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Nokia N810 vs. N800

Today I have to return the Nokia N800 I’ve been evaluating for the past 2 weeks, thanks to NSeries WOM World… But I’ve also been playing with my Nokia N810 for about 10 days now!

I used both devices for similar tasks, in similar situations for several days (blogging, web browsing, checking email & RSS, chatting, listening to Internet radio).

I installed the latest (non-beta) firmware and applied the same settings to each tablet. I only personalized and tested the existing applications (home screen, web browser, RSS, email, IM, video call, Skype and media player), although I also tried the GPS (N810 only).

I paired both devices to my Sony Ericsson K850i for heaps of HSDPA goodness via Bluetooth :)

So which one is the winner?

First, I’m not going to review each tablet here – there’s loads of info on the tubes already. Second, let’s take a look at the main differences between both devices.

Nokia N800:
– Cheaper ($250)
– Larger
– Half plastic design
– Tablet OS2007
– Opera-based web browser
– Swivel camera
– No built-in GPS
– No hardware keyboard
– Mini USB connector
– One internal SDHC card slot
– One external SDHC card slot

Nokia N810:
– Pricier ($450)
– Smaller
– Full metal über hotness
– Tablet OS2008
– Mozilla-based web browser
– Front camera
– Built-in GPS
– Sweet hardware keyboard
– Micro USB connector
– 2 GB of internal storage
– One external Mini SDHC card slot

If you’re on a budget, or need lots of storage for your growing pr0n media collection (up to 32 GB with two 16 GB SDHC cards), the N800 is the winner. You can install a beta version of Tablet OS2008 and the Mozilla-based web browser today (a non-beta version will be available soon). You can use the on-screen keyboard without the stylus. If necessary, you can even pair the N800 with a Bluetooth GPS and a Bluetooth keyboard.

If you’re into the newest and sexiest gadgets, or need a fully integrated tablet in your pocket instead of your bag, the N810 is the winner. You’re already running Tablet OS2008 and the Mozilla-based web browser. You have built-in GPS and a surprisingly decent hardware keyboard. Of course, you can still pair the N810 with a Bluetooth GPS and a Bluetooth keyboard – but why bother?

So there you have it… Regardless of which device you choose, you can’t go wrong!

24 thoughts on “Nokia N810 vs. N800 Leave a comment

  1. I got my n800 during the summer and the only thing that got to me when i saw the n810 was the hardware keyboard. I think thats the one feature i would have loved to have – but having a bluetooth keyboard makes up for that. I’m curious though – is it comfortable using the hardware keyboard?

    I had been avoiding reading anything about n810 cause I know I can’t get it and didn’t want to start seeing all the shortcomings of the n800 – but reading your post and seeing the differences between the two made me feel a bit better. I still love my n800 – I can get around the software issues, like you said, and I would have no use for the GPS living in Cairo, What surprised me though was that the 810 only has the one memory slot.

  2. [Next time you comment here please leave a valid email address or I will delete your comment! I don’t think you understand the point of the N810. The GPS enables location-based services, which is the future of the mobile Internet and something Nokia, Google (and others) are actively working on… – tnkgrl]

    Hi, Liked the review. But, really, why didn’t Nokia just leave the GPS out (and make a N810G-an optional model withGPS in for a bit more money) and retain the pricing of $228.99 of the N800 today. Also have kept the SD card slot, made the USB more “normal use”(like USB keyboard, USB hard drive, USB external flash storage, USB etc) vs just a USB port that is on ly for just Nokia uses, liked the update to the glass on the screen vs the N800plastic like screen – that when I tried it (and took the N800 back to the store, because of 20 reasons and No JAVA ability) the plastic screen covering seemed to scratch up easily when using the stylus alot, liked the FM radio, liked the camera (but could see that dirt would be a problem with that and whose pocket is that clean of lint etc).

    The N800 size was OK – BUT – Nokia could have kept the size and made their screen just a bit bigger. Oh – the email clients are lacking in the maemo listing – With the screen size of the N800 it is hard to do meaningful email (of course the onscreen keyboard is impossible to be productive with, and why with the N800 they did not include a free bluetooth keyboard is just plain selfish or silly of them… To do email on the move, one needs something like thunderbird with the following modification to do IMAP and calandar/contact storage up on the IMAP server as well… see:

    […] IMAP is good stuff… This is because not everyone uses webmail – with IMAP, that is available at many hosting/ with email providers (like, and others) why use webmail, when you can use IMAP? But, as I mentioned, would like a slightly bigger screen to do productive email with the N800 or theN810.

    Loved the N800 and cried when I took it back, but like a cookie, it just was not 100% what I wanted for the $400 at the time. And would love Nokia to wake up and build an Nxxx device that makes sense (I got SC cards all over the place with the camera I have, why they changed to smaller that will not take my SD cards is insulting). I like the basic idea behind the keyboard with the N810, but the rest of the changes, and where they left out some wonderful aspects of the n800, leaves me wondering about what the heck the group engineering/marketing decision process is doing at Nokia. AND I just read on another blog that the N810 would not work but with only Nokia blue tooth phone? I don’t know if this is true, or only true of that AT&T phone?

    I can’t wait for Nokia to wake up, and I will buy a Nxxx unit, and keep it vs bringing em back to the store for my money back. N810 seemed focused on GPS (that I never would need) and their purchases of IP around the GPS concept, really is the only reason why the N810 is so much more expensive vs the N800’s current reality price of $228.99… The N810 (a version without bluetooth that retained many good features of the N800) should cost only $399.00 tops – heck for that I can get an Eee PC (but might not as ASUS has been taking out the miniPCIe slot in the newer ones that are showing up these days). see:

    What are these ASUS and Nokia engineers thinking? Would love to own both Eee PC with miniPCIe) and likable N810 (with improvements and no GPS), both and have them be able to sych with each other and use each other’s power charger, etc. Oh – one more beef – why not havethe ability to use AAA or AA 15 minute rechargable batteries in these portable units (I love being able to have to wait only 15 minutes to recharge my AA 15 minute recharg batteries for my camera… and with the Auto adapter, all I need is the charger with me, and I am good to go. With proprietary batteries like the EeePC and the N810, you gotta buy VERY expensive extra batteries and carry around all this crap… this totally defeats the wonders of being mobile. One battery, one set of charging cables for all mobile devices (including phone) and a Eee PC and an N8xx (if both made sense), and yep – then EVERYONE would be really good to go.

  3. I know I wouldn’t use that keyboard for anything except web address tapping and very very brief messages. And since the Maemo devices are really bad at integrating into an office environment, they’d both be pretty useless to me as day-to-day devices.

    Windows mobile may not be that great, but it is at least a super-useful corporate communicator when you have a company with Exchange Activesync enabled – and works very nicely as a toy, too. The Nokia devices are mostly toys, besides the great surfing capabilities.

  4. @anonymous
    I’m suprised at the length of your post since most of your ideas are ridiculous and you spend sentence after sentence rambling about how nokia should kill features that *you* don’t use so that they could release something that would really be only a very small incremental improvement over the existing n800 platform.

    the reality of the situation is that it wouldn’t be worth Nokia’s time/money to do such a redesign of their existing n800 platform to only sell it at the existing price point.

    Clearly features like the slide out keyboard and gps are attractive to a much larger segment of their user base than you think. Take a peek over at internettablettalk forums and you will see that gps and the keyboard are the primary reason most people there upgraded from n800s and those who didn’t want those features just stayed with the n800 and aren’t complaining about it because the n800 is already a device that works great for what it is.

    Your complaint about the usb port I find particularly wierd as the microusb a/b port is a HUGE improvement over the n800’s miniusb A port. It allows full usb OTG support and autoswitching between device and host modes to match the cable/device to which you’ve plugged into; good luck doing that on an n800. The move to the smaller formfactor sdhc cards is also an improvement in that nearly all current mobile devices have standardized on these smaller cards AND by using a smaller card you can always use a cheap adaptor to use the same micro sdhc card in minisd/hc and standard sd/hc devices; heck most microsd cards even come with the full range of adaptors in the package for no additional cost.

    Above all I’m confused why you would bother to write such a long complaint… If the device isn’t what you want, maybe you should buy something else and spend all your energy ranting about why you like the device you bought.

  5. I am not impressed by N810’s built-in keyboard(useful but not much to those who prefer to use BT keyboard anyway) or the GPS receiver(not much useful without a service, and I don’t see many location-aware apps in the near future for Maemo platform) either, so I stuck with my N800 and recommend the same for all my friends who have similar requirements. Good news is that both OS2008 and the next update are/will be available for both N810 and N800. I am eagerly waiting to see how differently the USB port of N810 will be put to use.

    @Anonymous: How can you expect a new device, with improvements that you may like or not, be released at the price of a 2 year old device that itself originally sold for $400? I am sure N810 will also sell for $250 by the time its next version is released.

    @tnkgrl: why is leaving an email in a comment so important? I hate the current practice of forcing a name and an email to be entered to be able to post a comment. Anybody can post a fake name and email, and it definitely doesn’t help prevent spam, so its usefulness completely escapes me. It’s just a nuisance.

  6. > Why do you say that you won’t review the tablets because the tablets were already reviewed elsewhere (I do not believe there was a full and deep review of N810 yet) and then you post a comparison
    > that was published many many times (For example on nokia itself)?

    I’ll probably review the N810 in more detail once I’ve used it longer… The N800 was on loan from Nokia for only 2 weeks (and is gone now), so I wanted to post a comparison with the N810 while it was still fresh in my mind!

  7. @Christian

    I’m not sure what relevance that has on the discussion. It is about a year old and what it does it does well, still seems wierd that A. Nonymous is apparently pining for a minor upgrade to the n800 without any price increase which seems downright silly to me. As I said in my earlier post the n800 is good at what it does. I suspect that nokia will release another keypad-less inet tablet in the next year or so, but I really doubt they are going to blow them out at 250USD each and be able to stay in business for very long. Those who want newer more featureful devices will always be paying a premium for the new gear and those who want to buy at a steep discount will always be buying a downrev product, that is just the way it works with luxury items which nearly all personal electronics are…

  8. My N810 came with an uninstalled FM radio application. So I followed the instructions to install. However, no sound comes out even after attaching the earphones to act as an antenna.

    Has anyone succeeded to awaken the FM Radio or is it that Nokia made an error in pre-loading the FM radio widget?

  9. [To the poster: Please don’t insult me and suggest I run Outlook in Windows – I run Thunderbird in OS X and Gmail on Firefox in various OSs! Your next comment will be deleted and marked as spam – I’m keeping this comment as a testament to the flaws in your argument… You’re behaving like a troll – if you want to continue this discussion, please take it somewhere else, like on your own blog. Thanks :) – tnkgrl]

    tnkgrl – feel free to delete what offends you… sorry no email triggers your emotions.
    logic needs no face, and no ID. I don’t know if you got Outlook running with a trojan on your system that harvests all your email addresses that you put into it… so, I opt out.

    Read between the lines on the N810 pricing.
    $180 cost for XO OLPC -buy one get one for $400, get $200 tax donation tax benefit & 1 yr T-mobile internet as part of the deal… – see:
    “For all U.S. donors who participate in the Give One Get One program, T-Mobile is offering one year of complimentary HotSpot access”
    …and consider
    $299 2G surf, $349 4G Surf, $399 4G, $540 for 8G… for Eee PC
    and then get hit in the head by a wallet smacking cluebat when you face
    …what price for the n810?
    ..and then the n800 is what price now at $228.99 (and it sold for $399 out of the gate, at retail, so it looks like big markup I would say for Nokia).
    The N810 is priced at what? $438.00 – Hmmm? Feature for feature? Compare!
    Most of these devices are built for cheaper than you and I can imagine. U NO where!
    Nokia is competing with Eee PC, OLPC, and other mobile device customer dollars!
    I hope the take the feed back, and the fact that the n800 was a slow sell, as a reason to rethink their price point and product position.

    Then think back to the OLPC that has a total production cost of $180 and what technology is there (5 Hrs battery, e-book reader battery life of around 20 hours, $10 replacement battery, can charge AND RUN it off of a small solar panel, it has Mesh Networking, has and SD card slot, etc. Price of n810 at is $439.00 today?

    The comment that you all complain about is, I agree maybe too long, and maybe just too honesty, and a bit of brainstorming mixed in… If Nokia reads this, then if you/they it is a blur when you blog comments as to who is working for Nokia or not… anyway if you applied the logic of bell curves and a population study of users, well my bet is that my opinions and desires are shared by many many many others. I just voice them, and get slapped for writing it here???? It is a known fact that the n800 did not sell that well (per every retail store I visited that was selling them), and the fact that Nokia did not have an answer for JAVA needs at the roll out of the N8xx devices, and the fact that it seems that Nokia counts the n810 as #2 of a 5 step story, … and that the 770 users are not going to be supported, and that the n800 is really going to be dropped (does that mean not supported too)… = Yes, I said I loved my n800, but I beta tested many products, that in my mind just come up short, or miss my needs. I don’t need the GPS (and I am not alone), many already have a GPS device THAT THEY WILL GET FREE WITH THEIR CAR. I live in an area where GPS services are worthless, It just seems that Nokia could have had one price $299.00 for the N810 (no GPS) and then $399 for the N810G (that would have the GPS). I would buy the n810 with no GPS, but have no need for GPS and so why pay for that feature (I read the trades and I know that Nokia spent a pile of money buying a company for the GPS maping etc, and so this is why maybe that the GPS model is MORE expensive. So, why not do a unit with no GPS and price it to sell, vs pricing it to sit on a retail shelf and not sell (because of the fact that MANY THESE DAYS ARE GETTING GPS already BUILT INTO A CAR, so they think… I don’t need this thing. Where, if it had no GPS, they might like the N800 with a keyboard and the other wonderful features that the N800 had and breed it to the N810 idea, and my bet is that it would sell better than the N810 with the GPS (that I don’t need and so will not buy).

    I am truly sorry if I upset anyone! I just hope that marketing and engineering at Nokia would get some more time off from work to see what is happening in the market around them… and to decide that they want to compete more in a more aggressive way.

    PS – tnkgrl… would love to see what you could do with a bit of solder and an SSD, and some extra RAM, to a OLPC XO… now that would be a good article.

  10. Again you drop a long reply that could easily have been said in fewer words…

    If you like all these “competing” products so much, i don’t see why you don’t just buy an OLPC or eee, seems like you are trolling by even posting… At any rate, the n810 is clearly meant to be a “halo” product and it’s introductory price certainly does have a big margin built in. But, as I said before, that is the cost of being an early adopter. You want an n810 for 250-300 bucks? Wait 12-18 months. The OLPC doesn’t exactly fit into the same pricing model because (big clue check here) it isn’t being manufactured with the intention of generating a profitable bottom line nor is it coming from a company with other products which need to have support, manufacturing, distribution, etc to worry about. The eee IMHO doesn’t seem to pack much value into it’s 400 dollar price tag, the larger screen is the same res as the n810, no bluetooth, no gps, not pocket sized, and not made by a company with any sort of reputation for quality consumer electronics.

    As for GPS already being a feature available in cars, I think you must have a split personality or something, niggling over a 100 bucks for a internet tablet then suggesting that a (in many cases) 1k+ dollar option available only in vehicles made in the last few years is somehow a substitute for gps in a mobile device that goes in my pocket. Also, since you “read the trades” I’d think you’d be pretty well aware that geo-location-aware devices and applications are quickly becoming the “must have” feature in mobile computing. In the next 12 months I think you’ll see that all the major handset and mobile device manufacturers integrate this function in direct contradiction to your weird anti-gps slant.

    In conclusion, I think you are crazy and if you truly believe that company selling a device for a profit is some sort of scam then you are stupid too… Clearly profit is what motivates business, it isn’t a conspiracy it is right in their mission statement.

  11. Hi

    I’m trying to connect my N810 to the Internet via my Sony Ericsson W810i, but no luck. It works with HTC and an Nokia E61i, but not the Sony! How did you get your Sony working? Any tips?

  12. N810 fan, I found the same thing.

    Spent 30 min in my local Nokia shop today trying to connect a demo N810 and an unboxed N810 to the net via bluetooth on my Sony Ericsson K810. I’ve had no problems doing the same for an old Ipaq, but no luck with the N810.

    Both devices see each other and connect, then I get a message on my phone “device N810 wants to use this phone as a remote, proceed?” and that’s my only option. If I say yes, I can use the keypad on my K810 to control the N810. Fun, but no substitute for the internet. None of the people in the shop were able to help either…

    Any suggestions? I like the device, and I’m sure there must be a simple solution…

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