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GLOBAL – Last week, Nokia released the Nokia N8 into the eagerly waiting hands of the tech blogerati. Coinciding with the Nokia Connection event in Singapore, journalists across the globe were given their first hands-on experience with the device. Were they impressed with the 12-megapixel, Symbian^3, HDMI-port-toting handset? Join us after the jump for a full rundown of reactions.

Kicking things off, Duncan Geere, over at Wired UK, was impressed by the sheer size and responsiveness of the N8’s jaw-dropping screen:

“The display is crisp. It’s an OLED running at a 640 x 360-pixel resolution, and measures 3.5 inches diagonally. It’s a capacitive touchscreen, and I found it responsive, if a little inaccurate at the edges. Nokia told me that this isn’t the final version, so it’s possible that might improve before launch.”

Duncan makes an interesting point that should be taken into consideration: the Nokia N8s on display weren’t running the final version of the OS. When it comes to launch, later this year, a few tweaks will have been put into place.

Speaking of the new OS, in the shape of Symbian^3, Phil Barker, from, was suitably impressed:

“What about the brand new Symbian^3 OS, we hear you cry? We’ll be bringing you more on it tomorrow, but first impressions are extremely positive. The first thing, when compared with our trusty Nokia N97 Mini, is just how fast it actually is. Even when running a couple of intensive applications – Ovi Maps included – it responded incredibly quickly.”

Andrew Orlowski, over at The Register, also has a thing-or-two to say about the new OS:

“The most immediate improvement is performance. Menus open smoothly and without delay. Nokia has dispensed with the too-slow transitions; transitions are there, but are actually so subtle you don’t notice them. And the N8 doesn’t break sweat when the phone is flipped through 90 degrees, even when this entails some reordering of the screen elements from portrait to landscape.”

Moving on to the next killer feature on the N8 – in the shape of the camera, we think it’s fair to say that Andrew Lim of Recombu‘s first impressions were positive:

“A 12-megapixel camera sits on the back of the N8 and produces fantastic shots from what we saw. We’ll make sure to test it out fully when we get a final model. Note that there’s a Xenon flash – yay.”

Ben Smith, from the Really Mobile Project, was also taken aback by the quality of the pictures the Nokia N8 produced:

“Picture quality from the camera is as impressive as promised – the Carl Zeiss optics have paid off and the Xenon flash recharges quickly (within half a second). The camera offers face tracking too, which worked well with several faces simultaneously. Image file sizes are smaller due to the better quality and lower noise images the device creates.”

Vladislav Savov, Engadget, also piped-up about the camera and the video capabilities of the handset:

“There’s no getting around it, this phone is indeed a terrific performer when it comes to video, and a 30-second clip we recorded took no longer than a couple of seconds to process and return us to a position where we were ready to film again. The camera is similarly snappy (we had to do it), with Nokia claiming a half-second delay between shots. Our unscientific experience seemed to corroborate the claim.”

The design of the Nokia N8 was another head-turner. Built using anodised aluminium and available in five different colours, it’s certainly unique. The Nokia N8 also manages to pack a smorgasbord of features into its svelte frame. Gareth Beavis, from Techradar, had this to say about the size and shape of the handset:

“The phone sits nicely in the hand despite the larger size, and you can’t help but feel that the overall impression is increased by the sleeker look from no removable battery cover.”

All About Symbian and not only managed to take pictures of the device but also managed to grab a video with the handset. Here’s what Rafe Blandford, over on All About Symbian, had to say after his first hands-on with the Nokia N8:

Are you itching to get your hands on the device? Have the first hands-on tickled you fancy? Is it what you expected? Let us know in the comments below.

Picture credit: The Really Mobile Project