The NokLa N95. We have all heard of it, seen photos and have been impressed by the ability of the Chinese manufacturers to mimic the big brands. Jamal Abid today had the chance today to actually use the NokLa N95 phone for a while and has a few thoughts to share about it.
First things first, to most people it is not recognizable as being a fake. When asked, many people identified it as the Nokia N95 and looked at me with the don’t-you-know? Get-with-the-times! look. When using it, it exuded cheapness in every aspect. One thing that struck when I saw a person using it was that the top part when opened (to expose the keypad) is much thicker than the original N95′s. The slide only opens to the keypad side and feels quite cheap but ‘stable’. I find it hard to describe but the top part of the NokLa N95 had a lot of weight and appeared to be sturdier than the original. I have doubts about its durability though. Opening the slide was no fun though, it felt rough as there was no spring and there was no meaty satisfying click at the end of the motion. The keypad and other buttons lighting was a very cheap looking light blue. I can tell you that this instantly broadcasts to everyone around you that something is wrong with your phone (or rather your choice of a phone!).
The keys on the face, below the 2.6″ screen (same dimensions as the Nokia N95, hereafter referred to as the N95) have very little travel when pressed, are quite hard to press and are made of matte silver plastic as compared to the chrome-like reflective premium looking material of the N95 (don’t know what material it really is. Can’t be metal, keys don’t get very cold under the AC). Also the phone is instantly recognizable in the dark because all of the keys that are white backlit on the N95 are lit in a cheap blue. This is true for the five way scroller etc.
The screen is incredibly low res and has about the same user experience the screen of the Nokia 6600, maybe more inferior (I’m talking about the pixel density or the dots per inch). Surprisingly, it is a touch screen and works with your fingers. I saw no obvious place in the phone for the stylus to be located. There is a row of very small buttons along the bottom of the screen which are shortcuts to various applications. They were too small to make out what the icons meant but I located contacts, messaging and a touch dialing application with trial and error. The touch dialing application is surprisingly fun to use and shows that the touchscreen is no slouch in the accuracy department. It does seem to have a problem with taking one tap as sometimes a double tap but maybe it was just me. The numbers are displayed on the screen like an i-mate and you tap on the keys to select them. Also, the backlight seemed quite dull.
The user interface seems to be a rip-off of the non-symbian based sony ericcson phones and seems quite well designed for such a fake product. It lacks polish though and it can be seen when trying to unlock the keypad and it says to press the RSK. Which I figured is the short form for the right soft key. I don’t think it’s intuitive to the average smart phone user. You unlock the keypad by pressing the ‘RSK’ and the ‘c’ key which seems a little odd. The menus use the icons for the default theme supplied with the N95 but as far as I can remember the menu was a 3×3 grid instead of a 3×4 grid. As you may already know there are play/pause and stop keys in place of the original menu / multimedia menu keys. I did not try them out.
The back is a matte black plastic which has the same feel as the front and is nowhere near the luxurious feel you get when sliding your hand across the back of the N95. The camera module is a lot smaller, has a 2.0 megapixel camera (or so I’m told, I can’t confirm this) and has no shutter button. It is also recessed to make the back of this fake flat (or quite close to it).
Those were some of the observations I had when I got to use the fake N95 for a few minutes. Below is a small video found courtesy YouTube of the Nokla N95 in action!
Photos via the Nokia N95 Blog.
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