I have a Nokia N8 that I am still quite happy with. More than a year ago I wrote a post Living with Nokia N8 Belle in Late 2012. So how is it going? Here follows my findings for 2014.
2014-01-20 Weather Widget stopped working
The Nokia weather widget stopped working. There are many Weather Apps, but I want a Weather Widget on my home screen. I found that AccuWeather.com WRT Widget does what I need, and is free. Install it from the Store.
Lets see if my N8 is still with me in 2015.
I experience problems with my system partition having too little available space (got a warning message about it). The easiest and most important way to free space is to delete your Sent Mails. And the mails in your Inbox too. It is an incredibly stupid design that attachments are stored on the very limited system drive.
2014-04-01: N8 Xeon & N8 Delight custom firmware
I got a comment from a reader suggesting me to try the custom N8 Xeon firmware – so I did!
These customs firmware are unsupported, unofficial and use at your own risk – of course. That said, it is really nice that there is a little community working to make nice devices like the N8 relevant in 2014!
I first tried Xeon firmware (since that was what I was suggested). The webpage and download didn’t really feel completely reliable – a little bit too much warez-feeling about it. The firmware itself was nice – quite a bit hacker-feeling about it. However, I could not figure out how get a Swedish keyboard with Xeon (and perhaps this is just my fault). So in the end I got rid of Xeon.
I found another firmware called N8 Delight. The webpages, documentation and instructions around N8 Delight gave me confidence, and it was easy to find how to get different keyboards (just download one file, and replace it in the complete Delight firmware download before flashing). N8 Delight feels simple, light and professional when installed, and I have more than 100MB available on C: (I suppose getting N8 Delight immediately, without flashing Xeon first, would give the same effect). I currently have N8 Delight v6.4, and I intend to keep it.
A few comments:
- I provide no links or instructions; use Google and read for yourself, I am not an expert
- N8 Delight is stripped of several standard Nokia Appliations, particularly Social (the Facebook client), and I ended up using fMobi instead, which is ok, but I miss the widget from Social
- Skype is no longer available from the Nokia Store (F***ing Micro$oft), but you can find downloads of the last official version if you use Google.
- My music and pictures were not lost in the flashing process, but my messages, contacts and settings were lost. Some applications were lost, others remained.
- I use Funambol to backup/sync my contacts across different devices.
I am happy with N8 Delight, and I have no plans to get back to the official version of Belle. I am not completely sure I would go through this process again, and if you have an N8 with official version of Belle, and it works just fine, I suggest you think twice before playing with custom firmwares.
If, on the other hand your N8 Belle is a mess and you think about getting a new phone, I would definitely recommend you to try N8 Delight – perhaps that will extend the life of your N8!
Occationally I forget to charge my N8, and find it out of battery. It happened twice last week, which made me worry the battery is dying. I installed “Nokia Battery Monitor” from the Store. It is unfortunately not a widget. But it gives other useful information, especially the level of charging with more details than the litte standard icon in the top right corner. It is annoying that the standard icon appears fully charged down to at least 51%. I switched off the background clock (which is very nice though) and put a 3G-on/off widget on my start screen as well.
Well, I finally decided to retire my N8. I was not satisfied with battery life and I was not very satisfied with the web browser and the Facebook app.
It was not that easy to find another phone that really felt like an upgrade in every way though. FM radio is the feature I use the most, so iPhone (and unfortunately!) Jolla was out of the question. After having lived with not having access to the same apps as everyone else for three years, I was not willing to buy another Nokia with Windows. Good camera, good battery life, and compact design were my key requirements.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
I ended up buying a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. It took a few days go get used to Android – first I felt there was so much of everything everywhere. After all, transition from Symbian to Sony Android was very smooth.
For me, even the Compact is on the brink of too big. But it is ok. It came with no headset, and it can be charged in a special magnetic charger, which is also not included. And since the Z1 is waterproof there is a little door that needs to be opened to access the USB port in order to charge. I bought the magnetic charger for about Euro 20. It is a cheap piece of plastic that gets the job done.
A thank you to Nokia and the N8/Symbian community. My (blue) N8 is in very fine condition, I can sell it for a good price if anyone is interested.