up to 48GB of storage with a micro SD card.

The question remains, however, will Nokia's revamped Symbian^3 OS be enough to revive the mobile phone developer's dwindling smartphone market share? If you are to believe Russian-based mobile phone blog Mobile Review, the short answer is no.

According to the website, Nokia's Symbian^3 is, "Brushed, washed, but not polished."

Market researcher Gartner had a slightly rosier picture to paint. "From a hardware perspective at the price they are selling it at this device will be very well received," said Gartner's Research VP, Mobile Devices, Carolina Milanesi.

"The new OS makes it competitive with Android, MS and other main OS," Milanesi told Relaxnews, adding, "I would keep the iPhone in a different category from everybody else."

Symbian^3 "allows Nokia to make more competitive higher-end devices although there is more work to be done in Symbian ^4."

Nokia has a hard uphill battle to compete with mobile operating systems like Android and iPhone which have proved themselves worthy contenders in the smartphone world and are quickly becoming the smartphone operating systems of choice.

While the N8's specs are beefy enough in today's market, the device will not be released until the third quarter of 2010 - after the next generation iPhone will (presumably) be on the market and countless new Android-powered devices will be released with improved features. Nevertheless, the new operating system is a step in the right direction for Nokia.

The N8 will arrive in select markets in the third quarter of 2010 for a price of €370 before taxes and subsidies.

A full review of Nokia's N8 (translated from Russian) can be read here:

A video of the device in action can be seen here:

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