Friday, 14 December 2007

Nokia N95 Vs Nokia N95 8GB

Nokia has pulled out a lot of stops for this, the second Nokia N95 iteration.

In terms of reviews, the Nokia N95 8GB is relatively simple to handle, thankfully. Not because it's a simple or trivial product, but because the original N95 is so well known and has been written about so many times that there's really little point in going over every function that's common to both devices in minute detail.

So, quite a list of changes from 'original' to '8GB'. Most are very positive, but it's also worth noting a few of the negatives, which may, just may keep people using the original design. There's the lack of a physical lens shutter, which may be an issue if you're rough with your smartphone, there's the lack of a built-in video editor, the fixed flash memory, with no option to take out a card and stuff it into a printer (for example), and finally there's the black finish, which is slightly less tactile than the original N95 and the 8GB model slipped from my fingers more than once while testing it. Gulp.

But there's no doubting, on balance, that the Nokia N95 8GB is 'better' than its predecessor. The improvements in speed, battery life, free RAM and screen size all stand out as highlights. Build quality on this production unit was excellent in every regard and some of the mechanical oddities of some batches of the original are nowhere to be seen.

Is this the best smartphone ever made? Yes. You could even drop the 'smart' bit and call it the 'best phone ever made', since this will be sold in High Street shops and picked up, as the original was, by people from all walks of life, most of whom have never even heard the term 'smartphone'.

For the hardened AAS reader and power user though, note that the form factor limits of the original N95 are still in place, i.e. the QVGA screen, placing real usability limits on which web sites can comfortably be browsed around, and the numeric keypad - going back from the Nokia E90 or E61i to a keypad is a real wrench. Still, the latter problem can be solved for some use cases with a Bluetooth keyboard.

A big thumbs up overall though. Nokia has listened carefully to the feedback coming from early N95 users and has addressed just about every criticism and done it in style. The original device enjoyed several major firmware updates and countless extensions via the Download! application and I'd expect this to see the same attention from Nokia

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