Here’s the question: N80 or N92?

Nokia announced their high-end phones a few months ago: N80 and N92. They have the exact same configuration and features except:
* N80 has a 352×416 2.2″ screen, while the N92 has a 2.8″ 240×320 one.
* N80 has a 3MP camera while the N92 has a 2MP Carl Zeiss one.
* N92 supports DVB-H wireless TV, the N80 doesn’t.
* N92 is a clamshell while the N80 is a sliding candybar.
* N92 is bigger and much heavier (190 grams)
* N92 reportedly has Bluetooth+EDR 2.0 with A2DP support, while the N80 is v1.2 without A2DP. This information on the N92 is not confirmed yet though.

By reading the net it is obvious that all the geeks at the mobile forums have picked their favorite: the N80, mostly because its smaller looks, high-MP camera and high resolution screen. And I was one of these people too. I couldn’t wait until April when the N80 is supposed to be released.

Well, I have changed my mind.

I am 32 years old now and after working with computers for years day-in and day-out my eyesight has worsen (mostly astigmatism and a tiny bit of myopia). When I was 16 years old I was able to read the time on the VCR’s LED screen from 8 meters away. Today, I need to be 3 meters away from it or I need to have my glasses on. I also can’t see well in the dark. No, I am not blind, I can even drive legally without glasses just fine, it’s just that I am not the eagle I used to be when I was a teenager.

So while I was thinking over today about the N80, a N92 preview popped up and got into reading it. I searched a bit more on the net and found that it probably also supports A2DP along with a faster Bluetooth implementation. I got a bit warmer into the idea of N92, but the kicker was the LCD screen.

I quickly used the N80 about 1.5 months ago at my meeting with some Nokia engineers. It’s a briliant device, but when I loaded in its browser I had to bring the LCD to my nose to be able to read the page. The font size was extremely small as the LCD is just 2.2″ and it has a high resolution. On the other hand, the E61 phone model that they also had with them and showed it to me was much more pleasurable to read. The E61 uses the exact same LCD screen as the N92 does: 2.8″ QVGA.

My JBQ says that Nokia does the right thing going with super-high resolutions on small screens because that makes pictures look better and that makes teens more keen to these models. But I don’t care about the bloody pictures. I care about (web browser) TEXT and be able to read it comfortably without going blind. Be careful, I am not talking about the menus and such. These are using large fonts by default and make the N80 look like a normal phone font-wise, but I am talking about text-oriented applications –like the web browser– which their default font is extremely small for the screen size used.

That was the last strike for my decision about my next phone. I am getting the N92 instead of the N80: smaller pixel count but bigger pixel size. Between the geek factor and comfortability, I will pick comfortability this time.

I know that there is a N93 coming out right after the N92 is out (pictures leaked out about a month ago on the web), but that new model while is fixing some usability keypad issues with the N92, it will be using a 2.2″ 352×416 screen just like in the N80! Arrggggh!

I wouldn’t mind using a 352×416 screen at all, but please, make it 2.8″ at least! 2.2″ is just too small for this resolution and having to change font sizes all the time on text-oriented applications (e.g. web browsers, document readers) defeats the whole purpose!

Post a comment »

Emad Hamza wrote on July 11th, 2006 at 7:23 AM PST:

I thought I will find a solution for the small-fonts problem of N80 but after reading all your essay it is just a complaint!!

however, thanks for directions, I think you are right. I will also will wait for N92 to come to market

Have a nice day

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