Nokia N95 8GB in-depth review -

Look and Feel

This is no size zero mobile phone, but you do get a huge screen and a double slider as pay-off for carrying it around.

Ease of Use

If you have teeny hands you might find the phone a bit unwieldy. But early adopters will love it.

Features

In addition to the five megapixel camera and music player with dedicated controls, there are plenty of features to play around with here, from GPS to Wi-Fi and the new N-Gage gaming platform.

Performance

This handset is a smooth performer. It renders video nicely, gamers should love it thanks to the built-in N-Gage platform, and music playback is great. Oh, and you can make phone calls with it.

Battery Life

Battery life is still a bit of an issue, although the N95 8GB did perform well in our continuous music playback test.

 Nokia N95 8GB Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:50:09 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

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:

It's brimming with features, has a whopping memory and looks pretty good too.

Cons:

The camera is still a little slow and the battery is not the strongest.

Nokia N95 8GB review

We know the bus analogy is an old cliché, but you wait ages for Nokia to come up with an 8GB phone and then it comes up with two, with the N81 8GB and the N95 8GB appearing mischievously at the same time. The N95 8GB is the better featured of the pair, and, if we were making a straight choice between them, it is the one we would go for.

It's also the new, improved version of the hugely popular N95. And it is a definite improvement on the original.

While the first N95 arrived in silver the N95 8GB is finished in a much smarter black. The new-look handset also manages to fit in a significantly larger display, without adding a mm to the phone's footprint. This does mean that there's less room for the soft keys at the bottom, but this doesn't detract a jot from the phone's usability.

8GB memory

The most obvious new addition is, of course, the bumper new memory. And, while it can't compete with top-end iPods and the like, 8GB of in-built memory is plenty for storing a decade's worth of music, photos, videos, or whatever else you wish to carry with you on this multimedia powerhouse.

Obviously, where music is concerned, you need good battery life - a marked weakness on the original N95. To test the battery we conducted a continuous music playback test to find out how good the battery really is. The result - we got eight and a half hours of music, which is really pretty good going for a mobile of any kind.

However, a colleague who has been using the device for about a month complained that he was charging it every day with only moderate internet usage.

On the downside, there is no flash memory card slot so you have to use the PC connection or go over the air to get stuff on and off this handset.

The five megapixel camera

When the original N95 launched, its five megapixel camera was the talk of the town. It's here again on the N95 8GB. And while there are a number of phones now sporting this resolution, with its auto focus and macro mode, the N95 8GB more than holds its own. However, having seen the new Samsung G800, we do think that optical zoom will soon be a must-have on premium camera phones.

As with the original, we found the N95's camera a bit slow to process images after we'd shot them, and it wasn't all that great at shooting a moving target. With still objects, however, image quality was good.

N-Gage gaming on the N95

The much anticipated Nokia N-Gage gaming platform is built into this handset and, as we said in our Nokia N81 review, the graphics and gameplay look incredibleBut we had to make do with the pre installed test games as the full download system wasn't up and running when we wrote this review.

Games certainly render impressively on the 2.8 inch 16 million colour screen. The gaming controls aren't as good as they are on the N81 8GB, though. Here there are no controls above the screen - so that when you hold the phone with its display lengthways you don't have controls under each hand as you do on the N81 8GB.

Video playback

The big screen also comes into its own for Web browsing, and using Nokia Maps. The engine is built in already.

And then there is video playback. The large screen is well suited to this, and to prove the point the phone has a copy of Spiderman 3 stored on some of its 8GB of memory. Now, we aren't convinced anyone would really want to watch a full movie on a mobile phone, but if you do, the good news is that it runs very smoothly indeed.

Wi-fi connectivity

Wi-Fi is here, and you can get the phone to scan for available networks using a utility with a link on the phone's main screen. Hopping onto a network is a piece of cake.

There is also an FM radio on board for those times when your own music gets a bit staid. That bulks out the multimedia capabilities of this handset really well. Add in the smartphone diary and contacts synching and more that we don't have space to mention here, and you'll see that the N95 8GB throws in pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.

And it is better than the original.