You can capture video and images of your own with the N81's 2-megapixel camera. It comes equipped with a flash and up to 20x digital zoom and can capture video at up to 15 frames per second. For still shots, you have your choice of three image qualities, six scene selections, and eight sequence modes. You can also adjust the white balance, color tone, exposure, and ISO settings. In video mode, user options are reduced but you do get three video qualities, two scene modes, and white balance and color tones. Once you're done, you can share them via e-mail or multimedia message; view them as a slide show; print them via Nokia's Xpress Solutions; or upload them to the Web or Nokia's Lifeblog app. Picture quality was mediocre. Objects looked clear, but there was grayish tone to the colors. On the other hand, video quality was pretty impressive for a camera phone.
With all its multimedia capabilities, you might be wondering about the Nokia N81's memory capacity. The smartphone comes with a healthy 8GB of internal flash memory, which could hold about 6,000 songs if you were storing music only. Now while the onboard memory is ample, just be aware that the N81 isn't equipped with an expansion slot so keep tabs on your available storage.
Amidst all the fun, let's not forget that the Nokia N81 is a phone first. The quadband mobile offers world roaming, a speakerphone, voice commands, VoIP support, conference calling, speed dial, and text and multimedia messaging. The address book is only limited by the available memory, while the SIM card can hold an additional 250 entries. For caller ID purposes, you can assign each contact a photo, a group ID, and any of 33 polyphonic ringtones.
Disappointingly, the Nokia N81 doesn't support U.S. 3G bands, so you're left to surf the Web using EDGE speeds. You do get integrated Bluetooth 2.0 and Wi-Fi. Supported Bluetooth profiles include those for mono and stereo wireless headsets, hands-free kits, dial-up networking, file transfer, and others. And while our review unit was able to find our Wi-Fi access point, it took several attempts to get connected.
Last but not least, the N95 runs the third edition of the S60 platform on the Symbian operating system for your productivity needs. Unlike the Nokia N95, it doesn't come preloaded with QuickOffice, so you'll need to download this application if you plan to use the N81 for viewing and editing Office documents. You can do this through the preinstalled Download catalog. For messaging, the smartphone supports IMAP4, POP3, and SMTP e-mail accounts. Other productivity apps and PIM tools include Nokia Maps, Adobe Reader, a Zip Manager, a calculator, a notepad, a measurement converter, a clock, and a voice recorder.
General performance was on the sluggish side. There were noticeable lags when launching or switching between applications, and there was some bugginess. For example, after exiting out of the music player, displayed track information would remain onscreen for a few seconds, overlapping with the main menu page. The media player also randomly started playing music on a couple of occasions, startling yours truly and her colleagues.
On the upside, multimedia performance was good. The dual speakers really helped amp up the sound as songs sounded rich with plenty of volume. Watching videos was also pleasant as audio and image always synced up and pictures looked great on the N81's sharp screen. Game playback was also smooth. We played a couple of the demo games, including Space Impact Light and Asphalt Street Rules 3, and found it to be functional and entertaining in short spurts--definitely a good time waster while you're commuting on the bus or train. However, the cramped navigation controls took away from the overall appeal, and it's hard to judge the revamped N-Gage platform without having full access to the service.
The Nokia N81's 1,050mAh lithium-ion battery is rated for four hours of continuous talk time and up to 17 days of standby time. In our battery drain tests, we were able to get 7 hours of talk time on a single charge. According to FCC radiation tests, the Nokia N81 has a digital SAR rating of 0.81 watt per kilogram.
- Similar model: $
- Set Price Alert