Nokia has started shipping its N8 smartphone. The company has announced the first Nokia N8 devices have left the factories in Finland and China and are now making their way to dozens of operators around the world in tens of different languages. First recipients will be those who set up pre-orders; the N8 has had the highest number of pre-orders for any Nokia device. The Finnish company has promised that the first lucky users will be unboxing their Nokia N8 before the weekend, while others can expect to be receiving theirs over the coming days and weeks.

The N8 is a candybar-style, multi-touch screen phone featuring a 12-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon flash, 720p HD video recording, movie editing software, and Dolby surround sound. It comes in a svelte anodized aluminum body featuring a 3.5-inch AMOLED screen with a 640x360 pixel resolution, 16GB of internal storage (upgradable via the microSD expansion card slot), and support for all 3G bands. It will be Nokia's first smartphone to run on the Symbian^3 operating system and their last N-series phone based on the platform.

Going forward, N-series smartphones will be based on MeeGo, the Linux-based lovechild of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin. Unfortunately for the N8, it's not very appealing to invest your money in a device that sports a dying OS, but its high-end hardware and multimedia oriented features should keep you occupied.