Nokia N80: the good, the bad and the ugly.

By Rob Scovell, in , posted: 21-Jun-2007 14:42

A client ( has provided me with an N80, in order to integrate it into their voip service. It works very well with their service, after some not inconsiderable work on OTAP (over the air provisioning).

(The SIP client only has a limited number of user-accessible settings. Settings for particular services have to be provided by OTAP.)

The good ... I have signed up to and I can register my N80 with it using WiFi. I can use both Coms and 2talk. This means that I have a local (07) number that I can carry with me to any wifi hotspot, as well as my Coms London number. Local callers can call me free on my 'mobile' when I'm in a hotspot, and when I'm not, I can choose to redirect messages to my Vodafone number (at my cost) or have the voicemails emailed to me. When I next go to London, my wife will be able to call me from our landline as though I am in Hamilton! Folks in London can call me at local London rates, or free if they're on an included-minutes plan, using my Coms London number. Plus, I could use my main Vodafone SIM in it, if I chose to. However, I have that in a cheapo handset (see below).

If I had friends with 3G video phones, I could do video calls with them ... but actually, I don't like video calls.

I can download podcasts and listen to them in the street using a bluetooth headset.

The bluetooth, usb and infrared ports allow me to carry files around and easily transfer them, so I don't need an extra USB thumb drive. (Although I don't think I could boot a PC off it just yet ...)

I can also watch Sky Mobile -- but I got bored with that after about 5 minutes. (Why does the Discovery Channel only show 5 minute tasters of programmes, instead of full programmes?)

The IMAP email client gives me push email that I can use over wifi (of course) or 3GSM (if I really need to).

I have even found an ssh client so if there's a real emergency on one of the servers I deal with, I can just about work on them from the beach/bush, as long as there is a GPRS signal.

I have a 1 gig card in it which means I can record my choir practices and go over the trickier passages later on. (I might even create a podcast for the other choir members ... )

The bad ... every so often I have to reboot my phone because it's frozen ... and it takes ages ...

Battery life is also bad, especially when Wifi is on for any length of time. But that is just basic physics ... conservation of energy and the second law of thermodynamics.

I just have to think of it as a 'palmtop' computer that, by the way, acts as a phone.

The ugly ... the keypad slides down from the bottom. They could easily have had it slide out from the side and put a full qwerty keyboard on it. Considering that it's a computer that also does phone calls, this was a bad design move.

Final word: although it's great as a wifi phone, I still much prefer my cheap Nokia 2118 as a GSM mobile phone.
It boots rapidly, holds its battery charge for days, and just behaves as a phone, reliably and predictably. It doesn't claim to do anything else.


Other related posts:
Old phone ringer working
Old phone plan
Some useful advice about the wooden phone

Comment by sbiddle, on 21-Jun-2007 20:49

I'm off to Aussie next week and looking forward to using my E65 for exactly the same thing. It's just a shame Boingo Mobile don't have their Symbian client available yet to solve the whole authention issue from a mobile handset.. I'm hoping I might be able to get WISPr working using SmartConnect which I have installed on my phone and can use that with Azure wireless.

---- you could try using FRING -- it's an interesting Skype/SIP gateway concept. Rob.

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