Nokia N800 – The Geek’s iPhone

Just got my newest gadget, Nokia N800, over the Labor day weekend. So excited.
N800 whole N800 RSS Reader N800 Home Screen

I’ve always wanted to have a portable internet surfing device that can let me browse the web from anywhere in the house, in any position (i.e., while walking, standing, lying in bed/sofa). Reason is simple, sitting upright in front of a desk for 8 hours a day in the office does wondrous things to your belly (if you haven’t found out by now), I don’t want to add another couple of hours to the “exercise”.

One night about a week ago, hubby called me over and showed me a picture on the screen. It is the newest Internet Tablet from Nokia, the N800. After reading some reviews and some researching, I grew more and more intrigued. This is almost exactly what I’m looking for, except for the lack of a Blackberry like thumb keyboard (instead it has a big on-screen finger keyboard which doesn’t seem too bad).

If all the reviews are correct, this is the best pocket-sized web browsing experience on the market right now. 800×480 gorgeous color touch screen (iPhone’s is 480×320 and much smaller size), Opera browser w/ Adobe Flash 9 support (which iPhone doesn’t support), RSS Reader, Skype, Linux based OS (which means lots of free applications), WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and expansion memory slot. It’s almost like a Linux iPhone with better resolution/browser, cheaper price ($358 on amazon), without the cellular plan bundle (you can use a bluetooth phone with your carrier if there is no WiFi in sight), and without hype.

From what I’ve seen so far, N800 is everything they said it to be. Excellent WiFi reception, love the screen (it makes you not wanting to move your eyes away). The pictures don’t do the screen justice. It looks alot better in real.

If I have to summarize about N800 in comparison with iPhone:

1. N800 is an Internet Tablet, with a focus on the web browsing experience; iPhone is more of a multimedia device with a focus on, well, Cingular/AT&T customers ;-)

2. iPhone is designed for average Joes, everything out of box is all you get, it’s more of gadget than a PC or even a PDA. You don’t need to know anything and even if you do, you can’t install anything to expand it. N800 is like iPhone for geeks. It’s not to replace your phones, your PDA, or your desktop, but it’s closer to a mini PC and because it’s Linux-based, there’s a community out there that builds all sorts of applications that you can just download and install right from your device, like eBook reader, FM Radio applet (yes it has FM built in!), office apps, even Chinese language support, and tons of others.

Here are some online articles and reviews:

Nokia N800 Interactive Demo
OSNews review
10 Reasons why N800 is better than iPhone
MobileCrunch review
Linux alternative to iPhone

If you happen to be looking for an affordable mobile web surfer that will free you from the gigantic, ugly thing that we call desktop, be sure to check this one out.

I will post more about this beautiful little device after I’ve used it for a while longer.

(update: in light of Apple’s latest announcement of iPod Touch, which is even more similiar to N800, here’s the sequel: Nokia N800 – The Geek’s iPod Touch ; )


8 responses to “Nokia N800 – The Geek’s iPhone

  1. One month ago I got myself a Treo 755p with Sprint. I also went one step further in spoiling myself with a $5/month subscription to their wireless broadband service. The device is OK, but still much better than my 4-year old Samsung (a long, bad story with Sprint). I can attest to the amazingly fast wireless broadband. (I heard that Sprint is going to roll out their WiMax next year; but unfortunately Sprint has pretty lousy customer service and is #3 in US.) Now from my Treo I can track traffic real time using Google Maps, listen to streaming radio and even watch some basic TV channels and videos (not frequently). Life has been better.

    Some tech experts (me included) doubt that Web surfing experiences on small-form devices could match those on a real PC. My Treo has only 320X320 resolution. I only use it to connect to the Web “in emergency”. I doubt 800X480 on a still small form would replace your desktop experience. I myself am so used to scrolling mouse wheels :^) Touch screens are probably a gimmick to squeeze more screen real estate in sacrifice of your key pad. Some say Web experience is 2D…

  2. Web-capable small devices are never going to replace PC, but that doesn’t matter because nobody expects them to. Just like everyone have land line home phone but why do people still buy cellphones (they are never going to replace your home phone)?

    To have something for emergency use is by itself already a life quality enhancement don’t you think?

    With n800 it can be more than just for emergency because being able to do very decent surfing lying on a couch/bed is priceless…


  3. I am one of those who I know have dropped their landline home phones and keep their cell phones only. What does a “home” phone really mean? :)

    I agree these days portability and anytime communication is extremely important. BTW, you may even want to consider beaming your TV signals via WiFi to your new device, so that you can watch your favorite SYTYCD show next year. It is also priceless (but the gadgets reasonably priced)… and you still have plenty of time. :)

  4. It is an ideal device for someone like me!
    Browser + Chat + MP3 + Video + FM + Linux Terminal + VNC <- killer product
    Nokia N800 As an EBook Reader Using FBReader

  5. that reminds me, I forgot to mention an important app: the built-in RSS Reader. For someone like me who reads 90% of the news (and friends’ blogs) via RSS, this is so nice… and fast too!

    Forest, ha ha, what does “priceless” really mean…

  6. Guess who is complaining about Apple’s recent price cuts?!
    Some of Apple’s loyal iPhone users…

    Apple should have raised the prices by $100 (add more zeros if necessary)…

  7. i think they knew that there are comparable products like n800 on the market at lower price, and that if they don’t do it _soon_ they could lose some customers for those other product…

  8. Pingback: Nokia N800 - The Geek’s iPod Touch :-) « Between

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