Nokia N8 Versus the Apple iPhone 4

The Apple iPhone 4 might be a heavyweight in the smartphone arena, but when it comes to the pure specs, the Nokia N8 (unfortunately delayed to the end of October for US customers) can hit back just as hard. Here is the unofficial WirelessGround title fight between the two giants. Who will win? Read on.

First things first, iOS is better than Symbian. I know some will disagree, but let’s be honest here, Symbian is going to be phased out eventually because it’s better suited for feature phones, not smartphones. This means that the N8 is already at a disadvantage in the battle between it and the iPhone 4 but OS alone is not enough to make a decision. After all, what do you do with your cell phone? Make calls, text message, send emails, go on Facebook and take pictures? Yeah, the N8 does all of that quite well. The browser isn’t quite as polished as Safari Mobile, but it’s still just a smartphone and not your laptop computer. The biggest blow to the N8 is that the app support like the iPhone with Apple’s iTunes App Store isn’t there yet. I love my apps, and the N8 has a ways to go. At least it’s got Angry Birds…

Now that the necessary OS debate has been cleared up. We’ve necessarily have to take a look at the cameras in each device. The iPhone 4 has an impressive 5 MP camera with HDR (high dynamic range) support that really makes those hard to capture colors contrast very well, but the N8 has a freakish 12 MP camera. This is probably the nicest camera to ever appear in a smartphone (or anything else that doesn’t just call itself a camera). It can even do 720p HD video recording like the iPhone 4. It also has a front facing camera video video calling like the iPhone 4 and the iPod touch 4. Basically, Nokia wins this round hands down.

As far as processing power and RAM go, the iPhone 4 has a bit of a lead. Its 512 MB of RAM is twice what the N8 has, and its processor is just a bit faster. It’ll still blow the iPhone 3GS out of the water though and has 3D graphics processing as well. I’m calling this with the iPhone 4 winning this round by a slight margin.

As for the standard options, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth, etc., the two smartphones have all the goodies as you would expect. The N8 has Bluetooth 3.0 and Apple has been notoriously unwilling to let the Bluetooth in its iOS devices really shine. Since the N8 also has microSD support and a mini MDMI output, which the iPhone 4 lacks, the N8 wins this round.

When it comes to screens, the iPhone 4 has a bit of an advantage in the screen resolution department since it’s got a 960 x 640 pixel screen and the N8 has a 640 x 360 pixel screen. They’re both the same size diagonally though, and the AMOLED technology in the N8 should not be discounted. Either way, you’ll still have a screen that puts the BlackBerry Torch 9800 to shame. Both have proximity sensors, ‘Gorilla’ glass and plenty of features to keep them at the top of smartphone screens. A tie maybe?

Since there is only a two gram different in weight between the two, and nearly the same tiny difference in physical size, I don’t know who is better here. The iPhone 4 is slightly thinner though. However, for those with larger hands, the iPhone 4 might just be a little too small.

Overall, both smartphones are at the top of the pile. The options between the two are very similar, but the N8 does have some nice little extras like FM radio (a transmitter even), HDMI out and USB 2.0 connectivity. Does this balance out the iPhone 4s amazing app store? Maybe, maybe not, depending on how you use your smartphone. The N8 is more expensive than the iPhone 4 (on contract), so that might tip your hand as well. The iPhone 4 also has the advantage of having a bunch of other iOS devices running the same OS to shape apps and developers with. Nokia will probably abandon Symbian OS in the future, so this might be the last big smartphone to have the aging platform.

I really don’t know who wins this smartphone battle. Both of them are extremely impressive phones. Let me know which you prefer and why!

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