In September 2006, I posted my thoughts about the announcement of Nokia’s N95.
A few weeks ago, I actually bought one, so I thought I’d follow up with my thoughts in my usual format. So you’re aware of my background, I’m coming to the N95 as my first S60 device, having previously used a Samsung D600 phone, paired with a Dell Axim X50v PDA.
- The build quality isn’t stunning. The slider wobbles a bit for a start. Nowhere near as good as my old D600
- The screen feels like it would be easily damaged by coins or keys in a pocket. This is in contrast to my D600, which after 18 months of abuse, is still in almost perfect condition
- For complex PDA work, the N95 really feels like it could use an alternate form of input to the numeric keypad (slideout keyboard or touchscreen)
- The battery life isn’t great (two days of normal use for me). But to be fair, I didn’t expect anything else
- The range of software is rubbish compared to Windows Mobile, and having to deal with unsigned apps is a pain
- My N95 had a loud hiss on the headphone socket, and has just been sent off for replacement. Hopefully I’ll have a replacement soon
- The connectivity is wonderful. Having 3G, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.0 in one device is a revelation. This is the first device where I’ve ever felt properly connected wherever I go
- The builtin web browser, is the best mobile browser I’ve ever used, with the exception of Opera on my N800. Browsing on my N95 is better than Internet Explorer or Opera on my Dell Axim
- It’s a very good phone. Not a PDA with some passable phone functionality, but a genuinely impressive phone, with great reception and voice quality
- The size is just perfect; small enough to never be a burden, yet large enough to make it useful PDA
- Great quality photos and video from its camera
- While I had issues with its headset socket, I’m blown away by its speakers. They sound great, and are very loud for a portable device. Obviously they can’t perform miracles, but I’ve happily wandered round my house getting ready to go out, whilst listening the N95 play my favourite MP3s from the pocket of my jeans
- The N95 uses a nice big d-pad to navigate its menus, rather than the horrid tiny joysticks used on lots of phones (manufacturers: please note that I refuse to buy any phone with a tiny joystick)
- It syncs beautifully with my iMac over Bluetooth 2.0. Calendar, tasks and contacts all sync across. Who needs an iPhone?
- Google Maps over 3G is great. If they could just add support for the builtin GPS, it would be almost perfect
It’s far from perfect, but it’s the best smartphone I’ve used yet. I had planned to carry my X50v along with the N95, but so far I’ve been happy to leave the X50v at home. Wikipedia and Google Maps in the pub, and Gmail while queuing at Marks and Spencer are my current killer apps 🙂
And as for the fabled iPhone, I’ll consider it when Apple bring out a 3G version with third party app support, but until then, I’ll be sticking with my N95