Nokia N93i Review
We find the fact that an old operating system has been used for a top model weird and unpleasing. The phone features the Symbian v. 9.1 over Symbian S60 Interface 3rd edition, the same as the N73 and N93, rather than N95’s 9.2, which is much more fun to use. Although they are similar in many aspects, the 9.2 definitely wins over with its small but valuable improvements.
The top part of the home screen displays a clock and the date, as well as the usual signal strength and battery, while the name of the carrier or Offline can be seen in the middle. The Offline tag indicates that the N93i works only as an “organizer” and multimedia device with the phone function switched off (that’s handy for using the smartphone during a flight). Just below these is located a row of 6 shortcuts which can be personalized to suit you best. The rest of the display, below them, is used for “notifications” – this is where missed calls, upcoming tasks (or To-Do in the calendar), received messages are displayed, as well as the music player status (the song that’s played at the moment). The various capabilities of this Active Desk can be set to serve you best. It resembles a well-personalized homescreen of a Pocket PC with Windows Mobile OS and is really useful and pleasant to use, and it saves a lot of time. Located at the bottom of the screen are the two software buttons which can also be personalized from the Settings menu.
main menu can be viewed as 3x4 (or 4x3) grid of icons that can also be displayed as a list (it’s chosen directly from the main menu) but the icons are not animated in both cases. The numeric keypad buttons can be used as shortcuts – a function which is much better implemented than version 6 of the S60 interface but still a lot of things should be changed: as the menu not always holds 12 icons (they can be more or less), scrolling up/down shows you different ones that should be associated with the keypad – but they’re not. If you press 3 while at the highest part of the grid, you’ll select the icon located at the top right corner. But if you scroll down to reveal the other icons in this menu, pressing the 3 button will still open the afore-mentioned menu, not the one currently located at the top right of your screen; so these shortcuts only relate to the first 12 icons in a particular menu, while the rest (if there are any) remain without any shortcuts. If a button’s function is dynamic and corresponds to the grid in the menu, you can click the button for a given menu without even thinking about it. Thus, you save the time you usually need to “walk around” the menus, using the joystick.
The menu can be personalized by using themes, and if you combine various screensavers and personalized homescreens, two identical phones can look quite different. Definitely, the operating system provides many good personalization options, so it can be compared to the most advanced system, according to us – Windows Mobile for Pocket PCs.
All the contacts are displayed as a list and if there is a picture ID, it can be seen in the top left corner of the screen as a thumbnail with a very small size (it’s the same when you have an incoming call and that’s why we find this feature useless) when you select the contact. If you want to search, you type in directly from the keypad and searching is done for the whole name (not only the first word), even if the name is saved in more than one field (first and last name for example). If you want to edit a contact , you can only change the already defined fields. For adding more information you need to select the Add Detail menu. When adding a new contact you are provided with the “basic” fields, but with the “Add Detail” function you have almost no restrictions on the fields and their number and you can add a lot of phone numbers.
We also like having the option for adding a given field several times and in that manner for example we are able to record the numbers of three phones each one with a status “Mobile”.
The phone has a set of voice commands – they are speaker independent and you don’t have to “train” every command, something that can save you a lot of precious time. By holding the right soft key, the “recognizer” turns on and you can say a name (from the phonebook) to be dialed. Names like “Father”, “Brother”, “test”, “John” and “Neo” were no problem, but we had no success with others like “Amy” for example.
The commands can activate various programs or perform different functions, like “New SMS” for example, but a list with different capabilities must be added to the menu - not all of them are added by default so that they’re easier to recognize with any speaker – thus by adding only the ones you need you can achieve best possible accuracy without the annoying training. Аnd it works, the voice commands were very accurate and we rarely experienced mistakes when launching applications.
A voice recorder can record your voice by the means of speakerphone as the duration of the recording is limited only by the available memory. You can record on the memory card, which will allow longer recording times. In that way the smartphone replaces your voice recorder without needing a third party software.
The Organizer is spread into different submenus – the calendar is one of the icons in the main menu and it can be viewed by month or week. Of course, you can easily add notes to a particular day with a few clicks; To-Do notes are also displayed on the homescreen if the corresponding option is turned on (see Interface). An alarm can be assigned to each entry in the calendar.
The calculator is very simple and is not scientific one, which would suit a smartphone.
third party software that comes with every smartphone as that’s a way to broaden the phone’s capabilities – you have QuickOffice and PDF reader which help you out with the most frequently used document types. Unlike N73 and the rest of Symbian phones, which during our testing always had problems opening large PDF files or Excel sheets, the new N95 displayed everything flawlessly. Word text documents, large Excel sheets and PDFs, even heavier presentations in PowerPoint with pictures are easily open.
single alarm. The even more ridiculous thing is that it can not repeat and has to be set every single day even if you want to alert you at the same time. Option like a few alarms with different times and days is a luxury which the Symbian v 9.1 doesn’t allow straight from the box. Using a third party application you can fix that.
The World Clock is also located in this menu and you can add various cities that you like to view – that's very convenient and saves a lot of time compared to the standard way with “moving across the world map". You can easily review given cities, which you are interested in without searching them each time.
File Manager which we would've liked to feature an improved navigation too. Unlike PPC phones, it does not resemble the explorer we know from PCs and working with files is not quite fast.
1. Johnny (unregistered) posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 0 0
N95 is no longer a niche product, it has become a common phone where everyone, including students are holding. I love my N93 cos it is just so rare in the public. Never regretted getting it despite its size.
2. (unregistered) posted on 13 Sep 2007, 03:14 0 0
well, i have been into a lot of nokia handsets before from 8800, n80, n95 and e90 but when i finally got n93i into my possession i decided to keep it instead. With its classy look and muti-tasked functionalities, n93i definitely rules. like other cps; all have their down sides but sometimes the feeling of having such a unique mobile phone in a lot of ways is what matters most. Technology when it comes to mobile phones is endless but when you finally get something what you truly enjoy, its definitely worth keeping for a lifetime and n93i does the magic.
3. diLin (unregistered) posted on 28 Sep 2007, 07:12 0 0
N93i/N93 is a N-Gage 2 enabled (it's for sure) and which is great for gaming because of it's ergonomics (I mean the button orientation). We are already know that N93/N93i is capable to run the major games like Creatures of the deep and especially One Who's Next, but we also know that One Who's Next require to use the both hands and it runs in landscape mode. So the N93i is the great multimedia comp for the N-gage 2 platform. On the other hand we have the N95 which is a great multimedia computer as well. In terms of technology the N95 is way better and much more functional and smarter that N93/N93i, but the major problem with this device is its ergonomics. I mean the button orientation which makes it's difficult to play on. But it does have GPS and HSDPA and lots of other things.Personally if I think for myself I would buy the N95 hoping it will support the N-Gage 2 experience in full, by that I mean if it will run the One Who's Next game and other great upcoming games for N-gage 2 service in the Landscape mode. But I can't yet imagine how to play this games on N95, no actually I can but it will be hard with the number pad closed when I activate the landscape mode. Maybe I'll have to use a keyboard to play these games after connecting the phone to the TV. Then it'll be like a gaming console..Cool!!
4. Jo Jo of the Wild West (unregistered) posted on 06 Aug 2008, 10:51 0 0
The N93i is no worse a choice than any other phone currently on the market, as it has a full feature set, and the optical zoom on the camera is no minor thing. I have taken both the N93i and my N95 8GB with me when I've been sightseeing, and the N93i is hands down the clear winner. The distant details are always hard to capture with mobile phone camera's and the Nokia N95 has a dreadful zoom, and even the mighty N96 falls short of delivering an artefact/pixel free zoom. So it doesn't have GPS, but this only matters to those who would use a phone for navigation, and if you are a driver, it is better to have a dedicated GPS installed in your car. Phones just are not as versatile for serious navigation, but then horses for courses. Personally I find that reviews have been very unkind to this phone, and in time, maybe some will look back and rate this as a real classic. I mean, for video playback this phone is great. It could be placed on a desk in landscpae mode. Very few other phones can be placed down on a desk for viewing purposes, as they don't have stands. Even the iPhone needs a dock. For Video calling, you can put this phone on your desk, free your hands and not fiddle around to stay in view. The phone also has a flashlight, so it is great to find things in the dark (more useful than you might think). In the same way, its outer display fives you instant information on time, date, missed calls, messages recived without opening it. The standby button on top f the device could be clicked to elect silent mode (and back), so there is no need to opening it. The camera is very user friendly and to camcorder users, the button layout will be both familiar and optimised for film/photography. In a typical way, this phone will be used in multiple ways, and each function is activated differently, so as well as being semi professional, this phone is fun. Due to poor sales, Nokia have discontinued this edition of the phone, and it is very difficult to find. Prices on eBay are skyrocketing, but those who choose this phone, as long as people continue to use phones over existing networks for communication, this phone could last forever, but do take care of it since it is a little delicate, and Nokia do not manufacture parts for it anymore. A real classic, and something far less ubiquitous than the dog ugly N95.
5. ericnelson posted on 09 Jun 2009, 03:25 0 0
I love my N93i very much, despite of whatever they said about it...