Controls are something the N810 has is spades, pretty much everything it does can be done in at least two ways. In fact, Nokia seem to have realised something quite essential about pocket web devices, and that is that the most effective way to navigate around such a device is by a combination of fingers and stylus and buttons rather than just by the one method. The stylus, though plastic, is a big, stiff and chunky affair that is pleasant to use and fits firmly into its slot.
Web browsing on the 810 is very straightforward. Want to switch to or from full-screen mode? Hit the dedicated button on the top. Want to zoom in or out? Use the rocker button next to it or touch the zoom icon on screen. To scroll up and down either drag the screen up or down or use the nav pad by the keyboard.
The N810 runs a comprehensive suite of applications
The N810's principle application is a rather fine web browser developed using "Mozilla technology". The only obvious similarity we saw between it and Firefox is the ability to run multiple tabs, though that alone on a mobile browser is grounds for a party, while the presence of the Flash 9 plug-in means untold hours can be spent glued to YouTube videos and the like. When in full-screen mode the browser is big, bright, easy to read and has excellent image representation.
The N810 also runs a pretty comprehensive suite of communication apps, including Gizmo, Skype and, via the built-in IM/VoIP application, GoogleTalk, Jabber and SIP. The front-facing VGA webcam means you can have video with your IM chats.
Less immediate communication is handled by a bespoke email application that can handle both POP and IMAP protocols, and is extremely easy to set up and use. The built-in address book is a little odd, though. We imported our contacts from Outlook but only ended up with phone numbers and email addresses, all physical address information and the like having vanished into the ether.
More Grunt == Less Battrey Life
Garry Byrne: The OQO 01+, although a nice device, is nearly twice as thick as the N810 and weighs nerly twice as much. The only thing the OQO has over the N810 is more storage out of the box and more poke in the CPU department - both coming at the cost of greatly decreased battery life. I'd only recommend a Windows UMPC is you *really* must run Windows apps.
I have a nokia 800
How many people reading the article didn't pick up on the fact that Nokia didn't intend this to be a phone? Why? Maybe it's because S60 (uck!) is too entrenched? Maybe because it avoids having to do many regional variants? Maybe because they want you to buy a phone with bluetooth to act as mobile data gateway?
I've never found a smartphone to be any good, TBH, either too big and bulky, or if usefully compact then is too small to have an adequate display - the N800's 800x480 display makes my Zaurus's 3.5" vga display seem a bit, well, stingy!
I also have zaurus 3100, & palm t3. I use the Zaurus for experimenting with Android and hacking TomTom to run on it!
The Palm is still in use as a PIM - *nothing* beats datebook5 (well, datebook6 does).
The N800 gets the most use
- the bright clear hi-res screen makes it fabulous for mobile web surfing, reading eBooks etc.
- the built in webcam works nicely with googletalk, I can video chat (when I want to be a sad geek) with my brother in california
- with USB host or bluetooth I can connect a nano keyboard if I wanted to enter lots of text
- with bluetooth (PAN) or wifi I can connect via any phone or any hotspot
- stereo speakers make it useful as a media player, built-in radio is a bonus; SDHC card can carry a hell of a lot of files!
- can play radio and TV streams - BBC News 24 live works well (but don't tell TV Licensing!)
paris - because she needs people to RTFA for her too.
I have an n800 - had it for a year or so now, and it has come on in leaps and bounds with each new firmware release. I mainly use it for portable IM (there's a version of pidgin that runs well on it - the full-screen virtual keyboard is excellent once you get used to it) - and ebook reading - using FBReader and Evince (FBReader used to be all I needed, but they seem to have reduced pdf compatibility - though there is a pdf reader in the standard build, I prefer a 3rd party app). If you can afford the n810, I would definitely go for that, mainly due to the hardware keyboard, but now that it has been superseded, the n800 should be coming down in price. For an inquisitive geek, there's no better gadget.
Is that a Nokia logo? Then it must be a phone...
It's hard to see past the Nokia logo isn't it? Think of this as a mobile linux PC with excellent wi-fi, built in bluetooth and a thriving development community and all of a sudden it doesn't seem like so much of a lame duck.
Python? Check. Perl? Check. Want apache running on it? No problem. Hell you can even get Ruby on Rails on the NiT and throw metasploit on it for a lovely little pentest device you can chuck in your backpack - or fit comfortably on the inside pocket of a suit jacket.
Did I mention the imminent arrival of Google Gears?
Think outside the "phone" pigeonhole.
/mine's the one with the N800 in the pocket, and a 3G phone in the other.
You forgot to mention it is Linux
Nice review. I have the older n800 (no keyboard, no GPS, two SD slots) and it is the most useful gadget I have.
But you forgot to mention a key point - that the OS is Linux-based and, with a bit of guidance from maemo.org, you can do almost anything you want with it, for instance running perl scripts from the command line.