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Nokia N81 - Future phone

Nokia N81

Nokia N81

12 September 2007
Written by Mike Meers

The Nokia N81 is the Finnish giant’s latest entertainment, music, and game handset. In response to the recent Apple iPhone launch in the US, mobile phone manufacturers have been busy creating their own competition. The N81 is Nokia’s attempt, and the handset supports up to 8GB of memory, has a 2mpx digital camera, 16.7 million colour display, WLAN and 3G connectivity, and a wealth of multimedia functionality.

When released, the N81 will come in two variations: an 8GB model, with 8GB of internal flash memory, or a microSD model with 12MB of internal memory but a microSD card slot. The 8GB model does not have a microSD card slot. The N81 website states that the microSD model comes with a 2GB microSD card, which can store up to 1600 songs (eAAC, 3:45min average @ 48kbps).

The rest of the features on the N81 stay the same on both the 8GB and the microSD model. One of the main highlights is the 240 x 320 pixel, 2.4” TFT LCD display. Capable of displaying 16.7million colours, the display is top of the line and perfect for imaging, playback of video, and cruising around the colourful and responsive Symbian 9.2 OS.

The Nseries digital music player handles all audio playback on the N81. File formats supported are MP3, AAC, eAAC+, AAC+, WMA, M4A, and WAV. Windows DRM and OMA DRM are supported for copy-protected music files. Synchronisation with Windows Media Player 11 is fully supported, and the handset has dedicated music keys for controlling playback. The integrated stereo loudspeaker can be used for music playback, or you can opt to plug in headphones to the 3.5mm audio jack, or use a Bluetooth headset (A2DP supported).

Then N81 supports the recently-resuscitated N-Gage gaming system platform, which provides high-quality games designed especially for N-Gage handsets. The N81 has dedicated gaming keys and has three pre-installed games: Space Impact Light, Asphalt game demo, and FIFA Soccer 2007 demo.

Still images up to 1600 x 1200 pixels can be captured with the integrated 2mpx digital camera. The camera comes with 20x digital zoom, and can capture MPEG4 video at 640 x 480 pixels and 15fps. A flash LED is located near the lens on the back of the handset to light up dark settings, and post-capture editing is supported with the included video & picture editors. A forward-facing CIF camera located above the display is used for video calling, but can be used to capture pictures at a low resolution.

WCDMA networks are supported by the N81 for high-speed data connectivity. If a 3G network is not in range, the N81 will roam onto a GSM 850, 900, 1800, or 1900MHz network (if available). The N81 is compatible with all GSM networks around the world.

Local connectivity can be achieved via Bluetooth, USB, or WLAN 802.11b/g. The Bluetooth radio is fully compliant with version 2.0 of the wireless specification, and the latest profiles are supported. The USB support includes the Mass Storage Device profile for easy drag & drop file transfers without the need for additional drivers. WLAN 802.11b/g allows you to connect to wireless networks for data transfer, instead of using an (expensive) GPRS or WCDMA data connection.

An FM stereo radio is built in to the N81, along with support for Nokia’s Visual Radio service. Additional features include a Podcasting application (video and audio podcasts supported), Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map, Java MIDP 2.0 application environment, and a range of pre-installed PIM applications.

The N81 will start shipping in the fourth quarter of 2007.

FYI .:. Nokia N81
(ETA 4th quarter of 2007)

Basic specifications
Network system 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz (quad-band)
3G: WCDMA 2100MHz
Form factor Slider
Size 102 x 50 x 17.9mm
Weight 140 grams
Display 2.4" 16.7 million colour TFT LCD @ 240 x 320 pixels
Battery type used Lithium-ion battery @ 1050mAh
Talk/usage time* 2G: Up to 240 minutes*
3G: Up to 180 minutes*
Video playback time (QVGA): Up to 4.5 hours*
Browsing time (packet data): Up to 5 hours*
Music playback time: Up to 11.5 hours*
Video recording time (QVGA): Up to 3.5 hours*
Gaming time: Up to 6 hours*
Standby time* 2G & 3G: Up to 17 days*
Accompanying features
Connectivity options Bluetooth version 2.0, USB version 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, and WLAN 802.11b/g (with UPnP) support
Camera support 2mpx digital camera with 20x digital zoom and dedicated flash light
Data support GPRS and WCDMA data
Exchangeable covers None
Internet applications Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map
Nokia Podcasting application (video and audio podcasts supported)
  Internal -
  External -
Yes, 8GB (8GB model only) or 12MB (microSD model)
Yes, 2GB microSD card (only in microSD model)
Messaging capabilities SMS/EMS, MMS, and e-mail messaging with T9 predictive text
Ringing tones MP3, eAAC+, AAC, M4A, WMA, WAV, and polyphonic MIDI
Synchronisation with PC Yes, via included software
System for...
  Add-on applications -
  Gaming -
  Phone -
Java MIDP 2.0
Java MIDP 2.0
Symbian 9.2 OS with Nokia Series 60 platform
Extras supported
(not listed above)
Stereo FM radio with Visual Radio support
Nokia Music Store support for music purchasing
Dedicated gaming keys and landscape oriented game support
Flash Lite support
GPS support with adapter (purchased separately)

* As per manufacturer's specifications (with supplied battery)
^ Final specifications to be confirmed

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