Thursday, December 30, 2010

Initial Experiences with Navigation

I have downloaded the U.S. maps along with the maps for France and Canada. I searched for the addresses for some cousins in France and found that the street names had to be exactly right to get a hit.

I have also used the navigation driving around San Francisco a bit. It worked fine, but some of the routes were not what I consider to be optimal. It recalculates quickly and figured out my route. It looks to be quite useful, but you probably should have a car power adapter for a long trip.

Ovi Synch Bug

I also ran into a problem with Synchronization using Ovi. I would click on Synch using Ovi on the PC and nothing would happen. The Nokia N8 blog had the solution. You cannot select Automatic Synch in the Settings menu. Once I turned off Automatic Synch and did a Contacts and a Messaging Synch before I did a Synch All, the Synchronization worked. I will let you know if this fix is not permanent.

One Touch Dial Bug

I have run across a problem with One Touch Dialing that seems to be a bug to me. I assigned Contact entries to One Touch numbers, however I got a message saying that they were invalid when I pressed the button. I had numbers set up as +1 (aaa) bbb-cccc. I read on the Nokia N8 blog that the phone cannot handle anything but numbers for a One Touch number. I could dial these numbers just fine from the Contact application but not as a One Touch number.

What I finally had to do is to reenter the numbers under a One Touch key without spaces or punctuation. One Touch dialing worked after that.

Initial Software Installation

A lot of software had to be installed or reinstalled. The basic phone software was up to date, But I had to install a new version of the Mapping software, the Ovi application, and the Top Applications software. I then installed all of the maps for the U.S. (including the U.S. Virgin Islands).

I had some problems with all of this due to my unfamiliarity with the N8. the Ovi software does not seem to be entirely stable. It will hang my computer up when it is interrupted. If you wait patiently enough, the computer comes back and you can proceed.

Ovi has been around for a while and supports a broad set of Nokia phones. I expected that its operation would be hassle free by this time. This was not the case.

I was able to sort these problems out and get the phone set up.

First Take

I opened up my N8 on Christmas Eve. I was impressed by its relatively small size and by its heft. It really feels like a solid product.

It took me a while to figure out where to put the memory card and the SIM card. The figures on the instruction sheet were small and I could not distinguish them well. After a few minutes I had it put together and making my first call.

The package included the phone, a power supply, a USB cord, an HDMI converter, and a USB converter. There is also a nice looking pair of ear buds. I already have a good set of Klipsch ear buds and will not use the Nokia buds, at least for a while.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Buying my N8

When I decided to buy the N8 I went to the Nokia website and looked for what price I could get trading in my N95. I couldn't find the trade in link so I started chatting with a Nokia rep. He gave me the link and gave me a promotion code that gave me and additional $100 off. I was able to get $150 off the retail price. (When I went back to the site today, two days later, I found that Nokia had a deal on the N8 dropping its price by $100. The promotion that the rep gave me met this price, so I did not have to go back and haggle for the deal price.)

I chose the standard shipping, and I received the phone two days later. Not bad  ...

My Nokia N95

A big reason that I bought the N8 is my experience with my N95. In the Spring of 2007, Nokia invited me to an analyst conference at their headquarters in White Plains, NY. At the end of the conference, they gave each of us analysts a Nokia N95 to take home. As I found out later, it was a European model and would not work the U.S. 3G networks.

I really liked the N95, especially its camera. I took a lot of good photos and videos with it. Its navigation was immature at that time but is not a very good service. I liked having the music player as well.

My N95 started having problems two years ago, so I retired at the end of 2009. The biggest problem was that the volume rocker failed, so I was not able to raise the volume while listening to MP3s. This made the music player nearly unusable.

I took the N95 out of retirement a couple of months ago and fell in love with it all over again, faults and all. The latest software that I downloaded was a big improvement, especially in its navigation application. The Ovi store looked good, but does not compare to the Apple iStore. Hearing that the N8 camera is even better than the N95's and that full navigation is included in the phone, I was sold. Especially, when I saw that I could easily load the navigation maps for about 100 countries into the phone and use less than 10 GB of its 48 GBs.


My new Nokia N8 just arrived today. I will put it under the Christmas tree and open it then. By then, the 32 GB MicroSD memory will have arrived. I bought it because it is said to have an excellent camera and it has built in navigation. I expect that it also has a very good music player. I will let you know how it works out.

I paid full price for the N8. AT&T is my carrier and it does not offer the N8, so I bought the N8 directly from Nokia USA. I like Nokia products and I wanted to stay out of the Apple and Google orbits. I know that there are a lot of applications on the Apple and Google phones that are not offered for Nokia phones. It will be interesting to see if I still feel that the N8 was a good choice in a few months.