Nokia N81 8GB

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Nokia N81 8GB is not the best in any one thing. In fact, it has many shortcomings. But for the market position, and what people would appreciate from their mobiles, it's a refreshing entrant into the smart/musicphone side of things. And like the iPhone, makes you expect just a bit more from the device in your pocket.

The Nokia N81 and N81 8GB are mid-range models. They have some of the features of their sibling, the more expensive Nokia N95, but not all. As you might expect, the N81 8GB adds an additional 8 GB of storage, but loses the microSD memory card slot that's in the standard N81.

Nokia N81
(view large image)

Both are Symbian devices with S60 Feature Pack 1 (the latest operating system available) and are focused more on entertainment than productivity. They are capable of being business devices, but a few minutes with one will make it clear that the N81 8GB was made to rock out.

Table of Contents

  • Design
  • Multimedia
  • Gaming
  • Phone
  • Additional Features
  • Battery Life
  • Conclusion


The N81 8GB is a very sleek device, even though it reminds me of a well chiseled brick. It's heavy, but not too much so.

When the slider is closed, you see a device that begs to be touched. My first reaction to it was that it was a touchscreen model.

The front buttons looked more like heat-sensitive controls rather than standard buttons, and I could easily tell that that was probably the thought when designing them.

The front face slides up to reveal the number pad, which is too small for my fingers, but several people I talked to (mostly women) had no issues with it. Still, using the keypad was a good bit easier than I thought it would be; though the keys are small, they give excellent feedback

The other buttons all around the device are completely flush, yet easy to touch and give adequate feedback. The power button was the only one I really had a problem with, as it was too hard to press and required a bit of a dent into my finger to access it.

The screen is a so-so affair. Until I changed the default theme, it was nearly unreadable in direct sunlight. It seems to take in all the sunlight and give nothing back. Nevertheless, indoors, the display was bright and clear and due to the automatic screen adjustment, always looked just right in most conditions.

Outside of the screen, the front of the device is marked by a Navi-wheel. I was initially very confused by this. It looks like a regular 5-way navigation button, but in some programs you can scroll it as if it's a wheel in order to scroll menus. Unfortunately, this feature has to be considered a broken one, as it does not work in every application, and works sporadically in the applications it does work in. In addition, the scrolling is counter-intuitive to your natural reactions.

On the right and left sides sit stereo speakers which offer excellent sound, whether listening to a ringtone or music.

Overall, I have to place the design of the N81 8GB as one of missed expectations. It's a device that begs to be touched, but the inconsistencies in user interface on both hardware and software sides leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


Getting past the hardware design, you quickly realize that the N81 8GB was designed to be an entertainment device just as much as it was designed to be a smartphone.

The music player included is suitable for most playing tasks. Like much of S60, there are tons of menus to do just about anything that you want to do. The N81 8GB also includes a Podcasting application so that you can download and listen to podcasts easily.

Music is controlled from any application by the playback buttons surrounding the Navi-wheel. These are basic buttons, and are only lit when the device is active and playing music, or when you have the music player open. I only had a problem with hitting the Play button, as it's too close to the Clear ('c') key, but other than that, it's well designed.

The N81 8GB includes a sleek multimedia-like menu interface that is accessible using the silver key above the Clear button on the front (I found it by accident). This menu fades in and out when activated and takes full advantage of the Navi-wheel functionality.

The two versions of this smartphone give you a couple of options. You can get the one that can store 8 GB of music right out of the box, or you can get one that lets you choose how much storage you get with miniSD cards. There are 8 GB cards available now; and you can easily buy a bigger card later when they are released.

The so-so included headphones plug into the 3.5 mm headphone jack. The headphones include a controller that allows you to control features such as play/pause, next/forward track, answer/hang-up calls, and volume. Unfortunately, without that extension, the default headphones are too short to use unless the device stays in a shirt pocket.

Nokia N81
(view large image)

On the rear of the device is a 2 megapixel camera. I expected a camera that was along the lines of the highly regarded one on the N95, despite the lower megapixels, no auto focus, and no Carl Zeiss lens. What I got was a camera that took noisy pictures. Whether in a well lit area or not, the camera never performed well, even when the LED light was used. For such a device that feels so great in the hand, to take a bad picture is just a big knock.

Overall, the multimedia aspect of the N81 8GB was not over and above, but it just kind of fit. The design seems made for this kind of use, and everything from the applications to the buttons just seem to fit in very well together. It's not as slick as the iPhone, but it does work and works well.


Nokia's N-Gage platform makes a return with the N81 8GB. There is a demo version of a few games, and a nice introduction to the service.

Probably one of the most impressive aspects of N-Gage on this device is the N81 8GB has buttons over the top of the screen just for this purpose. Ordinarily, the buttons are hidden, but they light up when playing any game and then the N81 8GB becomes a solid gaming device.

Admittedly, I got very stuck on playing FIFA and Need for Speed more than I did with checking out the rest of the service. The games are well done and as a whole seems to fit the N81 8GB quite well.


As I have recently moved to using a Symbian/S60 device as my main phone, I found nothing unfamiliar in the N81 8GB. I did notice, though, that some design decisions affected how much I would use it as a phone.

This is one of the areas where the Navi-wheel not usable, as you can't use it to scroll through contacts. Nevertheless, you can search as if they were on any other mobile phone. I tended to use the call log to get to whom I wanted to call, if it was someone I frequently spoke to, that is.

Voice quality, whether using a Bluetooth headset, the handset itself, or the speaker phone was excellent. I would have preferred a bit more volume and clarity at the upper end of the range for loud places when in a car, but for the most part users will be hard pressed to find areas where they are not able to hear the person on the other end.

Other aspects of the phone side of things that I noticed:

  • there is still no built in threaded SMS application
  • adding MP3s to contacts is a lot of wading through menus

Overall, nothing spectacular about using the phone side of the N81 8GB, but given a few UI enhancements it could give a few phones a run for their money.

Additional Features

Like most Symbian/S60 mobiles in Nokia's N-Series lineup, the N81 8GB comes with several programs that make staying on top of your connected life easy and seamless.

Nokia Maps is a navigation program that, when the smartphone is paired with a Bluetooth GPS, gives a solid mapping solution. The only downside of Nokia Maps is that most of the really good features, such as voice navigation, can only be had with a paid subscription.

Some additional applications on the N81 8GB include Adobe Acrobat Reader, Real Player, Flash Lite 2.0, an Instant Messaging program that works with several IM services, and Nokia's Download service which points to several other third party applications directly downloadable to the N81 8GB.

Battery Life

Battery life is one area that I was impressed with. It's good as a phone, but as a smartphone I was knocked off my feet.

The N81 8GB stayed connected to Mail for Exchange (for email, calendar and contacts) and Jaiku (social network) pretty much all the time, and I have been able to get 1.5 days out of using it. This includes using the N81 8GB as a modem for my Nokia N800 Internet Tablet for a few hours at night.

Nokia N81
Nokia N800, N81, and N75
view large image)

Flat out, it's impressive. Most people should expect an easy two days of use unless they are using it as an MP3 player for 10+ hours a day.


The N81 8GB is a mobile that sometimes let me down, and others times delightfully faded into the background. Just the design of the device screams of something needing a touchscreen and touch-sensitive controls, and I was let down where I could not do so. Even still, the buttons and controls were well placed and for the most part easy to figure out.

Where the music, phone, and Internet abilities were great, and above that of many mobiles; the camera and some aspects of the general user interface were disappointing.

Musically, I was impressed with the sound, the ability to find the amount of music quickly, and the music controls. Voice quality and features were of the normal high Nokia standard.

If you are looking for a camera phone, then move on, but if your interests are a mobile with more than capable music and Internet abilities, the N81 8GB is a solid buy.

The N81 8GB can be purchased from retailers such as eXpansis USA andAmazon.

Nokia N86 8MP

Nokia N86 8MP Review

The Nokia N86 8MP is the latest slider form factor mobile phone. This cell phone is quad-band GSM and tri-band HSDPA support which is truly for a worldwide voice and data roaming. The Nokia N86 8MP’s camera is designed to excel in both bright and low light conditions and it’s optimized for both video and still imaging. The high-speed mechanical shutter ensures photos with less motion blur while the dual LED camera flash is powerful enough for excellent taking pictures and video capture.

There is an 8 GB built-in memory and can be increased with an exchangeable 16 GB microSD card. The full metal body of the Nokia N86 8MP is matched by the scratch resistant glass of the 2.6-inch AM OLED (240 x 320 pixels) screen. The Nokia N86 8MP is packed with latest version of Nokia Maps and full Ovi integration. Nokia N86 8MP mobile phone can play up to 25 hours of music on one charge which can be enjoyed with the Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset. The other goodies on board the are FM transmitter, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity, a 3.5mm audio jack and TV out.

Nokia N86 8MP Exterior

The Nokia N86 8MP is a slider form factor mobile phone which is available in Black and white skin colors. This device has a full-metal body that weighs an impressive 149g. On the front it has a 2.6 inches OLED, 16M colors screen that can be used in Portrait or Landscape mode and with the slide-out keypad makes for a compact and tidy device. On the top front there is a video call camera and an ear piece. On the top of this mobile phone there are miniUSB port, charging port and a power button. On the back of this handset there is an 8 Mega Pixels camera with Carl Zeiss lens with autofocus and dual LED flash. On the right side there are two buttons for increasing and decreasing volume and a dedicated camera key. Nokia N86 8MP’s measurements are 103.4 x 51.4 x 16.5 mm, 69 cc and weights around 149 g.
Nokia N86 8MP Key Specifications

Nokia N86 8MP’s key specifications include a Carl Zeiss 8 Megapixel camera with autofocus, First Nokia phone with a 28mm wide angle camera lens, 2.6 inch OLED screen with 240 x 320 (QVGA) resolution, Dual Slider design with dedicated Music keys, Symbian S60 Feature Pack 2 with improved interface graphics and transition effects, GPS connectivity, 3G enabled device, 8GB built-in phone memory, Micro-SD card slot (up to 16b GB), FM transmitter, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with A2DP, 3.5mm Audio Video Jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, Faster ARM 11 434 MHz Processor, Accelerometer with Auto screen rotate and TV out. Nokia N86 8MP can facilitate you with its best battery time of 312 hours on standby and 6.2 hours of talk time.

Nokia N86 8MP General Specifications

Status: Coming soon, Expected release Q2, 2009
Phone dimension: 103.4 x 51.4 x 16.5 mm, 69 cc
Phone weight: 149 g
Phone color: Black and white
Battery: Standby Up to 312 h (2G) / 264 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h 18 min (2G) / 3 h 54 min (3G)
Music play Up to 25 h

Nokia N86 8MP Network and Technology

Operating system: Symbian OS, S60 rel. 3.2
CPU: ARM 11 434 MHz processor
2G network: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G network: HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100
Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
GPRS: Class 32
Messaging: SMS, MMS and Email.

Nokia N86 8MP Multimedia Specifications

Display size: 240 x 320 pixels, 2.6 inches
- Dual slide screen
Screen type: OLED, 16M colors
Camera: 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, wide 28mm Carl Zeiss lens, and autofocus, dual LED flash, video VGA@30fps and secondary VGA video call camera.
Card slot: microSD (TransFlash), up to 16GB
- 8 GB built-in
EDGE: Class 32, 296 / 177.6 kbits
USB: Yes, v2.0 microUSB
3G: HSDPA, 3.6 Mbps
WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UPnP technology
Bluetooth: Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port: No
Ring tones: Downloadable polyphonic, MP3 ringtones
Vibration: with stereo speakers
Games: Yes
Phone book: Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photo call
Call records: Detailed, max 30 days
GPS: Yes, with A-GPS support; Nokia Maps
FM Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS; FM transmitter
Java MIDP 2.1
Digital compass
MP3/MP4/eAAC+/WMA player
Voice memo
Flash Lite 3.1
Standard battery, Li-Ion 1200 mAh (BL-5K)

Nokia N97 Mini

Nokia N97 mini
Nokia N97 mini is the latest flagship solution from N-series by Nokia. We can say that it is a little brother of Nokia N97 but there is very little difference in their sizes. The new Nokia N97 mini runs on Symbian OS v9.4, Series 60 rel. 5 and is powered by ARM 11 434 MHz processor. This cell phone mini is expected to run on new software that will add improvements to the user interface, including more home-screen widgets and flick scrolling, and incorporates more social networking tools. This device is powered by a new Ovi Maps experience which makes searching, finding and navigating even much easier.

The Nokia N97 mini is packed with 5 mega pixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and on board memory of 8GB which can be extended with the help of microSD card up to 16GB. There is also Wi-Fi available in this device for wireless connectivity. As for the entertainment in this mobile phone there Stereo FM radio with RDS and Music player which will last for 32 hours.

Nokia N97 mini Exterior
Nokia N97 mini is a compact and stylish cell phone. The new Nokia N97 mini is a slab form factor slider mobile phone, which is available in only two skin colors which are Cherry Black and Garnet. The difference in exterior of Nokia N97 and N97 mini is that in Nokia N97 mini Nokia has used more metal in design of the handset. On the front there is a large 3.2 inches TFT resistive touch screen which is capable of displaying 16M colors. On the top front there is an ear piece, a secondary video call camera and a light sensor. On the right side of N97 mini is a volume rocker key and dedicated camera key and on the left side there is a microUSB port and slider key. On the up top there is a power button and port for 3.5 mm audio jack. On the back side of Nokia N97 there is a powerful camera 5 mega pixel with Carl Zeiss optics and Dual LED flash. The overall dimension of this Nokia N97 Smartphone is 113 x 52.5 x 14.2 mm, 75 cc and weights around 138 g.

Nokia N97 mini Key Specifications

Nokia N97 mini key specifications include a Symbian OS v9.4, Series 60 rel. 5, ARM 11 434 MHz processor, GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 support plus Full QWERTY keyboard, Handwriting recognition, Proximity sensor for auto turn-off, Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate, music play of 32 hours, Stereo FM radio with RDS, Nokia Maps, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UPnP technology, 3.2 inches main screen, 5 mega pixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, secondary VGA video call camera, 8 GB storage internal storage and 128 MB RAM. The Nokia N97 mini can gice you its best battery time of 320 hours on standby and 7 hours and 10 minutes of talk time.

Nokia N97 mini Technical Specifications
Nokia N97 mini General Specifications

Status: Coming soon
Phone dimension: 113 x 52.5 x 14.2 mm, 75 cc
Phone weight: 138 g
Phone color: Cherry Black and Garnet
Battery: Standby Up to 320 h (2G) / 310 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 7 h 10 min (2G) / Up to 6 h (3G)
Music play Up to 32 h

Nokia N900 Smartphone

Nokia N900 Smartphone is an upcoming smart phone. This Nokia N900 Android is here to keep you connected all round the day and provide you features that will give it a complete telephony feel. The Nokia N900 Smartphone can be said to be a smart phone that is small mobile computer. This has a powerful processor with large internal storage too. This phone has such an easy to use user interface that everyone would feel friendly with it. If you are a multi tasker then surely this smart phone is for you as it helps in opening many browser applications at the same time. This feature is same like any other desktop computer. So, get these computers taking it in your pocket.

Nokia N900 Specs
Nokia N900 Smartphone has powerful ARM cortex-A8 CPU. It also gives you the flexibility of hardware graphics acceleration like the one 256 MB RAM. You can easily switch it around any two applications. In the dashboard, you have an all round running content. You get a panoramic home screen. You can have the short cuts, applications and other widgets available in front of you. This Nokia n900 android has 3.5-inch touch screen display that gives you WVGA resolution. This smart phone gives you 3-row QUERTY keyboard. You have the feel of virtual keyboard in the form of keypad. Nokia smart phones have Adobe Flash 9.4 support along with online videos and interactive applications along with it. It has an external memory card slot of 32 GB available with you. There is FM transmitter, 3.5 mm audio jack along with TV out function.
If you want the photo shoot then you have new tag cloud user interface in front of you. It helps you in easily tagging other people and shares your own photos with them. It can record with 16:9 ratios and then you also have 5 mega pixel camera with you.

Nokia N900 review

People are waiting for this Nokia N900 android with all Smartphone apps with it. This comes under the category of Nokia smart phones and it gives you a flexibility of mobile web browser with good internal and external storage capacity. This Nokia N900 Smartphone gives you flexibility to handle multi-tasking facility. It includes all connectivity issues like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth and GPS. Nokia N900 price will be worth what its features are. This makes it a worth buy product. Nokia Smart phones are only for one who believes in trust. Many Nokia N900 reviews have been out in market and it is making clear one thing. Everyone is waiting for this Nokia Smart phone.
Nokia N900 Release and Nokia N900 price

Nokia N900 Smartphone is estimated to come out and to be released in October this year 2010. Nokia N900 price is estimated to be around 500 Euros. This smart android offers you power and much more phone features along with remaining connected to all your friends and family. So get the experience of PC with this all-new Nokia Smartphone hand held device.

Nokia N97

Touch Screen Wonder From Nokia
Nokia N97 is one of the best smartphones in the market and is widely known as Nokia’s best fully featured and most powerful phone. Several magazines and newspapers covered a story on Nokia N97 review mentioning that the large touch-display of this phone has refused Nokia fans to switch over to the iPhone. Why not? That is the main USP of this phone.

Well, this article is not based on others review, but we have actually used N97 Nokia for few weeks. We have continuously browsed web, read news, checked several sites and also accessed Facebook application. Below are the details about what we found in it.

Nokia N97 Features & Specifications
Nokia N97 features at a glance
3.5″ Touch Display
32GB internal storage + 16GB optional storage vis flash card
5 Megapixel Carl Zeiss Lens
WIFI, Bluetooth
FM Radio
Nokia N97 Full Phone Specs

Nokia N97 Phone Basics
The sound quality is awesome with powerful sound quality and the dialing of numbers is easy, but dialing a contact is little complex. To browse the contact list there are facilities of either scroll and click or type a name and then click.

The virtual numeric pad (keyboard) easily replaces the physical one in all the applications except in typing a name for dialing. The phone asks, each time while dialing, whether you want to place a video call. There is no point asking every time because it is hardly seen people using video calls. I did not find the option to skip this question.

Well, answering any call, placing on hold or hang up is easy.

Nokia N97 Touch Phone Aspect

Nokia N97 is purely used as a touch phone. Good job by Nokia. The interface is highly user-friendly.

To avoid accidental clicks vs. drag interpretations Nokia has used a double-tap system. This means the first tap is for selecting and the second one is for launching the application.

Few features such as the “Unlock” or “Menu” are only accessible by its hardware buttons and not through the touch display. So, we can say that it is not completely intuitive.

Nokia N97 Responsiveness
If more applications are opened at the same time then the phone becomes slow. There is no “close all apps” icon on homepage. So, one has to close all the apps one by one.

Nokia N97 Homepage Widget
Nokia N97 has one of the best homepage widgets implementation among all other smartphones. In this the widgets are not messy as we found in OMNIA. The screen space is maximum in it. The default homepage has Facebook included. We noticed that sometimes the phone lacked to provide real-time content. Moreover, the widgets cannot be interacted directly from the homepage.

Nokia N97 Text/Email, Mapping and Web Browsing
Nokia N97 has too many email options. Email arrives instantly in it but the phone does not use the cache feature. So, it spends time doing a “sync” from scratch. GMail in it had all the mail server settings.

The default navigation app is the best. The Nokia maps are cache on the device and hence it does not download each time. So, one can pre-load the entire city or country while traveling. This will cut down the roaming charges.

Well, the map is fast with smooth scroll and zoom in/out features. It can send .Imx files that contains geo-position.

The phone is a good browser. Almost every sites were well browsed. Yahoo Finance and Google Docs were equally good on it. Google Sheets had a problem in both the mode, write and also read-only. Adobe Flash Lite was well supported. YouTube was also perfect as a computer.

Customising Nokia N97
Like any other high end Nokia phones, the N97 can be customised with themes and softwares. To download Nokia N97 themes and Nokia N97 softwares visit the links.

For the fans of Nokia this is the best smartphone even though there are few shortcomings. Those are forgivable by them. For those who are not in love with the brand Nokia may try some other smartphones. Well, put down your comments whether you support this view or not. May be, also some more information about the phone for other readers to know it better.