Back in June in preparation for starting the Around Ireland project, I bought a Nokia N80 on expansys.ie for goodly sum of money, mostly for the 3 megapixel camera and the wifi on the mobile / cell phone. By and large, the Nokia N80 kicks serious bootay.
The camera is ok, it is slow and I miss shots. My Irish 6680 was better for average photography. But when I do get a photo with the N80 it is very good and print quality. Night photos suck, even with the on board flash. My Nokia 7610 took better night photos. I need to find the flash that I bought for the 7610 and use it with the N80.
The crowning glory of the Nokia N80 is the XHTML/CSS web standards compliant web browswer. Web sites look good, very very good. The N80's browser also has a zoom function so that you can zoom into various bits to read or see better. Very nice.
The Tipping Point feature of the phone is the WLAN / Wifi. Yes, the N80 has wifi. If you are in a space with wifi, the phone sniffs it and you can set the wifi up as an access point and then browse to your hearts content without accessing the pricey data / 3G plan of your mobile /cell phone carrier.
Second tipping point is that you / I, the owner, can update the phone's firmware online. I have already done it and it made a big difference to get the next version of the phone's operating system.
But what all of us N80 and other Nokia wifi mobile device owners are waiting for is Skype for the Symbian Series 60 phones. Skype, where is the love??? If I have access to a good fast wifi connection and Skype for Series 60, then I don't need to worry about using my Cingular minutes do I? I can just use my Skype account to call from a stationary point that is near wifi.
Today Darla Mack blogged about EQO's new IM and Skype software for J2ME capable devices. Whilst waiting for Skype to make a S60 version of their software, I went over to EQO to try their's out.
Here's the scoop: After installing the EQO software to my mobile / cell phone (easy), I was able to IM Lauren on AIM. Simple and straightforward. I went to EQO's website, registered, gave my mobile / cell number and they texted the download link to my phone. I downloaded the file, installed, typed in my EQO login and password, set up my AIM and GoogleTalk, and off I went.
I first tested the EQO with my Cingular / AT&T 3G connection and IM'd Lauren. Then I used the access point for the wifi at my brother's house and had several lines of IM with Lauren. The only limiting factor was the standard phone keyboard of the N80 (not QWERTY). I am not a fast texter nor am I fast with IM'ing on a phone, as I feel compelled to have correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Silly me.
Then I installed the Skype Plugin. EQO has one install a separate EQO Skype Plugin on one's computer. According to their website, to use Skype on one's mobile / cellphone, one must have one's computer on, be logged into Skype, the EQO plugin on, and EQO app on the phone on. And then you use the phone to make the call. It kind of worked. As you can imagine, it was like calling a radio station when you are right next to the radio, there is a lot of feedback. A lot of echo.
Using the house's wifi as my connection, I first called Erika, I was within 10 feet of my computer, and the Skype call from my mobile was a no go. Then I left the computer in the kitchen and moved to a bedroom and called Lauren, this time we could both hear each other but with much feedback and echo. I could hear Lauren just fine not through the phone, but on the computer speaker in the other room. She could hear me speaking through the phone, but with echo and noise. But we could do it.
This was an exciting test. Thanks to EQO for the software and to Lauren & Erika to being the test guinea pigs. Even if one could only make this work, imperfectly, with a computer in the vacinity and not out on the road, at least it is a step forward to a carrier neutral mobile world.