Ok, so recently at some of the more nefarious web sites a link was posted to the Asian & Pacific (APAC) as well as the Europe and Middle East (EMEA) firmwares as well as links to the tools one can use at home to flash a Nokia N80 phone to the newer N80ie (Internet Edition) phone.
As some of you know from my Nokia N80 mini-review, I have an N80.
Well, a few days ago I took the plunge and risked bricking my phone to re-flash it to the N80ie APAC firmware.
It worked like a charm. Now, don't even bother asking me for any links or for any information at all on how to do it. If you were smart enough to do it you could easily find those files on your own. And trust me, if the least little thing goes wrong during the process, you've bricked your phone. I was lucky (read: paranoid) in that I made sure the phone was securely connected to the XP Pro laptop and never touched it.
But now to the more important question: how does N80ie compare to the N80?
It stomps it into the ground for one thing and one thing only: true VoIP capability. I'm currently using Gizmo and Truphone (beta) for almost ALL my phone calls to the U.S. and Germany now. I've sat on a terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf sipping on Starbuck's coffee while talking to friends back in the U.S. via the local wi-fi hotspot and the call clarity via TruPhone and Gizmo was almost crystal clear. And the networks over here don't even come close to anything resembling "quality" at all (damn you, qualitynet.com!).
If you're going to get a Nokia N80, make damn sure it's the N80ie, the "Internet Edition" one.
Really, the only difference is the true VoIP capability and the WAP browser has been integrated into the real Safari browser. But it does make all the difference for those of us who travel quite extensively and want one phone number to ru---err, use from home.
EDIT: Just setup Voipcheap.com on the phone. Setting up a VoIP provider is pretty damn easy on this thing.