Ok, so with all the traveling that I’m planning to do this year, I didn’t want to drag a laptop along, but still wanted to be relatively connected and recharged.
So I bought a Nokia N800. Comes with a worldwide charger and very long standby time for a device like this – 10 days. I know 14 days doesn’t work – recently left it in standby in my car as I went to Hong Kong for almost 2 weeks. I got to reset the date/time upon return.
The N800 is turning more and more into a multi protocol mobile communication device for WiFi connections. If you have a cell phone with a data plan, you can connect via bluetooth and usae it. I don’t.
- For the first day, I couldn’t get it to connect to my household Wifi. Thankfully, the 2nd day, it connected WPA2 and life was good.
- The web browser is really nice. Not just nice for a hand held, but nice for any platform. I have more trouble with Firefox on my laptop than I did with the built-in N800 browser.
- I spent toooo much time the first 3 days trying to find acceptable input methods (typing, stylist, handwriting recognition). I’ve decided to teach it the old Palm Graffiti. Well, that didn’t work – too much overlap between upper/lower/numbers, since letters and numbers aren’t entered into different parts of the screen.
- First thing I needed to do was upgrade the firmware from OS2007 to OS2008. Fairly easy and it seemed to be helpful with app compatibility.
- 2nd thing became obvious quick – I needed more disk. The included 128MB SD simply wasn’t any where near enough. Ordered an 8GB MicroSDHC.
- The default apps are lacking. Basically, it is a web browser with trivial video and audio playback. Oh, and you can IM lots of ways. I don’t IM, so who cares?
- That isn’t to say it didn’t come with other applications – it did. Email, SIP client, GoogleTalk, Skype, and a bunch of games that are worthless to me.
- The built-in contact manager is worthless. I’d be embarrassed if I were Nokia. Phone is an optional entry for each contact. Crazy. Even after I setup the SIP client, it insisted on using gtalk for phone calls. I HAVE A PAID SIP VOIP SERVICE! Let me use it!
- Ok, so I started grabbing free applications for this baby.
|Camera for quick picts||MPlayer for audio/video||GPS Mapping Software 3 kinds|
|ssh – fire, wheel, unix, ssh ….||a bunch of normal Linux tools||Weather|
|Claws for email||FBReader (an ebook and other file format reader – text if beautiful on this device)||PalmOS Virtual Machine|
|Voice Recorder (for quick voice recordings)||DiskUsage||Password Safe|
|rsync/grsync – fire, wheel, unix, ssh ….||HP 42 Calculator||FM Radio|
- The built-in video camera appears to be worthless. I loaded an app to snap pictures with it. Grainy is putting it nicely. For video conferencing, I could see where it may be nice, but I don’t do that today.
- FM Radio app – recently learned that the headphones are the antenna.
- GPS Mapping – there seems to be a bunch of software for this available. Probably due to the N810 having built-in GPS. Before I ran out of storage (128MB), I was able to get 1 size of detailed maps for Hong Kong and Atlanta. The zoom was bad, but what do you want when you’re missing 20+ detail levels? Can’t wait for that 8GB SD to arrive.
- I really need to get the SIP client working ASAP. I’d hate to be stuck without Skype-out as my phone when I’m out of the country. Also, wouldn’t it be cool if someone called my house and I answered when in Costa Rica or Hong Kong or Germany? That alone makes it worthwhile!
- IMAPS and SMTPS is working, but doesn’t work with my IMAP server folders … yet.
Ok, so what’s wrong that can’t easily (read free) be corrected?
- Sucky contact management – I’ve never seen anything this bad. Heck, an XLS file with autofilter is better. It is unacceptable for a pocket device with Skype, SIP, and email capabilities NOT to include a contact manager at least as good as Palm had in 1996!
- Text entry – the finger tip entry should be the default, not handwriting recognition or peck for letters. Palm Graffiti won’t work.
- Bluetooth N800 Keyboard for data entry, typing.
- How to delete the apps/games that I don’t want? Some that are part of the OS?
- How to reorder the applications in their lists and re-group them?
- Hotels have 100BT connections, not WiFi in the rooms – what am I to do since there’s no RJ-45 port? Ordered a tiny wifi router today.
They did do some things besides the browser well. 1-click installs using normal Linux tools, USB Drive when connected to a PC, SD memory (and all the smaller versions with SDHC up to 8GB), RSS feeds, Google search on the main page, World Clock shows local time based on where you click. There’s a bunch of GPS and phone connectivity stuff that I don’t plan to use too. Bluetooth connections for these devices is expected.
I’ll add more to other articles as I learn more. I’ve got to get a usable PIM app on this thing QUICK.
How much did this thing cost me? Nokia N800 Costs.