Nokia N80: First look
Yesterday Nokia presented its new N80 smartphone (being in its final stage of development). It is a slide phone with rich equipment and exquisite design. We had the chance to see and evaluate both its silver and the dark version. Let us now try to describe our impressions and provide you with several dozens of live photos.
Nokia N80 is a high-class smartphone and it will definitely provoke an infinite dilemma - should I buy the current Nokia N70 or should I wait for N80...
The dark one is more beautiful
My very first impression: how small it is! Due to its slide construction, Nokia N80 is smaller than Nokia N70. When you look at both phones from abeam, N80 seems thicker than N70. Yet, according to the specifications, both phones have the same measures - 24 mm. Holding Nokia N80 in my hand, it felt a little bit heavier than the forerunner, but it could be nothing more than a subjective impression for N80 is only 4 grams heavier than N70.
I have had the chance to examine both versions of Nokia N80. The silver one resembles Nokia N70 and I myself found it somewhat boring. The display is surrounded by a glossy frame. The rest of the phone's upper part is made of matt silver plastic. The black version is more attractive. Its display is surrounded by a black frame, with the rest of the phone's body being made of dark matt plastic, which is identical to the material used in the rear side of Nokia N70.
What a surprise: there is no spring to help open the phone, when the upper part slides over the bottom one. I expected to see something that would resemble the back cover of Nokia N70 or at least a mechanism of the kind used in Samsung'phones. Nothing alike though. You must finger the whole way up the small path. Two dead centers secured with an interlock prevent the display from moving spontaneously.
I have no remarks in relation to the construction. Even though the phones I tested were only prototypes, the sliding mechanism did not show any play. As I have gained certain experience by now however, I dare not allege that the phone is not going to start creaking or waggling after used for a few weeks. In fact, even a detailed review will hardly answer this question. Time will tell...
Camera with macro mode
I feel like looking at Nokia N70. The upper right part is occupied by the camera lens, which serves the video calls. The upper left corner features a light sensor to control the backlighting. Below the display you will find a set of functional buttons, which help to use the phone when closed. The set is composed by the same buttons you know from N70 including one new user key.
The memory card slot is located on the left side of the device. It looks better than the one in N70, but yet, it is again protected by a fragile plastic strip. The phone works with cards of the miniSD format. The RS-MMC type has become a matter of the past. On the right side of the phone you will see the loud speaker slot. A special button, which controls the camera functions, is to be found a little bit lower on the same side. It not only works as a shutter release button, when pictures are taken horizontally, but also activates the whole camera mode.
The camera lens situated on the rear side of the phone is not secured by a cover. Next to it you will see the LED flash, below it - a sliding controller, which switches the camera to macro mode. There is no doubt that the macro mode is an extremely useful function, especially having in mind the catastrophic close-up results of some previous Nokia smartphones (except for the N90 model with autofocus).
The camera works in a resolution of 3 megapixels, or more precisely - 2048 × 1536 pixels. If you photograph using a horizontal hand-hold, the pictures are taken in landscape format. Although I managed to take several pictures with Nokia N80, I will not show them in this article. Let's wait a few months till the final version of the phone appears officially. It now seems that Nokia N80 will suffer from certain problems common for all fixed-focus cameras. The sure thing is that the macro mode significantly improves the final result.
On the top plate of the phone you will find a round switch-off button and the infrared port. The Pop-Port connector, the jack for the new tiny charger and the strip eye-let are all to be found at the bottom of the device.
The only part that left a feeling of dissatisfaction in me was the keypad. It is set much too low. The key-press is too short to my gusto too. What's worse, the whole block of keys features a shallow groove, which spans from number 1 to the asterisk, from where it continues to the hash and up to number 3.
In comparison to Nokia N70, the most important modifications applied to the new Nokia smartphone seem to be related mainly to its display. The latter features higher resolution of 352 × 416 pixels (just like in the N90 model), which makes the picture absolutely stunning. I dare say that the top-class quality of the display will probably be one of the main reasons to wait for the Nokia N80 to be launched on the market. As higher resolution is graphics-intensive, the reactions of the phone seemed to me slightly delayed. However, I prefer to rather leave definite evaluations for the moment, when I have the chance to test the final firmware version.
The phone's environment is identical to the one in Nokia N90. Yet it is somewhat different from the environment of other S60 smartphones for Nokia N80 main menu fits in 12 items, instead of the standard 9 ones. I saw an unusual spiral symbol at the corners of several icons, but I did not find a satisfying explication of its purpose. Unfortunately, Nokia representatives were not able to provide me with detailed information, either. Among the phone applications you will find a new music player (or perhaps just a new skin of the Music application), a new horizontal gallery. Camera's environment has been improved as well. I managed to take a quick look at the alarm clock - it is not repeatable, again...
Of course it will be expensive
Nokia N80 is a brilliant smartphone. It is small enough, has attractive design (especially the dark version) and many features. It is expected to hit the market in March next year at the approximate price of 570 euros.
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