Having recently been able to update my N80 using the Nokia Phone Software Update from the release V3.0614 to V4.0623 there appear to be some very noticeable changes. I think perhaps the most interesting of them is that the phone actually appears to work, it has been 5 days and I have not had a crash yet despite my best efforts of even using it’s dreaded internet browser. Inspite of the problems I have had with this phone the geek in me still loves that it is now mostly fixed.
The first thing you notice with the new firmware is that the menus do consistently pop up quicker rather than taking their sweet time in with the older dog slow version, that in itself makes you feel a lot more confident in using this thing. Exploring a little deeper into the menus and I suddenly find that Nokia / Orange have taken their time to preinstall an anti virus program, Adobe Acrobat, Local Search utility and Orange TV. I’d just to step aside here to ask, Orange TV? If Orange are charging me £4 for 4MB I certainly bet that they would want me to stream video over that but I don’t think I can ever seeing me urgently wanting to watch an indistinguishably rubbish picture for half an hour and pay £40 for the privilege, sorry Orange. Any who Adobe, thanks probably won’t be using that, Anti-virus ok you never know but the last thing I want to do is make my N80 slower and last the Local Search, humm how interesting. Having spent 5 minutes setting the program up and having a quick go I can see how this could be useful, its 2 in the morning and I need to get a taxi from somewhere new and scary and not a yellow pages between any of the bouncers, not a problem my phone will tell me. I think time will tell if a situation arises for that app to prove it self.
Using the Home Network Media thing again, I was very suprised, it didn’t take half an hour to list 10 items, my network/computer/files came up in no time at all. Unfortunetly the PC software is still absolutley appalling in every conceivable way, clunky, VERY slow, memory hungery and awkward to use. Not a chance in hell that software is sitting on my desktop when I’ve got Oblivion sucking the very life from my system or in fact ever. The phone side of it appears sorted however which is nice to know.
Reading about the rumors of improved battery life I am yet to be convinced as my first charge lasted the usual 2.5 days although that was with two good half hour sessions playing with the wifi so maybe, just maybe. Its been a day and a half since its last charge and still on all six bars although I am sure it will do its usual 3 bar drop in a day soon enough, time will tell.
Camera wise I remember in low light conditions the image was very noisy but then again thats the way it is. The camera does appear be to not as noisy as I remember however it could just be me setting up the conditions. Once again the next drunken photo taken with the N80 will prove this point or not. I was hoping the new firmware would remember the last settings you put the camera in but it appears not. One day maybe.
A little change I noticed was that the writing text messages text is not in BOLD which was a good move as I hadn’t realised I was squinting slightly reading the txt I was writing. It is just a shame that you still get a brief flash of the messages menu when starting up to write a message, just seems a little unprofessional, if I would have programmed that software I would have seen indirectly accessing the write message bit as a bit of a hack, but hey ho.
Just to mention the voice recognition, I am not sure if that is new or I just missed it for 5 months but wow, a system that very consistently recognises your voice commands in quiet conditions without training it first, very nice. Its very satisfying trying this out for the first time, just holding the phone and saying someones name in your phone book and off it dials, very cool.
So yeh, first impressions are good, the phone feels a lot more solid and reliable, if only Nokia had held the release on for more 5 months. Shame.