Nokia N8 Brings 12MP Camera, Symbian^3 OS To Smartphone Wars

Apple has their iPhone, HTC has their DROID Incredible, Google has their Nexus One. What does Nokia have in the modern smartphone war? A new weapon by the name of N8, and while it's still a long ways from shipping to the U.S., Europeans are already salivating over the possibilities. Announced today, the N8 is the company's first smartphone to ship with the new Symbian^3 operating system, which tightly integrates social networking, multi-media and multi-tasking.

It's a pretty attractive bundle. The phone itself is crafted from a single piece of anodized aluminum, and while a silver one would've alright, Nokia is offering the phone in five different colors (much like Apple's colorful iPod nano lineup) in order to really give users a choice in style. The device is extremely slim, and it features a 3.5" capacitive touch screen, a best-in-class 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a Xenon flash, the ability to record HD video, access to Facebook/Twitter, Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, access to the Ovi Store, as well as Ovi Maps walk and drive navigation.

Much like Android, this new OS will support gestures such as multi touch, flick scrolling and pinch-zoom, not to mention ew 2D and 3D graphics architecture in the platform takes full advantage of the Nokia N8's hardware acceleration to deliver a faster and more responsive user interface. The N8 also offers multiple, personalizable homescreens which can be loaded with apps and widgets, and this is Nokia's first device to be integrated with Qt, a software development environment that simplifies the development and makes it possible to build applications once and deploy across Symbian and other software platforms.

The company plans to ship the phone first in Europe in Q3 for around 370 Euros without any carrier subsidies, or just under $500. To put that in perspective, an unlocked AT&T Nexus One costs around $529, so if Nokia were to get this on a U.S. carrier contract, it would probably be $199 or less with a 2-year deal.