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Nokia starts shipping N8 smartphone

The company's first smartphone running the new Symbian 3 OS is now heading to customers. With its 12-megapixel camera and HD video features, it aims to shine as a multimedia device.

Nokia N8
Nokia hopes you'll smile for the 12-megapixel camera--and for the N8 smartphone that it's in.

Nokia announced today that it has begun shipping its new and long-awaited N8 smartphone.

The phone's availability will vary by country and carrier, but customers who preordered online or through a Nokia retail store will be the first in line to get the N8, the company said. A broader rollout will also take place over the coming weeks.

Nokia's N8 starts shipping today.
Nokia's N8 starts shipping today. Nokia

As Nokia's first smartphone running the new Symbian 3 operating system, the N8 has been highly anticipated and, according to the company, has captured the largest number of preorders in Nokia history. Consumers have been able to preorder the new phone since mid August.

In terms of specs, the N8 sports a 3.5-inch AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) touch screen with a 640x360 glass display. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n provide the connectivity. But it's in the area of multimedia where the phone is aiming to shine.

With Nokia dubbing it the world's best camera phone, the N8 incorporates a 12-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and a Xenon flash intended to let people snap high-quality photos. The phone can also record and play HD videos and offers both HDMI output and Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound, so it can be hooked up to a TV and home theater system. Users can edit their photos and videos on the phone and then transfer them to an external hard drive via the built-in micro USB connector or upload them to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

For entertainment on the go, the N8 lets people tune into Web TV with such channels as CNN, E Entertainment, Paramount, and National Geographic.

Nokia has beefed up its Ovi Store for the N8 with access to a greater variety of mobile apps. The free Ovi Maps turns the N8 into a GPS device by providing walk and drive directions throughout more than 70 countries, Nokia said. The Ovi Maps app also lets people view public transportation in 85 cities around the world and tap into real-time traffic, speed limit warnings, and access to parking garages and gas stations.

The N8 the first in a series of smartphones that Nokia plans to release based on the new Symbian 3 software.