Nokia N81

By: Adam Caitlin
Still there's nothing regarding the phone itself which shouts "Rock!". Its piano-black and well brushed titanium body is very appealing and classy looking. Standing at 18mm in thickness, the N81 is a bit stocky in appearance. This slider phone does justice to other names in the prestigious Nokia family like N95, the E65 and the 6110 Navigator to mention just a few. The advanced components and other facilities in this device are sufficient to meet the communication and entertainment requirements of the users.

There are several points which make this phone quite unique, like the system of external navigation keys clearly shows what technologically sound direction Nokia has taken with the N81. Other features like the music player controlled from front and centre, the call keys pushed a bit way out to the side and the volume controls button put on the side make it a perfect blend of practical utility and style. Further, the keypad-lock switch situated on the top is a very smart and attractive addition, which can be utilised to unlock the external keypad without bothering to slide down the phone.

On a very happy not for the music lovers, audio files can be enjoyed through an external speaker situated on the side of this phone, or alternatively -- and quite efficiently as well - with the help of headphones plugged into the 3.5mm headphone port on the top of the phone. The capacity to use ones favourite headphones, through the 3.5mm port, is a definite winner on such a media device, and the added facility of having it on the top only means that you can very safely keep the phone in your pocket while listening to your favourite songs.

Just like any other offering from the house of Nokia, this phone is also feature-rich. There are two N81 models in the market: 8GB model and a model having smaller internal memory space, a micro SD card slot to provide it bigger flexibility. The 8GB memory is the stand-out and unique feature of the first model which takes it to the top category of business phones.

N81 may be taken as a device suitable for the category of rock stars, because its music player is certainly up to its reputation, clearly featuring most of the musical functionalities one could aspire for including features such as equaliser presets and album covered artistic display. The tough and laborious task of shifting through the music menus with the help of directional pad can be very efficiently speeded up with the help of nifty "navi-wheel" choice available in the settings menu. The "navi-wheel" changes the square click pad into a touch-sensitive control panel which is quite similar to the facility of click-wheels found in the iPods.

The N81, like most of the new phones in the N-Series, comes to your hands adorned with Nokia's N-Gage gaming facility. Most of the demo games available with the set are by far one of the best mobile phone games available with any mobile phone in the market. Games on-slaughter Electronic Arts (EA) has created a mobile aspect of FIFA 07 soccer and it is tremendously addictive.

To virtually cram the with various facilities regarding games and music, Nokia has supplemented the 3G connectivity with Wi-Fi so that the users can jump onto the fantastic world of Nokia Ovi Web portal and continue downloading any type of content at greater than 3G speeds and that too without incurring any type of expensive mobile data charges and fees. Also one can set Wi-Fi network scanning to continuously search for accessible points after which the results are promptly shown on the standby menu.

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