Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Review: Nokia 808 Introduction

This is the first part of my Nokia 808 Review.
I am going to introduce the phone in a short way and try to tell you whats coming in future parts of this review-series.

After almost one month with the Nokia 808 (as my main phone), I finally found some time to write a few words about it.

808-Review Series
What can you expect from my review series?
I am going to write a few words about the Nokia 808, this is what it probably will look like:

Part 1: Introduction
-introducing the review series
-my point of view
-first impression
-package content

Part 2: Hardware
-design & materials
-hardware & design flaws
-conclusion about hardware

Part 3: Software
-Symbian Belle FP1
-pros and cons about Symbian
-conclusion about software

Part 4: Camera
-Camera Application UI
-conclusion about the camera
-picture samples in different light conditions
  -probably going to be single parts (Part 4a, etc.)

Part 5: Final Conclusion
-my opinion about the 808

Please don't expect a huge and detailed review like you can read on "allaboutsymbian.com", I don't have the time and equipment to compete with that.
The 808 is my only camera and I already gave away the N8, so comparison shots won't be possible.

This plan is not 100% final, there could be some changes... small ones like chaning titles or bigger ones like adding or dropping some parts.

My point of view
Who am I to judge the Nokia 808?
You probably expect me to be a huge Symbian Fanboy... with my fancy Blog and all my CFW's.
That's actually not true.

I am very interested in mobile technology and always take a look at the newest devices. I choose the device that suits my needs best (whether it's iOS, Windows Phone, Android or Symbian).

The last few devices I owned were Symbians (Nokia N95, Samsung i8910 HD, Nokia N8 and now the Nokia 808), but that's just because they offered some features I couldn't get on other systems.

I am aware of Symbians bad situation on the market and also about his flaws, but I also know about the good and unique features Symbian has to offer.

I will try to write a fair review, that covers the positive and negative aspects of the 808!

First impression
I don't want to go into too much detail here, because most about the phone will be covered in other parts of my review series.

As a former Nokia N8 user, I wasn't sure what I should think about the Nokia 808.
If you remember my review about disassembling the N8, you probably know that I replaced some parts to get a green/black mixed N8. The colour choices of the 808 are very limited and the materials and size looked worse on paper than the ones for the Nokia N8.

So I expected to get a "heavy and way to large" brick, but with excellent camera features to replace my "outdated" N8.
Belle FP1 seemed to be a nice Update, but not the kind of Update that makes you wanna pay the full price for a new phone... after all that's what most reviews around the Internet were telling me.

But I was all wrong!
Positively surprised, I took the 808 out of its package and saw, that the phone looks and feels gorgeous.
The plastic doesn't feel cheap, I don't know how they did it, but it feels as worthy as the anodised Aluminium on the N8.
And its almost the same size as the N8, even though it offers a 4" inches screen and due to the rounded corners it actually feels better in my hand.
The camera bump is not annoying to me at all, if I hold it in portrait mode, my finger is right below it, which gives me a good grip and the phone feels balanced in my hand.

The weight may be a problem although. In my opinion, lightweight phones feels cheap and easy to break, so I prefer a little more weight... but the 808 is at the very limit.
Its not too heavy to carry it around or to be annoying while holding it, but still to heavy to feel comfortable in your shirts pocket for example.

If you liked the form and size of the Nokia N8, there is nothing to complain about the 808, except for its weight. I can handle it well, but it's still a matter of taste...

The OS also feels snappier and there is definitely an improvement over pre-FP1 phones.
I am guessing that the stronger CPU and more RAM is helping a lot here :)
If you are already running Belle, software-wise, there is nothing new that's worth to buy a new phone.

You should really see (and feel) the 808 for yourself, before judging the form, size and weight only on paper.

Package content
Nokia really cheaped out on this one!
The N8 featured way more valuable content than the 808... but the most important things are still in the box.

Charger/USB Cable
808 Charger/USB Cable
Nice charger, very small and you can use any USB cable with the adapter.
As a USB cable for your PC/Notebook, the cable length is fine. But for charging I would have preferred a longer one.

Nokia WH-209

With four different sizes for the ear plugs, there should be a match for everyone.
Shame on Nokia for giving us "Dolby Headphone" ready equipment, but no music control buttons on the headset itself! There is only one key to answer/end calls...
Still the sound quality is very impressive and its louder than my N8 headphones (both tested on 808).

808 box content

Don't know if the correct English word for this really is "ribbon", but that thing on the picture is also shipped with the 808 :)

Compared to the N8, I am missing a HDMI and USB OTG adapter.
The USB OTG adapter from my N8 is still compatible of course. But due to the even smaller HDMI connector of the 808, you need a new adapter for that (any microHDMI adapter should work).

So not much goodies in the box, but the most necessary things to get started with the 808 is there.


I hope you enjoyed reading the first part of my 808 review series and that you are looking forward to future (and probably more interesting) parts.

I am looking forward to some constructive feedback about my review! ;)


  1. I think fp2 fullfill everything for nokia808

  2. The NFC tag can be configured?

  3. And super excited for the full review ;)

    Is the FP2 in any way lookalike WindowsPhone?

    1. the symbian nfc is very open, no fiddling with tags is necessary to send content. but i am sure you can add them... although i don't have a second device that supports nfc, i only tested it once with an C7 of a friend.

      FP2 won't look like Windows Phone, thats for sure.
      somebody took a video of a leaked FP2 version, I guess nobody except nokia itself can tell you how "final" the version in this video is, but here you go:

      i just expect FP2 to be what FP1 should have been.
      in my opinion, FP1 does look unfinished...

      dont get me wrong, it IS better than pre-FP1 Belle.
      I am trying to explain what i mean more detailed in upcoming software part of my review...

  4. i think we'd call that a "lanyard" actually.

    1. haha, thanks for the info :)
      i don't think i can remember that word for a long time... not a word that comes up in daily conversations :p

  5. Good review, thx.
    Two questions, please:

    1. I´ve heard, the 808 supports "64 Gb SD cards in ExFat". Is that right? 64Gb cards are SDXC cards... so the 808 supports the SDXC standard?

    2. Has anyone experience with branded phones and the cfw from the one? Can I use the cfw, when I use a Telekom branded phone?

    With kind regards

    1. hi felsen2000,

      glad you like the first part of my review!
      (sadly i never finished it... its still on my mind, maybe i write some more stuff about it someday :))

      to answer your questions:
      1. the 808 does support exFAT, i formated my 32GB sdhc that way (to get support for files >4GB).
      i think nokia never said that sdxc is officially supported on the 808, but many users are reporting that they are working!

      just make sure you don't cheap out here and buy a high quality product.

      2. branding is not a problem.
      if there are some preinstalled telekom applications, they will be gone. but your phone will work without a problem.
      flashing a cfw or a different ofw is a easy way to "unbrand" your phone...

      but flashing a different firmware (e.g. my cfw) doesn't remove the sim lock!
      (therefore, the firmware will work. but the sim lock will stay)

      btw. i am working on a new release for my cfw. will be ready this week. if you are thinking about flashing, you probably want to wait for v3.3.0 ;)

      i hope that answers your questions

    2. thx, I´ll get it for christmas :-)

  6. Great review! I am so tempted to upgrade from my N8 to the 808. But 500€ for this upgrade feels really steep.

    Waiting for the 2nd part of the review!

    1. thanks mate!
      although i have my doubts that i will ever finish this...

      but when i started writing it, i came across this stupid 3g bug which really pissed me off, with fp2 and belle refresh releases i was busy with my cfw's...

      and now the 808 is already 6 months old. don't know if it makes sense to still write a review.

      i'll think about it ;)
      (maybe i shorten it and release a few more words)