Why We're Not Reviewing the Nokia N8

As much as we'd love to see a great new phone from Nokia, we're not reviewing the N8. The phone was, unfortunately, irrelevant before it launched. Like a top-of-the-line horse-drawn carriage released shortly after Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.

Nokia itself has declared that it's abandoning Symbian for all of its N-Series phones. Nokia serves a billion phones a year, but it's the N-series that represents everything Nokia wants to be, its ambition forged into tiny pocketfuls of technology. Their phones that geeks gushed about once upon a time. The N8 is the very last of its kind. The head of Symbian even quit today. It's a dead OS running.

A year ago, after looking at the very best the number one cellphone maker in the world had to offer, I said Nokia faced a particular kind of doom. Not because Nokia won't keep selling a billion finely engineered cellphones—oh it will—but because it simply doesn't make the kind of phones that geeks care about anymore. When the most prominent enthusiast site calls it quits because the platform is stagnant, something's wrong. No wonder Nokia putting all its eggs in the MeeGo basket.

The N8 itself, even in isolation, isn't very good. It has perhaps the most technologically advanced camera ever packed in a phone. But it's unusable. Even as Engadget says the N8 "is easily the best Symbian device that Nokia — or any company, for that matter — has ever made," the fact is "Symbian^3, sadly, regrettably, heartrendingly, isn't there yet." And Sascha Segan at PCMag, as patient a reviewer as they come, ends his review by saying "If the rating on a review was just about features, the Nokia N8 would get much higher than a 2.5. But I wanted to throw this phone through a window, it was so frustrating to use."

And well, we don't like pissing on gravestones all that much, even in October.

Update: Nokia's response in the comments, in case you missed it.