The last thing it needs
We have had the latest Nokia high-end smartphone in for review for the past couple of weeks. At the start of this week we attempted to turn it on and got no response from it. We left it charging via the proprietary Nokia charger for a while, but still nothing. No success either via micro-USB or any combination and duration of button-pressing.
Initially we were tempted to overlook this as an isolated aberration until we saw a tweet from Russian mobile phone blogger Eldar Murtazin, who Nokia famously took legal action against when he got hold of a pre-production Nokia N8 back in April. "N8 are dying across the world" he tweeted.
Still, we wouldn't go rushing into a story like this without further corroboration. We have attempted to speak to Nokia directly about this but had yet to hear back at time of writing. So we had a look at the Nokia support forums and found this thread: My Nokia N8 is dead,can't turn on and can't charging.
From that thread alone, it's clear that tens of people from the UK to Malaysia are having what appear to be identical issues. In the forums some people have had success from putting it in the fridge - implying there is an issue with an overheating sensor. Other people have found charging another Nokia phone, then switching, works.
Elsewhere some bloke saw fit to make a video of his N8 angst and upload it onto YouTube - see below. In the name of balance we've also embedded a video from Nokia showing the lengths it goes to to test the N8.
Nokia has published a short FAQ answer to freezing problems: hold down the power button for eight seconds. Of course we've tried that and no luck. There's also a forum post from a Nokia moderator warning users not to literally freeze their phone in an attempt to solve the problem. Good advice, no doubt, but we could see no sign of an official solution, or even acknowledgement of the problem.
There's no way of telling how widespread an issue this is right now. A couple of keyword searches on Twitter haven't revealed much in the way of tweets reporting this problem, and we have to assume it's only affecting a small minority of users. But it happened to us, and if we'd bought this N8 we'd be pretty unamused. We'll keep trying to get clarification from Nokia on the matter.