Nokia N85: Some Good & Some Bad Sides

20. December 2008 at 15:38

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The Nokia N85 has like every device its good and also bad sides. Some call it N96’s little brother but in my point of view it’s more than just a little brother. Just like the N96 the N85 runs on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2, features a 5 megapixel camera, WiFi, GPS, 3G, multimedia keys and much more. However, there is much more behind these 2 numbers. More good sides but also some bad sides…

Good sides:

Size:

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Although, the N85 packs all the killer features you can wish into one sexy hood, it just measures 103 x 50 x 16 mm. If you compare it to the N96, you really see the difference. The N85 isn’t as wide and big as the N96. Well, one the on hand the N96 has a 2.8” display but nevertheless the N85 is really a awesome device with a 2.6” display. I really like the fact having a small and handy device but nevertheless having all necessary features in my pocket.

Multimedia keys:

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The N85, which actually scored 9.3 out of 10 points over on Testfreaks, is a dual slider, so you can slide it up and down. If you slide it down it reveals the four multimedia keys offering you several functions. Besides the usual music and video playback function for switching, stopping and pausing you can use these keys for zooming in the camera application, into pictures and in the browser. More over, as the N85 is N-Gage compatible, you can use the multimedia keys for gaming. The two gaming keys light up when the games start. I indeed like having these gaming keys as they make gaming more convenient. All in all I love these gaming, music and zooming keys.

AM OLED Screen:

The Nokia N85 uses a AM OLED ( anti matrix organic light emitting diode) screen and not a simple LED screen like all other devices do. OLED screens have several advantages. So it draw less power, have better performance for colour gamut, better response time, better contrast, is brighter and has a better viewing angel. Here you can see a good comparison pictures:

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Left the N96 and right the N85. Same image, same level of brightness and the result is pretty clear. The image the N85 looks much better and brighter. This is what I really like about the N85, it’s brightness and the colours.

FM-Transmitter:

I have my driving licence for some months now and I indeed love music. So, it’s obvious that I love listening to music while driving but I hate burning CD as I have some new favorite songs every week or days. Therefore I was listening to radio which isn’t great. However, since I received the N85 driving became even better. Using the FM-Transmitter I created a playlist and streamed my favorite songs to my car radio. Now I can listen all my music via my loud car radio what I really enjoy. More over, you can use the FM-Transmitter not only in the car but also in you livingroom, bath or everywhere you can find a FM-radio. Here a video showing this function with the N79 which is just the same as on the N85:

Music experience:

Overall I love the music experience I had with the N85. With the good music player, the 3.5mm audio jack which allows you to use any headset you like, the 8GB microSDHC card, dedicated music keys, keylock and the FM transmitter the N85 really satisfy my music needs. Pressing the playbutton twice you open up the music player and you can start immediately. The spring loaded keyswitch and the navi-wheel really reminds to a iPod like usage. You can decide whether you playback the music via the stereo speaker or via any headset you like.

Gaming:

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The N85 is one of several N-Gage devices. So you can download games in a instance and play them on the go versus your friends. The N85 comes with the Zeemote JS1 controller out of the box. The JS1 is a wireless controller optimized for gaming. So you can play games really comfortable using the JS1. This is really fun, especially when connected to the TV. Anyway, also when not using the JS1 controller gaming with the two gaming keys and the D-pad is fine too and much better than with for example the N82 or N79 which don’t have gaming keys.

Bad sides:

Slider:

Maybe it’s just my trial unit but my N85 really has an issue with its slider. It wobbles like nothing else and you can press the upper part several mm down. You can feel it especially when gaming but also in many other situations. Here a video showing this problem:

Keys:

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Another issue I had were the keys. I’m not talking of the numeric keypad nor of the keys on the sides. I’m talking about the keys you can find right under the 2.6” display. The left softkey, right softkey, clear- and menubutton are really hard to press. First these four keys are completely flat and aren’t raised like the other keys. You actually cannot press the edge since they don’t react, you need to hit the center of the button. I had really problems the first day and my girlfriend said: ”Oh, these keys are strange”. Of course you get used to it but there are much better softkeys, menu- and cancelkeys out there.

Quick Office:

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Nokia says that devices like the N85 are real multimedia computer. But isn’t one aspect of being a computer editing or creating word files? Well, Nokia says no because they just load the N85 with the standard version of Quick Office which allows you to view Exel, Word and Power Point files but not to edit them. Neither you can create new files which is really odd. More over, the newest version of Microsoft Office isn’t supported now. This is really a mess and I would love to see the Premium Version of Quick Office in other devices than just in some E-Series devices.