Nokia has confirmed that shipments of its much anticipated, and much delayed, flagship handset - the Nokia N8 - have begun.

The first recipients will, of course, be those individuals who pre-ordered online or via Nokia's stores.

Nokia created quite a show at its World expo in London earlier this month when it officially unveiled the handset, and is keen to talk up the merits of the phone now.

"With the N8, and the new Symbian software, we are bringing a familiar, faster and more intuitive user experience to the world's most popular smartphone platform", said Jo Harlow, senior vice president of Nokia smartphones

"The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history and we are thrilled to start shipments of the N8, the first of Nokia's new Symbian smartphone range".

However, we at Pocket-lint weren't all that impressed with the handset when we got our hands on it back in June. However, that was a very early model and we're hopeful of big improvements with the finished article.

Nokia is calling the N8 "the world's best camera phone" due to its ability to shoot HD-quality videos in "supreme clarity" and a 12-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics. You can also edit photos and videos on-screen.

The N8 is on-sale at the Nokia Online Shop for £429 SIM-free or on various contracts from £35 per month.

Be sure to check Pocket-lint's review section for a full N8 review soon. Can this phone really save the ailing phone giant?