Went to the launch of the Nokia N800 last week, and have to say I really like it. It’s a subtle but definite advance over the N770 which it replaces, but I still despair over the lack of an HSDPA connection. WiFi is just too restrictive in terms of hotspot availability. Two things stand out though. First, the power management seems to be much better, you actually do get a really decent standby time out of it. Second, the beefier processor is definitely worth it, web browsing is an order of magnitude more brisk than on the predecessor. However the real device that caught my eye sitting in the corner of the room all alone, was a prototype Nokia N95, and so I had to scurry over to grab some shots and chat about the upcoming ‘super handset’.
The Apple iPhone may be getting all the fanboy attention, but the upcoming Nokia 95, due sometime in March, is the handset that ‘real’ smartphone users are waiting for. The specifications on this handset are simply stunning, and so I wanted to see how much the phone lived up to the brochureware in the flesh. The answer is that at first glance it’s a genuinely neat little package. It certainly doesn’t break any ground in terms of design, but the whole thing fits nicely into the hand, and the usability is straight down the line Symbian OS easy, so no surprises there.
Just to remind you – we’re talking a 5 megapixel camera with – crucially – a Carl Zeiss lens. HSDPA genuine fast mobile broadband, Bluetooth, USB 2.0, WiFi, UPnP for super connectivity, a 2.6 QVGA screen and A-GPS for navigational loveliness. The camera has a flash and red-eye reduction and there’s 160 MB of internal memory and a MicroSD slot for up to 2 GB of external memory. This is a handset that will take no prisoners specification wise. One thing that stuck out too is the great layout of the camera buttons. Once you turn the thing on its side to act as a camera, the shutter and preview buttons fall to hand exactly where you’d expect them to be on a camera. They really intend to make this as much of a camera as a phone.
Here’s some photos to whet your appetite if the specs haven’t already done so (click on thumbnails for larger). Oh and finally, the device is apparently going to ship with a rudimentary on-board GPS package which will provide navigation instructions at speeds of up to 5 miles per hour. In other words either at pedestrian walking pace, or in a London traffic jam! Beefier GPS packages will be available to buy on launch for standard locomotive speeds.
Conventional slider view. Nice keypad, still small form factor in the hand.
The camera goodies on display. Point to note – internal lens cap. No worries about pocket damage.
Semi-open in music player mode. Those are player controls, what you can’t see in this shot is the delicate and cool blue colour which highlights the keys. Nice touch.
The camera controls. Shutter and preview on the left, up/down button and something else on the right. Very ergonomic in use.
I’m not sure a $800 phone with only 160mb of memory is going to lure me away from an iPhone.
There are some specs I like better than the iPhone, like 3G, 5 megapixel camera instead of 2, and the GPS – but they aren’t enough.
The screen is much smaller than the iPhone, even with SD cards you still can’t get much storage space if you’re carrying photos, videos, and music, and honestly, I don’t see the point of having 3G wireless speeds if you’re still going to have a browser that can’t render web pages the way Safari on the iPhone does.
The GPS would be nice to have, though it won’t work in a car. Luckily, I have a Garmin Nuvi, and that is better than anything on a phone. For walking around, I can use the iPhone’s Google Maps. (or just carry my nuvi.)
The killer, though, is that the Nokia looks as complex as every other “smartphone” on the market. It sounds great to have all these features in your pocket, until you try to use them in day-to-day life.
So, would I spend an extra $200-$300 to get this instead of an iPhone? Pah! Sorry, don’t see it happening.
The N95 is going to be amazing! If your going to get one check out the N95 forums http://www.n95users.com/forum