Nokia N91 in-depth review -

Look and Feel

The Nokia N91 is big. But it's a meticulously constructed metal phone, let down by a poor sliding front panel and fiddly keyboard.

Features

The 4GB hard drive and music player are the jewels in the Nokia N91's crown. It also has a two-megapixel camera, video recorder, Wi-Fi, support for Visual Radio, Push-To-Talk and instant messaging.

Ease of Use

The Nokia N91 is not hard to use, but the fiddly keys and sticky slider are irritating. The music player is good, but could be more intuitive.

Performance

Music sounds great through a pair of good headphones, and the video recorder produces the best results we've yet seen on a phone. Pictures are good, although not showed to best effect on the poor-quality screen. Wi-Fi makes downloading web content a speedy process.

Battery Life

The Nokia N91 offers a distinctly average 240 minutes' talktime and 190 hours of standby. Bigger battery life would have better suited such storage capacity.

 Nokia N91 Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:49:40 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Jam-packed with the latest mobile multimedia goodness while the music player closely matches the Apple iPod range for usability.

Cons:

Stuff this in your pocket and you'll either get admiring glances or cautioned for public lewdness. Too many imperfections for such an expensive handset.

The Nokia N91 has been a long time coming, and in the meantime Samsung has released its own hard-drive music phone, the i300. But there is excitement at the release of the N91, and it is one of the only Nseries devices to be taken up by the networks; surprising, considering how big this phone is. The size issue is hard to ignore with the N91. It's an unwieldy beast, close to PDA/smartphone hybrid proportions. But then it does pack in a 4BG hard drive.

Mobile music player

Anyone who picks up the Nokia N91 is in it for the music, and it's the nearest a phone has come to mirroring the interface simplicity and features of an Apple iPod. The hard drive can store around 1000 songs encoded at standard rate, assuming you don't stock up on other media like photos and videos.
There are three ways transfer music from your PC via USB cable. The easiest way is to make your N91 a mass storage device and drag'n'drop your files. The other two options involve music software: Nokia's proprietary music software and Microsoft Windows Media Player 10, which most PCs will have integrated. We recommend using Media Player 10. While still not on a par with Apple's accessible iTunes, it's still easy to grasp. The main menu is straightforward to navigate, and there are seven preset equalizer settings and other audio effects.
If the Nokia N91 is your main portable music device, it's got to sound spot on. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack connection plonked on top, so you can plug your Sennheiser or Bose headphones straight in without the need for an adapter. To coax the best out of any music phone, we recommend you use quality cans. We hooked ours up and the N91 sounded accomplished. Minor distortion did occur above mid-volume levels and the treble could sound splashy at times but for the majority of our test the audio quality was dynamic and full-bodied.

Symbian smartphone

Beyond the music, the N91 is a more than capable Symbian smartphone. However, it sports some disappointing discrepancies. The 176x208-pixel resolution screen is poor when compared to fellow Nseries handsets. We would would expect a better display, QVGA quality at least.
While this is otherwise a meticulously constructed metal phone, it is let down by a poor sliding front panel and fiddly keyboard. To reveal the keypad you have to slide down the fascia, with its dedicated music player controls, but the mechanism is jerky and seems very sticky in transition.
It's business as usual for the Symbian Series 60 operating system and interface. It's straightforward to navigate around and we found it stable and, for a Symbian phone, relatively speedy.

Two-megapixel camera

For a two-megapixel camera bereft of autofocus and a macro setting, the N91 delivers some nice shots. Its only failure for us was on close-ups, where the focus went awry. More impressive is the N91's flair for video. You can shoot sixty minutes of footage in MP4 format at a resolution of 352x288 pixels before storing it on your hard drive. The results were some of the best we've seen from a mobile phone.
Another big boon is the built-in Wi-Fi. It also supports Visual Radio, Push-To-Talk and instant messaging.
Despite its flaws, the Nokia N91 is a feature-rich multimedia performer that will appeal to early adopters and those of you who are serious about the convenience of having one communications/music device.