Today’s smartphones are inching ever closer to delivering true PC-like functionality. Features like web browsing, email, document viewing and editing have become things that we take for granted on our smart mobile phones.
One feature that simply makes one re-examine the term “mobile computing” is the ability to plug in external USB storage to access, view, copy, delete and even edit files on such storage media. Well, the future is here. Now, your smartphone can replace your PC. Well, that is if you use a Nokia N8.
The USB-on-thee-go feature on the Nokia N8 supports a number of hardware items – flash drive, keyboard, mouse and some external HDDs. I don’t have a USB keyboard available, so I didn’t get to try that out. As for the others, my reports are below.
2GB USB Flash Drive
I plugged in the USb adapter and then my 2GB flash drive. The N8 promptly (and I mean promptly) opened the built-in file manager – and there was my flash drive (that’s the drive labelled “Yomi 230408” in the screenshots).
Here’s what I got:
The N8 simply replied, “Connect USB cable to the device”. It didn’t recognise it. Of course, Nokia had said that it wouldn’t work with external disks that require electric power above certain levels, so no problem.
Will this thing really work with a USB mouse? Watch the video below to find out:
For the kicks, I plugged in the iPhone 3GS. yes; cheeky me.
Sorry, but the USB icon on the N8 just kept flashing. No error. No connectivity.
USB-on-the-go on the N8 delivers exactly as Nokia said it would – and then some. It works without issues with the flash drive that I tested, it works with a USB mouse, and I have read reviews that say it works with a USB keyboard too.
The interesting thing is that the N8’s 680 MHz processor handled it all smoothly (and I will come to the device’s performance in another part of my series on the N8). Just like the cameraphone war is not always about the megapixels, apparently, the CPU war is not also always about the GHzs.
Now, I can carry my PC along with me everywhere I go. Got a file on a flash drive that you want to give to me? No problem; my mobile computer – the Nokia N8 – is up to the task.
There are those who want to define how much closer to PCs smartphones are by other yardsticks, but functionality is still the primary factor in measuring it. The USB-on-the-go functionality makes devices like the Nokia N900 and more especially the Nokia N8 closer to PC functionality than any other smartphone on the market. This is simply years ahead of others. Simple.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.