Its prototype might not have been found in a bar, but the leaks and rumors surrounding the Nokia N8 can now be put to bed following official outing of the new smartphone. The N8 is the first device to be powered by Nokia's new Symbian^3 platform, and the company believes that it will put some dedicated point-and-shoot cameras to shame with its 12MP camera featuring Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon flash. The N8 can also record videos in HD and edit them with built-in software. It also has an HDMI connector that allows users to display media on HD-equipped TVs and listen in Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.

The Nokia N8 has a 3.5-inch HD capacitive touchscreen and 16GB of built-in storage that is expandable to 48GB with a micro SD card.

The Nokia blog says the N8 will deliver live Twitter and Facebook updates direct to the phone’s home screens, allowing users to comment, read and send messages, update their status and share their location and photos – all with a single touch.

The location-savvy N8 comes with free global Ovi Maps walk and drive navigation with support in more than 70 countries.

Powering the Nokia N8 is the all-new Symbian^3 platform that Nokia says supports gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and multi-touch. Three customizable homescreens can be loaded with apps and widgets and navigated through with the swish of a finger. There are improved 2D and 3D graphics for a faster and more responsive UI, greater memory management and a visual task manager.

Who’s a Qt?

This Nokia has full access to the range of Ovi services and is Nokia’s first smartphone to be integrated with Qt - a software development environment that makes building apps easy as well as deploying them across the Symbian and other software platforms.

Formed from a single piece of anodized aluminum, the N8 will be available five colors. It will cost €370 (around US$492 at time of publishing) when it starts shipping in the third quarter of 2010.

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