Nokia N8 and Ovi Software Review

(Disclaimer: Nokia sent me a shiny new Nokia N8*)

It’s no surprise to most of you that I love testing new gadgets. So when Nokia asked me if I’d like to play with their new N8 phone and Ovi software I jumped at the chance. Up until the iPhone came out in 2007, I’d been a faithful Nokia owner for 14 years. I’m still very nostalgic for my  Nokia 8210 which I saw as a totally game changing phone. It was a fantastic innovation, when other phones were still bricks or horrific flip tops the 8210 was a tiny piece of class.

However my last phone from them was the Nokia N73 and it was an utter piece of crap. The phone itself was ok, the camera was decent but the software….. every time I took a call it ‘blue screened’ and turned rebooted itself – not ideal in a phone!  So when the iPhone came out in 2007, I broke my contract to buy it and I’ve never used a Nokia again.

Fast forward 3 years and I have a new shiny Nokia in my hands.  The phone itself is lovely piece of hardware not huge, pretty thin and very solid, it has a 12 mega pixel camera and video and it’s got a nice bright touchscreen like the iPhone. It’s still using pretty much the same software as Nokia has done for years and if you are familiar with it, it’s easy to use. I was a bit rusty, eventually it all came back to me (after a bit of swearing!).

The phone came with an international Sim Card, which didn’t seem work in the UK – well at least I couldn’t get it to work! So to use the software I hooked it up to my home wifi, so I’ve not been able to test it on phone calls, or texts or use it as a Sat Nav though which is a massive shame.

But onto Ovi – it’s the name of all the interactive software on the phone – Social Media, Sat Nav, there is also an Ovi Store where you can buy games and other applications for the phone.  However some of the games have prices that are much more than the same game sold on the Apple App store, for example Angry Birds on Ovi is £3.00 and on the Apple App Store it’s 59p. I know the prices are set by the developers for converting them to Symbian but seriously that much difference?

However the actual part they wanted me to try was the Sat Nav voice software. You can make the Sat Nav voice commands in your own voice, or have your children do it and it’s lots of fun. Easy to use and there are other voices – Pirates, Singing, etc you can download from Ovi for free.  But because of the Sim issues I’ve not been able to test the actual Sat Nav itself outside the house and away from the wifi.

Things I liked about it and had forgotten I’d missed about Nokia’s:

Being able to back it up via Bluetooth automatically as you sit near your laptop – Apple are you listening? Cables and connecting software are so 1996!

The ability to have changeable home screens so you can set it to work or personal – nice if you have to use your personal phone for work.

Having your diary on your home screen – handy if like me your phone runs your life.

The Camera and Video couldn’t be faulted – excellent quality and an inbuilt flash.

Things I disliked:

The software…’s still the same old, same old.  Ridiculous hierarchy’s for changing the settings on your phone for example. To turn on Wifi  you go through 4 screens, to change the pin number ‘Security’ is now 5 layers in. I had a vague idea of where to look but I think it would really frustrate less techie people.  I’m going to be very interested to see how my Dad who’s getting it copes with it.

So other than my gripes about the software, all in all it’s a nice solid phone if you want an upmarket touch screen phone that’s not Apple related and your used to the Nokia software, but it’s not going to replace my iPhone anytime soon

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  1. We were sent the phone and since I haven’t used a Nokia in years, it’s frustrating.

    We had the same issue with the SIM so i used my own Sim. The new handset won’t accept any of my email accounts, tells me the SIM is full so won’t send or receive texts (but I can’t work out how to clear the SIM and it’s certainly not showing any of my contacts or messages from my old handset) and won’t store any pictures. I couldn’t even get Ovi to work because I registered for Ovi using the international SIM and now can’t unregister to register with my own SIM. Argh.

    It’s very pretty, I’m sure, but as someone who is reasonably techie, I have given up and returned the handset, as for me it’s unusable.
    Sally´s last Post ..That Mother of the Year award Its in the bagMy Profile

    1. The international Sim caused all sorts of horrible issues. But interesting you still had problems using your own. I didn’t bother putting mine in, getting it out of an iPhone is fiddly and I really couldn’t be bothered.

      I’m giving the phone to my Dad, and moving his Sim into it on Sunday so I’ll be interested to see what happens. I’ve also bought him a 4GB memory card for it so he can take photos etc with it – so that might make a difference with the memory issues you’ve had? Be interesting to see.

  2. That’s a pretty interesting review. When I was looking to change my phone a few months back I looked at a Nokia one (can’t remember which exactly) but I really didn’t like the software on it, much like you have said about this new model. I currently have a Samsung Apollo which is serving me pretty nicely as a kind of gateway phone to the land of smart phones (as with most technological things I was a little late grasping the wonder of the smart phone phenomenon!)…ideally I’d love an iphone, maybe one day if I’m good I’ll get one 🙂

    1. That’s interesting I’ve not looked at the Samsung phones at all, glad to know you’re getting on with it well 🙂 I’m not surprised you had the same problems when looking at the Nokia’s I really think the software lets them down.

    1. Thanks Rosie, I’m glad it worked with your Sim. I don’t really know why the phone used international Sim’s, it did seem a bit odd. But the phones were sent out from New York so maybe they had no idea of the problems it would cause?

  3. I am a confirmed Motorola customer these days. Of course in the states we have proprietary phones per carrier so there are a lot of features that are specific to the provider. I have found that the most important thing for me is that the phone works then the other stuff is secondary. My current phone is the Droid X and I absolutely love it. Being my 6th smart phone I find it to be the first one that works to my level of use. Each person has their own needs and there are fortunately enough options to meet most of those needs. Unfortunately each person has to do massive research to find the phone that best meets their needs. Thanks for posting the review of the phone. I find that regardless of how much you read, you have to have hands on to appreciate the phone.
    Kelly´s last Post ..Eccentricities in Ten CitiesMy Profile

    1. You are so right! You can only really decide on a phone by using it and seeing if you get on with it. I’m glad your phone has been such a success, I’ve not used any of the Android phones but I do hear good things about them.

  4. Thank you for the review!

    I used Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and iPhone so far. I like the iPhone best, as it is very user friendly. Before that I liked the Nokia best.
    Marianne´s last Post ..elementsMy Profile