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Nokia N81 and N81 8GB

 Nokia N81 and N81 8GB Discontinued
29th August 2007

Remember the Nokia N-Gage? Nokia's original attempt at a gaming platform fell a bit flat in most (but not all) markets and largely sank without trace. But Nokia didn't give up on the idea of advanced mobile gaming, and now it's back with a vengeance on the Nokia N81 plus some other smartphone devices in the Nokia range.

So what exactly makes up the Nokia N81? Well, this is a 3G slider with a 2.4" 240 x 320 pixel display that works in landscape (wide) and portrait (tall) orientations. On the back is a 2 megapixel camera, and the N81 also has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity which can also be used for gaming. There's an FM radio too, and the N81 runs the Symbian S60 operating system, making it a capable smartphone.

Nokia say that the keys light up when you use them, and they are also optimised for playing games in landscape mode as well as playing multimedia and all the other smartphone functions. As you'd expect, there's a web browser and email client and the Nokia N81 can also place VOIP calls (if your carrier has not disabled the functionality). There's a navigation wheel, and the N81's interface has had an overhaul to make it more dynamic.

 Nokia N81 Gaming Some effort has gone into integrating the N81 with Nokia's new Music Store and it can also be synchronised using a compatible media player application. As you might suspect, the N81 8GB comes with 8GB of internal memory, whereas the cheaper standard N81 uses microSD memory expansion.

Games for the N81 can be downloaded from Nokia's N-Gage Arena for a typical fee of €6-€10. Some of these can be played against others using the internet or WLAN connection. The N-Gage gaming platform isn't limited to the N81 either, owners of the N73, N93, N93i, N95 and N95 8GB can join in too.

It's quite a heavy phone at 140 grams in weight and 102 x 50 x 17.9mm in size. Talktime is up to 3 hours on 3G and 4 hours on GSM, with a maximum standby time of around 16 days. Alternatively, you can play music on it for up to 11.5 hours.

Nokia say that the N81 and N81 8GB should be available during Q4 2007 at an estimated cost before tax and subsidy of €430 / £290 for the N81 8GB and around €360 / £250 for the more basic N81.

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Nokia N81 and N81 8GB at a glance


Q3 2007


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
UMTS 2100


GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + WiFi


240x320 pixels, 16m colours


2 megapixels


Large slider
102 x 50 x 18mm / 140 grams



Memory card:

microSD (N81 only)







Battery life:

3-4 hours talk / 16 days standby


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