Nokia N80 review: Jack of all trades

GSMArena team, 17 May 2006.

Messaging is great, typing is not

Typing messages can be a trick with N80. As the top row of the numeric keypad is so hard to reach, it’s quite hard for one to type a message without efforts. The other keys are easy to use, though. The SMS and MMS editors are separate and you cannot transform a SMS into a MMS during the typing process.

The SMS editor displays a counter of the characters left of the 160 limit. It also displays in brackets the number of separate messages the message will be divided into. The display allows 6 lines to be shown en bloc. Delivery reports appear on the screen when the keypad is not locked. After that, they are stored in a separate folder in the Messaging sub-menu.

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Typing SMS

The MMS editor is very intuitive and easy to use. Multiple email accounts are supported. N80 works with POP3 and IMAP4 protocols. The email client can download either the headers only or the full messages. Attachments are supported as well. This e-mail client manages most user needs regarding email communication but does not take full advantage of the great display. Regrettably, it seems that currently there are no 3rd party email client alternatives for this Symbian version.

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E-mail inbox • Reading e-mail

Let’s get loud

The Music Player of the N80 is very good. It has an equalizer, supports Playlists and the phone’s loud speaker is very good and loud. The supported file formats are MP3, AAC, m4a, eAAC+ and WMA. Of course, the player can run in the background. The controls of the player are made very intuitive using the 4-way control button. It also manages M3U playlist format seamlessly and can even handle the file automatically if it is placed in the same directory as the music files. A good advice to the users is to use USB 2.0 card readers for transferring music files as this way is much faster than the Nokia Pop-port transfers. Of course, Wi-Fi transfers are also an option.

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Nokia N80 music player • Equalizer

The phone also has a Real Player and a Flash player preinstalled. The FM radio application is very good and the only problem is that is lacks RDS. You can preset and save your favorite stations or you can switch them manually. Nokia N80 radio application is a Visual Radio, which means that it uses the available GPRS/EDGE/UMTS or Wi-Fi connections to download information from the radio stations about the current song and artist. There aren’t many radio stations that support that service, though.

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Gallery • Imaging submenu with Real Player and Flash Player

3 megapixel

For a detailed review of the camera qualities of Nokia N80, check out our camera shootout between Nokia N80 and Sony Ericsson K800. Even if not as good as a camera, N80 manages to keep up with a photo-oriented phone like Sony Ericsson K800.

In short, the camera of the phone is 3 megapixel one and makes really good photos, although it lacks autofocus. Nokia N80 uses fixed focus with macro mode instead. The view finder application is very easy to use. It can only operate in horizontal view. The camera supports self-timer pictures, sequence of pictures, different shooting modes (+night mode), white balance, exposure value, different color effects (sepia, black & white, etc.), sharpness, brightness, contrast, color saturation.

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Nokia N80 3 megapixel camera • view finder

Instead of implementing real manual controls, Nokia has chosen to use "scenes", called "shooting mode". You can select scenes like Portrait, Landscape, Sport or Night Portrait and the camera will hopefully adjust to the situation.

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Picture settings

The advanced sequence mode option can be very amusing. You can set the phone to make a sequence of pictures in a preset interval of time and then you can make very interesting time-lapse videos of those pictures. Of course, the phone should be absolutely still during the shooting sequence. You can consider using lower resolution to fit more pictures on the card. To make a movie from the still frames it is possible to use PC software like VirtualDub. You can search the web for “time-lapse movies” to get some ideas.

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Advanced sequence mode

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Image gallery • Viewing a picture in the gallery • zooming in

Samples in full resolution

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Samples in 1024 x 768 resolution

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Reader comments

  • Anonymous

nokia n80 is the best phone simple in looking but tough operaton.its good phone so it hasnt given me any problem for three years now

  • jack

problem is everyone seems very happy with little !!! point is, the phone is powered by 220mhz arm 9 cpu with 64mb ram ( originaly 42) and runs real slow, trust me guys. at first with shipment softwares that come with n80 runs okie but whn u installed...

  • Anonymous

Good memories...