When Nokia tries to make a phone that’s truly desirable, rather than merely dependable, I always feel the awkwardness teenagers experience when their parents disco dance or use words such as “cool”. But this smartphone, the N8, is the real thing, not a dad-dancing imposter. It’s a very decent phone, music player and the rest, with photographic credentials so advanced that it’s debatable whether it’s a phone with a camera or a camera with a phone. The Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon flash have 12 megapixels round the back – better than many actual cameras. There’s also an HDMI socket, so you can play HD video directly from phone to TV screen with ease. Among the Nokia Ovi apps available are a BBC iPlayer portal and a LoveFilm app.
The N8 could well become 2011’s videophone of choice. Last October saw the launch of a short film called The Commuter (directed by the up-and-coming McHenry Brothers and starring Pamela Anderson and Charles Dance), which was filmed entirely on a Nokia N8. We will be hearing a lot about phone-shot films this year.