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Nokia N8 hits high street on 1 October

Nokia's multimedia powerhouse will be available to purchase from your local mobile-phone emporium at the beginning of October, free on a £35-per-month contract.

You'll be able to pick up the N8, Nokia's first Symbian 3 phone, from 1 October on the high street, the Finnish manufacturer has confirmed. It'll be free on a £35-a-month, 18-month contract, and cost £429 SIM-free.

The N8 will be available online from the last week of September. Packing Symbian 3, an 89mm (3.5-inch) AMOLED touchscreen and a 12-megapixel camera, it's eagerly awaited.

Nokia has put up some price plans from T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone on its website. For £35 a month over 18 months, you'll get at least 300 anytime minutes, unlimited texts and 'unlimited' mobile Internet, which may involve a fair-use clause. You'll also get a free HDMI cable for connecting the N8, which can play 720p video, to your TV.

The N8's multimedia capabilities sound impressive, but whether the phone succeeds or not will also depend on Symbian 3's usability. It has flick-to-scroll and pinch-to-zoom capability, but that's more or less a minimum requirement for smart phones today. All the bells and whistles in the world won't mask a dodgy user interface, so keep your eyes peeled for an in-depth review soon.

The N8 will be shown off at the Nokia World event next week. At the same event, we should also get a glimpse of the flagship E7, which also sports Symbian 3, as well as a Qwerty keyboard, 102mm (4-inch) touchscreen and 8-megapixel camera.

What's your take on the N8? Will it prove a multimedia powerhouse or a crushing disappointment? Let us know in the comments section.