Initial Impressions Of The N85 & N79

First of all, I am absolutely miffed at not being able to attend the virtual launch of these devices as such events are something that Nokia is really good at and second it gives people from all around the world, an opportunity to interact with the people behind the scenes. I really hope at least some of you would have been able to tune in and Nokia makes them a regular feature, at random – just to get the pulse.

Now that the initial euphoria that accompanies every device launch has died down, I have been able to collect my thoughts on the impact these devices will have on the market and also at a more micro level.


Although the entire Nseries range of devices is targetted at people who like to create and consume media, these devices are specifically aimed at the youth who would perhaps value the longer stamina and the camera a little more, the curves to me also seem to spell youth.

But more than the above, what I especially like about these phones is their price point. The average mobile phone buyer who earlier had to settle on a 3MP camera in the form of the N78 or compromise slightly on music if he picked up an N82 will now be able to spend a little more and not have to choose between music and photography and what’s more is that he’ll also get more features – more value for money.


N96 – A lot of people are calling the N85 the N96 killer, but with due respect I think I will have to disagree. Agreed, the N85 may outnumber the N96 in terms of specifications but that’s not all that what a normob on the street is looking for. The flaunt factor plays a considerable role and the N96 will still be called Nokia’s flagship device. Secondly, the bigger screen; an argument that may be made against its usability if the battery fails the device, still, I absolutely dig big screens. The N82 has great battery life for an Nseries and I never even watched videos on it, on the N95 8GB I even saw movies! – That’s the .2″ impact. Plus, IMO the N96 is much better looking. But still, the N96 will have to be priced much closer to the N85 for it to make headway.

N78 & N82 – When it was first announced, I thought we had a good N73 successor in the making. However I have been slightly disappointed, its high pricing playing a crucial role in that. After a recent outing with the N78, I liked it a little more, yet, it was never my kind of a device. I missed the VGA video recording @ 30 FPS. The N79 therefore instead of co existing with the N78, might end up killing it. Who won’t want a much better camera if the price is only a little more?

The N82, for a long time now has been the killer S60 from Nokia – great features and a competitive price. This is again a territory the N79 might eat into, a better music experience, an FM transmitter, FP2 and the advantage of being the ‘newer’ phone. I personally will still go for the N82 as I don’t really think FP2 is that great, I hardly use wired headphones and I don’t like N79’s design.

Its great to see all these devices flowing in and opening up more options for the consumers. Lastly, as of August 26, one thing is for sure – the time of the N95 is over. The King Is Dead. Long Live The King!

9 thoughts on “Initial Impressions Of The N85 & N79”

  1. Good article! I’ve read a lot about people wondering how all these phones fit together. One thing that reviewers are taking for granted is that all consumers will have equal access to all these devices when making a selection. Certain carriers (like 0 in the US!) will choose certain devices, so more variance is probably welcome for them. I agree that the N78 is dead.

    I wouldn’t say that the N95 is dead, tho. It’s still plenty powerful, just looking at the specs. I’ll probably upgrade my N95-3 to a N85 NAM model when available for a few reasons. Firstly, I disagree that FP2 is not a big upgrade. WebDAV support seems like a killer to me, USB charging + USB 2.0 is a big deal to me. The longer battery life is of course welcome. I also like the placement of the headphone port, because I never use wired headphones with the N95. It’s just too bulky in my pocket with the phone jack sticking out of the side.

    And I agree, the N96 is not as shiny as it was before the N85 launch. More choice is never a bad thing. Doesn’t Nokia make something like 160 different handsets for markets all over the world? Now all the Nseries devices are just that much better, and that’s a good thing!

  2. Totally agree,The N96 is still the elegance of tech,with the large screen and the metallic band around it N85 has a long way to go,but specs may outdate the N96,especially the camera cover.

  3. not contesting your claims on n 85. N 79 is newer ok but i still feel it will not eat into n 82. To me, the ability to take pics in night is just incredible and xenon is a must. Aas also feels that its xenon is unmatched till today. Most of the parties (at least the ones i attend) take place in evenings and late evenings and thats when you need a camera and thats where i feel, n 82 still has its niche. (i love this and i own this thats why all these arguments!!)

  4. I wonder why Nokia couldn’t just go ahead and put tri-band 3G in the N96 before its October 1st launch, now that the company has settled with Qualcomm — which was keeping them from tri-band 3G before, wasn’t it?

    IMHO Nokia has enough depth in its Nseries lineup without the additional confusion of NAM variants and such…

  5. The N96 holds its own place with the on board 16gig + MicroSD support,bigger screen….quite frankly, the first time i saw the N85 pics i smelt a chinese knock off, with the design and all.
    I agree with Matthew about the FP2 update,it is pretty significant(like everyone now wants WM 6.1)
    About the N95, it is still very much alive and kicking….but not like it did…

  6. The Music Quality (atleast in initial reviews) is not that great. So I don’t think it will be ideal device for music lovers. The N85 in imo will end up killing the N96. If it’s the flagship, they’ll have to price it much higher than (about $700) N85 which is just priced around $550. No one willbe spending 200$ on a phone which has 8GB more space & DVB-H, which a majority of users can’t even use. I think the N85 will be the new N95 & N79 the new N73 in terms of sales.

    Also the difference between N82 & N95-8GB Screen’s is .4 inch & not .2 inch 😀

    “The N82 has great battery life for an Nseries and I never even watched videos on it, on the N95 8GB I even saw movies! – That’s the .2″ impact.”

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