The Complete Review is now here! 

Impressions

The reception quality provided by the N81 is up to Nokia’s standard, nothing to worry about here. The volume of ring tones, all thanks to its stereo-speakers, is over the roof, which automatically makes the N81 one of the market’s loudest devices. The vibro alert is not particularly easy to feel due to the phone’s bulky casing.

The 8 Gb edition retails in Europe for 430 Euro, while the junior model will set you back more than 360 Euro – these prices may vary by region, though. At the same time, speaking of the Russian market, the Nokia N81’s memory-card version sells for 600 USD, and its 8 Gb sibling will be yours for 740-800 USD. Obviously, once they have taken all the cream, the prices will be knocked down to the recommended 500 USD and 640 USD respectively, but will take some time, so expect the price cut no earlier than after the New Year.

The N81 is a mixed bag – on the one hand, it is a youth-orientated device with all the essentials of one inside, but it comes with a very mediocre camera and no business-savvy features onboard (applications in the first place, but you can install them manually). Sonic experience-wise, the N81 is quite a decent performer, which is indicated by our RMAA tests; unfortunately the set of headphones it comes packaged with is not as good. Its gaming department is yet to emerge, and when the N-Gage service will go online the Nokia N81 will one of a slew of offerings with knack for games.

In some ways, this handset reminds me of the Nokia 3250 – similarly positioned towards the youth, quite moderate sales (‘one million units sold’ was Nokia’s PR, nothing more to it – other models were selling better back then). This phone lacks charisma to become a bestseller with its design alone, and its feature pack is not as fantastic as they claim. On balance, it is an average solution, that can’t make our mouths watering, or make us throw it back into the box – it is somewhat between these two extremes. This means the N81 scores a “B” and if you are not expecting it do somersaults, you will be quite content with it.

SAR for the Nokia N81 8 Gb – 0.96 W/kg, for Nokia N81 – 0.81 W/kg.

You can view the complete review of Nokia N81/Nokia N81 8GB here at Mobile-Review.