Nokia N81 8 GB starts shipping, don’t buy it


I’m reviewing a retail unit right now, have been for a few days, I’m not going to post my horribly unedited rough and incomplete draft because frankly I’m not sure how well my scanner reads crayon. That being said I’m not happy. I genuinely don’t like the device. From light bleeding, to creaking to WiFi problems, naviwheel issues and a cluster of buttons so evil that you would think a midget version of Satan designed this thing, I’m going to say stay away. Far far away.

Oh by the way, it is shipping according to Nokia.

  • Indra

    is the sound quality better than n91??

  • Stefan Constantinescu

    Never had a N91, can’t comment

  • Viipottaja

    Stefan, then again, you are close to a giant (as far as I can tell from pics) 😀 Btw, Ricky Cadden has a preview video on his site, and he says the slider is super solid.. consistency issues in early production series are common. Further, he says the navi wheel is much more sensitive than in it was early protos.

  • Stefan Constantinescu

    yea ricky and i talked about that. there are obviously differences in quality when you make several hundred thousand of these things. i can’t comment on ricky’s unit, but mine doesn’t feel like a quality product.

  • Andrew

    Oh dear, sounds like Nokia dropped the ball on this one, a few questions though. The Wifi and Naviwheel issues, are they hardware or software issues do you think? What’s the new interface like, does it cover a large portion of the functions of the phone or is it just a novelty thing that pops up in the gallery, options, etc? Any chance you just got a dodgy one (apart from the bad button design of course)? How fast is access to the gallery, I’ve got an N93 and it’s pretty slow but it was a little faster on my mates N95?

  • Stefan Constantinescu

    gallery access depends on a lot of things. my 95 has close to 1000 things in the gallery so sometimes it takes a while to load, especially if i have programs running in the background.

    that being said, the speed of the device is fine. the multimedia menu is a gimmick as far as i’m concerned and most of the issues i’m having can probably be fixed in a firmware update.

    the hardware creaking however and the way this device feels in my hand, that can not be edited and it is why i do not like and will not recommend this device to other people.

  • JKE

    At least it seems to have the bent edges the N95 should have had in the first place (~ those “obstacles” for the thumb).

    @Nokia: how about proper firmware instead of new devices?

  • Big Al

    Did you try the N-Gage features on the N81? If you haven’t, you’ve completely missed the point of the device. Fast, sharp graphics that takes mobile phone gaming much farther than anything else.

    I agree with the navi-wheel comments and some of the other areas, but you are not doing a good job of being a reviewer by just saying I don’t like it and can’t be bothered to post the entire review.

  • Stefan Constantinescu

    N-Gage isn’t out yet. There are 3 demos that honestly don’t even look that impressive. I’m going to type it up tonight, I’m in another time zone remember? 😆

  • Booster

    I agree with Big Al , strange review. Dont buy it ?
    I hope you have get a real monday example, when have read other reviuws and feels to N81 they have been good.

    You are shore it’s not one of this cloned phones who be out there 🙄 or maybee you want give mr unfan litel pleasure :mrgreen:

  • Vivek

    Hey, how easily does the phone surface smudge/scratch? The pictures show the front surface as glossy and that usually means the phone’s a fingerprint magnet.

  • Omar

    this is one hell of a shock to me :shock:.I thought that this device will be something else since that its cheap and has almost anything I want: a good camera, WiFi and geart sound (I havent heard the sound of the device, but it seems from its speakers that it is one LOUD device)…glitches and bugs!? sounds like a beta to me 😆 I expect that this phone would improve after a year or such…

  • hafiz

    hello Stefan can you tell me the price on which you buy n 81 8gb?

  • Hafiz

    hello Stefan I had already asked you this question
    Please tell me the price on which you buy n 81 8gb?

  • sandu alin

    the n81 8gb its maybe 70% for music with 20 volume steps and 8 gb memory is the best phone till now n95 is greater only because of the 5mpx camera and touch screen

  • conol

    I got it, v11 firmware 370euro whats not to love? takes better pics than my n93 and its a beauty!

  • Noel

    Just purchased. Not real happy with the camera. The pitures are blur. Clarity is what I was looking for. Any help out there?

  • Tom

    I’ve got to say the N81 8GB is actualy wonderfull. The navi is not nessicary and can be turned off with ease. The face buttons work fine, and the number keys are pretty large and fine for speed texting. The WiFi I’ve had no issues with and can download podcastes and vodcastes quickly, and listen to them. The music out put is great, the speakers are loud and never tinney. The headphones work well, with the volume being loud enough. It gets free game demos from the N Gage store. The only one niggle is that it doesnt play MP4 yet. other than that this phone is truly great.

  • raqdu

    Guys….i ghot an n81..and it did the same…but after a firmware upgrade.,,.all the crapo dissapiered

  • hafiz

    what do you mean by “all the crapo dissapiered”.reply me so I should help you.

  • Raqdu

    I did a software upgrade and all the problems dissapeared…..only that the volume remained the same…i wish that it was louder!!!

  • hafiz

    Oh that what you mean! by the way the volume is quite heigh but not in muzic player mode due to some noise issue.If you want to listen true sprit of n81 ‘s speckers go in settings of profile “outdoor”And play any song you like.

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