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post #106 of 206

@CantScareMe - theres no reason why the N8 (& other similar nokia fons with USBOTG) wouldnt support external usb dac as long as its self powered (ie does NOT require juice from fon even for the usb chip) & does NOT require alternative usb audio drivers. the other caveat would be the specific USBOTG cable as i dont think a regular data microusb would work. i do believe the USBOTG has all 5 pin connected with pin4 grounded to pin5. i could be wrong but regular data/charging microusb cable leaves pin4 unconnected as its only needed in host mode for ID.

 

also i havent had the opportunity to test the USBOTG with a portable dac but i cant think of any other issues as long as the above conditions are satisfied. depending on the location of the microusb port, a custom made USBOTG cable with requisite angled connector & appropriate length would also be a good idea if one were to use it as a true porty OTG rig.  otherwise it would be exactly as u prescribed so u're golden.

 

 

post #107 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmalden View Post





That's for sure, but my battery life is still okay.

 

 

I noticed another interesting frequency response curve btw:

 

gsmarena_a001.png

 

this curve is way better as the curve of the N8, the phone costs 100$

Amped this phone would be an excellent DAP/DAC.

How come this frequency response is better if the chipset is equal?


I notice GSM Arena gives the 5230 (which seems very similar) and excellent for Audio also. 

 

I'm looking for a cheap smart phone with decent SQ and struggling to find something. 

 

post #108 of 206

Thanks a lot for your answer.

 

i'll be getting one soon, that's for sure!!

post #109 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post

Thanks a lot for your answer.

 

i'll be getting one soon, that's for sure!!



no worries ya welcome. the funny part's the N8 (cant speak for the other nokias with USBOTG though) is a darn good smartphone too. the included agenda/notes/to-do apps are more than usable & loaded with SPB mobileshell, the UI is almost 'droid like. the popular top games are available for it too so it keeps me busy while waiting at the bank, doctors & the ever eternal supermarket checkout lines.

 

i've been using nokia sports tracker for my recent bike rides/workouts & im totally impressed. & ovi satnav is shockingly good with free maps & text2speech. btw my N8 takes like 5secs to lock onto sats - try that with dedicated satnav devices nevermind fons!

 

i need not say much about the 12mp digicam 'cept that i sold my panasonic lumix point&shoot once i got ma grubby hands on the N8. vidcams more than usable for the my occasional action espacades & **** star wannabe moments!!! LOL!. only issue is be aware that a class 10 specific microsd cards needed for smooth HD vids. O & the amoled screen with auto bright/dim sensor is quite nice as well but i still wouldnt wanna watch a movie on it though.

 

i think i've more than described its audio capabilities both headout & as digi transport. btw the HO's quite transparent too when amp'd as the SQ does improve depending on amp. too bad they didnt included the line-out option that was available on the E73. that said, i couldnt tell the diff btwn the E73s HO & LO thru just iems.

 

all in all, im more than pleased with the N8biggrin.gif

post #110 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Very Legal View Post

Can anyone that have heard both confirm this?
 



 


i have both N8 and E7, E7 works as DAC via USB OTG to the N8... and the HO of the E7 is better than N8's... and the E7's DAC makes a difference in SQ =)

 

post #111 of 206

^ whoa

post #112 of 206

this is not as elegant as * scottiebabie's setup but here is the N8+E7 combo via USB OTG =) notice the E7 charging as well =)

06272011124.jpg


Edited by chaosallied - 8/5/11 at 8:24am
post #113 of 206

The E7 draws alot of power from the n8 though, A/B between the n8's jack and with it connected to my fiio E7/E9 combo , theres not much difference sq wise, the n8 is a bit brighter sounding and thinner in the mids and the fiio e7/e9 a more balanced, nokia actually do there own extenal dac for the n8 the dab radio headset http://www.nokia.co.uk/find-products/accessories/all-accessories/headsets-accessories/wired-headsets/nokia-digital-radio-headset-dab , it works just like a extenal dac and sounds a better than the n8's headphone jack the sound is pretty much on par with fiio E7/E9, I think the sound is actually clearer & cleaner from the n8 with the dab headset, id say the n8 with the dab headset is slightly better than then fiio combo, but the fiio combo can drive harder to drive headphones, the n8 stuggles a bit with my 150ohm sennhesiers, I reckon it would be ok with any cans up to 100ohms, anything more than that then use the E7.

I have the sound mod installed on my n8, Music Player Volume/Heap Mods (80%/32MB) so my n8 may have more driving power than a stock 1. The sound mod is avaible here http://www.nokian8forum.com/nokia-n8-hacks-and-tricks/mod-for-n8-v5-00/.
 

post #114 of 206

I can confirm that the Nokia N8 works as a digital sound source with the Audio-gd Compass DAC+HeadphoneAmp combo through the USB port.

post #115 of 206

I also tried my Nokia X3-02 with the Audio-gd Compass using the USB-OTG cable, but that doesn't work. It says the device is not supported. Looks like all Nokia USB-OTG phones do not have the same properties.

post #116 of 206

Whats the SQ of the X3-02 like?

post #117 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by InHiding View Post

I also tried my Nokia X3-02 with the Audio-gd Compass using the USB-OTG cable, but that doesn't work. It says the device is not supported. Looks like all Nokia USB-OTG phones do not have the same properties.



It should work I think. Even with the fiio e7/e9 on my n8 the 'device not supported' warning comes up. BUT when i've already opened the music player on the n8 (a third party one as the stock mp3 playing software sucks like no other) and then plug the fiio's in, everything is fine.

 

The n8 is very surprising in many respects. Good and bad. Lets stick to the best and worst parts of it

 

WONDERFUL

-The audio straight out of the n8's headphone output. My god, this is something to behold. It is excellent and slams the audio output from sansa fuze, cowon and ipod. Very very surprising.It powers to a high degree even akg k271's, denons and the lot. And by powers i'm not talking about giving the headphone enough volume, it's the complete energy that it gives impacting the dynamics, detail retrieval and soundstage. I think it's improved when linked to a fiio e9/e7, but I haven't done blind testing as i'll explain later..

 

 

 

WOEFUL

-Platform. The SOFTWARE SUCKS. Wait, i like the browsing menu's and general layout of the phone way better than android or apple, but this software on the n8 sucks bad.

 

1) Video playback. Completely unnacceptable. Shockingly bad. It's a very very common problem for phones made after january 2011, almost at a 100% rate, that the n8 cannot display dark blue's/ purples correctly. It results in grain and a disgusting bleed of all colours in that shot. So bad that you might think you're watching this off a bootleg £5 ebay fake. 

No one who has bought a nokia n8 in 2011 has said that they have not had this problem. My friend own's a large phone store and i managed to check his 'new stock' of n8's. All exhibited the same problem that nokia have shied away from- as they've ultimately said themselves 'there is no fix'. 

 

And on the subject of video playback- it has a hdmi output that does work well. But it's limited by what files can work on the n8. Actually quite badly limited, similar to playing back files from a usb connected to an xbox or something. Both put to shame by the usb video playback functionality on this lg led tv. 

 

2) Camera- it's not woeful, but it's not wonderful. I'd say it's a bit overhyped- only good is what i'd say. I mean it has no optical functions at all. No optical zoom, stabilizer or whatever. So it can't even compete with a £40 entry level compact camera. Actually, it doesn't even have a digital stabilizer, which is the bare minimum i'd say for taking camera shots. And against say my samsung galaxy ace 5mp camera phone- i'm hard pressed to find a difference in image quality. That 12mp is just a number really.

 

 

3) Music playback software. Some of the inbuilt software is decent, like the web viewer, but it doesn't hide the fact that too many of the inbuilt 'apps' sucked. Although I've managed to get replacements for a lot of them (pdf viewer, camera...), the main one remained MUSIC PLAYER. The inbuilt music player was so bad that it's just not worth talking about. You couldn't even browse folders. I've tried everything to get a decent music player, from bootleg sites to nokia's own ovi store, free, dodgey (maybe illegal), paid, whatever.

And i've found one that is usable (folder player I think it's called). It just lets you play within folders and has simple functions of repeat, shuffle and you can fill in the rest. Dissapointingly it doesn't have an inbuilt volume control feature so it relies on nokia's default volume control which is rubbish. 10 volume settings and setting 4 is too silent, 5 is way too high. The latest one I tried (£20 app) LCG jukebox or whatever it is worked for 5 miniutes brilliantly with it's separate volume control and a whole host of other features.But since then it has died. Should have read the reviews on ovi store.  

 

 

 

 

So I've gotta use an external volume control physical unit (or headphones with inbuilt volume control- like the mx980). I can detect a sure impact on the SQ using something like this has, but It's okay I guess. Talking about the mx980, this combination, directly out of the n8's headphone output is an absolute killer. 

 

 

 

 

Well I had this feeling before I bought it that I'm only going to use this as an mp3 player connected to my dac/amp, using it only for stationary listening- and never put a sim card in it. That's true!!

 

And that's the only thing i can recommend it for (it's way too bulky, heavy, lowish battery to be used portably!!)

 

 

 

post #118 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottiebabie View Post

@CantScareMe - theres no reason why the N8 (& other similar nokia fons with USBOTG) wouldnt support external usb dac as long as its self powered (ie does NOT require juice from fon even for the usb chip)

 


@scottiebabie - I am using the Nokia N8 with a Fiio D5 which does not have its own power, it draws it from the N8 and while the N8 complains that the Fiio D5 is drawing a lot of power it still runs it just fine. 

 

Although this is not really a headfi issue, in case anyone is interested, I have the coaxial SPDIF signal from the Fiio D5 going into the head unit of my Cabasse Tuner List in my 2001 Renault Laguna.  (The hack to do this is described at http://www.mp3car.com/hardware-development/66751-renault-tuner-list-head-unit-cd-changer-hacking-controls-19-print.html?pp=40 - be sure to read all the posts by Michal and Holodoc and Vicne's responses to their posts). The Tuner List has a fairly generic Phillips CD transport that allows really easy hacking into the SPDIF signal and it may be that there are many other cars to which this hack could be applied.  The Tuner List may not be the world's best ever DAC but I quite like it.
 

 

post #119 of 206
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post

-Platform. The SOFTWARE SUCKS. Wait, i like the browsing menu's and general layout of the phone way better than android or apple, but this software on the n8 sucks bad.

 

 

The Nokia N8 does come with some surprisingly ordinary software but overall I think you a bit harsh.  Despite its reputation, after I installed some non-standard software I have a phone that I am enjoying more than any other I have ever had (and I have had a lot of different smartphones).  Here are some suggestions:

 

  • OS/GUI flash Symbian Belle; although it is leaked software it is easy to flash and looks and works great. 
  • Web browser: Opera Mobile 11: fast and pinch to zoom.  Still does not beat iOS Safari but what does?
  • Music player: FolderPlay: raw and simple but once you start it shuffling away you can forget it.
  • Big screen: Excellent interface for watching stuff on the big screen
  • Swype: Cool, fast and intuitive text input.
  • Google Maps: Not as slick as the iOS version but gives me accurate bus times.

 

And on the subject of video playback- it has a hdmi output that does work well. But it's limited by what files can work on the n8. Actually quite badly limited, similar to playing back files from a usb connected to an xbox or something.

 


This is a justified comment.  Unlike almost every other platform in the world there is no VLC for Symbian.  However, the main use for this feature is playing the videos you shoot with the N8.  You shoot and then you watch when you get home, no syncing, no computer required.
 

2) Camera- it's not woeful, but it's not wonderful. I'd say it's a bit overhyped- only good is what i'd say. I mean it has no optical functions at all. No optical zoom, stabilizer or whatever. So it can't even compete with a £40 entry level compact camera. Actually, it doesn't even have a digital stabilizer, which is the bare minimum i'd say for taking camera shots. And against say my samsung galaxy ace 5mp camera phone- i'm hard pressed to find a difference in image quality. That 12mp is just a number really.

You are right about the lack of optical features but my opinion differs from yours as to image quality.  You need to adapt your shooting style a bit and know when to tweak the shooting settings.  Also, there are alternative camera programs that are better for different situations (CameraPro and HDRCamera).  If you read around you will find that different people have different views on the N8 as a camera but the preponderance of opinion is that it is the best cameraphone and that it beats a lot of compact point and shoots.  While it is a subjective point the unarguable fact about the N8 is that it has far and away the biggest sensor of any cell phone at 1/1.83".  That is also bigger than most compact cameras (which tend to be 1/2.5").
 

And that's the only thing i can recommend it for (it's way too bulky, heavy, lowish battery to be used portably!!)

 

I am not sure which smartphone you are comparing it to when you say it is bulky and/or heavy.  It is weighs less than the iPhone 4S.  OK it is nearly 20g more than the Samsung Galaxy IIS and it is thicker but it is smaller in every other dimension.  As to battery life, since installing Symbian Belle I get great battery life.
 

post #120 of 206

Thanks for reading my comments on the N8, and posting interesting views on it yourself.

 

 

'I am not sure which smartphone you are comparing it to when you say it is bulky and/or heavy'


I was comparing it to dedicated mp3 players- saying that it's too heavy/low on battery life to really replace an mp3 player. 

And about the camera, fair enough it's the best out of the smartphone range, but there is not a lot to compete for. Between a 5mp+ smaprtphone camera with flash and autofocus, like the samsung galaxy ace And the 12mp on the nokia, the difference isn't that much to argue about. After comparing shots between the two, I could tell the difference but couldn't say which I preferred.

Just brosing around the £50 compact point and shoot range of cameras brings so much more to the table than the nokia's camera, like 4/5x optical zoom and even optical image stabilization. I just get fussed when I read that the n8 can beat many popular entry level cameras, because the reality as we approach 2012 is that it can't. Maybe in 2010 it could though.

 

It'll be interesting though when another bout of smartphone camera competition arises, as it seems now it's rather a dead subject. It's accepted that the 2 year old N8 has the best camera of them all, but it'll be interesting when a new one comes out claiming to be better...

 

 

 

Symbian Software


I've actually tried nearly all of the apps you mentioned! 

Camera pro i've found to produce worse images than nokia's stock programme. And 'folder play,' yep that's the only reason why i've still got this phone. Without it it simply wouldn't funciton as an mp3 player at all for me, as i've said before. I mean the stock nokia player doesn't even read flac files, let alone do half the things that folder play does. Reliable, smooth and with a nice layout, it's a great simple application.

 

Symbian belle- wow I didn't know this was out yet. O right, it's not! i'll be updating when it comes out shortly (from anna), and I suspect it'll be better. I mean web brosing and the general layout of sybian is actually quite nice. It's plain, looks sophisticated and is a welcome relief from the absolute clutter of android systems. Sybian^3 phones on the 666mhz processor aren't slow. There not really fast either. I've tried quite a few now from sony ericsonn and samsung and it's only the dual core ones that really beat it comfortably for speed.

 

 

Problems

As far as the general day to day stuff goes, like calling, playing a few games, sound from it's headphone out and stuff...IT'S KILLER RELIABLE. To date i don't think i've experienced a single crash, which is a hell of a lot better than all the samsungs and sony's i've played with!!

 

But there remains the killer big problem (or two if you like:)

1) Blue/purple colour malfunction. Any darkish video playback scene, involving shades of black,blue/purple is undeniably horrible. Unnaceptable. Other  smartphones smash the n8 to bits when it comes to video playback on their screens. It's a famous problem without solution for the N8 and it's sister phones. Surely the lumina can't have the same problem. I haven't googled it cos i'm pretty sure they would have sorted it out!!

 

2) USB OTG feature- Sad to say it's a bit of a gimmick. I didn't expect it to work that well to be honest and to date I've tested it on quite a few sybian^3 phones. With thumbdrives I think they said <16gb and FAT32 it accepts, but it's bloody buggy on 6/7 sticks that I have. Loose connection intermittently and using the OTG function with other usb devices like a keyboard/mouse isn't worth the effort; slow, lags and half the time doesn't work. I can't get usb dac's to work now on this n8. Not the fiio e7 or e10. Must need a factory reset or something.  

 

 

 

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