Real-life Handling of Nokia N8 running PR 1.1

Posted by Mister Mobility

The Nokia N8, along with other members of the SymbianNu (I prefer that to “Symbian^3”; sounds way cooler) family, finally got the first of the main updates promised by Nokia.

I got my unit updated recently and have been on the lookout for improvements. While there aren’t any visual (UI) improvements, as far as I can tell, PR1.1 does addresses some of the gripes that I had with the N8.

Here are my observations:

1. Gmail now reflects read messages properly
Before now, using Gmail on the N8 meant that if you read a mail on your device, chances are that the “Read” status will not be reflected in your Gmail account, and vice versa. This has now been addressed and so far as I can tell, it is no longer an issue.

2. Mail for Exchange works better
With the initial firmware, you had to setup Google Contacts and Calendars sync with Mail for Exchange but disable email sync and setup your Gmail as a separate account – a solution that worked well but was an extra step. This was because if you had email enabled, when trying to send out mails, the application simply closes.

Now, Mail for Exchange works well with email, calendars and contacts all enabled. I am able to send out mails from the MfE account without any issues.

3. Dialler now works in landscape mode
Looking like something from the N900.

4. Updated browser
My browser version number is different but I honestly haven’t noticed any improvements. I would have loved to see text reflow for now before the new browser coming with the next update.

5. Adobe Reader updated to 2.5.653
Can’t tell any differences so far.

6. Quickoffice
I didn’t get the update to 6.4.166 (which is supposed to bring in editing functions and improved zooming functions). Probably because I had earlier paid to get editing. I’m still stuck on 6.3.16 OVI_S605.0. So, I am penalised for paying for a paid upgrade. How cool is that?

While we are on QuickOffice, I am not sure how I missed including this in my gripes list earlier on, but QuickOffice on the N8 is lame. L-A-M-E. It is a lazy man’s job. It looks like QuickOffice just took the 5th Edition version and threw it in there. Scrolling is via that thin scroll bar to the right, and you’ll find yourself doing lots of double-tapping to open folders and files here.

I haven’t bothered using it since I upgraded to the editing version. How does anyone get any editing done on this thing?

Please do a proper QuickOffice version for SymbianNu devices! Oh, unless the PR1.1 version took care of this already. But I have no way of telling, as I have been denied the update. Anyone with the new QuickOffice version 6.4.166 care to share with us?

QuickOffice Update update:
Someone pointed out in the comments section that if I uninstalled the QuickOffice on my N8 and rebooted my device, I’d get the updated version – and it worked.

The new QuickOffice is significantly better than the older one. Here are my observations:

  1. Now, you can scroll by just panning vertically – the thin scroller bar is no longer needed – yaaaaay!
  2. Zooming is a much more pleasant exercise – pinch zooming too, and when you zoom the text reflows to fit the display
  3. There’s word count and the rest of the usual suspects
  4. Double-tapping to open folders and files seems to be history now, but browsing to get files is slow

In all, a commendable update on the QuickOffice front. It is certainly a more usable app now.

All in all, the N8 is a better device from the PR1.1 update. No; scratch that. Here’s what I meant to say: The N8, which was already an exxcellent device, has become a better work tool now that it runs PR1.1. Yup; that sounds better.

it is not an exciting update, but it is an update with some noticable improvements. The improvements to email alone are worth it.

If you haven’t updated your N8, C7, or C6-01, go do it now.

When is PR 2.0 hitting our devices? That’s the baby I can’t wait for. The new browser and other UI changes are the things that really have my adrenaline pumping.


  1. Yomi,
    To enjoy the improved quickoffice with editing capabilities, uninstall the previous one and reboot your phone.

  2. I hadn’t used Quickoffice prior to my update, so I wouldn’t know of the new changes. But I tried editing Word2007 and Excel2007 files, and it worked.

  3. “While we are on QuickOffice, I am not sure how I missed including this in my gripes list earlier on, but QuickOffice on the N8 is lame. L-A-M-E. It is a lazy man’s job. It looks like QuickOffice just took the 5th Edition version and threw it in there.”

    It will be interesting to see how the war between Quick Office and its better (in my opinion – on Symbian^1) competitor [Office Suite] – will play out. Who wins on features and useability? Sort of reminds me of the war between Opera & UcWeb browsers!

    Have been comparing [QuickOffice] vs [OfficeSuite] (since my days with Symbian S60v3 – and found [Office Suite] my better alternative. Generally.

  4. One thing that surprises me on the N8 is that Opera Mobile & Mini keep crashing. I installed both of them so I could compare them and chose the better one for me. Right now, I’m using UCWeb, which is browsing ok, but doesn’t save webpages they way i enjoy on Opera Mini.

  5. @EyeBeeKay

    I agree with you. OfficeSuite is far better than
    QuickOffice. The scrolling issue is a real problem with QuickOffice on symbian 60v5. I am on trial version of quickoffice premier 6 (lasts only 7 days) and trial version of OfficeSuite (lasts 30 days). Think i will buy the latter.

    I hope there will be an update for my nokia C6 to address this issue of quickoffice just like its done on symbian^3

  6. How did you uninstall the old version of Quickoffice? I can’t see it in the application manager…

  7. No news for Symbian ^1? No update?

    Is Nokia abandoning me. One of Nokia’s fastidious and ardent fans?

    Please Nokia remember us!

  8. What I like most about the update is the improvement in Gmail and Quickoffice editing.

    Talking about internet consumption, I find it easier to manage it on symbian and iPhone but Android just keeps gulping data.

    why not use opera mini alone

  9. Yomi- how would you compare internet consumption of the N8 to an android phone?

    Android is a guzzler compared to the N8’s Symbian – just like Bosun99uk said.

  10. @Kenjnr – Slot Nigeria used to have it listed on their website for 42k, but it’s not listed anymore.

    @bosun99uk – I’ll continue using UC Browser until Opera releases its new browsers.

    This N8 is great, but feels sluggish sometimes, after my experiences with the Samsung Wave [1Ghz] for 4 months.

  11. Nono,

    I connected my N8 to my PC with a USB cable and launched Ovi Suite. Using Ovi’s update feature, I got it done.

    I understand that it can be done right on the device itself by launching the SW Update app.

  12. @Nono, There is:
    handy expense and also Best expense

    There are other numerous java financial apps (e.g JWalle) but these two do the basics.
    I use handy expense because the data export feature works correctly unlike best expense which is actually better in all other respects..

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