Slamming the Nokia 770 one more time

It's no secret I despise the Nokia 770. That's why I didn't rush right out earlier this year and spend another $400 on the N800, just 10 months after I'd spent my initial $380 on the 770, and after countless hours working with the 770 and complaining about what was wrong. Hey. Everybody needs a hobby, right?

Well, in perusing the LinuxDevices site I came across an article detailing how the 770 had dropped down to $140 on and Sure enough, I went looking on and found it for $139 brand new and still in the box. I thought it was cheap enough to get a spare. But when I chatted with my friend Matt about buying a spare, he asked "Why?" Even Matt, who owns one and is more hard-core geek than I am about these things, smiled and said it wasn't worth the money, even at that low price. Matt's advice was like divine guidance, and because of Matt I'm $140 dollars richer. Bless you, Matt.

Of interest to me were the snarky comments about the N800 in the LinuxDevices article:
On the upside, the 770 bests the newer N800 in power management and ruggedness, thanks to a hardware slide-on cover that uses a magnetic switch to induce sleep (with or without WiFi keep-alive) much more reliably than the N800's four flaky software suspend options and fabric bag. To boot, the 770 has a spare, elegant, angular industrial design that some might prefer to the N800's slightly puffy 60's retro look.
I haven't seen nearly the same hysterical interest in the N800 I saw for the earlier 770. Certainly nothing like the full-page picture treatment on the front of Linux Journal that the 770 garnered. Could it be all the negative reviews the 770 generated from the regular tech press, reviews that I failed to pay attention to? If nothing else it can be said what I paid for the 770 was a course on how to really, really, really pay attention to the reviewers when shopping for expensive tech gear.

One other important lesson I learned is that Linux shouldn't be used as a cover for all sins. Just because it's got Linux running on it doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

For those who feel that the 770/N800 is better than the Apple iPhone, you can go back and re-read "10 Ways The Nokia N800 Is Better Than Apple’s iPhone." Published in January 2007, six months before the official release of the iPhone this past Friday, it attempted to show why the N800 was superior to the as-yet-unreleased iPhone. I blogged at the same time why I thought the N800 was crap compared to the iPhone. I didn't number mine, but I did split the comparison into two separate but cross-correlated lists.

What I found interesting about the "10 Ways" was the trumpeting of the N800's video playback. There were already videos on YouTube, for example, that showed how poor video playback was on the N800. "10 Ways" commented on all the wonderful formats you could play back. Big deal. Poor playback is poor playback. Apple understands all about the user experience. They're going to make sure that video playback, limited in format though it may be, is going to be as good as, if not better, than what you currently find on PCs as well as the video version of their iPod.

The only point I agree with is that you don't have to get a Cingular (now AT&T) contract to use the phone part. All the other points are poorly made, and with the iPhone in release, my January post is turning out to be more relevant than "10 Ways".

Bottom line: The Nokia N800 suffers from terminal lameness compared to the Apple iPhone. Unless you're a hard-core Linux fanatic.


  1. I'm posting here rather than your previous rants on the 770. I found your blog because it returns highly for the google search "nokia 770 sleep".
    Seriously, give the little guy a break. I care about a handheald's ability to handle docs and spreadsheets about as much as I care about a Porche's towing capacity. It's an Internet thin client. Not all the AJAX stuff works (blame Opera, not Linux), but it's not bad. I've done online banking on it already My biggest gripe is that it has a SF-MMC or whatever they call it rather than a more standard port.

  2. The 770 is a great device in a sense that Nokia allows you to do practically anything you want with it. I've seen these things used successfully for everything from hotspot surfing, to reference manuals for doctors in a clinic. It is a very versatile device, and comparing it to an iphone makes no sense, why not compare it to a Toughbook - devices are meant to serve completely different purposes.

  3. I bought a discounted 770 and I'm delighted. I use it as a smart remote for a Squeezebox, a task it does superbly.



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