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Samsung Galaxy S vs Nokia N8


E7 VS N8E7-N8

Samsung Galaxy S and Nokia N8

The Detail of Their Advantages and Shortcomings

Samsung Galaxy S:

Samsung GS

You can't not like that screen. It's big, its sharp (4-inches), colors are great and we had no problem using it outside in bright sunlight When we weren't swooning over the screen, we were marvelling at the Samsung Galaxy S's speed. The capacitive touchscreen is very responsive, and opening and switching between applications is pain-free. We can't help but rejoice that the Galaxy S is running the stable, established, probably-not-going-anywhere Android rather than Samsung's own bada OS. The Galaxy S offers you seven marvellous homescreens all with the scrolling wallpaper behind them. This gives you plenty of room for apps, widgets and favourite contacts shortcuts. You can also control connections and stuff from your notifications bar which we found very handy.

The downside of the handset being so light is that it feels a bit plasticky and cheap. Generally, if you're after a high-end phone, you want something that feels a bit more premium in your hand. The styling is old hat and, dare we say it, a little boring. When that gorgeous screen is hibernating, We'd like to see more widgets on the Galaxy S - although you have access to both Samsung's and Android's widgets, there's still not a great deal going on. What is there could be a little more intuitive and better designed too. The 5-megapixel camera takes perfectly adequate photos and offers a range of settings to play with, but shutter speed is really quite slow and it doesn't show you an automatic review of the picture you've just taken so you're left worrying about whether or not you captured that once-in-a-lifetime shot of a squirrel eating a banana. Typing using the onscreen keyboard is a bit weird. That hugely responsive screen becomes somewhat of a double-edged sword; sometimes we could swear we hadn't even touched the screen before the key registered - all well and good, but this hardly ever resulted in the letter we were actually aiming for. It became quite frustrating - which probably explains why we were so thrilled with the handwriting recognition tool.

Nokia N8:

Nokia N8

The Nokia N8 is one of the most solid-feeling phones we've seen. Its main body is housed in a carved aluminium block which exudes quality and craftsmanship. The curved edges of the side of the N8 make it easy to grip and hold, and the volume controls and the locking mechanism are positioned so that they can be easily activated when holding the phone in your left hand.

A 12-megapixel camera with a xenon flash takes pride of place on the back of the Nokia N8. As you'd expect, picture quality on the highest setting is nothing short of amazing. The xenon flash performed admirably in dark places, lighting up gloomy pub beer gardens at night with aplomb. You can change the resolution of pictures down to smaller sizes (like 3-megapixels) if you're just taking fun snaps for Facebook and there's a macro shot mode allowing you to take super-detailed close ups. The Nokia N8's 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen is bright and responds easily to the touch. You can easily pinch to zoom in on pictures and web pages and scroll through the three homescreens either with a flick of the finger or by using the three dots button at the bottom of the screen which allows you to skip through each homescreen easily. Last but not least please bear with us as we wax lyrical about the HDMI-out capabilities of the Nokia N8. Much has been made of the fact that you can watch your high definition videos and pictures on an HD Ready TV screen. While you can indeed do this on the Nokia N8 what's more awesome is the fact that you can play games - including Angry Birds Lite and Need For Speed Shift - on a big screen. They upscale wonderfully and it's a real joy playing mobile games on the big screen. We spent a good part of our lunch hour getting three stars on each of the six levels on the Angry Birds demo. Battery life is also something worth shouting about; we got a solid day's worth of taking pictures, playing games on the TV and making calls on the Nokia N8 and only used up about half of the battery. On other smartphones with big touchscreens and battery-hungry processors we're used to having to keep one eye on the meter whenever we do anything

Our single main beef with the Nokia N8 is that it's not easy to get to grips with. The first few minutes of using the N8 felt like we were trying to solve a Rubik's cube; and all we were trying to do was create a shortcut to the camera. You often get the feeling that Nokia has opted for three left turns when a single right one would have done. Unfortunately you get this feeling a lot when using the N8. When you type out a text message and click the green tick for done, there's no immediate option to send the message. When you've just taken a picture or shot a video there's no immediate shortcut to the gallery to look at all your other pictures and videos. The Nokia N8 is not unusable by any means, but we think that a first time user would struggle here. It's not a great first start for Symbian^3 as a world-beating smartphone platform.n We weren't impressed with the default web browser. It supports pinch to zoom but it doesn't resize text or images particularly well or even quickly. We found that when you zoomed in on a text-heavy page, sometimes hyperlinks in would appear bunched up next to the normal unlinked text, making things hard to read. Opera Mobile is also included but this doesn't perform much better and doesn't support pinch to zoom. Using either browser we found page load times to be slow, even over a Wi-Fi connection, so we really couldn't recommend the Nokia N8 if you wanted a phone to surf the web on.


It's brilliant to see Samsung come out with a serious smartphone contender, and the Korean company has done a great job. It's a handset we wouldn't be ashamed to be seen with, and managed to keep up with us every step of the way. The Nokia N8 is a seriously powerful smartphone with some great features such as the 12-megapixel camera and the HDMI-out capabilities. However we feel there's much room for improvement on the user interface side of things and the web browser could do with a serious overhaul. If navigating a multitude of menus isn't a major headache for you then there's a lot to like about the Nokia N8.

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