Tag Archives: N85

Nokia N85 Firmware v30.019 Now Available

Nokia continues to roll its firmware juggernaut and the latest device to benefit from it is the Nokia N85. With the latest update, the device now moves to the v30 software which should be available via both the NSU and OTA.

n85-v30-firmware

As is the case with both Nokia firmware releases, a changelog isn’t quite available. However, you can go and update without the fear of loosing any data as the device supports user data preservation. One thing that Nokia has been doing recently is blocking the ‘hack’, so if you are interested in that sort of thing then it might be a good idea to hold off.

[via: Spaziocellulare]

New Nokia N85 NAM Firmware v20.175 Now Available

HoFo is abuzz with news that the Nokia N85 NAM has also received the v20 firmware, albeit after a month of its Euro/APAC siblings. The NAM firmware is expected to mirror the changes/improvements that the v20.175 had brought for the Euro variants. Therefore, the v20.175 firmware, up from v11, should bring in bug fixes and improvements along with the standby email plugin to show your emails on the standby screen. Other expected additions include turning controls which allow you to flip to silence incoming calls alarms, internet telephony set up and an email wizard to setup your Nokia Email or Nokia Messaging. Also present in the Dictionary application that Nokia now seems to be putting on all its devices.

The new firmware is available over-the-air (OTA) by simply pressing *#0000# from the standby screen and checking for updates. (Detailed guide on how to update OTA here). The phone features user data preservation (UDP) so your data should be fine even after the update, however a backup never hurts. The update should also be available via the windows only Nokia Software Updater.

New Nokia N85 Firmware v20.175 Now Available

Nokia has just rolled out a new firmware for the Nokia N85, one of the best handset in the Nseries lineup. The v20.175 firmware, up from v11, brings in bug fixes and improvements along with the standby email plugin to show your emails on the standby screen. Other additions include turning controls which now allows you to flip to silence incoming calls alarms, internet telephony set up and an email wizard to setup your Nokia Email or Nokia Messaging.

Details as to the actual changes are thin as of now, but you can go on to update without any fear as the device is still hackable, in case you care. The new firmware is available over-the-air (OTA) by simply pressing *#0000# from the standby screen and checking for updates. (Detailed guide on how to update OTA here). The phone features user data preservation (UDP) so your data should be fine even after the update, however a backup never hurts. The update should also be available via the windows only Nokia Software Updater.

The N85 Review: Hardware

The N85 Review: Hardware

The N85 was one of the few devices from Nokia in 2008 that actually got people excited. Also, unlike many of Nokia’s other devices, the period between its announcement and its shipping date was brief, almost surprising. It started shipping close to the time when the N96 had finally entered the scene, resulting in people comparing the N85 to the N96 and sending out a verdict which basically dismissed the N96 and crowned the N85 as Nokia’s current top spec Nseries.

When it was first announced in August, for whatever reason it did not make me want it.  But with time as more information came out and the N96 got even more delayed, my interest in it piqued. The N85 packs a 5MP camera with dual LED’s and a lens cover, an AGPS, a FM transmitter, an accelerometer, a 3.5mm jack in a dual sliding form factor that runs on Symbian OS 9.3, S60 3.2. The usual Nseries goodies like WiFi, UPnP, Share Online and so are all there too. The two places that it makes a mark are its 2.6″ AMOLED screen and support for USB charging via its microUSB port.

PHYSICAL LAYOUT

N85 - Share on Ovi

Like I said in my unboxing video of the N85, it is small. The device fits snugly into the palm of the hand and feels quite different from what you may have seen virtually. It is made of plastic, the front sports a shiny black and because of that it becomes a fingerprint magnet. The variant that I have has a copper back that looks good and doesn’t suffer from any fingerprint issues. The right side of the phone is packed with the volume rocker, camera button, the keypad lock switch and the stereo speakers that are located on the extreme top and bottom for better reproduction while watching videos. The left hand side is relatively plain, with it just housing the microSD slot. The bottom is barren because the dedicated charger port is now history (much to my dislike, more later) and the top holds the power/profile switch buttom, the 3.5mm jack that doubles as the headphone and TV out slot, the microUSB port for charging and data transfer and finally the lanyard hole on the top left.

BUILD QUALITY

N85 - Share on Ovi

When I had taken the N85 out of its box for the first time, it seemed to be built like a rock. One month of everyday usage has somewhat made it loose its firmness slightly. The slide is still pretty firm, better than the N95/N95 8GB and pushing it upward gives a nice feeling. I cannot however say what when we slide the N85 the ‘other’ way in order to reveal the multimedia buttons. The slide itself is hard and even wobble prone to an extent.

Some people have had issues with the N85’s build quality in general but I have not encountered any issues that do not plague other sliders. In fact, I am yet to get a creak out of the phone, this is partly because the backplate fits in firmly over the battery.

KEYS

N85 - Share on Ovi

If you were to ask me to name one aspect of the N85 that I hate, I’d say the Navi Wheel and I’m not talking about how well/badly it performs but the simple fact that it is hard to press. I first though that this was something I would get used to, however after almost a month I have not been able to. Apart from this, I don’t have much of a problem with the surrounding keys such as the delete key, menu key and so on although I would have preferred if they were distinguishable without the need for the backlight. The keypad is a pleasure and you can expect high speeds with T9 comfortably. There is amble space between the slide and the keys so there won’t be a difficulty in reaching the 1-2-3 keys even if you have large thumbs.

The keypad lock switch is a nifty little addition and a very welcome one. The switch is ergonomically placed on the right side and feels good, the volume rocker is probably the most convenient of all present on the Nseries. The camera button is nice to press, however it doesn’t offer the two step click most auto-focus cameras do, meaning that there might be times when you press it a little too hard and the camera takes a photos without taking the proper time to focus. This takes time getting used to and even then you might end up making a mistake or two.

USB CHARGING

N85 - Share on Ovi

Nokia finally decided to implement USB charging after what seemed like ages. Even the Moto Razr had it. What this means is that the phone charges when it is connected to the computer as well as with the new Nokia microUSB charger. On the whole it should have been a welcome addition, but I personally at not too pleased with its implementation. While Nokia did put USB charging in, the usual Nokia charger pin was taken away, so you still have just one charging option.

The problem with this is that you will need to have your new charger/data cable always with you and the convenience of charging at a friend’s place or in a mall etc is gone. There is no doubt that with time this mode will become as popular, but currently I think Nokia should have given us both options.

SCREEN & GAMING

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

I have already covered the screen and gaming aspect in this post. In short, the screen is wonderful and you will be blown away when you first see it and once you start using it, it will become difficult going to something else.

To conclude, I will simply say that if you can come to grips with a hard Navi Wheel then there is nothing else that should keep you from getting a N85 as far as the harware is concerned, it is after all THE top spec Nseries currently on sale.

In the next part of this review, we dive into the software aspect of the N85.

N-Gage Faceoff: N96 v/s N85

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

N-Gage has become a very integral part of Nokia’s Nseries range of devices, so much so that they have even positioned the N85 as a gamer’s device by giving it the tagline – ‘Gaming Now Made By Hand’. In this post we put the N96 against the N85 in order to find out if its the best gaming device after all. Aspects such as the screen, keypad and battery amongst other have been covered. Read on to find out which is the better N-Gage device.

SCREEN

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

The N85 is much smaller than the N96, what this means is that it packs smaller keys and well as a smaller display. The N96 boasts of a 2.8″ screen while the N85 comes in at 2.6″, they both have the same 240×320 resolution though. This alone means that the screen on the N85 will look slightly better, but that’s not all.

The N85 comes with an AMOLED screen that is capable of greater brightness and deeper and sharper colours colours as compared to the already good looking LCD of the N96. The real world impact this has on the display is profound. Have a look for yourself.

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

All in all, it comes down to size v/s quality. The difference of 0.2″ is important for me, however once I see the two side by side – the better display wins me over. However, if I had not gotten used to the N85’s screen, the N96 would have been a definite pick in isolation.

KEYS

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

Owing to the difference in size, the gaming keys on the N85 are much smaller than those of the N96. This might become an issue for people with large thumbs, but for the rest of you it will be no problem. The tactile feedback of the buttons on the N85 is also better.

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

As you can see above, my thumb has a greater resting area on the N96. While I enjoy the extra space on the N96 very much, I can’t say the smaller keys of the N85 have been a problem. Its a question of getting used to them.

As far as the Navi Pad is concerned, its a clear win for the N96. The N85’s Navi Wheel is hard and during the first few hours of gaming it can get downright uncomfortable. With time its impact has lessened, but the thing is that it should have been taken care of in the first place itself.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

There are certain other factors that also impact the gameplay on a device. The primary being battery life. What is the point of having a killer gaming machine when its battery runs out super quick or where you need to compromise on other features because gaming drained the battery took much? This is something where the N85 again takes the lead with its 1200 mAh battery as compared to the N96’s 950 mAh.

Next, the N85 comes with 15 titles pre-installed and a code to convert anyone of them to a full version. This is specially convenient when you are new to gaming or downloading titles is a problem for you. The N96 on the other hand comes with a specific free game, it may or may not be one that you like.

VIDEO

Here is a video of the N96 and N85 running a demo of ‘One’ on N-Gage.

httpv://in.youtube.com/watch?v=cSk0TozAYSg

CONCLUSION

Although you may hate it, but I do not think I would be able to decide which device beats the other in terms of gameplay. Each has its advantages, the N96 with the bigger screen, keys and Navi Wheel performance while the N85 with its stunning screen and greater battery life.

Lastly, since most of the times the decision as to which handset to buy isn’t solely based on the gaming capabilities of a phone, the choice will also come down to personal preferences and the size of your hands!

New ‘Receiving Via Bluetooth’ Notification On The N85

New Incoming Notification - Share on Ovi New Incoming Notification - Share on Ovi

As you know I’ve recently gotten the N85 and as part of setting it up to my liking, I was sending across a few applications. It was then that I noticed something that I never had on any S60 earlier. There was a progress bar notifying me of the status of the file that was being sent in. Not only that, I could cancel the incoming if I so chose or simply choose to send it into the background.

Such a notification although common for other handsets has never been seen (to my knowledge) on a S60 so far. I immediately pulled out my N96 running the v12 firmware to see if this was being rolled out across all FP2 devices, apparently not.

Earlier, if two devices were paired & authorised and one of them initiated a transfer the only way to stop it from the recipient’s side was turning the BT off, however no more, at least on the N85. This screen takes a couple of seconds to pop up after the transfer starts and during that time no data gets transferred, at least not according to the windows progress bar.

Have you seen it on any other S60 device?