Nokia N81 8GB: Good, but could be Better


The Nokia N81 is a pretty diverse phone with a multitude of features that more or less lives up to its billing. However, in this day and age, it’s hard to come by a really perfect phone, and the N81 is no exception.

The Good

It’s pretty fast and responsive, as compared some recently released N series models. It also performs well as a media player and comes with both Bluetooth and Wifi for connectivity.

The standard web browser is also commendable as it provides a close presentation of how the web page would appear on a computer screen as opposed to older Nokia web browser which tend to change the lay-out of web sites so as for it to fit on the tiny screen. This time around, with the N81, it doesn’t do that, and with the Page Overview feature, you can view the entire page and just zoom in to the particular section of the site you wish to see in detail.

The Bad

The numerous buttons found below the screen can be a bit confusing, and often gets in the way of hassle-free operation. Special mention are the music keys which usually gets pressed when using the navigation keys. It’s a case of it being too close to the navi-key or too sensitiv, whichever.

The slider functionality is too loose for my liking. Whenever I try to press the Power key (which isn’t that easy to do) to turn it off or on, I can’t get a good leverage from the phone as it always slides open to my dismay.

The imaging feature is a disappointment as well, but I have come to expect it from phones that don’t really highlight its imaging functionality.


The new interface that debuts on this model and can also be found in the N82 can be considered a step-up for easy navigation of media/feature content. However, if you’re already accustomed to the S60 platfrom and how it can be customized to your preferences, this new feature can easily be over-looked and be seldom used.

As a gaming device, it looks and feels like one, though the use of the Navi-key as a control button was quite hard as it is a bit hard to press and the presence of all the other keys around it often results in activating other features of the phone due to accidental pressing of other keys.


Over-all, its a pretty decent phone with a lot of useful features that both teenagers and adults will love. It could use a some improvement in the lay-out of keys and adding a little grease to it so that you won’t develop calluses on your fingers, but once you get the hang of things, it can be bearable. If you hate sliders, you’ll hate this one even more due to the flimsy slider design, but if you’re looking into over-all performance that’s within a reasonalbe price range, than take this one into consideration.

Form Factor        3.5
Feature Set          5
Value                   4


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