Nokia N95 Review
N95 is a phone running on Symbian Operating System with S60 interface. To be precise, the exact version is Symbian 9.2 with S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1, which is the latest one used in a Nokia phone up to now. A cool extra is the support of using the whole operating system in landscape mode – something that has been in Windows Mobile for Pocket PCs.
The opening of the slider upward in a way, which shows multimedia buttons automatically orientates the interface in landscape mode.
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 N95 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.
The 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 new extra of the OS (9.2 compared to 9.1), which we find in N95 is that each application which is active has a small circle next to its icon in the menu. For example, if you left any application running in the background, than in the main menu next to "Applications" link an indication would appear (see Grid image above).
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”.
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.
Other options like Calculator, Notes, and Converter are located in the Office menu. Notes are just annotations with no option for adding an alarm like the To-Do notes. The Converter works with various quantities (Length, Weight, etc.) but the interface has not changed much, compared to older versions, and working with various types is still inconvenient – entering different values requires a quite slow transition from one row to another, while choosing types is done from a drop-down list, which usually takes a lot of time.
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.
Alarms are located in a third menu - Clock (in applications). In Symbian 9.2 you can add as many alarms as you wish and for each one you could choose whether it should repeat each and every day for example or not. This is excellent and there is no stupid limitation in the number of the alarms like with other even smart phones (i.e. Symbian 9.1 allows for only one alarm that even can not be set to repeat).
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.
The Tools menu houses the integrated 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. Pritam (unregistered)
camera looks pretty terrible. the autofocus seems to have trouble after a certain range, must not have a good aperature. my a800 takes better pics
2. n95fan (unregistered)
I guess your A800 does not have a phone in it?
3. Haroharo (unregistered)
what a joke! if you think an a800 takes better pictures then maybe you should take an eyesight test. The only major flaw with the N95s camera is the magenta tint and oversharpened detail. These can be fixed by firmware updates.
4. naveen (unregistered)
5. Dacapo (unregistered)
N95 definitely the best of the best. The device got everything that a normal person to a hightech junkies wants; wifi + flawless internet browser, infrared+bluetooth connection, high-end camera, Mp3 & multimedia player, 3G connection & GPS reciever... Its only drawback for most people (including me) is the pocket-emptying price..!
about 1/3 of these are coming back faulty, can be anything from battery life, software faults, loose slides or even buttons not working. on the ones that do work the battery life makes the N80 look good. oh and the GPS is rubbish.
7. MSANTOS (unregistered)
N95 nokia for my opinion is not as good as N73 because my N95 always hang and it needs to charged everyday. The service center here in Riyadh told me that they always repair N95 because of its battery life and ic connection. Please Nokia company, do action now and see the problems.
8. Fernando (unregistered)
who ever took those pics with N95 dont know how to take pics. Horrible.
9. folen_angel (unregistered)
I am a former N80 owner and I've got nokia n95 for more than a week now, and i really love its performance, from the 5 megapixel camera, stereo speakers, GPS, WiFi, UMTS, dvd quality video, largest nokia screen( though lower resolution compared to N90 and N80 )etc... It's battery is lasting for about a day and a half under rigorous usage, and even longer when it is just in its standby mode. every possible connection is now a reality- from stereo speakers, to your laptop/desktop, and now, to your TV. Can anyone handle that? So stop comparing it to k800, N73 or even N93i because it's far better. To those people criticizing the phone, maybe the phone is too good or too expensive for you. But if the money is not an issue, Nokia N95 is a clear choice or rather the perfect mobile phone for you!
10. Laurio Vincent (unregistered)
Nokia N95 Review I've been using the N95 for a few days now. This is one hell of a cell phone. I did read a few reviews before buying the N95, obviously since it costs so damn much. A lot of people complained about the poor battery life and the slider being a bit wobbly. My friend's got an N95 and I got the N95, but both the phones have very firm sliders, even when closed, unlike the Nokia 6270 which does wobble a bit when the slider is closed. About the battery life, i think it is not as bad as others say it is. On my 1st day, the use obviously being pretty heavy since you try all the stuff in the handset, the battery lasted about a day. I think the screen brightness has something to do with it. If you reduce the screen brightness a bit, like I did, the battery will work longer. PRO'S: Excellent Camera, pretty good pics even in low light conditions. Normally with my N70, pics taken in low light environments have a lot of purple spots all over it. But these purple spots are almost invisible with the N95 in similar conditions. The cam has several options to enhance picture quality before take the picture itself. You can adjust the sharpness, contrast, light exposure, and many more and create a user defined profile for the cam. The video quality is excellent, but take a awesome amount of memory at highest settings. Good thing though, you can set you cam to take pics at 5MP, 3MP, 2MP, 0.8MP and 0.3MP and videos in VGA at 30 fps or 15fps, QVGA at 30 fps or 15fps, and QCIF at 15fps(3gp format). The screen in nice and big with a very clear and colourful display. However you may want to reduce the screen brightness a bit and keep the backlight timeout to about 15 secs if you want to increase the battery life. You can push it to the max if you don't care about battery life. The 2 loud speakers give an excellent sound output, much better and louder than my N70. The music player too has several options like equaliser, graphic visualizations, stereo widening, bass enhancer, etc. The earphones supplied give a good sound output but the bass effect is not as good as I expected it. However that's not a problem since you can plug in your personal earphones of any make or model that have a 3.5mm pin and listen to music the way you like it. The remote on the earphone adaptor looks very sleek too. I don't really need the GPS facility in the phone and have not been able to try it out as not supported by my network currently and i haven't visited the areas supporting wi-fi either. It's a plus point for those who need it though. The software response is pretty fast, compared to my N70 which is quite slow. It has a bearable time lag while opening applications, gallery, etc. It's too early to judge it right now since my 1GB card is only about 400mb full. The phone is loaded up with a lot of extra softwares which will spice up your cell. One impressive feature included in the web browser is multi-window option which i didn't have in my N70. This makes surfing a lot more fun and convenient. One thing I was very happy about is that the phone came with a 1GB card with it, even though the Nokia-Asia website shows the in-box having only a 128mb card(which i was very disappointed to hear at first). it also comes with a very classy leather cover, which is normally not included in in-box accessories. A car charger would have been great, if included[I know I'm asking for too much now:-)] Cons: Battery life, though not too big an issue, could have been better. Application Manager takes quite long to open, even though i hardly put any external softwares. The good thing is that software can be uninstalled from the main menu itself. Everytime i restart my phone, i don't get delivery reports for the first 10-15 minutes when i send text messages even though the settings show delivery reports ON. I have to wait about 15 minutes after starting it and it works after that automatically. The body of the handset looks a bit poor in quality considering the cost of the phone. Lets see how long it can go. If you put external themes that slows the cell a bit, the softwares(NOT THE PHONE) hang sometimes. Exiting it by holding the Menu key down and pressing the cancel button (c) takes very long. Very Pricey, but worth every buck you pay. Overall, in my opinion, if you got the cash...go for it!!!