Because the N8 is being sold "unlocked," consumers have their choice of any wireless carrier that uses the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) standard. However, as a result, no carrier subsidy will be offered.
In addition to being a smartphone, the N8 will have the ability to record and play video and act as a portable entertainment center. It can be plugged into a user's home theater system for access to high-definition digital 720p resolution video with Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.
Music can be played for over 50 hours, and users can access on-demand Web TV with channels including CNN, E! Entertainment, Paramount, and National Geographic. More Web TV channels are also available in the Ovi store.
The N8 has a 640 x 360 OLED display that acts as a capacitive touchscreen. Users can create videos and edit them with built-in software.
Other features of the N8 include free voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and global Ovi Maps, voice dialing, conference calling, an integrated hands-free speaker, and a digital compass.
One of the more notable aspects of the phone is the hardware: the Nokia N8 is the first smartphone to run Symbian^3, the latest version of the open source Symbian OS with S60. It provides new features, including a podcast manager and improved home screen, according to Symbian Developer. Other enhancements include a faster user interface for the new 2D and 3D graphics and improved memory management that will let users run more applications at the same time, the developer site said.
Users will be able to customize the N8 with up to three home screens, along with widgets, themes, shortcuts, and icons. The N8 can be used as a data modem through tethering.
Shipping costs for the N8 will be $3.99 for standard or $9.99 for express.