Review: Nokia N95

18. April 2008 at 14:14

Announced at the Open Studio Event, september 2006 in New York City the Nokia N95 became Nokia´s flagship.

6 months later, in march 2007 the device started shipping and is available in Europe since april 2007.

But is it a real flagship? Does it deserve the name “Computer 2.0”? This review is going to find it out!

Sales Package:

The Nokia N95 comes in a gray box, that is very handy but contains everything you need to start to explore the Nokia Nseries. On the front you can see the N95, the Nokia Nseries logo and the Carl Zeiss Optics logo. The back shows three images of the N95, the key features of it and some trademarks. After opening the box you can see the N95 behind a plasticshell.

The box has two floors. In the first floor you can find the N95 itself, the battery with 950 mAh and the stereo headset with its remote control. The second floor contains the “get started”-manual and the normal manual, a little box with an DVD in it, the charger, micro-USB cable and a TV-out-cable.

  • Nokia N95-1 (RM-159)
  • 512 MB MicroSD memory-card
  • Battery with 950mAh (BL-5F)
  • Charger (AC-5)
  • TV-out-cable (CA-75U)
  • MicroUSB cable (DKE-2)
  • Headset (HS-45)
  • Remote control (AD-43)
  • DVD
  • Manual
  • “Get Started”-manual

Built Quality:

After opening the box you can see the N95 with its of the screen dominated front. The front is made out of silver plastic which looks some kind of nobly. The back and the sites are purple in the variant “Deep Plum”, or some kind of bright brown in the variant “Sand”. They´re both with soft-touch coating at the sites and on the backside. The N95 is made mainly out of plastic, which is very solid against scratches or other damages.

The gaps between each components are too big and so the light is shining through almost all gaps, this very disappoints me. It shines through the sites of the slider and through the site where the camera-button is positioned.

Despite of its size it feels rather good in your hand and especially when you open the N95, but this was not since the beginnings of the N95: The first N95´s have a very wobbly slider and they don´t feel good if you slide them, if you own one of these you should go to a Nokia Service Point to fix it. On the back of the device you can find the 5 megapixel camera, which is protected with a shutter, and the LED. As you can see, the Carl Zeiss lens is very good protected against scratches and dirt.

Keys:

In closed mode you can find 13 keys right under the big 2.6″ display. They are pretty big and have a great pressure point. These keys are:

  • Left soft key
  • Right soft key
  • Green answer-key
  • Red end-key
  • Clear key (“C”)
  • Menu key
  • Pen key
  • Multimedia key
  • Up on the navi-key
  • Down on the navi-key
  • Left on the navi-key
  • Right on the navi-key
  • OK, the middle of the navi-key

After opening the slider you can find the numeric keypad. These keys are very good to use. More over, they are pretty soft and have a great pressure point.

On the right hand site of the device you can find the volume key, gallery key and finally the capture button. The volume key is to control the volume up and down and to zoom in and out. The gallery button is to jump directly to the last taken picture/video in the gallery. The capture button is to get into the camera mode, if the shutter is opened, otherwise you will have to open it to get into camera mode. More over, this button is to focus and to capture a picture or video. All these chromed keys are good to use and have a good pressure point.

On the top you can find the S60 typical power button. This button has three functions.

  1. Turning on the device
  2. Switching off the device
  3. Choosing a profile (e.g. “General” or “Silent”)

The Nokia N95 is Nokia’s first device with a dualslider. That means, you can slide the N95 in two different ways. Once you slide the N95 down, you can see the four multimedia keys for controlling music and videos. Using the four multimedia keys you can start, pause, stop, re- and prewine the track or video. The keys are under some kind of black plastic and they need getting used to them. More over, the display changes from portrait into landscape mode when you slide it down.

If you slide it up, you access the normal keypad with the numbers 0-9, * and # to write a message, e-mail or type in somebody´s phone number.

Size:

The N95 weights 120g and so it is heavier than some other devices. Its dimensions are: 99 x 53 x 21 mm . However, if you bear in mind its 2.6” display and the amount of features the N95 is offering this size is acceptable. Even you will always notice the N95 in your pocket.

Multimedia:

The N95 offers 160MB of internal storage. About 140MB of this storage is available to the user. So you can´t save many songs or record much videos on the phone memory. But for that you can insert a memory card with up to 16GB of storage – in the future you will be also able to use 32GB memory cards in your N95.

The N95 displays pictures, videos and other stuff on the 2.6″ screen with 16.7 million colours on the QVGA (320×240 pixels) screen. The display is not very bright, but if you’re using it in the sun or in other bright places you won´t have the problem of a screen that is reflecting everything around you, because the N95 has no plastic before its display. Another great effect is, that there can´t come dust under the screen.

Camera:

One of N95’s highlights is the 5 megapixel camera (2592 x 1944 pixels) with a Carl Zeiss lens and autofocus. It offers a LED which lights up the pictures in a certain distance of 2 meters. Here you can find some sample pictures I took with the N95.

The N95 is almost a real camera and so you have a bunch of preferences. To get into the camera-mode, just open the shutter. Once you´ve opened the shutter, the camera-mode starts, and you can see the motive you want to capture and a toolbar. In this toolbar you can find 12 icons – switching from camera to video mode and back, scene modes, flash mode, self timer, sequence mode, colour tone, viewfinder grid, white balance,exposure compensation, sharpness, contrast, light sensitivity (ISO).

The icon “scene mode” offers you seven pre-defined modes – auto, close-up, portrait, landscape, sports, night, night portrait. Furthermore, you can create your own mode and adjust and keep your favourite settings. So you always have the right mode for a certain moment. The close-up mode for example is the best mode to capture intricate detail of small objects.

Of course you can zoom to enlarge the motive, but you have to bear in mind that the digital zoom affects the picture quality. After you chose the right mode, just press the capture button and within 7 seconds the picture is saved. Now you can upload the picture immediately to flickr, VOX or send it via Bluetooth, E-mail or MMS.

The N95 can record videos as well. With almost full DVD quality, 640×480 and 30 frames per seconds, the taken video is pretty good. To record a video just switch into camera-mode and choose video mode. To improve the video-quality, you can choose between various modes. For example colour tones like sepia or negative, white balance like sunny or cloudy and finally scene modes like auto or night.

One minute of taken video needs about 20MB of memory. However, the video quality is pretty good – sharp and with good sound. Using the TV-Out cable you can watch the recorded videos on a huge TV. You can resize the video quality if you want to send the video immediately from the device via Email or MMS. Jump over to see some videos taken with 640×480 pixels.

Music:

Nseries means multimedia and what is a multimedia device without a good music player? Nothing! Therefore the N95 has the new version of the music player preinstalled.

It’s divided into Music and Podcast. In the folder “Music” you can find 6 other folders like All songs or Albums.

The N95 has a 3.5mm jack, thus you can use also your favorite headphones. The music quality with the provided headset is good but if you use other headsets e.g. an Apple headset, the music quality is much better. Just like on your Computer you can create easily own playlists of all your favorite music on your N95.

To improve the music quality, you have an equaliser with 6 modes – Default, Bass booster, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Rock.

Furthermore you can change the look of the current song. You can choose between four visualizations – album art, circles, oscilloscope and spectrum. Album art just shows the album cover, provided that you have it on your device, the other three showing cool animations.

The music player supports following audiofiles: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, Mobile XMF, SP-MIDI, MIDI Tones (poly 64), RealAudio 7,8,10, True tones and WAV.

Connectivity:

The computer 2.0 offers many ways to go online and search the web to you. Execpt Wi-Fi (802.11b/g, 54 MBit/s), it’s also offering HSDPA, 3G, GPRS and EDGE. Other connectivity ways are GPS, IRDA, Bluetooth and micro-USB. In the test the connection with the Computer and the PC Suite worked well via Bluetooth or the USB-Cable. Connections to an external bluetooth keyboard like the SU-8W or an other mobile phone like the N82 or the N95 are no problem. The bluetooth is fast and there are no connections-abruptions. With the built-in W-Lan you can go online everywhere, where you can find a W-Lan router.

Of course you can receive your e-mails with this phone, over w-lan or your provider. Setting it up for your e-mail account is done very easily with the preinstalled setting wizard.

The webbrowser is very fast and well arranged. You can download applications for your N95 directly over the webbrowser and install them.

The GPS tells you your position and so you can find your way without an external GPS in your car or something. The sat-fix is very fast and to create a new route is no problem. You can also let the N95 show your actual position as coordinates with “GPS Data”. The accuracy of the GPS is ok, but not perfect.

As you can see the N95, or better said the computer 2.0, offers you every way of connecting to the world around you.

Battery:

The battery of the N95 has only 950 mAh, and so it is not as good as the battery’s of other phones like the N73 or the N95 8GB. If you use it regularly you will have to charge it every two days, which very disappoints me.

Verdict:

The Nokia N95 definitely deserves the name “Computer 2.0”, it is a great phone with everything you need: A phone, a digital camera, a music player, wireless lan and of course the office abilities.

It is one of the phones with the most features on the market. No other phone, except its successor the N95 8GB, has such a good transition between multimedia and business. Well, indeed it is bigger than other phones but all in all it is a great device which offers you everything you need.