Friday, May 26, 2006

Nokia N80 verdict

Hopefully this will be my last post about phones, I'll try to think of something more interesting shortly. But I thought I'd respond to some of the comments from the previous post and summarise what I think of the Nokia N80.

It's a very good phone. It seems to have more features than any other phone available, yet still manages to look nice and fit in a reasonable size - less than a centimetre wider than my previous petite Samsung phone, but otherwise the same small size. The build quality's good, though there to seem to be a few stupid design decisions - there's no lense cover on the camera for starters. The joystick could also do with being a little less flimsy, and a spring assisted slider mechanism would have been nice. But I don't think there's any other small form factor phone that matches its features, so I can forgive those small shortcomings.

The thing that makes the N80 stand out (apart from a very good camera and the nifty Symbian OS) is its WiFi connectivity, home media centre software and Safari-based KHTML web browser.

Connecting to a WiFi hotspot is simplicity and shouldn't take more than thirty seconds to setup for the first time. Then you can either use the home media centre software to transfer any music, pictures and video back and forth between your phone and your PC, or browse the web properly with the excellent browser (the phone has two browsers actually, a WAP and KHTML browser, the good KHTML one being hidden under a 'My Own' menu). The phone's 2.1" 352x416 pixel screen is a bit limiting, but at least the browser renders web pages properly, and thoughtfully resizes columns of text to fit within the phones screen width. The full page preview button and visual back/forward tabs are pretty neat too. If browsing the web on your phone is something you like to do, then the N80's excellent.

Here's a screen capture I managed to take browsing the BBC's website. As tiny little phones go, it's impressive.


So, that's about it. I might as well upload a couple of samples from the camera too though. You can see a much bigger range and comparison against similar phones on GSMArena, but here are a couple I took;

Photo quality (click for larger size)


Video snapshot


So, the camera's not that bad. It's not going to replace a proper camera, but seeing as people always have their phone with them, being able to capture some decent quality photos is certainly no bad thing. The 3 megapixel photos are a little blurry, but seen as they come out at a massive 2048x1536 size, if you shrink them down to a more reasonable screen size, they look pretty decent. The video quality was a little surprising, better than I expected. The camera takes 352x288 MPEG-4 videos, which would easily be good enough to upload to some place like Youtube. You do need to keep the camera pretty still though, as the wobble from movement is really noticeable in the videos.

One slight bummer, is that currently there are hardly any applications available to download for the Series 60 Symbian OS. That's bound to change in a matter of months though - the prospect of Skype on the phone being one of the most noteworthy things. Already though, it's one of the most feature packed phones - it can even open MS Word and Excel documents, if you're an incredibly dull person.

So... it's good then! Of course, next year something much better will probably be out, but who cares about that now.

2 Comments:

At 6:34 PM, June 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got it.

Can't get the nice web browser to work though, Just keeps telling me that packet data conn. not available.

Also can't get it to connect to my wireless net at home.

-shaky

 
At 7:25 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Hamton said...

Seems odd... are you using WEP on the wireless network? I know that can take a bit of fiddling. Otherwise I'm not sure, I haven't had any problems myself, I had it on the WiFi network within 20 seconds.

Hmm, I should probably update the blog, its been a bit quiet lately.

 

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