This Photo Symbolises Everything Wrong With The N8

by @edent | # # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~874 times.

So much has already been written about the N8’s atrocious software. It’s a popular (and fair) stick to beat Nokia and Symbian with. One thing that is always mentioned is how amazing the hardware is.

I disagree. The hardware is as poor as the software. I think this picture symbolises that problem.

N8 and HDMI lead

N8 and HDMI lead

The N8 has an HDMI port. A mini HDMI port. The image is of a full sized HDMI plug trying to fit into the mini port. It won’t fit, of course. But what you can see is that there is easily enough space for Nokia to have placed a full sized port in there.

Instead, we’re left in the daft situation where N8 owners have to carry around the ridiculous adapter if they want to plug their N8 into a friend’s TV. Every modern TV and STB has a full sized HDMI port – virtually none have the mini version.

Someone in Nokia has thought “We need to save space!” A fine and noble thought. But one which should have been followed with the thoughts
“What are the consequences to the customer?”
“Will it cost us more to ship an adapter than to use a full sized port?”
“What will we do with the saved space?”
“Do we even need to save space?”

When is a Unibody not a Unibody?

“Look! Look! Look! We’ve got a unibody! We’re just as cool as the iPhone,” screams Nokia.

No. No you haven’t, and no you aren’t.

Firstly, the plastic rubbery flaps on the N8 – three of them – are all flimsy and annoyingly easy to break. This isn’t a sleek and elegant design.

Secondly, the embedded battery. Having an embedded battery is great. You save space by not needing so much chunky plastic around it, and you don’t need mechanical contacts inside the phone. You can use that to make a bigger battery, or a smaller lighter phone.

Nokia hasn’t done that. They’ve just shoved a regular battery inside their phone and then sealed it. All the disadvantages of a sealed system with exactly none of the advantages.

The Devil Is In The Detail

On paper, the hardware of the N8 beats that of the iPhone. The implementation is what lets the N8 down.

I’m grateful to the friend who came round with her N8 but without her cable adaptor. I hope my snarky laughter didn’t upset you too much!

8 thoughts on “This Photo Symbolises Everything Wrong With The N8

  1. Benjamin says:

    Probably a bit unfair on the HDMI port – all the small consumer electronics devices I have are MiniHDMI (Canon cameras – even the pro ones – etc), so much so that I actually have a mini-HDMI lead running out of my TV, rather than an HDMI one. If you look at the PCB foot print for a mini-HDMI versus a HDMI foot print you’ll see why no-one uses them in a small consumer device – it might only look a little wider, but it’s footprint is massive.

    1. I accept your point – although my understanding was that HDMI & Mini HDMI where mechanically identical?

      Still, all the more reason to use an sealed battery to reduce the space used.

  2. Benjamin says:

    HDMI sockets were flagged as an issue by a number of manufacturers, so Molex spec the new mini-HDMI sockets. We’ll see an aweful lot more of them – expect HDMI to mini-HDMI cables to be common in most tech households with-in the next 18 months. At least you don’t need a proprietary dock to plug the n8 into a TV (pointing the finger at no manufacturers in particular 😉 ). I’ll cheer anyone who is at least using standard connectors on their device, rather than “here’s one we made up earlier.” Although on HDMI we’re heading through that phase that USB connectors did (and still are). I always seem to have the wrong size one!

  3. Salim Fadhley says:

    The HDMI issue is definitely nowehere near top of the list of N8 flaws. Mini HDMI is a real standard and it’s probably going to be quite popular. Nokia are actually ahead of the game on this one.

    The real problem with the N8 is that it’s an old-skool device in a world of web-services. All of the other leading phone OS manufactures have tightly integrated with a range of web and commercial services. My Android device benefits from all the google services, wheras my N8 is an island.

    The N8 is really the same concept as the N95 almost three years ago. That’s it’s real fault.

  4. I find it odd that this is an issue for you with the N8 but *not* for any other leading photography device currently on the market today.

    To be honest, Benjamin Ellis has pretty much nailed the point I was going to make, so consider this a ‘plus one’ on both of his comments.

    1. I don’t have any other camera products with an HDMI output.

      I’m aware that it’s not the biggest nit to pick. But my experiences with this devices have been so unremittingly awful, I find it hard to be objective about any flaws – perceived or otherwise.

  5. N8-Fan says:

    Wow!! was your site suffering from page views and so you decided – hang on, why don’t I post some irrelevant nit picking dribble about the N8, and I can get lots of N8 fans and eventually apple/android fans flocking to my page to bash eachother!
    You saddo!

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