The Nokia N81 8GB has been reviewed to death and I think it's an okay device by itself, but the special edition kit with the Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones
set it off very nicely. Oh, and the packaging of it all was quite cool also. I'll quickly go over my thoughts about the N81 8GB, but it's the Bose Headphones that will get the best of this review.N81 8GB
A very sleek Nokia phone with a great music experience and a pretty fun gaming experience, the N81 8GB has what it takes to kick out a nice amount of tunes and even some N-Gage gaming action the way it was meant to be. The slider is solid, and feels even sturdier than the N95-3. However, the plastic back cover felt a bit cheap and made some creaking noises that annoyed me to no end (thank goodness for those noise canceling Bose headphones).
The battery life was pretty good, the Navi Wheel function of the direction pad was fun to play with, but I never saw myself wanting to use it much at all. The camera was sub par and I was disgusted with the image quality I got with it. The wifi and EDGE only connection is enough to browse the web in comfort, and the built-in speakers were excellent. I loved that the screen was flush with the rest of the face of the device, unlike my N95-3 which has that traditional beveled frame for the screen. Scratches may be an issue for the N81 in the long run with a screen like that though.
The button placement has to be one of the worst I've seen to date. It looks as if the designers couldn't decide where to put the music keys so they opted to cram them all at the bottom of the screen with the other keys and hope no one would notice how retarded it actually was to use. Come on Nokia, 16 freaking buttons in an area the size of two stamps is ridiculous! Crowded is not the word for this monstrosity. This should have been a dual slider like the N95, period.
Finally, the last things I dislike about the N81 8GB is that there's no way to expand the storage capacity past the built-in 8GB and no TV-out functionality. For a device that will be primarily a mobile music and gaming machine and more, 8GB is laughable. For a $400+ Nokia phone I expected more than what the N81 has to offer. The styling and durability is spot on, button placement is all wrong, and the expandability is off by a mile. This phone had potential to be so much more than what it is. I hope Nokia can fix it or bring the best parts to future phones.Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones
These things are simply awesome! They make up for quite a bit of what's lacking in the N81 8GB for sure. I've never heard a more clear sound of music come from headphones in my life. There's really not much I can say about headphones, but I know I have to get a pair of these when I get some extra cash. They feel great over my ears, have all the adapters needed for travel, and of course the noise canceling feature is top notch. Simply put, these headphones make the difference in any music listening experience. Bravo Bose, Bravo.