Nokia N85 Review
Carl Zeiss optics don’t necessarily guarantee good images, despite whatNokia’s advertising may lead you to believe. However, we’re quite satisfied with the quality of the images andissues we ran into are pretty standardUnder artificial lighting colors look somewhat cold, but in warm light, such as sunlight, the pictures are topnotch. Unfortunately, if the room is softly lit, most of the dark places go pixelized and the image loses a considerable part of its overall quality. We’ve found the double LED flash isn’t good enough, mostly because of the limited area that it’s able to light up – barely two meters. It’s hard to understand why Nokia didn’t use a Xenon flash instead, seeing as how it was used in the N82.
The start-up speed is average and is no match for the Motorola ZINE ZN5, but it’s at least as fast as Nokia’s older phones. This is a bit disappointing – we were hoping to see some progress in this aspect. The viewfinder loads in about 4 seconds and it takes additional 1 or 2 in order to focus in a brightly lit room. In case of soft lighting, focusing can last up to 6 seconds, which is too much and the moment could easily be missed. It’s the same story with saving an image– about 4 seconds. Keep in mind that we saw the same results with Samsung’s INNOV8, which has an 8MPsensor compared to the N85’s 5MP. The sad news is that there isn’t any improvement in the camera speed since N95 (with its newest software installed.)
2m/6.5feet - Strong light
2m/6.5Feet - Medium light
2m/6.5feet - Low light
4m/13 feet - Strong light
4m/13feet - Medium light
4m/13feet - Low light
Strangely, while capturing videos, the phone interface is choppy. That reflects on the videos and they freeze every few seconds or so. This is in direct contrast to the N96, which had phenomenal video quality.
Nokia N85 sample video at 640x480 pixels resolution
*Due to codecs support, you may not be able to play the files.
The interface is quite simple, with a very nice overall design, though it’s not as pretty as the iPhone’s. We didn’t have any trouble with our test music, except for the fact that it managed to show only one of six album covers. The artist and song names were perfectly recognized, and it had no difficulties with sub-folders.
Sound quality is decent if you’re using some nice headphones, the included ones are predictably subpar. Low and high frequencies are far from pleasant, but are good enough for video playback. You can try turning on the “stereo widening” in order to achieve better sound quality. The stereo speakers are really loud and high-quality. We didn’t like the position of the speakers when holding the phone in portrait mode; you’re actually placing your hand on top of one of the speakers. It’s not a big deal, but sometimes even such small details can spoil the overall impression of the product.
Besides the standard FM radio with RDS, the N85 offers something a lot more interesting – a built-in FM transmitter. After you choose a band, the device starts transmitting any sound it makes. This way you can listen to music with your car radio, for example, without any additional accessories. However, the broadcast coverage is not wide enough and in order to deliver some decent quality you need to place the phone right next to the FM receiver. If you’re thinking of operating your own illegal radio station – forget it, it won’t work.
After enjoying some nice music capabilities, we hoped that we could experience some top-notch video support, in order to take advantage of the OLED display! However, it was not meant to be. N85 is only able to play MP4 files with the H.263 codec, which are not good enough for today’s standards. This is totally unacceptable for a modern multimedia phone.
It was long ago that the integrated memory of a device could limit its possibilities for data storage. N85 comes with 73MB integrated memory, but the good news is that you’ll find an 8GB memory card. Most of the popular N-Gage games are stored on it. Every one of them can be easily installed as a demo, and afterwards you can choose three of them and order their full versions for free, using the codes provided in the kit. Some of the more interesting titles are Asphalt 3, Snakes Subsonic and Bounce.
When it comes to the GPS software, it’s the well known Nokia Maps, which does a good job, but we’d prefer Route66 (the INNOV8’s built-in GPS software). There are four possible types of view – map, satellite images, 3D view and hybrid; the last one combines the first two. In case of a cold start, and being inside, we’d have to wait for about a minute and a half. Going outside reduced the time needed for the satellites to be found to about a minute. When we restarted the GPS software it took it only 8-10 seconds to reload, which is an outstanding performance. Like any Nokia phone after N95, when the device succeeds in “catching” the satellites, it manages quite well and rarely loses the signal.
1. (unregistered) posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 0 0
I cant wait to get this phone it looks wonderful
2. (unregistered) posted on 13 Nov 2008, 02:54 0 0
Unfortunately, this review doesn't pleased me. I'm start crying...
3. Riachu (unregistered) posted on 13 Nov 2008, 06:57 0 0
I've had this phone for 3 weeks and it definitely deserves more than a 7.5!! This phone has everything that you will need in a perfectly designed form. That itself is revolutionary. This review is stupid in defining this phone as an updated N95. The N85 is even better than the N96!! It does everything useful that the N96 has to offer with the addition of better battery life and a super quality screen. Don't be fooled by stores (and websites) trying to sell you the (more expensive) N96, just so that you can watch telly on the move. Personally, I'd much rather have a phone with enough energy to last the entire day and fits better in my hand and pocket. Previously I owned, Sony Eric: K750, K800 and K850. I thought the specs of the N95 were great but it was just too big and ugly to purchase. I've been waiting for the N85 to be released for months....... and I ain't disappointed at all.
5. (unregistered) posted on 15 Nov 2008, 02:10 0 0
i totally agree, unlike N96, this has some added stuff, like slide handling and is much much faster and bug-free. i loved this phone, only two bad things about this phone is looks and no xenon flash. oh and loudspeaker could be louder, but still this is worth buying.
6. (unregistered) posted on 29 Nov 2008, 03:22 0 0
i have this phone 4 2 weeks and its amazing.i had the n96 before it and this is defenately 10 times better. the camera is amazing and the naviwheel is perfect exept if u use the side of the pad. ur supposed to touch the inside (on the limit between the dpad and the select button) it deserves a 9.5/10
4. mandeep singh (unregistered) posted on 14 Nov 2008, 08:42 0 0
Yes, N85 definitly deserves more than 7.5 i also own N85 and it is better than n95 8gb, i am 100 agree with Riachu's Comment. I Love My N85.
7. umuthvr posted on 23 Jun 2009, 09:51 0 0
n85 or n79 which one is the best multimedia and features ( features same but ) n85 looks same with n96 because. n79 is multimedia prince n85 fm transmitter is unusable is it true ?
8. Pure posted on 07 Jul 2009, 02:53 0 0
I like this phone alot,and i am intrested in buying it...i am concerned about something mentioned on the review though, "The viewfinder loads in about 4 seconds and it takes additional 1 or 2 in order to focus in a brightly lit room. In case of soft lighting, focusing can last up to 6 seconds, which is too much and the moment could easily be missed"