Nokia N80 review: Jack of all trades

GSMArena team, 17 May 2006.
Pages: 123456»

N80, one of the latest Nokia handsets, hit the market not long ago and surely it made some big waves along the way. The phone comes in a place of very high class business phones with bunch of features and extras. It features a very good 3 megapixel camera, a hi-resolution display, a miniSD card slot, a FM radio and all this is backed up by advanced connectivity technologies such as quad-band GSM, 3G UMTS, EDGE, and Wi-Fi. The Symbian 9.1 OS with the 3rd Series 60 User Interface is responsible of keeping the phone as smart as possible, while the slider form factor really adds class to the business nature of Nokia N80. There are only several problems that could use a fix. But all in all, the phone packs a good deal of horsepower under its bonnet.

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Nokia N80 official photos

Key features:

  • Brilliant display
  • Symbian OS
  • Incredible web browser
  • miniSD card slot (128MB miniSD card included in the package)
  • Very good 3 megapixel camera with flash
  • Excellent audio quality
  • FM radio
  • 40 MB internal memory
  • All connectivity options - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IR, USB
  • UMTS and EDGE support

Main disadvantages:

  • Rather big dimensions
  • Top row of the numeric keypad is hardly reachable
  • No compatibility between Symbian 3rd Generation and lower versions
  • FM radio lacks RDS
  • No automatic keypad lock when slid in
  • Camera lens is not protected

The phone is supposed to be delivered in a package along with a Nokia stereo headset, a Nokia USB cable, a wrist strap, a 128 MB miniSD memory card and a Nokia 3.5 mm audio jack adapter for using regular headphones with the phone. All this is market dependent of course, so you shouldn’t count on that information.

Silver brick

Nokia N80 is a big phone. It is thick and wide. The 95 x 50 x 26 mm and 134 g weight can really spoil the first impressions of the phone. And they are of a really classy and elegant business phone. The phone is sold in two colors - smooth stainless and pearl black. The one we got to test was the stainless steel one. The silver top and the metal plate, surrounding the display, the secondary camera and the buttons are designed in a very nice fashion.

Nokia N80
Nokia N80

The rest of the phone is made out of black plastic, except for the numeric keypad which has a white frame, surrounding the buttons. The shiny silver four-way button on the top part makes an impression of being all metal but in reality it is plastic.

The good thing about the otherwise big phone is that it can be easily operated when held in one hand. That’s both opened and closed. As a whole, the phone looks and feels very stylish and elegant.

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Nokia N80 held in hand

Useless spring

The sliding mechanism of Nokia N80 works very smoothly and without any problems but the assisting spring doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the opening and closing process. Another odd thing is that there is no surface to put your thumb on while you’re sliding the phone out or sliding it in. The easiest way is to push the bottom of the top part when you open it and to push down the top part when you close it.

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Sliding Nokia N80

Except for the misunderstanding in the sliding mechanism, the phone is perfectly solid and stable. It did not produce a single creak sound, nor did its construction play in any way. The arresting mechanism between the two parts works very well too.

The front part of the phone is made of silver plastic with a metal plate on it. The plastic accommodates the N80 sign and a tiny LED. The rest of the stuff is located on the metal plate. In the top right corner there is the secondary camera for video calls. It is bulging out of the metal plate a bit.

On the left of it is situated the main speaker, a NOKIA embedded sign and the display below it. Below the display are the two soft keys, the red & green receiver buttons and the four-way button between them. Under them there is another row of buttons, containing the Pencil, the Menu, the Multimedia and the correction “C” buttons.

Nokia N80
Nokia N80 front view

The back of the phone is elaborated of nice black matt plastic. In the upper part you will find a NOKIA embedded sign. The camera lens’ circle is located below it with the flash LED and the macro/landscape switch. The battery cover is under the camera circle and the loosing button is located at the bottom of it.

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Nokia N80 back view

The battery cover can be opened without any effort using the button on its bottom. Beneath it is the 820 mAh Li-Ion battery. Because of the smaller capacity of the battery used, we’ve heard numerous concerns about the battery life of N80, but regrettably we couldn’t verify them since we used the phone heavily during our tests and thus the battery life we experienced was not indicative for the real-life performance of the phone.

Under the battery is located the SIM card bed. It uses a sliding mechanism to arrest the SIM card in one place. Of course, removing the SIM card itself is not a problem.

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Under the battery cover

The miniSD card slot is to be found on the left side of the body and its cover is very safe and is not likely to be opened by mistake. However, one can find certain difficulties closing it back on as it doesn’t fit perfectly when you try to close it. After some time you will get used to the trick of closing it seamlessly. The phone offers hot swap functionality but when the card is pulled out during normal operation of the phone, all applications are closed at once.

The right side of the body features the loudspeaker on its upper part and the camera release button located a bit lower from the middle.

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Nokia N80 left • and right sides • memory card slot

The top of the phone has the traditional Nokia Turn Off/Profiles button on the black back part of phone. On the silver/front part is located the Infrared receiver. The bottom of the phone has a Nokia connector for charger, headset or custom USB cable. It also has a neck-string eyelet.

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Nokia N80 top and bottom sides

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