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Nokia N95

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Nokia N95 Camera Phone Review

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To begin I'll confess that I'm not a big fan of Nokia handsets and that I reside in the Sony Ericsson fan camp. That being said, I was interested to know whether the N95 would live up to the advertising slogan "It's what computers have become".

I can honestly say I'm impressed. This is a very nice handset.

The N95 is a decent size, a little chunkier than the SE K800i, but slimmer than the N80. It doesn't seem as heavy as the N80, so you don't feel like you're carrying a heavy phone around. It's small and light enough to sit in a pocket without really being noticed.

The build quality of the N95 is impressive. The camera lens cover has a tidy little slider, which is unlikely to catch on anything in your pocket or bag and leave you with pictures of your unmentionables. The back of the handset is a rubber-like case matt finished in purple, whilst the front is a tidy silver metallic finish. It's a very stylish and smart looking handset, not too flashy but neat and smooth.

The N95 also has a double directional slide, which is a clever design feature. Sliding one way reveals the keypad for phoning/texting, but sliding the opposite direction reveals the operational buttons for the MP3 player and rotates the screen.

The screen rotation makes web browsing a much more pleasant experience, as the page layout is largely unaffected by viewing from a mobile device, unlike some mobile phone browsers that make a mess of the page you are viewing. Nokia, in my opinion, are to be applauded for the browser on this phone. If you are scrolling down or across a large page, a small location window appears showing whereabouts on the page you are and enabling you to quickly scroll to your required location. Also, if you press "back" it shows a preview of all the pages you have accessed and allows a choice of page selection, rather than going back one page at a time.

The one thing to watch out for though, is that the browser doesn't compress the file sizes very much and does allow full website browsing over wap browsing. If you have a limited data tariff, the N95's browser will eat through your allowance quite quickly. On the positive side, the N95 does have wireless LAN capabilities, so if you have access to a wi-fi network, data usage limits won't spoil your browsing.

Another potential data eater is the emailing of pictures. Sony Ericsson users will be familiar with the phone asking whether it should re-size an image prior to sending via mms or email, not so with the N95. It will attach the image at its original size, so for moblogging direct from your phone it could prove costly.

Lurking in the wings is the third potential data disaster, GPS. It's a great idea to have it on a phone, for hiking, or car journeys and according to the book landmarks, city views and route planning are all available. However, I couldn't get the GPS to work at all and I've heard mixed reports about it.

The inclusion of quick office is a nice touch, allowing you to view .doc, .xls, .ppt and .txt files, but there is no support for Apple Mac users.

Playing music on the N95 is surprisingly good. The speakers are capable of blasting out noise without distortion at a greater volume than I'm ever likely to use on a phone. The music player supports the following file types: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC, WMA, M4A with players and equalizer.

So what about the camera? Well yes, it's a 5 mega pixel camera; yes it has a Carl Zeiss lens, but is it really any better than the SE K800i? Personally I don't think there's much in it. The N95 is a good camera with little shutter delay, roughly a second, which makes it ok for moving subjects. It offers the usual settings prior to taking a picture, the macro whilst a bit "hit and miss", seems for the most part to work well and the images aren't too grainy. The one really impressive feature of the camera, is the quality of image when using the zoom function. Even at the maximum, the image quality is still very good. Overall though, I don't think that the images it produces are a significant amount better, if at all, than the SE K800i.

A bit like an old Volvo, it is slow to get going too, taking roughly 14-15 seconds from start up to saving an image. The image editing software is also quite basic, and feels like an afterthought, rather than an integral part.

"A bit slow" is something that could be said about most applications on the N95, nothing loads very quickly and at times you do find yourself wondering whether it has frozen. Once an application has loaded it generally works well, it's just the waiting for it to load that can take a while.

The N95 has 160MB internal memory and mine also came with a 512MB microSD card. Once again, memory card size changes mean the purchase of new ones will probably be required as I don't think my card was a standard part of the deal.

The menu system is the standard Nokia style which is fairly simple and straightforward. There are shortcuts on the main screen to what Nokia have considered likely to be the most commonly used applications, so for the most part I've barely used the menu system at all.

There's an RSS feed to help keep you up to date with the latest moblogUK posts, the facility to set up POP3 and IMAP4 mailboxes, synchronising with your PC is easy and the Nokia PC suite is as ever, a very user friendly, good piece of software.

The N95 also comes with a set of leads, which allows you to plug your phone directly into your TV for viewing pictures and video recordings. I wonder if that means you could play MP3s or videos you've downloaded?

While all these functions are great, the phone is stylish and good enough to make me seriously consider a Nokia again after a few years of "no way", the one thing that really lets it down is the battery life, or rather the lack thereof. It's poor, better than the N80, but poor. If given moderate to fair use during the working day, it will require charging every evening.

So to finish by returning to the start, is the N95 "what computers have become"? The answer in my opinion is, not quite, but not far off.
17th May 2007, 15:21  

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540air says:

Just had a thought. Can you imagine how good this phone would be if it were available on 3's x-series?

14th Jun 2007, 22:50

Bewise (bewisebets-at-gmail-dot-som) says:

A good phone and one that has certainly pushed the boundries, although battery lif is quite poor, you'll be lucky to get more that a day out of it if your using all its features. You can get it free on a 12 month deal now though.

30th Oct 2007, 19:21

Ron says:

You may use Wavelog mobile blogging client to post text, sound, photos and videos to your blog directly from N95! www.telewaving.com

15th Jan 2008, 10:34

jazzblu(bin-dot-hro-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

The nokia N95 just rocks, but you may need more memory to store those mobile downloads, I found this website www.directsaleschat.co.uk/memory/rs_mmc_or_mmc_mobile-130.html that gives you just that,1GB MMC Mobile Memory Card RS DV MMC Dual Voltage for under 5 pounds!!. Check it out.

26th Jan 2008, 19:24

seaneeboy says:

Interesting stuff - I'm due an upgrade but think I'll wait a month or two till the SE C-series launches...

19th Mar 2008, 16:01

540air says:

The N95 8GB seems to have fixed all the rubbish battery life issues that the original one had and in my humble opinion is a pretty spectacular handset :)

19th Mar 2008, 17:03

540air says:

Oh and without wishing to sound like a walking advert for 3, using the N95 on x-series is brilliant.

19th Mar 2008, 17:04

nige says:

strange you should say that, because my long-term experience of x-series has been utter rubbish, and thats having used it on the N73 and the E65. if three didn't work out cheap for me, no way i'd stay with them.

19th Mar 2008, 17:26

540air says:

Really? I've found it to be absolutely brilliant for me. Over the past year my bills have dropped through the floor and I've had no service problems at all.

What problems have you had dude?

19th Mar 2008, 17:37

nige says:

service has been the main blister, followed by data usage / internet. i've had big problems holding onto a signal in my last two places, and initially i was told that emailing was included in my data, which later changed without notice (followed by a couple of massive bills).

19th Mar 2008, 17:44

540air says:

I think that's the mobile mail thing yes? I bypassed that straight away, as I think it has a small allowance. If you set up an email address (gmail,yahoo,etc) on it, it works fine.

19th Mar 2008, 18:02

nige says:

no, it was my own mail account. it worked well enough but i was charged *alot for data.

19th Mar 2008, 19:39

sharpmark says:

was great in its day but the nokia n97 is a much better phone as you would expect, be nice if google took on android though. I write lots of mobile phone reviews so know a fair bit about them.

19th Nov 2009, 16:01

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