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Nokia N81 8GB

All in all, the Nokia N81 is a fairly balanced package, offering Nokia’s fine engineering and some decent features such as 8GB of storage and N-Gage support. Calls are clear and signal reception is good. Battery life is average, especially considering the multimedia capabilities. If you can get this phone on a reduced contract or cash price, go for it. It offers a lot of the features of its more expensive counterparts like the Nokia N95 or N96 but without the hefty price tag.

The phone has 8GB of built in flash memory but lacks a memory card slot that seems limiting to people who like to carry a large selection of media around with them. It handles music, video playback and photographs pretty well, but the phone does tend to slow down as you start filling up the memory. Also, it comes with a meager 2MP camera, which is disappointing since most camera phones these days include at least a 3.2MP camera, but this is a minor quibble. The phone is also rather chunky, and feels uncomfortable in your pocket, requiring a slipcase or belt clip instead.

The N81 offers support for Nokia’s revived N Gage games, and implements the feature pretty well thanks to dedicated gaming keys on the dual slider and a large, bright screen. My only problem with N Gage is the exorbitant price of their games but I’m sure they’ll drop as the format becomes more popular. You can purchase games from Nokia or just enter N Gage into a search engine like Google or Yahoo and you’ll find plenty of games to download, some of which are free. Internet on the go is a welcome reality thanks to 3G and Wi-Fi enabled connections, but it is commonly difficult to navigate and view web pages on any cell phone screen due to the size restrictions of the screen and input via a small directional keypad, so its application is quite limited. You can also use the phone as a 3G modem to connect your computer or laptop to the Internet wirelessly while on the go.

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