It has been about a year and a half since Nokia first unveiled the N-series devices phones based on the Symbian S60 operating system with an emphasis put on their multimedia capabilities. After a few media events, Nokia already has a half dozen devices on the market from the N-series, all designed to cover different multimedia directions music, imaging, mobile television.
At the Nokia Open Studio 2006 event in Manhattan, New York, Nokia officially announced their new models of the series, including the new revolutionary (really) N95, the US-bound N75, three music-editions of older phones (N70, N73 and N91) and a few other music-targeted devices out of the N-series (5200, 5300 and 3250 XpressMusic phones).
The main attention was centered at the new N95 that was rumored earlier as the N95/N83. Wi-Fi with UPnP, stereo Bluetooth, stereo speakers, 3.5 mm headphones/TV out jack, 5-mega pixel auto-focus camera, GPS and HSDPA are just a few of the features of this REALLY converged device. It was supposed to be a successor of the N80 because of its similar design form-factor a slider; but what's the unique is that the N95 is not an ordinary slider phone it packs dual slider that can be opened either upwards or downwards, revealing the numeric keypad or a small music-dedicated bar respectively. When slid down, not only the multimedia keys are revealed, but the display orientation is changed to landscape mode.
N95 next to N80
N95 and N80
The physical dimensions of 3.9 x 2.1 x .8 inches (99 x 53 x 21mm) are very impressive given the EXTRA long list of features the N95 has. The weight is also about 10% less compared to the N80 and is about 4.2 oz (120 grams).
The numeric keypad is about the size of the N80's one, but it uses different kind of relief for the keys and unlike the N80 they are not raised only in the central part but every row is raised on its own, which helps for distinguishing the keys in vertical direction, but its hard to differ keys that are next to each other in a row (1, 2, and 3 for example).
N75, N80 and N95 (left to right)
N95 and N80
Design-wise, the N95 combines different characteristics from the earlier N-series phones, mostly inspired by the N73 candybar, which can be easily seen in the colors used and in the design of the keys, situated on the upper slider (the one you use when the phone is closed); there you have large menu and multimedia keys, with a D-pad between them, and the other navigation keys are positioned in shiny silver trim around them.
The right side keys of the N95 are almost the same as the ones of the N73 you'll find the camera key, multimedia and the volume shortcut keys here (bottom to top).On the opposite left side you, we are happy to find 3.5-mm jack for headphones/TV output which is wise, having in mind the multimedia-orientation of the device; through it you can easily connect any standard headphones (not designed for phones) or even active speakers. Another positive side in connectivity is the port situated on the bottom Nokia has used standard miniUSB instead of their weird Pop-Port and now you can use every standard cable from a music player or digital camera for example.
As it is multimedia device, the N95 relies on imaging; it's the first Nokia phone to feature 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, which is far ahead of the 3-megapixel cameras that are dominating the high-end market at the moment. It is situated on the back of the device and is encircled with Carl Zeiss and Autofocus labels, but sadly uses single LED for flash, which can't be compared to the Xenon flash Sony Ericsson used in the K800. It's nice to see though that N95 supports the same video-capture mode as the N93 VGA 640x480 pixels at 30 frames per second, which can be called DVD-like quality.
For viewfinder of the camera, or for watching videos captured with it or downloaded through the high-speed HSDPA connection or the local Wireless network (Wi-Fi 802.11b/g) the phone has really large 2.6-inch QVGA 320x240 display, capable of showing up to 16 million colors. Speaking of HSDPA, the N95 supports the Class 6 type, which means theoretical speeds of up to 3.6 Mbps. Unfortunately, even though the phone is quad-band GSM/EDGE, the UMTS/HSDPA is only the European version.
Browsing the Net
The N95 is targeted as not only multimedia device, but as a pocket assistant as well; it is ideal for internet browsing with its large display and fast connection to the Internet (UMTS/HSDPA, Wi-Fi). The already superb web-browser which is used in rest of the recent S60 phones is now even better and offers landscape browsing, saving pages for offline viewing, floating toolbar, password manager and other improvements.
Building-in a GPS receiver can not be called innovation, but keeping in mind the rest of the phone's features and its relatively small size really shows Nokia's engineering capabilities. Moreover, Nokia did not stop only at just putting a chip in they also included navigation software with maps for more than 100 countries and more than 15 million points of interest. For a fee, additional features like City Guides and voice-guided navigation can be purchased.
To sum all up, kudos to Nokia! Even though we spend a very short time with the N95, we felt its magic one device, small enough to be easily carried around, with large enough display to allow easy Internet browsing; with super-fast data connectivity, built-in GPS with free maps, and 5-mega pixel camera replacement! Don't you just love it?
Nokia N95, N75 short video tour:
The second totally new phone Nokia announced, during the media-only event in New York was the smallest to-date N-series multimedia computer as Nokia loves to call them the US-friendly N75. We call it US-friendly because the phone is actually the first one from the N-series which is specifically designed for the US market and hence supports both 850 and 1900 3G/UMTS frequencies in addition to the world quad-band GSM, making it ideal candidate to be released by Cingular Wireless.
N75, N80, N95 (left to right)
N75 and N80
N75 and N95
It's 80% of the inch thick device and when closed has 128x160-pixels 262k colors display and multimedia keys. On the back it has relatively ordinary 2-megapixel camera with LED flash, lacking any cool features like auto-focus or the trendy Carl Zeiss branding on its lens.
N75 next to N95
N75 huge keys are a plus
When opened it shows its QVGA display with 16 million colors and size of 2.4 inches in diagonal on the upper shell and on the bottom one it has huge keyboard. The navigation keys are almost the same as those of the N95, but the clamshell design (and it's HUGE size when its opened) allows for bigger size and both the menu/multimedia keys and those in the silver metal trim are way larger. Also huge are the numeric keys (that are once again made of white plastic, resembling the N73 color scheme), which are slightly concaved at the center of each, making it easier to feel them with your finger.
In addition to the couple of the phones, Nokia showcased new music editions of their already popular N-series phones: the N70, N73 and N91. The Music Editions of the three smartphones have the same designs as the original versions, but are all black in color. They also keep the same specifications but the N91 ME is now upgraded, featuring 8GB hard disc instead of 4 in the original version. The three phones of the Music Series also come preloaded with the new Nokia music player.
The updated N73, N91 and N70 Music Editions
At an evening party, after the noise about the new N-series phones subsided, Nokia showcased two new music phones the 5200, 5300 and retouched 3250, branded with XpressMusic logo. They are designed as music-oriented devices on a budget, and are not part of the N-series.
5200s next to 3250
The 5200 and the 5300 run on Nokia's Series 40, while the new 3250, like the original version runs old version of Symbian S60 with small display resolution. The 5200 and 5300 use the slider form-factor, and the 3250 has its unique twist design with music keypad.
The key feature of the couple is the multitasking capability as they can leave their music player in the background running and perform other operation like composing a message for example. Although both are music phones and have music-dedicated keys on the surface left to the display, it's sad that for using standard headphones with 3.5mm jack you have to use an adaptor (hopefully the retail package has one). The 5200 is tri-band GSM with low-res display and VGA camera for Europe only, while the 5300 will have two versions European and US one. Its display is QVGA with camera upgraded to 1.3 mega pixels. Both of the phones support multiple formats for their music player, EDGE, Bluetooth and slot for microSD card for memory expansion.