TechRadar Crowns N8 As Camera Again

| January 15, 2012 | 52 Replies

-After All this time? ….. “Always.”

It’s been over a year since the N8 was released, and yet according to techradar it’s still the king of cameraphones. The people at Techradar pitted the N8 against the Samsung Galaxy 2, the iPhone4S, HTC  Evo 3D, Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and the Motorola XT720; in a series of complicated and thorough tests of each phone. The phones tested were graded by their overall usability in every day life, the ease of using the camera and lowlight conditions.

Out of the five phones that where tested only the N8 and the Motorola had Xenon flash, and the N8 alone had more than 8MP; but also had the lowest pixel density on it’s screen; the N8 also had the largest amount of camera settings and options while the 4S and Xperia lacked a manual ISO change even.

The camera-phones were tested in a variety of settings under different conditions including a “Color Accuracy test” where they shot a mulit-colored chart and saw the best color differentiation and preservation, as well as a “Lab test” where they captured an image of a detailed graph and saw which phone captured the largest amount of detail at 100% crop.

In both the Color Accuracy test and the Lab Chart test the N8-00  came in first place (With the 4S coming in last in the color accuracy, and being disqualified from the Lab test due to lack of manual settings).

Our resolution tests reveal that the Nokia N8 records the most detail, achieving a resolution score of 2,200 line widths per picture height (LH/PH) at its lowest sensitivity.

Our color accuracy test reveals that the Nokia N8 performs the best, with a score of 102.5%

Our resolution tests reveal that the Nokia N8 records the most detail, achieving a resolution score of 2,200 line widths per picture height (LH/PH) at its lowest sensitivity. This is on a par with some top-end compact cameras.

Overall performance came down between the 4S and the N8 with a choice between detail or Natural colors:

In terms of all round image quality the battle is really between the iPhone 4S and the N8. The N8 is capable of capturing the most detail, but the iPhone 4S produces the most natural looking images – although the colour can vary a little from shot to shot. The Apple iPhone also has the benefit of being incredibly easy to use and has a startlingly fast shutter speed.

Final Verdict:

The winner of this test is the Nokia N8 – but only in terms of providing the best pictures quality in the widest range of areas. If you’re looking for the phone on the market that will offer you the best pictures in a wide variety of scenarios, we’d suggest you plump for this phone

The 4S came in as a runner-up, or basically for people who want a camera that’s always set on auto without the need for manual tinkering.

The winner of this test is the Nokia N8 – but only in terms of providing the best pictures quality in the widest range of areas. If you’re looking for the phone on the market that will offer you the best pictures in a wide variety of scenarios, we’d suggest you plump for this phone

Source Tech Radar (check it out really…)


Category: Android, aPPLE, Battery Life, Competition, News, Nokia, Photos, Special Edition, Symbian, Symbian^3, Technical Specifications

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.

Comments (52)

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  1. Jay Montano says:

    Amazing stuff. If only Nokia managed to fix Symbian on time and put Belle at launch, folks would have looked at N8 beyond just being a really great camera on a phone because as ground breaking as it is, it is so much more.

    Props to you, you perfectionist you, Damian Dinning and team. We have high expectations of the next one. Especially in this game with Polaroids frankencamera

    • Valmon says:

      I concur. I love my N8 – can’t wait to see what they do with the N8+.

      • Mazze says:

        Me too. The browser is the biggest problem though. Also the fact that I cannot run Napster mobile on my phone and that Nokia Music doesn’t offer any Spotify-/Napster-like flatrate makes the Sony Xperia Ion look very tempting.

        It’s a catch 22. If the N8 successor runs Symbian the browser will again be very crappy and even though I barely need any apps, the few I want won’t be available and definitely won’t be developed either since no one wants to develop for an OS that has been announced dead in a few years from now. If it runs Windows on the other hand, the device can’t feature a dual-core processor unless it’s not being released before Q4.

        • reptile says:

          Yeah, the browser’s pretty bad… I like the features in it, just wish it was faster…

          How is the browser in the 603/700/701? Does Belle help? Or how about the 1Ghz and 512 ram?

      • mougang says:

        plz sen me your full addresse i need your help this is my émail

    • Titanium says:

      N8 camera sw is tuned to produce the most natural calors, but it seems that iPhone is liked from average users because produce more beatifull photos (i.e. apply color enhancements rather than natural colors). Maybe next N8 could add a preset to produce too “color enhanced” pictures to impress more the average user?

    • FireDragon says:

      Just yesterday, a friend here bought Nokia 603 here in Pakistan after browsing through Samsung Galaxy(s) and several other devices. The screen was the major reason behind that buy and the price. He asked if he should go for N8 and I asked him not to but I also asked him if he wants to go for Nokia, don’t ask anything less than Belle and that he did.

      And I am only wishing if N8 had more memory (that’s my regular cry) :)

    • dss says:

      Overall, like with lots of other things, Nokia was first.. they created a whole new category: smartcameraphone … I mean, before the N8 we had good cameraphones, but that is all they were, the N8 is a proper smartphone, that happens to be the best cameraphone as well.

    • deep space bar says:

      how about give it just as much support and attention they are giving washroom tiles 7

  2. Rags says:

    I use both on daily basis, and I think I totally second this review. N8 comes handy if your a perfectionist and is willing to spend time tinkering with the settings before any shot. The iPhone 4S comes handy if you don’t have the patience to manually set stuffs, and yet want a very good photo. The others in the review, mehh.

    • Rags says:

      Ohh, typos. Blame it on the N8′s auto-correct :)

    • j says:

      i highly doubt it. i have seen a lot of iphone photos and my opinion is: it does a lot of post processing. under some conditions it makes good photos and under another conditions photos go terrible. (as mentioned colors varify)

      the n8 on the other hand makes “always” “good” pictures without playing with settings. (best pictues in wide variety of scenarios)

      and by the way the iphone tends in my opinion to oversaturated images.

      • Tak says:

        I have got excellent photos with 4S, I mean every time. Not one bad picture! I even got better photos with it than N8 in low light(one occasion and I didn’t tweak N8). Superb autoshots with iPhone 4S’s speed means, that I never miss a fun moment that, say, my kids are regularly plotting. Speed is one important factor in cameras.

        I would have preferred N8′s sucessor, but what comes to camera, 4s is amazing consolation prize! And did I say always fuggin great pictures!? Not one bad picture. Not even in low light. And its noise seems to be some how less irritating than what is usual in small cameras, and it withstands rather ambitious enlarging too. I think its DSP is rather powerful.

        • stylinred says:

          ‘good’ is subjective after all

          • Tak says:

            Good photos are less subjective than good ice cream. iPhone 4S’s photos are really quite good. Its only(or most apparent) weakness is its noise, that is not any more frequent than any other phone camera, but the noises quality is some how less irritating than usual, which I believe is the DSP’s strength. 4S’s pictures are very detailed, sharp, colors seem rather accurate and stay where they are meant to be. Could be better, and I have been postponing wifes phone acquisition to see if N8′s successor is around the corner, but I cannot hold it much longer.

  3. j says:

    can anybody explain the difference to me:

    “Our color accuracy test reveals that the Nokia N8 performs the best, with a score of 102.5%”


    “most natural looking images – although the colour can vary a little from shot to shot.”

    by the way. i was on a ball a week ago. and we took there nice pictures with my girlfriends n8 and the xenon flash! (no conditions for iphone)

    btw. doesn’t the iphone also lack white balance settings?

    • Titanium says:

      iPhone automatically process the photos to enhance them. Most of the time work. When not works then the result is worst.

      N8 doesn’t alter the image and the quality is good because the camera is good, not because it was enhanced

  4. fazilmmm says:

    being proud mor than a year.. ;-) awsome! thnx a lot nokia..

  5. lordstar says:

    The N8 will be a killer phone with belle installed. Now where’s that N8 successor with improved specs and nokia carla?

    • Viipottaja says:

      Let’s hope it gets announced at the MWC already.. although, it might get its own special event in Asia – AFAIK still the best market for Symbian.

    • Jonas says:

      Im running beta-versions of Belle since this summer, its great ! ;)
      Wont get another phone before this one breaks or a better camera/gps smartphone comes out..
      And the N8 needs more memory, even though my Belle had a nice diet to get slimer, its still not enough for some websites (even though the browser is the only program running).

  6. dss says:

    I’ve been using it as my main camera for over a year, the results are stunning.. Here is my gallery if anyone is interested:

    Its amazing, that it has been over a year, and still nothing can really beat the N8. I am starting to think that a lot of it has to do with Symbian, with all the talk around WP7 not being as good at image processing, I won’t be surprised if Samsung has to deal with something similar with Android.. I mean, their Pixon 12 is very, very good.. but they never put that camera in an andro phone…. something tells me its a sofware issue.

  7. MDF says:

    yeah hardwise the n8 is amazing
    but they dropped the ball on the software

    either way i dont regret buying it
    i even sold it at a higher price too lool

  8. S.A says:

    After using N8, it’s impossible to use other camera phone.

  9. aboodesta says:

    Totally agree. As much as I love the N9 and the Lumia 800, their cameras are rubbish in comparison to the mighty N8. What I don’t understand is why Nokia isn’t using the same camera model on the N8 on other phones. You already made it, so why not make full use of it?

    • Viipottaja says:

      Well, on which model would you have used it? Adding the camera bump to say C7 would have been odd. Obviously there was no way to have it on the E7 either. It’s probably too expensive a unit for the 603 and again, would also require the bump.

    • Cameron says:

      In the world of craze for slim phones, the mass only interested in slim form and the so-called “experience”. Being amateur camera users, the average customers cannot tell the difference of what a camera is good or bad. They just think the Carl Zeiss lens on the new Lumia 800/900 is as good or even better than N8. Or the HTC 16mp is the best of all. Shame Nokia has long forgotten the demand from the camera niche group. Hope the successor will make it debut in February’s MWC 2012.

      • FireDragon says:

        There are so many things going very wrong now a days with the mobile technology and it all started to go down from one single “i” point. I hate them to edge because they had the opportunity and every possible resources to make things really really great, yet they decided to show a piece of crap, sugar coat it, packed in exotic wraps and price is highest.

    • Newtype says:

      1) Cost.

      2) Arbitrary product differentiation.

      3) Transition and focus to WP7; they don’t need to push in this segment — yet.

  10. symbego says:

    Oh yeah? N8 won’t be a great cameraphone without great software inside it that process the picture.

    Don’t dream symbian fans will move to WP if symbian die, they aren’t MS’s lackey.

    • troll says:

      im a symbian fan, and i will support wp not because im a M$ lackey, but i genuinely believe in that product.

      shocking right? i know.

      • Newtype says:

        I too believe in Nokia and Symbian, but when it’s time to use a device daily that software and content companies actually code for, it’s most certainly lacking.

  11. Niclas says:

    No surprise at all, I got my N8 a year ago, and it instantly replaced my compact camera, a lot smoother and better quality.
    Still performs amazingly, I will only replace it with its successor!

  12. Newtype says:

    I would LOVE to use my “old” N8 as my main device, but the terrible loudspeaker, poor software selection, awkward QWERTY keyboard, anemic music player, and less than stellar Nokia Maps (when compared to Google Maps on Android; I’m in the USA) keep it tucked in a box under my bed along with tons of other old fossil phones.

  13. samer says:

    my camera in my N8 isn’t zooming properly any advice

  14. Webby says:

    I’m really quite embarrassed that I recognise where that quote is from…

  15. Akhil V Kumar says:

    Symbian still rocks! keep it coming….

  16. dronex says:

    Dear iPhone,

    f##k you.

    Nokia N8

  17. bobin says:

    Using N8 for last one year and simply this is the best phone ever launched by Nokia.Really my phone replaced usage of dedicated camera…waiting for belle update so that N8 can reclaim its kingdom….

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