The N95 has been out for almost 5 months now. The price has fallen considerably from somewhere around 650€ to about 490€ nowadays, sim-free in India. The firmware has matured, AGPS has been added which has improved GPS performance to a large extent, however they are still a few minor bugs with the current v12 firmware but nothing substantial. In this write-up I and Jamal Abid talk about why should you get the N95 or abstain from doing so.
Reasons To Go For It:
01) A great phone at its heart and a relatively light smartphone which is a hard to find combination.
03) A large brilliant 16 million colour display measuring 2.6” which is great for games and and as a video player too. Its .1 inch larger than an ipod video, if thats what u’r looking for!
04) A multimedia monster capable of playing most audio/video files and for those that it can’t play there’s software available. Even WMV files will be supported come Wednesday!
05) A phone which you can use completely in landscape mode too! It’s great for quickly reading SMS, as all of the small messages are readable in the preview without even opening them!
06) A 5 megapixel camera that blows the socks off of any camera phone available today. The photos are simply brilliant. I just wish they release some firmware to reduce the compression. Right now most of my images are 700kb to 1000kb. This sucks for 5 megapixels and causes some loss of detail. But have no doubt its miles better than any other phone out there. The customization is great with options for different scenes, exposure compensation, shutter timings, burst photography and still more tweaking options for the pro’s out there. The shoot modes are comprehensive and easy to understand and put to use.
07) A video camera that shoots 640×480 video at 30fps that is remarkably clear, bright and smooth! As far as connectivity goes- Infrared, Bluetooth, UPnP and WiFi 802.11b/g it’s all there. The plug and play mass storage profile is great and so is out of the box syncing with Windows Media Player.
08) 3.5 mm jack makes it a great music player. I used my iPod nano headphones and played the same song at 128 kbps CBR (Constant Bit Rate) on both devices and call me deaf but I couldn’t discern any difference in the sound quality. It might now be as loud as the N91 but still performs well enough for casual listening. There’s stereo bluetooth a.k.a A2DP too!
09) An included TV-out cable! (Plugs into the 3.5mm headphone jack by the way) Which other phone does that?! The photos look great on TV and the video out at VGA resolution also rocks.
10) MicroSD for all your storage needs. 2 & 4 GB cards are already here and an 8GB is in the pipeline. So much for the upcoming Nokia N95 – 8GB!
11) Stereo speakers that are great and according to some reviewers, they even beat the quality of entry level cheap laptops. I won’t go that far, but one thing is certain those are great little speakers. Very clear and pretty loud.
12) Two way slide which in itself is quite cool and unique, the multimedia buttons come in handy while using the phone in the car for example.
13) Finally an s60 device with a decent alarm application! No need to install exrta world clock/alarm applications for multiple alarms now! The alarms application included is quite sophisticated and useful while being easy to use! I just miss one feature from Igor Dontsov’s S60 v2 alarm application that it put the current time in the alarm dialog automatically.
14) 64 MB of RAM with a 332 MHz processor and a dedicated graphics card by Texas Instruments. Nokia said that the N-gage will live on as the N-series and we can see some truth in that statement now. It is certain that the N95 will support the new upcoming NGage platform. However the RAM’s a bone of contention. More on that later.
15) GPS! Great feature! Most functions are free! You only have to pay for voice navigation and city guides (positions of all of the ATMs and small stuff like that). I simply love the GPS in this phone. One of its best features no doubt, for a complete write up on GPS look here.
16) The S60 browser is the best available on mobile phones and is based on WebCore which also powers Safari, the browser that runs on Mac OSX and also the iPhone. Since you cannot install 3rd party apps on the iPhone and can only install Safari applications, this means the N95 can run all of the applications the iPhone can.
1) The build quality is not that great. It creaks a little in some places and at some angles. Backlight is visible through the sidewalls of the top walls and although the phone’s keeping sturdy after months of usage, it doesn’t feel that solid. Nothing very bad but these things are noticeable only by owners and add to the post-expensive-purchase depression! Just turn it around in your hand at the retailer and see if you are happy with the build quality. There have been reports of the paint on the faceplate coming off, the silver peeling off the keys and the volume keys completely loosing its paint.
2) Camera algorithms compress the picture a lot; a little lenient compression would be appreciated. It’s nothing bad but we want perfection, don’t we!
3) GPS lock times and sensitivity are a little shady, however AGPS has indeed helped to a large extent.
4) Screen looks fragile, makes LCD ripples (like laptops) when pressed harshly and attracts a lot of smudges/fingerprints/dust/etc. A screen protector is a must!
5) The resolution of the screen is not that high, 240×320. It is enough for most users but the N80 had a 352×416 screen that was simply beautiful. I wish they used at least that here. No big problem though, most people won’t even notice!
6) The battery is not strong enough for this phone. For me, under moderate to heavy usage it gets through 1.5 days.
Vaibhav: As for me, I’ve managed getting 24 hrs for a few days only in close to 5 months time! Web Browsing via EDGE really takes its toll on the phone and so does video recording. I’ve managed to kill the battery in 7-8 hrs too! But over a period of time with moderate usage I get a day’s juice out of it easily.
7) RAM: The RAM has been severely criticized in this phone. With only about 19MB of RAM available on boot up it doesn’t do justice a phone as capable as the N95. People who are coming from S60 2nd (Expect the N70) and most S60 v3 users are used to this though. Light multitasking is never a problem.
N95 8GB Later or get the N95 Classic Now?
Well the obvious reasons to wait are:
1) A bigger screen, rumoured to be 2.8 inches.
2) 8 GB of storage space.
3) A bigger battery. (1200 mAh)
4) 128 MB of RAM.
5) The Black colour for some.
However, since the phone is expected to be announced on the 29th of this month, it won’t be available anytime soon! December most likely, are you willing to wait that long? Secondly, as far as the storage space is concerned we should be starting to see 8GB flash cards appearing in the market for our existing N95 Classic around that time, so that’s not really an advantage. The 8GB variant will be much more expensive too!
Third, I’d sure love the more free Ram however is it worth the wait? The N95 would be a comparatively old phone by then and people will be looking towards the next N9x!
The battery is a great add, however to accommodate it, out went the camera lens’ cover. That’s not really comforting. I personally don’t like the black variant much as far as the looks go, the smaller menu/multimedia keys are bit of an eye sore!
The facts are before you, what are you going to do? Do drop a comment and let us know!
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