Nokia N81 8GB: The “Sexy” Navi Wheel?
The next part of the Nokia N81 I’m going to talk about is the Navi Wheel. It has some good and bad points, which I will get into.
Disclaimer: Yes, I work for Nokia, but these are my opinions, not theirs. They don’t pay me to write about phones.
The Navi Wheel is over the square directional pad. Instead of pushing down on the directional pad, you run your finger over it. While I’ve ever owned any iPod other than a 2nd gen iPod Shuffle, I imagine it’s similar to the scroll wheel on a regular iPod.
The Navi Wheel only works in a couple of applications: the image gallery and the music player. You can use the Navi Wheel in pretty much any place in the music player except on the “Now Playing” screen. In the image gallery, you can kind of mimic the “finger-flicking” that you can do on an iPhone when browsing pictures in the gallery.
I’m a bit disappointed that all of the included applications did not make use of the Navi Wheel. The web browser would have been a great place for the Navi Wheel in terms of page scrolling. The same could be done in the messaging application.
The Navi Wheel does take some getting used to. Sometimes, it seems way too sensitive, others not sensitive enough. Perhaps I haven’t discovered the “sweet spot” yet.
It seems like a cool concept with a lot of promise, but I can’t help but think the Navi Wheel wasn’t entirely thought out. Certainly most of these things could be fixed in future firmware updates–for the record I’m using 10.0.053.
Maybe they need to do what they did for the accelerometer in the Nokia N95: release some APIs and see what cool stuff people come up with.