Video Conferencing with the N8 rocks!

I decided any future smartphone purchase will have to include a front facing camera after discovering video conferencing on my Nokia N8.

I’ve realized most US sold smartphones do not have a front facing camera. The exception is the Droid X and the iPhone 4. There may be others, but those two come to mind. Maybe it is a conspiracy to keep VoIP technology from the masses? Apple touts “Facetime”, but the reality is Nokia phones have had front facing cameras for years, and the ability to “Facetime” or videoconference. I’ve owned the N82, and the N97 both of which were videoconferencing capable but I did not take advantage of the feature. Primarily because most of my friends lived the US, and I never really had a need to videoconference from my phone

Videoconferencing came alive for me because I’ve had a few friends move abroad from the United States. I was walking to the subway the other day, and a friend from Greece called me from his Nokia smartphone. I use a free application call Fring and when a VoIP or video call comes in, there is a distinct ring (separate from the familiar Nokia ringtone that’s my default). I accepted the video call, and I spoke (face-to-face!) with my friend in Greece. I was standing on a corner in Brooklyn at the time of the call. That just blew my mind.

Another friend of mine who lives in Hong Kong called me from the Metro there one day. Hong Kong trains are 3G enabled. I was at home. He rang me from the train, and we had a video-conference. Actually to be honest, the connection wasn’t very good. You get a better connection with WiFi. A video or a VoIP connection via 3G will vary depending on where you are and the quality of your 3G signal.

If you own a Nokia smartphone that has a front facing camera (I believe most N-Series Symbian 3, 5 and ^3 phones are front-facing camera equipped) then I recommend downloading from the Ovi store the free application Fring. You will need to set up an account. Making voice or video calls (Fring to Fring) is absolutely free. Give it a try.

Lenny Bonsignore
Lenny Bonsignore
Lenny Bonsignore @LennyBons34 is Owner/Editor- in -Chief of OneTechStop, Sports fan, Tech guy, & Mailman by Day [email protected]

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    • I’m rather new to Nokia to platform, but yes, the N95 was a groundbreaking phone. Pretty amazing, considering Apple touts “Facetime” as the bee’s knees when the N95, which came out in 2006 was capable of video-conferencing then.

    • After the iphone added facetime, everyone in America basically thought it was the 1st phone to do so, happy for this article to open up the consumers eyes.

  1. I’ve never tried video conferencing with a mobile phone, but I use it almost daily in the office with a huge wall-mounted setup and it works great. My only concern about mobile video conferencing with the Nokia N8 is that I can’t find a stand for it. This means I have to hold the phone in my hand for this to work while I’m at my desk, and that means I don’t have my hands free to do other things like use the computer or take notes for instance during a video meeting.

    As for mobile conferencing “on the go”, I’m not sure when I’d use it other than to keep in touch with people when traveling. And most of the people I stay in touch with when I travel are happy with just a voice call or text messaging/IM. Am I being old fashioned?

  2. My only issue with video calling is that its service dependant, where AT&T easily could have pushed that across all mobiles, and the built-in support Symbian has for it could just work. Instead, one needs fring or Qik, and has to deal with yet another service on a device. It works, but man is that a kludge.

    • I agree with you. I am an absolute VoIP beginner. VoIP technology threatens carriers, so of course, they will try to keep it quiet. Apple’s let the cat out of the bag with Facetime, and of course Skype’s recently come out with an update that allows videoconferencing, although for the time being only on the iOS platform.

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