The Nokia N8's successor: Symbian's last hurrah?

The Nokia N8's successor: Symbian's last hurrah?Nokia has finally shown its Windows Phone hand, or part of it anyway, but one very big question that still remains is what does Nokia have in mind as a follow up to the still-unrivalled 12-megapixel N8?

Well, the latest rumour is that we'll get the answer at Mobile World Congress in February, and that it will come running Symbian.

The Nokia N8 made its own debut at MWC nearly two years ago now, and straight away turned heads with its 12-megapixel camera, boasting specially designed Carl Zeiss optics and a host of other special photographic extras.

And despite the N8 having been on the market for well over a year now, Nokia has managed to maintain its appeal by adding a couple of camera-specific updates to the OS updates from Symbian^3 to first Anna and then Belle.

These updates have certainly kept existing N8 users onside, but potential new users are increasingly being put off by its limitations elsewhere: a 680MHz, just 256MB of RAM, and of course Symbian itself.

And so far there's been nothing from the Windows Phone brigade that looks anything like an upgrade option for the camera-loving N8 user.

So what exactly is Nokia up to? Well, it's looking increasingly like the N8's successor won't be coming with Microsoft's OS at all, but will instead be another Symbian offering. On the surface of it the spec is a fair improvement – the RAM is doubled to 512MB, while the CPU is rated at 1GHz. The camera is the hero feature, obviously, boasting a bigger sensor (an impressive achievement) and optical zoom, while the device itself will have a 3.5in ClearBlack display with Gorilla Glass.

We're not sure what to make of it all, to be honest. Make no mistake about it, the N8 has been the best camera phone on the market for ages, and news that a direct replacement is on the way is great from a photography point of view. But the N8 has held its appeal because the rest of the spec was fairly competitive when it was launched, with continual improvements managing to prolong its shelf life admirably.

But that simply won't be the case with its replacement. No matter how good the camera is, the rest of the device will be no better than mid-range, and unlike when the N8 launched, we all now know that Symbian has no significiant future. In fact, chances are Nokia has emptied its shelf of Symbian tricks over the past few months and there are none left to come now that Windows Phone is here and Symbian has officially been farmed out to Accenture.

Even the best camera in the world can't patch over those flaws.

Read more about: SymbianNokia N8

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JanSt / MOD  Nov. 8, 2011 at 21:31

Well, what can they do? WP is by no means a guaranteed winner, especially at the prices announced kaboom...

For Symbian Belle 512MB RAM and a 1GHz processor are like double that on Android or WP. Symbian is much lighter on resources. Different memory mapping etc yada yada... I doubt it'll perform like a "midranger" - that kind of comparison of devices from different OSs makes zero sense imho.
I just hope they up the screensize to 4 inches. The X7 handles better than the N8 UI-wise.

iampav  Nov. 9, 2011 at 08:34

It could find quite a niche in the way the N9 has. A fast, Symbian phone (can't believe I've said that) could realise the software's true potential. Finnish engineers were forever under resourcing the N97s of this world. But, a fast symbian with great camera, intuitive sharing, obviously GPS tagging and access to regular online services could be huge.
Nokia's off-overlooked USP (by Nokia!) is likely to be the basis of one of it's best phones.


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