As a participant in the Nokia Nseries Blogger Relations program, I get the chance to check out different high end multimedia mobile phones and post my honest thoughts and experiences with the devices. The latest Nseries device that I have had the opportunity to check out for over a month is the Nokia N80ie, Internet Edition, (aka Nokia N80-1). Nokia released the N80 last year and you won't notice any external differences between this latest model and the N80. And if you have an existing Nokia N80 you will be pleased to find out that Nokia just released a firmware update that you can perform yourself at home and turn your Nokia N80 into a Nokia N80ie Internet Edition. While the N80ie is a high end multimedia device, it is also one that could just as easily fit into the enterprise market with its integrated WiFi radio and VoIP support out of the box.
The Nokia N80ie is a quadband EDGE/GSM phone with WCDMA 2100 MHz support for 3G data access in Europe. I used it with T-Mobile in the U.S. and found the coverage with EDGE to be very good. The first thing you will notice on the N80i is the high resolution 352x416 display that is smaller than the display on the N73. The N80ie also has an integrated 3 megapixel camera with a switch to go from standard mode to macro mode and it actually take good photos. I prefer the cameras on the N73 and N93 that let me press halfway on the camera action button to focus in on the shot prior to taking the photo. Call quality and Bluetooth connectivity are both very good on the N80ie, as expected from the high end Nokia multimedia computers. The N80ie comes in black and patina bronze and the model I checked out was patina bronze that actually looked very professional.
|Image Gallery: Check out the Nokia N80ie S60 multimedia computer.|
The integrated WiFi radio is one spec that is quite different from a device like the Nokia N73 and as I talked about in my S60 VoIP blog entry the N80ie excels at VoIP support. If the battery was able to give me double the time it does now then I may have found myself using it more as a primary device.
I never tried out a Nokia N80, but as I understand it the major differences are in the software. You can download and install the Yahoo! Go and Flickr clients, but the VoIP and Nokia Download client can only be obtained by flashing your N80 to the latest firmware which will turn it into a N80ie. The Download client is a great way to get some free applications or shop for other 3rd party applications right from your mobile phone. Yahoo! Go, Amazon shopping utility, Gizmo VoIP, Nokia Podcasting, WLAN Wizard, and more are not actually preloaded on the device, but are downloaded via this Download client. I also installed version 1.3 of the Mail for Exchange client and get push email on the device, which is a contributor to the battery drain I am seeing.
I've tried using the Nokia N80ie a few times as my only device that I carry (3-5 days in a row trials) and it filled the role with a few issues. The device retails for US$499.99 from the Nokia USA site and it should be a very high quality device for that price. I found the back battery cover is a bit loose and slides up and down about 1mm, the battery life is quite short (860 mAh capacity is a bit low for a device promoting its integrated WiFi radio) and I was not able to go a full day without charging it with occasional WiFi usage and lots of email action, when the screen is slid down over the keypad there is movement side-to-side in the top display part and this may continue to loosen up over time, the keypad is flat and there is not much differentiation between keys so I hit the wrong key several times.
I did enjoy using the device and there are many positive features such as the amazingly beautiful high resolution display with crystal clear fonts, the SIP support out of the box is great for VoIP communications, the device is snappy and responsive and the rubberized feel to the back helps me grip it and appeals to the finger senses. The fact that the N80ie runs S60 3rd Edition is also a major feature since it has the BEST mobile web browser on the market and lots of other great applications and utilities.
The N80ie is a good solid device with an amazing screen and packed feature set. I kept bouncing back to the Nokia N93 due to the longer battery life and better camera, but the RF reception on the N93 isn't as good. I can also get most of the VoIP services on the N93 and the screen on that device also looks great. It is a tough choice between the N80ie and N93 if you want WiFi on your mobile phone and even I can't stop myself from switching back and forth.