So it’s been about a month or so since I first got the Pureview monster, the 808; here are some random thoughts on the phone: (Before we start honestly I wasn’t very fair I had first tried the 808 back at MWC so I knew what I was getting into, I never used the phone as my daily driver since I knew what it had to offer SW wise, and that wasn’t enough for me to go back to Symbian after the smoothness of WP).
First off the camera is ridiculous, there’s nothing more I can say, I suck at photography, my friends are ugly, yet our pictures come out stunning (I’ll leave the proper camera review for those more capable of it) but here’s a couple test image:
Bedside Change bucket (us bloggers are people folks):
Sunset in Amman (not bad if I dare say so)
Reese’s Cup stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, YUM!
Well what about the phone? The software on the phone itself as I’m sure most of you know is Nokia Belle FP1 the same running on all Symbian 3 phones minus the first gen of S^3 devices (that have less than 1ghz of ram); the latest updates bring some UI streamlining, A slightly improved keyboard (which still sucks), a New gallery/camera ui (only for the 808). However even after 3 major SW upgrades the phone is not without it’s bugs/set-backs, some of the exclusive to the 808: (the list is based on MY USAGE of the phone (which happened to be in offline mode), not everyone uses their phones similarly, I for one don’t use the browser much so I couldn’t care less how crappy it is)
- The gallery has no Portrait support when accessing it from the camera (not really a bug, more like a missing feature, but one that’s annoying)
- WiFi is spotty and tends to have issues
- The constant nagging of Symbian asking for confirmation every step of the way (although reduced) still pushes my buttons.
- Lack of photo sharing options, Nokia social (which is an abomination and should have been drowned upon birth) only works with a SIM card in the phone, and even then doesn’t always work, However the 808 does support “share to Flickr and FB” however for some reason every-time I’m directed to the browser to login to FB I end up in a constant loop with no solution (possibly due to my FB security measures?), the upload to Flickr does work nicely though (also there’s a newly updated Symbian app called FlickrUp that gets the job done). It may seem as I’m nitpicking on this point, but after using WP for close to a year any other photo sharing to social networks seems pathetic, and as I said, this is MY usage of the phone.
- The Keyboard: I’m pretty sure Nokia packed up shop here and moved out, it would seem they gave up on making a decent keyboard as now the keys aren’t even aligned properly, the auto-correct is a nightmare (the dictionary seems to have only 50 words); but on the plus side the haptic feedback is nice.
- The menu is depressing, this might sound crazy but as someone who experienced stock S^3 on the N8 first hand the menu on Symbian only brings back painful memories, as long as I avoid opening the menu I can pretend it’s different phone, but the second I want to load an app that all goes away.
- The chrome plating on the camera bump gets scratched SUPER easily, I keep my phone in a microfiber bag in a drawer yet somehow it’s gotten scratched (think metal plate on the back of the N9)
Enough with the bad, more with the good; first off the phone is gorgeous, say what you like but a phone that has to carry a bump that big and still look good isn’t an easy task, but Nokia pulled it off (it’s like when they say pregnant women “glow”), so what else?
- Once again the camera, it’s………… (whatever adjective you prefer)
- The camera UI, at least some thought went into this (actually alot did) every little detail seems planned out, even the tiny writing of “pureview” on the virtual lens (that comes up when launching the camera)
- Speaking of launching the camera, this thing is blazing fast; but we all know that right, I mean it smoked a WP…
- Multitasking on the 808 with FP1 is super smooth, one of the virtues of Symbian I guess
- Battery life!!!! You guys won’t believe this but I’ve only charged the 808 once since I purchased it (over a month ago) true it was in offline mode, but that’s with the WiFi on constantly and alot of picture taking/video recording
- Rich Recording: honestly this has got to be as an impressive feature as Pureview (if not slightly cooler) the mic pickup on this phone is crazy, I recorded a video then played it back on the phone (with Dobly studio active) through the purity headset… MINDBLOWING
- CBD AMOLED display, true it’s stuck in nHD but that’s nothing new, what is new is the awesome viewing angles you get outdoors (plus the always on screen saver, ohhh how I miss it on WP.. hopefully in WP8)
- Torch: yes the awesome flash doubling as a torch, this used to be exclusive to feature phones, well not anymore; keep the lock-screen button pressed down for 5 seconds to used the LED light as a blinding torch/flash-light
All in all the 808 isn’t THAT bad of a phone, hell it’s pretty good; but not if your one who’s about “the online”; some nags of Symbian haven’t been fixed till now and I don’t see the Nokia developer team (what’s left of it anyways) worrying too much about them. I don’t need to tell you how awesome the camera is and personally I think that’s more than enough of a reason to buy a phone (that’s why I bought mine!). But the issue lies in Symbian itself, it’s been forsaken by most (even CODeRUS the Symbian modder gave up on it), and honestly unlike the N9 there isn’t much you can do to make this phone that much better, as I mentioned in the begging I didn’t think Belle FP1 was enticing enough for me to go back to the small but annoying (yet apparently lovable) tweaks of Symbian, but if your pleased with how Symbian is by all means go buy one; you will love it. I guarantee it.
I can’t believe I have to say this but constructive comments ONLY; criticism is welcome, I love a good discussion but if you’ve come to spread your sorrow here is NOT the place.