View Full Version : N80 Review

18-05-2006, 12:17 PM
I thought I'd post my thoughts on this device after having played with it for 24 hours.

The first thing to say is that the screen is beautiful. It can display very small text, very sharply, which means a lot of content can fit on the screen without hurting your eyes.

Physically it's nice. It looks a little bulky when compared to other phones but it fits in my pocket nicely. The slide action feels nice and smooth. The joypad can be a bit annoying as it's easy to accidentally press a direction when you mean to press select. It's like the old 6230 in this respect -- why didn't they use a separate button like the 6230i? I'm getting used to it, though.

The camera and video work well. The app starts up quickly when you hold down the camera button. You can turn off the camera click noise by turning off keypad tones, but the video recorder always plays a loud beep when starting and stopping. You also can't seem to turn the flash off when recording video using the main camera.

The UI is much faster than my friend's N70. You can customise the six icons on the "standby" home screen.

The Nokia web browser looks very nice, but it has many niggles:

* It doesn't display WAP pages. Which is annoying as some mobile versions of sites are WAP.

* It keeps running out of memory and only partially displaying a page. Sometimes when you go to another page from a partially displayed page, nothing is displayed at all. It looks like the memory is not freed from the preceding page. Sometimes clearing the cache and refreshing will fix this. Sometimes this makes the browser crash.

* The web browser crashes too often.

* The Real-Audio integration seems poor. If I visit, the links don't work. If I open a stream from the "Streaming Links" section of the gallery, Realplayer displays its logo and just sits there. I did manage to get one stream to work once, but I've forgotten which one. I need to investigate this more as I'd quite like to use the device to stream audio on my home WLAN.

Taken together these niggles can be a real problem. For example, with, I have the choice of a WAP site I can't use, or the full web site that the device doesn't have enough memory to display.

On the other hand, sometimes the browser will work very well for a long time. And when it does, it works very well. I spent an hour or so last night reading Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver Wiki page annotations, which is a huge page with hundreds of links. I was able to view an article and then go back to exactly the right place to resume browsing the links.

The radio is nice. In theory you can have the radio going while doing other things. In practice, the radio app keeps crashing when I do this. Sometimes you can restart the radio and go back to what you're doing, but I find when I do this with the web browser, the web browser exits before I can switch back to it.

The Office viewer tools seem to work well. I haven't tried any really big files, though.

Snakes in 3D is fantastic.

Doom for Symbian doesn't work because it hasn't been ported to 3rd Edition. Another thing to bear in mind is that there's no automatic backwards compatibility with older Symbian apps. Since binary compatibility is broken, software vedors have to at least recompile their apps for 3rd Edition. You can get a Sudoku game, though!

In summary, this is the ultimate geek phone because of its features, but don't exepect everything to work smoothly. Hopefully Opera will be the solution to all the browser niggles, and hopefully firmware updates will fix problems in due course.

This is all based on my own experiences so far with an Orange Nokia N80. YMMV.

18-05-2006, 02:23 PM
:) :) :) :)

18-05-2006, 05:07 PM
Nice :icon14:, but to solve your WAP problems, as far as i have seen in nokia's demo, there are two browsers, one for wap, and one for web... the web browser is in the My own folder, while the wap browser is in the root menu

18-05-2006, 08:28 PM
My Sudoku says not installed and will not let me install! :(

19-05-2006, 09:22 AM
This is the Sudoku I installed using the App Installer in Nokia PC Suite via Bluetooth:

Thanks bjarke, the other browser is (on Orange at least) called "Services", and does indeed browse WAP pages. It's a bit annoying to have to switch betweem multiple browsers, but at least it solves that problem.

I also think I might have been too harsh on the browser. I spent all morning on the train reading IMDB and some blogs, and when the browser works well it really is fantastic.