Nokia today announced the N8, the first Symbian^3 (skipping ^2 altogether) smartphone and the first Symbian touchscreen N-series phone that does not have a slide out keyboard. It features a monoblock design with a 3.5" capacitive screen dominating the front.
The big news here obviously is the 12MP camera with larger sensor. Personally I feel that no matter how big Nokia claims the sensor to be, 12MP is just too much. The law of physics dictate that. 8MP with the same sensor size would have been better, and you probably wouldn't have to rely on a puny flash (xenon or otherwise) for low light photography. Oh well numbers and buzz words do sell.
Fortunately the numbers elsewhere are more useful - it has 16GB of built-in storage and is expandable via the microSDHC card slot. The camera also supports 720p HD video capturing.
It weighs 135g, so it isn't too heavy. The rest of the specs are pretty standard: WiFi 802.11b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, HSDPA, 3.5mm headphone socket with TV-out, FM radio with RDS and FM transmitter and micro USB. Also new to a Nokia phone is the HDMI out port, allowing users to view HD video on a HD ready telly, as well as the newest Bluetooth 3.0 revision. The processor isn't the same slow one as the one in the N97/N97 Mini, instead it has been bumped up to 680Mhz. Not what I was hoping for, but still a decent enough speed. It has 256MB RAM.
There's the same widget based homescreen that made its debut on the N97 - this I hope can be turned off, but I highly doubt so. Sadly widgets are all the rage now despite being resource killers.
So all in all, the N8 looks good on paper and has a rather lovely design (particularly the orange version). €370/£320 is pretty darn decent too, undercutting plenty of lesser phones. But I may not be getting one. Why you ask? First it feels like a stop-gap phone before the real flagship hits next year running Symbian^4. Second, I want to see what sort of high-end E-series Nokia has plans for (they really are better built). Finally, I want a slider version with 4/5 row keyboard instead.
Make it happen Nokia.
Update: You'll find untouched sample photo shots from the N8's camera here and a HD video recording here. The image quality is certainly impressive.