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Nokia N80 Smartphone Review

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Interface:

N80 is a phone running on Symbian Operating System with S60 interface with version v.9.1, which is the latest one up to now – so it's similar to other phones by the manufacturer, like the N73 and E70 for example.  This version of the S60 interface allows for various resolutions of the displays (mediocre 176x208 used in earlier Nokia smartphones and the new bigger 240x320 QVGA or 352x416), which helps for better image quality, as well as for more convenient internet browsing, where the resolution is more important than the physical size of the display. Another cool extra is the support of using the whole operating system in landscape mode of the display – something that has been successfully done in Windows Mobile for Pocket PCs a long time ago.

At the top of the homescreen are displayed a clock and the date, as well as the usual signal strength and battery, while the name of the carrier or Offline can be seen in the middle. This Offline tag is seen when the phone function of the device is switched off and it operates only as an “organizer”, which is suitable for use in planes. Located below these is a row of six shortcuts which can be personalized to best suit you. The rest of the screen is used for displaying missed calls, new received messages, upcoming tasks (or To-Do in the calendar), as well as the song played at the moment. The various capabilities of this Active Desk can be set to serve you best. It is similar to a well-personalized today screen of a Pocket PC with Windows Mobile OS and is really useful and pleasant to use, so it saves a lot of time by reducing the movement through the menus. There are the two software buttons at the bottom of the screen and they can also be personalized from the Settings menu.     

Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Active desk
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Grid view
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Options
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
List view
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Using themes
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Using themes

The main menu is displayed as 3x4 grid of icons or as a list, which is chosen directly from the main menu, but unfortunately neither of these view modes features animated icons. Using the keypad buttons as shortcuts is much better than with version 6 of the S60 interface. But there's still a lot of room for improvement as the menu not always consists of 12 icons (they can be more or less) and scrolling up/down displays different ones that should be associated with the keypad – but they're not. If you press 3 while at the highest part of the grid, you'll select the icon located at the top right corner. But if you scroll down to reveal the other icons in this menu, pressing the 3 button will still open the afore-mentioned menu, not the one currently located at the top right of your screen; so these shortcuts only relate to the first 12 icons in a particular menu, while the rest (if there are any) remain without any shortcuts. If a button's function is dynamic and corresponds to the grid in the menu, you can click the button for a given menu without even thinking about it. Thus, you save the time you usually need to “walk around” the menus, using the joystick. 
    
By combining various themes, screensavers and personalized home screens, two identical phones can actually look quite different. We can definitely say that the operating system provides a lot of useful personalization options, so it can be compared to the most advanced system, according to us – WM for Pocket PCs.

Phonebook:

The Contacts menu is almost the same as the one in the older version of the S60 interface. All the contacts are displayed as a list and if there's a picture ID, it can be seen in the top left corner of the screen as a thumbnail with a very small size when you select the contact. It's the same when you have an incoming call and that's why we find this feature useless. If you want to find a contact, you type in directly from the keypad and searching is done for the whole name, not only the first one. If you want to edit a contact , you can only change the already defined fields. For adding more information you need to select the Add Detail menu. When adding a new contact you are provided with the “basic” fields, but with the “Add Detail” function you have almost no restrictions on the fields and their number and you can add a lot of phone numbers.   

Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Tiny CallerID

Similar to the other S60 smartphones, the N80 has a set of voice commands that are speaker independent so you don't have to do any “training” with any of them, which would save you a lot of precious time. The “recognizer” is activated by holding the right soft key and then you say the name from the phonebook to be dialed. Names like “Father”, “Brother”, “test”, “John” and “Neo” were no problem, but we had no success with others like “Amy” for example.
The voice commands can activate various programs or perform different functions, like “New SMS” for example, but a list with different capabilities must be added to the menu - not all of them are added by default so that they're easier to recognize with any speaker. By adding only the ones you need you can achieve best possible accuracy without the annoying training – and it works, the voice commands were very accurate and we rarely experienced mistakes when launching applications.

Besides the Voice Control, the N80 can also save voice notes with the integrated Recorder, but oddly this feature is limited as the there's a maximum of one minute (60 seconds) which makes it totally useless.However, third party software should improve this functionality.

Nokia N80 Smartphone Review
Nokia N80 Smartphone Review

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Nokia N80

Nokia N80

OS: Symbian 9.1
view full specs
Display352 x 416 pixels TFT
Camera3 megapixels
Size3.75 x 1.96 x 0.92 inches
(95 x 50 x 23 mm)
4.72 oz  (134 g)
Battery820 mAh, 3 hours talk time

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