Some quick thoughts on the Nokia N8 and SIP

I’ve got a Nokia N8 here at the moment, with the intention of writing about the experience of SIP on it. I’ll be doing that when I’ve finished tinkering. The good news summary is that, yes, it still has SIP supprt built in, though as usual on recent models, you need to download the SIP VoIP Settings app.

Once that’s done, configuring SIP is more or less exactly the same as I described for the E72. When you look at a contact, you’ll see the phone numbers listed for making a call, and again under “3cx call” or whatever you name your SIP service. Detailed instructions, and screenshots, will follow later.

First, though, I thought it worth mentioning the tremendously disappointing out of the box experience that I’ve had so far. And before people descend with the usual cries of “fanboy” or “hater” that characterise far too much comment on the net, I’d like to point out that I’m a longterm Symbian user, and I think the platform is written off by many people who don’t understand its strengths.

But, if I’d bought the N8, I’d very likely have taken it back by now. I have an E72, which is my daily phone and is stable, reliable, and with decent battery life. And because it’s a Nokia, it supports the Phone Switch application, which is supposed to make it simple to copy all your information, like contacts, text messages, and even your call log, from one phone to another.

So, I expected this to be plain sailing when setting up the N8. It turned out to be anything but, with the process hanging, and even making the N8 restart a couple of times. In the end, I managed to copy over contacts, text messages and call logs on about the sixth attempt, including using the ‘Reset and restore’ option on the N8 three times. That really isn’t the sort of experience anyone should have to put up with when they buy a brand new phone.

Many other people have written about the user experience of the newly tweaked Symbian platform, so I shan’t go into detail on that; essentially the way SIP works is much the same as on other recent Nokias, with an extra tab appearing in the address book, though now it simply has a link to sign in – on the E72, you have to mess around with a menu at the top of the screen. And instead of a second list of all your contacts, when you’re signed in, you just see the name of the account – contacts remain in the sensible place on the tab. Clicking the name doesn’t, as you might think, sign you out. Holding your finger on it doesn’t give that option, either – you have to press Options at the bottom of the screen.

And that’s just my first niggle. I just signed in, tried to switch to the list of contacts, and the phone restarted. During my admittedly limited testing so far, it’s also restarted in the middle of some SIP calls, or while placing a call.

Obviously, there’s more testing that needs to be done – but right now, I can say that yes, there is SIP support in the N8. Yes, it does work. But no, I sadly don’t regard it as reliable.

N8 SIP dialler
From the dialler, press Options and your SIP service (3CX here) will be available
N8 SIP contact
From a contact, you'll see the SIP service listed below 'Voice call'
N8 address book SIP tab
Sign in to the SIP service from a new tab in the address book

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