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Nokia N8 ready for launch later this month

The N8, Nokia's latest smart phone, looks good for release in late August, according to retailers, and boasts the new Symbian 3 operating system

The Nokia N8 is due to be with us at the end of this month, if two Web sites that have already put the smart phone on pre-order are to be believed.

Online retailer Play.com has given the device a release date of 31 August, while MobileFun.co.uk has plumped for a 26 August ETA. Both are offering the N8 SIM-free for £420.

The N8 is the Finnish company's latest attempt to claw back ground taken by its smart phone rivals iPhone and Android, and will be the first phone to run the new Symbian 3 operating system.

Symbian 3 isn't a wholesale update, but Nokia is hoping to convince you of the N8's appeal with a raft of new features -- even though the interface isn't very different to the disappointing N97.

It will carry multi-touch zoom in the browser, email and photo gallery, and won't have the double-tap that made moving around the N97 slow. It will also carry pinch-to-zoom. 16GB of in-built storage can be increased to 32GB using a microSD card. There's also a Cover Flow-style feature like on the iPhone, and it could include the Comes with Music service.

What might really draw the punters in is the 12-megapixel camera that protrudes from the phone and features Carl Zeiss optics. There's also a xenon flash, which should work better than basic LED, and there's another LED for autofocus.

The N8 is able to shoot high-definition video and carries editing capabilities but, unlike the iPhone 4, it doesn't have a light for shooting your mobile movies.

Nokia decided you like solidity in your phone, so it made the N8 out of anodised aluminium. Play.com and Mobilefun offer it in black, but green, blue, silver and orange versions are also in the works.

As far as network availability is concerned, T-Mobile and Vodafone are currently displaying registration pages.