I live on email. Literally. Whether its concerning my responsibilities at Alireta, here at Mobility Nigeria, or elsewhere, I depend extensively on email for notifications

Email on the Nokia N8

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I live on email. Literally. Whether its concerning my responsibilities at Alireta, here at Mobility Nigeria, or elsewhere, I depend extensively on email for notifications and communications. As such, for me to take up any smartphone as my primary connected device, it must deliver on the email front.

In the days of Symbian 3rd Edition and 5th Edition, I kept running into email issues, especially with regards Gmail-based services – email IMAP, and contacts and calendar syncing See: Smartphone blues: S60 and Gmail. I had some of those same issues with the Maemo-based Nokia N900.

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The New Symbian Email App Gets a Pass Mark
Scr0000481The N8 supports multiple protocols including Mail for Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, Live, Hotmail and other POP3, IMAP services.

I was delighted to find that email setup on the N8 was smooth. I had my Google contacts and calendar syncing by setting up an Exchange account for that purpose. This syncs once a day to keep my details in loop. Fixing this to once a day also helps conserve battery life.

***I was reading up an article and its follow-up comments on a popular mobile site and the impression was given that the Nokia N8 does not handle synchronisation with Google calendar and contacts. Honestly, I don’t know what they are talking about. My N8 syncs my Google contacts and calendars without issues as well as the Android-powered X10 Mini Pro did and as well as the iOS-powered iPhone 3GS did.

Then I setup another email account just for my Google-based personal mail and set this one to sync every 15 minutes. Receiving and sending of mails work just fine.

HTML Email? Check.
Finally, we get HTML email support from Symbian. This means that you get to see and read HTML-formatted emails sent to you in all their glory.

Attachments
Symbian has been traditionally good with handling attachments, and the N8 does not break this tradition. Attachments can be sent easilly and when received in an incoming mail can also be directly or saved to the device. Whether its a Word document, PDF file or an image file, the N8 handles attachments well.

Others
There’s email forwarding. You can fix a signature for your outgoing mails too. You can mark mails as read/unread, mark, move to folders and flag mail items for your attention at a later time.


You can set detailed retrieval info – days of the week, hours of the day, and frequency. There’s PUSH service too if you want it – and it gets my mails to me faster than my PC does. You can also opt for mails to be downloaded in full or just headers.

There is also a useful homescreen email widget for easy access to your incoming mails.

email widget

In all, I have found the email app intuitive, and the improvements in the Symbian user interface are here as well. Subtle (not loud) transitions and effects, and consistent tap actions are also accounted for.

The interface delivers more advanced functionality in a user-friendly way too. For example, press and hold to bring up a drop-down (or is it pop-up?) menu. For example, if you press and hold on a link, you get the options to open the link, add it to bookmarks, or copy the address.

There’s more in there, but the summary of this is that for the first time in a couple of years, I am really satisfied with email on a Symbian device.

16 comments

  1. Honestly, I don’t know what they are talking about.

    Oh yeah! thats why you are unique. Serious; i dont flatter. while you actually live a review, others do cut and guess review. Can you imagine what the above statement from that site can do to the psychology of individuals who are planning to get the N8?

    Well done for detailing the IMAP issue of gmail. indeed its been a problem

  2. while you actually live a review, others do cut and guess review.

    True. I have observed that there are several sites out there that just do this copy-and-paste thing. Basically, they parrot something that they have read elsewhere without testing it out themselves. The “reviewers” have had little or no time with the devices that they claim to be reviewing. How can anyone call that a review? Yet people trust such “reviews”.

  3. been silently watching you tempt me to get an n8. I’m already 65% convinced, waiting for you to complete the review. 80k bruv, please tell as it is.

  4. do you also know that there is a fm transmitter option in the nokia n8, basically play a song on your n8 and listen to it on the radio.

  5. Quam, yes; I do – and it rocks! I have set my N8 to use 90.0FM and preset a channel on my car radio to that. Treated some friends to a heavy session of ‘Oleku’ in the car two days ago. And right after that, we had a wonderful photo-shoot with its 12 megapixel camera.

    Everybody’s wanting my N8 right now.

  6. quick one does the n8 come by default with s wifi sharing option like on most Windows phone? i might just get the n8 now with all the good reviews. what is your take on the lack on physical qwerty?

  7. The N8 does not come with wifi sharing built-in, but there’s Joikuspot Lite available for free from the Ovi Store. Joikuspot Premium is a paid upgrade that gives you support for secure sites and ability to password-protect your hotspot.

    The onscreen keyboard is very good (and I have big fingers, so that is saying somethimg). Of course, that does’t change the fact that I prefer a hardware QWERTY.

  8. Nokia is bringing back the fm transmiter. That’s one feature i really enjoyed on nokia n78. But i really wish this phone comes with a qwerty. Tapping on a screen to write anything is really a chore especially when that screen is capacitive and less than 4 inches diagonal. Maybe this is where the USB keyboard would be relevant.

  9. @deoladoctor – I feel your pain about typing of touchscreens. that’s why I still carry my old regular S60v3 phone for my main telephony and messaging needs. Using a touchscreen-only phone for all your mobile needs is just not it. And I wont add more hardware to my pockets by carrying a USB keyboard!

    This is why I was eagerly awaiting Motorola’s Droid Pro [QWERTY/candybad android]. But after reading online reviews, it seems a poor choice. I hope Nokia releases a QWERTY/candybar symbian phone similar to the C6-00 next year. The E7 will be targeted at business users and will definitely cost more than the N8.

  10. @Praveen
    Thanks. But I don’t have my nokia 5800 anymore. Would you know any such app for bada OS. The only touchscreen phone i use for the now is Samsung wave.

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