For one-handed use, the buttons are a better option than stabbing at the screen with a thumb; a four-way rocker switch, with a central selection button, allows control of most applications and is mounted on the front above three buttons allowing access to context-sensitive menus. On top, a button hides all the menus; allowing full-screen web browsing, while two more provide zoom functions or volume control depending on the application. The last button is for power, though this isn't a device that will often be turned off, and is also used to lock the keys and screen.
No attempt is made to protect the screen, which survived a week in a jacket pocket without difficultly, so it’s as robust as any average handset. On the side there's a standard headphone jack and (new style) Nokia charger connection, a folding stand swings out to reveal an SD Card slot. Lastly comes the video camera, which pops out from the left of the device, and prompts the device to ask with whom you would like to establish a video call with.
For while this device is not a phone, or at least lacks the cellular connectivity normally associated with a telephone, it can make and receive phone calls using VoIP over a Wi-Fi connection. Google Talk comes pre-installed on the device, while a Skype client will be available for download, allowing voice and video calls to be made as long as Wi-Fi connectivity is available.
Your review wasn't so bad, once I had read the whole thing, but the first page had me incensed. Is it a phone or not!?! Bloody hell, just because it's a Nokia product doesn't mean that the issue of a phone ever has to come up!
It's not a phone, it was never meant to be a phone, and nobody who's looking for a small but not miniscule internet tablet for browsing and handling e-mail while traveling would ever need it to be a phone. My tiny cell phone works just fine for phone calls, but I would never use that damn small screen for either internet browsing or e-mail. (Yes, I'm over fifty, so what?)
To get back to the point, it's called an internet tablet for a reason. It's aimed at people who travel a lot but don't necessarily need their laptop with them. I want to be able to browse and check my e-mail, but that's about it. I need a reliable connection, and my cell phone with bluetooth provides that, because I am often in places with cell phone coverage but not broadband. I also need a larger, more crisp screen than I get on my cell phone. I am a developer, so a platform that I can develop on, that doesn't make Bill Gates any richer and that doesn't devote more than half its cost to the OS is fine with me. Finally, I need a little speed, and enough memory to handle large numbers of e-mail messages and rss feeds. The Nokia has all these things. (And by the way, did you notice that the N800 has TWO slots for memory cards, not one?)
So stop trying to treat it like a phone. Cell phones as now configured will soon be obsolete anyway, when people figure out that they can carry their computer in their pocket or purse, and talk on the "phone" as much as they want on their bluetooth headset.
I hope that when Nokia comes out with the next product in this line, you won't still be trying to compare it to a cell phone. I also hope that you'll check around before you call this line unreliable. I've been trying mine out for weeks now, and it's never crashed.
Here's a video of it that I found http://www.personalumpc.com/nokia-n800/
The reviewer responds
I did like the N800, and had one with me 24 hours a day for a week. I wasn't able to test every aspect of it; it's a very capable platform which can do a whole lot of things.
We spend quite a bit of time judging the appropriate length of reviews, and perhaps this one was a little too short to include everything the device could do. I hoped I had mentioned that the screen is top; really clear and high resolution. I've used the web on hundreds of different mobile devices, and this was certainly the best experience, though the competition wasn't always up to much.
I certainly should have mentioned that the device comes with a free month's use of The Cloud and it's those hot spots I was connecting to around London.
Paul is right though: I couldn't find the right audience for the N800, if it came across that I struggled to understand what this device would replace or what problem it solves then that's as it should be. It's fun, I liked it, but I don't really understand what it's for.
re: Hotspots in London?
It would be nice if there were some free hotspots about the place. There are quite a few pay hotspots here in Glasgow, the only free one I can think of in the city centre is in the public library. Even the ones in the dreaded franchise coffee places are all £5 for 10 minute jobbies - that's no good to me.
It seems like pure greed to me to charge someone so much for something that costs so little. I'm astonished how many people are prepared to pay for the "convenience" of using a public wifi hotspot
Handheld Linux Multimedia Computer
The perfect UMPC replacement. The e-mail client supports multiple accounts but not multiple inboxes. Otherwise, this device stands above almost all other mobile gadgets. Pair it with a bluetooth phone and build on Linux instead of a weak, proprietary phone operating system. My Nokia smartphones crash but this Maemo device never has more than an application glitch. Would be nice to see a port of Firefox and Thunderbird but it's hard to see how even the iPhone or any phone will provide a higher resolution internet browsing experience than this device. Still difficult to find in the shops, though.