Monday, February 06, 2006

Nokia N80

It seems that after Samsungs continued success with the "slider" form factor, Nokia have gone ahead and decided to make as many slider phones as possible. On the smartphone end of things, we have the Nokia N80, which, if you like your Series 60 smartphones (and don't we all? How I miss my 6600…) is positively mouthwatering.

The N-series is Nokias flagship range, and when they do something, they tend to do it right. First of all, we have a 3 Megapixel camera with flash - which may well be the first 3 mega-pixel phone to launch in the UK. It has increased functions, among which are red-eye reduction, and a 20x digital zoom. Whew!

I'd like to point out here, that 3 Megapixel is probably the optimal size for a camera-phone. A lot of people will only be viewing their photos on the phone, or another digital format anyway, and in that case, 3 Megapixel is massive (a printed photo would be about 8x10 inches). Any bigger, and you're taking up valuable memory space, and in many cases, the time in-between shots is too long for anyone with even moderate patience. Anyway…

The screen, although small has startling clarity with 352 x 416 pixels, and 262,000 colours. That makes it more than a match in terms of screen quality than almost any other smartphone, which coupled with the size of the device (95.4 x 50 x 23.4mm) is nothing less than remarkable.

The memory has improved over the old standard 10Mb for older Series 60 handsets, and is now 40Mb. While this is a drastic improvement, it's probably not enough. A decent quality photo at 3 Megapixels will take up about 9Mb. Not only that, but the phone needs this memory free to run, most programs need to be stored in this memory, and by default, this is where yyour personal information will be stored (calendar, contacts etc). I know that Nokias reasoning is, that the phone has expandable memory in the form of RS-MMC (Reduced Size MultiMedia Card), and less memory will keep the cost of the handset down. But how many people are going to take 4 photos and wonder why their phone doesn't work? Hmmm.

It's 3G, which among todays smartphones is pretty much a given, although it has WLAN too (yay!) and it plays a large number of music file-types: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, M4A/MP4, RealAudio, WAV, and WMA, and in keeping with the emergence of so called "music-phones" it has dedicated buttons so that you can control playback with the device closed. But if you do plan to take photo's and listen to music, you'll need a damn big memory card.

The last thing I'd like to draw your attention to is the fact that the standby time is a respectable 9 days. If that's holds true, then with moderate usage, it looks like this could be one handy little device. If you're a series 60 fan, I have no doubt you'll love this thing.


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