iPod Touch comparison to Nokia N800?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by docprego, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. docprego macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Has anyone had both of these devices? I am stuck deciding between them.

    Nokia N800 advantages over the touch:
    -2 SD slots
    -Stereo speakers
    -Built in stand
    -Open source (free apps)
    -Great battery life (though iPod Touch might be too-I am unsure)

    iPod Touch advantages over the N800
    -Interface (multitouch)
    -Media playback is slicker (it's an iPod!)
    -Availability of accessories
    -iTunes integration
    -OS X integration
    -It's an Apple (important to me)

    Anything else? What is your take on these 2 devices?
  2. LiveForever macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    If you want an honest opinion and your'e not just a Nokia marketing person here are my thoughts after I took a look at the Nokia site.

    1) The casing industrial design is horrible. The screen is surrounded by that awful silver grill. I love the touch and iphones almost seamless display
    2) The user interface looks nasty. You use a stylus and then tap scroll bars and some applications can be used with fingers. Too confusing in short. Is not multi touch.
    3) The GUI, icons, graphics and general screen presentation looks amateur compared to the beautiful apple designs.
    4) Based on my previous and current experience with a NOKIA the software will be buggy and non intuitive. Remember apple are a software company too, NOKIA is really a hardware company. (a nokia 6280 is my current phone which I desperately want to replace when the iphone comes to OZ and I'm on my third after the software keeps crashing. Its still not right but I have given up complaining.)
    5) I really don't think you could use it with their arch rivals itunes.
    6) Apples SDK promises lots of useful apps for the touch. I can't see peopel writing stuff for this. This will set touch an iphone free.
    7) Its a me too product which is not really me too. Nokia are playing catch up and aren't really innovating. They are coming across as desperate. Even the Nokia website has demos of its features which exclude the nasty metal surround to make it look like its a touch. Its obvious Nokia's marketeers have tried to ape apple in their marketing material.

    1)It can be used with SKYPE- this I like and I wish apple wouldn't cripple its products to force us in the way it wants us to go. Nokia seem more open to letting US do what we want with their products. However I gather a skype app will be released with the SDK which will include a mic accessory.

    All in all it doesn't come close the the Ipod touch or iphone. A nice attempt but I suspect apples patents will lock out any decent competition for years. Yes they will have touch screen but all I have seen so far including this Nokia are in the stone age compared to multi touch.

    For me multitouch is so so superior that I would give up features just to have this.
  3. Heather1 macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2008

    Ipod touch :

  4. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    I bet if you strapped a rocket to a shopping cart, it'd outperform a BMW. You could fill it with all kinds of things you can't get in a BMW, like watermelon, or skiis.

    But it'd still be a shopping cart with a rocket strapped to it.
  5. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I am not a NOKIA marketing person, in fact I am an avid voracious supporter and consumer of Apple products.

    Comments on your against list above:

    1-I disagree on your assessment of the case design being horrible, I like it a lot. I am a fan of silver gadgets.

    2-While I agree that multitouch is much better the Nokia interface is far from nasty as you put it.

    4-Nokia is now in their 3rd generation of these internet tablets, their software is not buggy at all.

    6-There is a very active community developing for this device, take a look: http://maemo.org/downloads/OS2008
  6. godisjustpreten macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    I owned an n800 for a week before returning it and buying a Touch.

    I was looking for a device to browse the web and watch video. The Touch's web experience is *so* much better than the n800. People talk about the n800's support for Flash, or its higher resolution, but try one and you will immediately see that the Touch is faster, easier to read, and just more practical. The n800 = headaches and *tons* of zooming in and out via poorly-placed hardware buttons or awful menu.
    As for video - sure the n800 supports more formats, but seriously - just try to convert video to play on this thing.

    The only 2 things the n800 has over the Touch is:
    - removable battery
    - sd slots

    I think the most surprising thing about the n800 is the rabid following it has. I was hesitant to get a Touch because I thought the Touch was just some damn Apple fan-boy toy. I was wrong.
  7. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    I have both. The Touch is easier to use for surfing the net and listening to the web. The interface is better. Overall, the n800 can do more. It has more features and expandability. Bluetooth, SD slots, microphone. The Touch is much more convenient to carry around.
  8. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    I spent a lot of time recently looking at these two devices as frankly I'm interested in a tablet like device. You seem to have missed the important negatives for both platforms. Frankly I think it is important to concentrate on the negatives instead of the positives so that you won't come up short. So here goes:

    The Nokia N800:
    1. The unit is slower, no way to get around that.
    2. The unit can not handle full screen video well as there is a well known bandwidth problem in the video circuity. A big issue if viewing video at full screen resolution was on you mind.
    3. The amount of built in Flash simply sucks and no the flash card support doesn't count. Of the two (N800 and N810) though the N800 wins hands down. On the N810 Nokia really blew it to the point that it isn't a viable device for many.
    4. The open source software can be clunky at times but not horribly so. Most apps need work as far as touch usability is concerned.
    5. No charging via USB. This one really makes me wonder what the hell Nokia was thinking.

    The Ipod Touch:
    1. No Bluetooth. This is really huge in my mind as it severely limits apps that one could implement.
    2. No standard USB port for charging or anything else.
    3. No Flash card option.
    4. Locked access to the device. Yes it can be broken but what is Apple's justification in the first place. They can't play the security trump card here as ti isn't cell network connected.
    5. At this time no body knows where the SDK will move the platform with respect to openness and application support. This is a big issue if you are expecting app support.
    6. Low resolution screen.
    7. No direct access to the file system via a "Finder" or any other method. In fact this thing could hardly be called a computer as many things are very difficult to do. For example how would you go about organizing a collection of PDF's and HTML documents and access them in the wild? This makes a whole class of usages very difficult.
    8. No audio in! Really would it have been so much of a problem for them to implement the same mini plug as the iPhone so that Audio in could have been had. No mic built in either which means no voice messaging of VoIP easily.

    Those are the things that come to mind that one has to juggle when making a decision to buy. I will put a few mare comments in line below to address your perceptions.
    As noted I've looked at both for some time. As the units are currently though I have to dismiss the Nokia's and unfortunately the current Touches too.
    One is a primary SD slot which won't be easy to swap. If you do go the N800 route you must get the largest cards possible. This is an additional expense on top of the buy in price of the N800. So the n800 really costs you the price of the N800 plus at least one large capacity SD card. You need to account for this because even thought the N800 is discounted heavily right now it will automatically need a larger flash card to even remotely compete with the Touch.
    I'm not sure how you can even consider these so called speakers to be a feature.
    Again what is the point as it really isn't a feature worth talking about.
    Possibly the N800 greatest strength. Also a weakness as commercial development seems to be lacking on the platform. To be honest Linux is one of the platforms strongest attractions for me.
    I suspect that the Touch is much better.
    The Nokia is all around a better machine when it comes to I/O. In fact the iPod doesn't even come close.
    Not really as you need to add a high capacity SD flash card almost immediately if you expect to use the machine in a similar manner to the iPod Touch. In fact it might be more expensive.
    Certainly good but I don't see it as a deal breaker.
    Yep. On the other hand Linux supports a wide range of formats that the Touch doesn't. Basically you are locked into a couple of formats on the Touch.
    Well yeah a little better, but then again you can get a Bluetooth GPS module for the N800 today and it has a USB port.
    Good for media downloaded from the iTunes store but also a big limitation. One thing you don't have any more is disk mode access, at least the last I knew you didn't. It is very important for the use of a devices beyond its iPod modes. Being tied to just Itunes access of the device is a huge limitation if used outside the iPod norm.
    I suppose this is important if you are an OS/X user, but frankly it is not as good as it could be.
    Well then why this thread. If you are not objective then what is the point.
    My take is that it is frustrating!!!! Really, at this point I'm hoping either for newer revs of some real competition. In many ways the Touch is very weak competitor, but is does win on the software front with respect to specific applications. These would be the Web and E-mail apps and of course the media apps, but surprisingly over all the software is just OK.

    The N800 however competes well hardware wise and for its software over all. I say well for hardware because some things it just does better like I/O, but it is far from perfect as highlighted above. Being just plain slow isn't good either. Even worst the new N810 didn't really address the hardware issues and in some ways made things a lot worst.

    So it comes down to your needs and your willingness to compromise on specific issues. Frankly I wouldn't buy a Touch right now if I was looking at more than a media device capability. At least not until the SDK clears up what is happening on the platform and hopefully corresponds with new hardware releases. If you just need a media player with E-Mail and Web then it might be viable.

    The N800 is a different beast and frankly you would not want to go this route if your primary need is for a media player. It isn't even marketed as such. In many ways though it is a much more flexible machine which can't be underestimated. Its biggest problem is the overwhelming lack of storage and the additional expense that requires to fix. I do believe though that the N800 for most people is a better option than the N810. Mainly due to the SD card slots. Don't get me wrong I like the N800 but it is a little dated right now and the N810 did not address that.

    Either way you go I suspect that you will be disappointed in a few months with the new stuff that hits the shelfs. I'm not talking just about the new stuff from Apple and Nokia either. There is the coming of ANDROID and OPENMOKO plus a lot of interesting hardware from china if it ever makes it here.

  9. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    I hope you know you can now get an N800 for around $200, so even with the added expense of SD card(s), the N800 would indeed be cheaper.
  10. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I know that there is a bus speed issue but people have encoded video to play full screen successfully. That said I realize it will not be anywhere near as good as the Touch's video playback capabilities.

    I have looked at the Touch screen and the resolution is very nice, why would you consider it low?

    This has already been addressed by at least one thrid party solution and there are more sure to follow.

    All reports indicate that the speakers actually sound remarkably good. They would be very comfortable for listening to net radio or when watching a movie when headphones are not needed.

    I am objective I am simply saying that I like to buy Apple products, it is a consideration when comparing the N800 to the Touch.

    Which by the way I already own one 8GB SDHC card and two 2GB SD cards, so these are not an expense I can attribute to the N800.
  11. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I had an N800 (well two actually, second was a replacement for the first one), and thought it was a great gadget, until it the second one broke too.

    The screen has an amazing resolution and the UI is easy to use (especially if you pair a Bluetooth keyboard with it). However, the multimedia support is pretty poor, and it won't play any movies with a resolution over 200 pixels high (which is a bit of a waste of the high res screen!).

    I also found the music player pretty poor and a bit clunky. Also, I could never get it to play streaming movies - it would just stall after about 8 seconds on any resolution. Orb is theoretically supported by the device but Nokias support recommends you set the bandwidth on Orb to less than 100Kbps (you can imagine what that looks like!).

    The two big plusses the N800 has as a media device are the built in stand and the built in speakers. The speakers really are remarkably good and I frequently used mine to watch movies etc sat on my desk whilst I was working.

    To be honest, they're not really competing devices: The N800 is a very small Linux computer that focuses on the Internet but that can play movies and music after a fashion. It's also a lot bigger than the touch and not nearly as easy to carry around.

    The iPod touch is an iPod with a web browser and other internet capabilities added on.
    If your primary requirement is as a media device, the iPod is the best option. If your primary requirement is as a general purpose pocket computer then get the N800
  12. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    It is so disappointing that the N800 is a poor media playback device. It would seem that if it were at least as good as the iPod at media playback then the N800 would be an outstanding gadget. It is highly confusing though because I read some reports where people say that it plays video great, others say it is awful, who really knows what to believe?

    In my reading i found that Nokia recently released their OS2008 for the N800. Among other improvements this OS increases the processor speed in the device to 400MHz from the previous 320MHz, perhaps this will help to improve video playback? Isn't that a 25% improvement?
  13. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    After having used both, the tablet, in my opinion, is the better choice. Sure the iPod touch and it's interface looks nice, but it's really inefficent in comparison. The N800 has a much better screen, better web browsing, flash support, open source, microphone, speakers, more expandability, bluetooth, faster internet, and a lot more. However, the multimedia interface kinda sucks by default, but I think that Canola (which is free) actually has a better interface than the iPod touch.

    Now I do like the iPod touch, but all it has is looks. Besides that, though, it hasn't got much else besides the iPod branding to keep it competitive.

    If you want the device that's cool today and has the prettier interface, get the iPod touch. If you want the device that has more features (also more stable), get the N800. The tablet is also cheaper (I've seen $219), so you could probably get 2 16GB SDHC cards for the price difference (might be a bit more, but it's 2X the storage).

    Yeah, I don't think that Nokia is playing catch up with Apple with the N800. Remember it was released at CES last year. A week before the iPhone. There wasn't anything to catch up to (with Apple). The internet tablet is it's own class of device. Even Nokia acknowledges that. Go read the blog of the guy that heads Internet tablet development. He will tell you that it's not a UMPC, or a multimedia player, but an internet tablet.

    Sure, the average consumer will ooh and aah at the iPod/iPhone line because they're well known. Personally, I don't find anything beyond the ooh and ahh factor. So what if you don't like the case? It's more functional... Speaker, camera, microphone... I'll take a case (I don't find it ugly) that's not as pretty with more function like that any day of the week.

    If I'm not making sense, this is basically my post in a nutshell:
    Now I prepare to be flamed...
  14. darkblu macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2008
    quite an interesting discussion has formed in this thread, for a mobile computing enthusiast like myself. so i'll throw in my 2 cents of a meta-chant.

    i'm pleasantly surprised of nokia's latest effort in this direction (have not been keeping track of them outside of the symbian front). and gotta say, that maemo platform looks quite promising and might be the best thing that's happened to them lately. what i'm not sure i feel confidence about in their act, though, is that they never seem to follow through to the end with their 'open platforms' pushes. their model has alway been 'here's your device and sdk, feel free to do something with it', which is usually enough to satisfy the enthusiast/oss community. but even though i'm as big a proponent of oss as the next guy, there's one weak point to it -- the lack of a viable 3rd-party software consumer-oriented market. of course it's all just promises as of now, but i'm having my serious hopes that apple may create a viable 3rd-party market with the iph/ipt, just like they've been doing that for generations on the desktop front.

    that said, i'd love to see nokia reach through with their N-series platform beyond the enthusiast market this time around. they just need to solidify their software platform (hopefully maemo does this for them) and step out of the mobile-phones-vendor mindset.
  15. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    The prices I was coming up with for the N800 and a 8GB SD card where really pushing past the iPod price wise. 16 GB SD cards are very hard to find so I didn't even bother. Now I will be the first to admit that aggressive shopping is always beneficial.

    In an event I've sort of made the decision that I won't be buying either right away.


    Sure there has been some success or what people want to call success. Also a few disappointments. The point is this is a negative feature that you have to consider when comparing against other hardware.
    In comparison to the N800 it is. It may be perfectly good for a screen its size but I wasn't arguing about that. Rather that the N800 is better in this aspect.
    Yeah but who really cares about a third party audio input on a tool designed for multimedia. Again it is more a question of how the iPod stacks up against the N800 and its suitability for different uses.
    The question is what is the sense in having Stereo Speakers a few inches apart. You certainly won't be getting the benefits of the two channels. There simply isn't enough separation to generate the sound field properly.
    Well I would argue that it isn't but we wont get far there.

    In any event the problem with these devices is that they each have glaring weak points and stellar positives. This simply means that one device could fit a specific person far better than the other. Your problem is to figure out which one will cause you the least grief. It is not something I can answer for you, all I can do is highlight the individual weaknesses.

  16. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    Believe nokia. Some place, I can't remember where, there is a thread where a nokia engineer comments on this specific issue. While it ma be to specific for this discussion the problem is apparently with the TI processor and its ability to drive a serial port that communicates with the display. Or at least that is how I remember it.

    The problem is that thee are many many variable at work here that impacts how people perceive the video aspect of the device. Also personal standards vary widely. Plus source material varies.
    I do know that the comments have been vary favorable with respect to OS2008. I'm not at all sure how the outstanding hardware issue is handled with the the new OS. Since it is already maxed out sped wise I do not foresee a sales success.
  17. bloodycape macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2005
    Really hard to find? I can easily find purchase one from newegg, amazon, or many other e-tailers. I have also seen them being sold at a few camera shops in Los Angeles. Plus you can get an 16gb sd card for as low as 75usd from Newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010070068+1053325334&name=16GB

    Interesting note, the Nokia devices can run a Palm emulator, which means more software support, organizational stuff and games.
  18. LiveForever macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    Apologies for saying you may be a Nokia marketing person but I know that companies lurk on forums and try and create a buzz about their products.

    OK design is a personal thing but I personally hate the look of that thing especially when compared with iphone/touch. OK very superficial, but to me design is very important. If it wasn't important to apple they would already have a 3G iphone by making it 6mm thicker.
    I love their focus and non comprimising committment to design perfection.

    You say its not buggy but my experience with owning Nokia phones is that they are buggy and crash. I am on my 4th 6280 and am only hanging onto it until I know when the iphones coming here.

    if your read above some one also has had several of these so I'll stand by my comments that they are buggy or fragile ie

    "I had an N800 (well two actually, second was a replacement for the first one), and thought it was a great gadget, until it the second one broke too."

    There may be an avid community for it and good luck to it and them! However as its apparently been out for over a year I have never heard of it so it can't be doing that well
  19. -Dark Angel- macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2007
    N800-big and bulky, definatly won't fit in my pocket. This is what I need in a portable device. Thats why I love the iPod touch. It doesn't matter if one device can play more codecs than the ipod for me, all that matters is if it can play the codes I have my media and play it fine. All my media is MP3, AAC and h.264 so the iPod fits me perfectly since it easily manages my media with iTunes. Do I care if it plays OGG or FLAC, not really because I don't use that. Besides, all my accessories are for iPod, my home stereo dock and in car dock. So yeah, I guess I'm stuck with iPod for life.
  20. ArchiMark macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    FWIW, I had a N800 last year when it first came out....was nice device, but found myself asking why did I need it after about 2 weeks. Especially, in my case as I don't have convenient WiFi access during the day...

    Bought the iPod Touch 16GB in December and really like it alot...although a big part of that has to do with the fact that I jailbroke it right after getting it.... ;)

    Have many apps on the Touch and it's just a real pleasure to use...

    As for the comparison between the N800 and Touch, I feel like the others that have said that they're really very different devices so somewhat unfair to compare them, but they do have some similiarities....
  21. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    But the Touch is a WiFi only device???
    But on the N8** series you can freely install the software of your choice. Even write your own using more than one development environment.
    OK what makes is such a pleasure to use? This would really help the fence post sitters.
    Maybe so but it does look like the Touch will be encroaching on the N series more than the N series will take on some of Touches market. In either case this fence sitter is very much waiting on next gen devices. What it comes down to is that I would love to see each unit adopt some of the features of the other. Sort of like putting the two of them into a press a Squishing out an operable device.

  22. ArchiMark macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Umm...yes, you're right!!.... :rolleyes:

    Umm...yes, you're right!!.... :rolleyes:

    I think it's the simple, elegant, direct interface design that is the hallmark of Apple products (at least most of them...)... but maybe that's because I come from a 'design background' so I'm very sensitive (or just a sucker...) to these things..

    In the end, to each his own....as I said before I think the N800 IS a very nice device and of course so is the Touch...just meant that to me they're different animals...so in that sense I'm not sure that I can say that one's better than the other, just different and for somewhat different purposes....

  23. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    While I agree with this statement for the most part, in the end they end up being direct competitors and serve the same purposes. They are the only devices on the market that offer the Web in a USABLE mobile form. Plus they both can run applications and play back media. Ultimately they are very similar.
  24. wizard macrumors 68040

    May 29, 2003
    See I don't see them that way, mainly because Nokia doesn't stress the media capability of its device. That combined with the lack of Flash makes for a huge difference in my mind.

    What I meant earlier about Touch encroaching onto N series territory is that it doesn't take much in the way of software to get the sorts of applications the N series has onto the Touch. What will define the touch and its follow ons, is the SDK and what it exposes to the user. The Touch can't easily do some of the things that the N series can simply because of Apples control. If that is reduced somewhat the Touch becomes a very interesting machine for running the odd application or two.

  25. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Still the Touch in its current form will always lack a lot of the hardware features that the N800 has.

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