Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nokia N95 - The Ultimate Multimedia Device

I rarely made detailed reviews on mobile phones or any other digital devices but the Nokia N95 was just too good not to review it.

Nokia has a vision. Your phone, that ubiquitous device that you carry with you everywhere, will become the ultimate media creation and consumption device. It will be your radio, your camera, your music player, and the terminal you use to view, listen and share all this media.

The N95 is the latest step in their quest to deliver on that vision. It’s a GSM cellular device, with WiFi, a five megapixel autofocus camera (that also shoots 30 FPS video), integrated GPS, and a raft of other goodies. It’s so packed with software that it will be impossible to do it justice in this short review.

Its not launched in China yet but its surely getting alot of publicity mainly from the internet. Although its not officially launched in China, you can still get them from the shops and internet sites who had parallel imported them. Its not cheap and way above the actual Nokia's suggested retail price.

Industrial Design
The phone itself is a small, lightweight slider that will easily fit in your pocket. Nokia has abandoned the Nokia pop-connector in favor of USB for data transfer, which is a real blessing. They’ve also put a small set of near-laptop quality stereo speakers on either side of the case, which makes it easy to listen to music when you’re not using the headset. And, they’ve integrated a standard plug connector into the music controls so you can plug in your own headset.

Perhaps the coolest thing about the N95, however, is the dual slider design.

Nokia continues to crank up the pixel count on the cameras they’ve integrated into their N-Series phones. This third generation improves it again to 5 megapixels. Plus, their latest N-Series phones are sporting some sophisticated preset camera settings for choosing different photography scenarios (outdoor, sports, portrait), different lighting scenarios, and so on. They even have some slick onboard editing capabilities.

The biggest impact of the higher pixel count, however, is simply more flexibility in the editing process. With the N95 photographers finally have enough pixels that photographs can be easily cropped and manipulated without losing too much quality.

This above shot was taken with the N95. As a snapshot camera, the N95 is tough to beat.
The N95’s video capabilities, compared to some of its predecessors, are also upgraded. With 30 frame per second video, and higher resolution, you can shoot lots of spontaneous video footage in all kinds of circumstances.
The music experience on the N95 is roughly the same as prior N-Series phones reviewed here. You can download music to the phone, the integrated media player is a solid workhorse application and the included ear buds are adequate for listening. In addition, the newest N95 firmware allows the music player to run in the background, while displaying on the telephone’s home screen the song which is currently playing. This multi-tasking capability allows you to listen to music and use other features of the phone.

One of the simplest, and nicest additions to the N95 music experience is that you can now use your own headphones. The controller fob has a standard headphone jack on the one side, allowing you to use either the supplied ear buds, or your own headphones.

One of the much anticipated features of the N95 is the integrated GPS. With the receiver hidden under the keypad, one simply slides the keypad open, orients it skyward and waits for a fix. The bundled mapping software can show you your location on a map, and provide directions to get from one location to another.
As with the N80, N91, and N93, the N95 comes with built-in WiFi. It’s much better than previous phones, however. Finding and adding WiFi hotspots is now very easy, amounting to scanning for the hotspot, and entering in the WEP key if required. Kudos to Nokia for this upgrade.

PC Experience
Again, compared to prior N-Series phones, the PC experience is vastly improved. The software installation is easy, and near flawless on Windows XP machines.
Overall, the N95 is a great experience and if you are thinking of a mobile phone replacement and have the budget, i strongly recommend the N95.

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