Earlier today I posted about Nokia N800 tablet and some of the cool features it has. As a device it seems it has all the makings of a good competitor to Apple’s iPhone, especially since there will be tons of carriers looking for an iPhone-like device. N800 needs work, but somehow I think Nokia can make it work: especially if they can keep it more open. Suggestions?
15 thoughts on “Open Thread: How N800 can compete with the iPhone”
The big one for me right now is its lack of mobile network connectivity. The inclusion of Skype means that the N800 could now reasonably function as a phone replacement where WiFi is enabled (if it’s a Skype client that works with non-Skype calling devices), but I would still carry around an additional cell phone. That’s not a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
If the N800 got 3G data connectivity on-board and, lord help us, actual calling capabilities in addition to Skype, then it starts to look like an iPhone competitor. Even more so if Nokia makes up for its anemic on-board storage and limited syncing with computer applications.
For now, it’s a vaguely interesting device with some cool capabilities. Which is more than can be said for most other phones on the market.
I’ve got a Nokia 770. It’s a great device within its limits. The 770 (and now the 800) don’t connect over traditional cell networks. The PIM software (both bundled and by third parties) has been anemic to say the least. And the PIM software doesn’t come with any ability to sync out of the box. Worst of all, they orphaned the 770 eighteen months after release. If they expect to be picked up as a phone, they’re going to have to offer upgrades through the end of the period of sale plus the length of contracts (approximately four years from launch). And the 800 is much larger than the iPhone… it’s bareful pocketable. If Nokia plans to use the 800 to compete with the iPhone they’re going to have lick all of those problems. I know of at least one iPhone competitor on the horizon but it’s not the 800.
Nokia should add HSDPA and make it a VOIP and IM device. That simple thing would make it a iPhone-killer right there. Cause VOIP means free unlimited telephony and IM is free also and much more versatile.
Nokia already beats iPhone in terms of screen, being not much more bulky, the N800 has a 4.3 inch 800×480 resolution touch-screen. In my opinion that is better for browsing.
Nokia should add much better multimedia functionality, it’s not worse then the iPhone as it is now, but I think Nokia should aim at supporting HD resolution video, add option for hard drive storage and video-recoring. They can do that by just using another chip from Texas Instruments.
Nokia is blocked from it’s carrier friends which don’t necessarilly want to launch a free VOIP telephony device on HSDPA just yet, and which aren’t confortable with people installing all kinds of Linux apps that directly utilise their HSDPA network. Also Nokia might not have done any R&D in more advanced Multimedia features, so for that, it might be that Archos will be the first to succeed in making that phone-killer multimedia pocket computer product.
One thing they could do is to improve the on-screen keyboard. Currently, the keys are too small and the visual feedback mechanism is not that great.
Does anyone else agree?
As for the N800 being a competitor to the iPhone, it is hard to see how. 3G technology is not available in all parts of the US and adding 3G hardware would great reduce the battery life of the device.
They should have more shortcuts on the home screen, to Skype, for example. That would make it easier to access commonly used programs.
Nokia engineer some great devices but they always seem to be in second place to an inferior product. Nokia’s marketing needs to sharpen up.
I use the E61i as I believe it is a much better device than any blackberry but how many reviews/reports do you see on the e61i? The same fate probably awaits the N800.
The thing is, though, it’s not designed to compete with mobile phones. It’s an internet tablet. It’s not designed for PIM or syncing or anything.
It’s designed for spontaneous internet use.
Exactly, it’s designed for spontaneous internet use. It’s not a portable media player, it’s an Internet tablet. Adding for example a harddrive would make it much bigger. You can put 2 8GB SD cards in it actually, giving you 16 GB of storage, pretty nice.
The N800 resolution is 800×480. It won’t play a DVD resolution video just so, but if it is re-encoded then it looks really great. Anyway it’s not the main purpose of the device: It’s more about Internet browsing, and now with Skype, communication.
Both the N800 and iPhone should have a sharing application for sending URLs via email, IM or SMS. Also, they should have ‘select mode’ for taking text from one application and entering it into another, such as from a web page to google maps.
There are a lot of possibilities in developing an application native to the device that improves control of text and links. Just as so much time has been spent on developing photo, music and video management capabilities for the iPhone and for example how companies like Shozu have developed a great way to post to Flickr without even opening Flickr, mobile browsing needs tools for distribution between browser and native applications.
These features actually exist in the Blackberry web browser…but just because Blackberry figured out how to apply these features does not mean that an ‘entertainment’ device cannot benefit from improved navigation and communication between branded applications – especially if they expand on the idea.
I own both and iPhone is WAY more useful day to day. Comparing the two though is bit like comparing a MacPlus to a 386 DOS PC.
N800 is a great device. I spend most of my time in places where wifi is enabled (and actually, my cell phone has no signal at work…).
There are a couple of things I would like to see and most are software related:
I’ve been using the iPhone for about 18 hours. Ive never used an n800, but i have some familiarity with its capabilities.
I like the iPhone but I’m not sure I want to take it everywhere I’d take a regular cell phone. In some ways the option of having a companion device like the n800is high, especially one with a bit more expandabiliy than the current iPhone
I have an N800, and it’s not really meant to be an iPhone killer, I don’t think you will ever see a cellular chip in the thing, its not the point of it. It’s more of an accessory for your existing (cool looking krzr or something) phone. It allows you to have a rich internet experience by connecting via blue tooth to your cell phone with EVDO or other hi speed data, or picking up local, and open Wifi.
Nokia needs to promote and push the openness of this device, It’s Linux based to its pretty open but the tablet format is different enough that it needs a good SDK anyway. Palm didn’t get thousands of great third party applications for their devices by just dropping a product out there and saying, good luck… But that’s pretty much what Nokia has done.
Nokia, please provide an incentive for developers. Give us a decent driver for the built in camera so we can stream video, or heck even record video. Port and leverage some of your great sybian applications and partnerships so that it’s not such a different device from your other N series products.
My 2 cents 🙂
iPhone is a phone and n800 is not so there’s really no comparison. n800 UI is pretty clunky and there’s really no good apps out there. Price you pay for being open is that you’ll lag behind a company like Apple on UI and integration. When you have a device with the form factor of a n800, it’s natural to complete and not complement the phone which is why iPhone is handsdown better than the n800. Everytime I show off the n800, the first question is “Is it a phone too?”