Nokia N95: Test and Review

Announced in the fall of 2006, the Nokia N95 is long overdue … From its dream of features, it is one of those so-called innovative high-tech products, expected to move the market, in this case that of “smartphone” . While other manufacturers like HTC and E-Ten, already offer devices running Windows Mobile combines the features of a 3G mobile phone, a PDA Wi-Fi and a GPS solution, they present closer PDA format that the classic phone. Even if it is slightly more massive than the average, the N95 is relatively compact thanks to its slider form. Moreover, mobile phones integrating a 5 million pixel camera is now counted on the fingers of one hand. The LG KG920 is included. The N95 is the first smartphone to join this club “very close”.

Weighing 120g, the N95 has adopted a rather square format easy on the hand. If you appreciate the soft material of the rear hull, lightweight materials used metallized plastic front disappoint. As for the sliding screen, he took a little play on our test unit. For such a premium product at this price (800 EUR without subscription), we would have hoped for a better finish, even more noble and resistant materials!

Thanks to its size, the N95 enjoys a stunning display of 6.5 cm diagonal, bright, over 16 million colors. It is fairly resistant to glare, except obviously in full sun, and quickly pare multiple traces and tasks. Little originality, the N95 takes advantage of an ingenious dual sliding system, which gives it a unique ergonomics. To access the numeric keypad, the screen is slid upwards, as usual. But we can also slightly slide the screen down, and then reveals a small vertical row of backlit buttons dedicated to multimedia controls. The display also changes from portrait display mode to landscape (horizontal), ideal for viewing video or surfing the Internet. Only downside to return the portrait to landscape mode, it will slide the screen completely the other way and open the numeric keyboard. If you just close the screen, it will stay in landscape mode …

Side connections, we greatly appreciate the inclusion of a 3.5mm jack that lets you plug in any headphones market. The N95 also connects to the computer via a single USB cable, not a proprietary connection. The internal memory providing only 160 MB of capacity, it will be imperative to invest in a microSD card (up to 2GB). The location map is accessible on the side of the mobile, you can insert or remove the card “hot” without powering down the mobile. Like other models in the N series (like the N93i, N73 and other N80), the N95 is a complete smartphone. It runs Symbian OS 9.1 and takes advantage of the latest user interface Series 60 Personal Assistant synchronized messaging manager attachments, true web browser, music player and video … This is the service the “less” impressive N95. But rather practical and effective!

A slow start GPS

From a technical standpoint, the N95 offers all the wireless interfaces available for a mobile device: quadband GSM compatible 3G + (HSDPA with a maximum download speed of 3.6 Mbps) and WiFi b / g, Bluetooth, without forgetting a good old infrared port! In short, the N95 is a beast communicating, but not only. It is especially notable for its built-in GPS module. This proves slow enough to acquire a first position, in cold: 5 to 10 minutes unobstructed area (and even longer in the city). And yet, should make sure to leave it with drawstring screen up to ensure a more effective reception. To move an app called “Cards” is pre-installed on the N95: it allows to visualize its position in real time on a map in 2D or 3D.

routes can be planned, from point A to point B: obtained a written itinerary, step by step, that can be followed on the map: usable by car or on foot. But to get a real car navigation service (detailed visual and voice guidance), you must subscribe. For France and the Benelux, four types of licenses are available: 6.49 euros for 7 days, 7.99 euros for a month, EUR 59.99 for one year, 69.99 euros for 3 years. Attention must also count the cost of connections to download maps, each navigation. The question is whether this solution will appeal to users, as opposed to solutions with pre-installed maps as Route 66 or TomTom.

Another strong point of the N95 and technical innovation: its photo sensor 5 million pixels, the first on a Nokia model. The side of the optics, this does not change, it is the same as the N93i (Carl Zeiss Tessar 2.8 / 5.6). With this sensor, we get cliches until 2592 x 1944 pixels for prints up to 28×36 cm on paper. We found the work autofocus and rather long trip time. Allow 2 to 3 seconds: impossible to photograph moving subjects. If the image quality and color sharpness are excellent, still there are some more gray areas around where the autofocus took stock. The N95 does not carry optical zoom like the N93 and N93i. For cons, the powerful flash snapshots ensures superior average in dark environment, and a device “red-eye” (also permanently enabled for video).

The video is also of course the party with clips in MP4 format up to 640 x 480 pixels in MP4. There are of excellent quality, fluids (jusqu’30 images / s in theory) but notes, however, some jerks microphones. A video output and cable TV are provided for viewing on a TV. Overall, the N95 turns out a little slower than the N93i, and slightly less optimized for photo and video, but its benefits remain a largely satisfactory level, even exciting for any amateur photo blog and video.

Finally, both features will obviously pay a high price on autonomy, relatively low this model. If it takes about two days in normal use, count only a half-day endurance, if you are applying GPS. By cons, it recharges very quickly.