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Review: Nokia N8

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The N8 is a solid effort from Nokia that has many strengths. The hardware is excellent all around. The controls all work, the device feels good to hold, and it has a nice, bright screen with decent resolution.

Phone call quality, signal performance, and battery life are all commendable. Phone calls, in particular, were impressive. For those who need a device that covers the basics well, the N8 delivers.

Multimedia is another strong suit with the N8. The music and media players are both capable, and the imaging and video-capturing abilities rank high. If the are your primary uses, you'll do well with the N8.

However, the N8 falls way short when it comes to messaging and social networking. Nokia's email and SMS software simply doesn't compare to what's offered by other platforms. The message tools are clunky, look dated, and take too many steps to complete. The lack of native social networking applications is a severe blow, and the third-party apps available to fill the gap don't exactly set the market on fire. (Gravity is one solid option, but it costs a whopping $10.)

One of the biggest problems facing the N8, at least for U.S. customers, is the price. None of the major network operators offer it on-contract at a subsidized amount. It costs a full $550. That's more than twice as much as the competition (which often offers better features).

Is the N8 worth $550 to the average American? No. It is not. Nokia and Symbian fans, however, may find enough to like to make the N8 worth it.

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