The Nokia N95

Nokia 019
I am one of the blogger-testers of the new Nokia N95. I received one of the first phones two weeks ago and have been using it now as extra phone. As I was also one of the beta-testers of the Nokia N91, I’ll concentrate on the differences between these two high-end smartphones.

N95 vs N91

  • GPS: this I have never experienced in a phone before. The phone came with maps for Benelux on its 1GB card. The mapping functionality is free, the routeplanner too, but if you want the phone to read you the instructions (“in 500m, turn left”) you need to pay: per year, per month or per week. Interesting business model. TomTom e.g. charges you for extra countries, but the instruction reading is always included. To be honest, you cannot compare the N95 GPS to the TomTom One (of which I am a very happy user). The GPS sensor is not as strong, so you need more time to lock into the satellites, and you lose them more easily. But it’s still an impressive feature, certainly when combined with the camera function (geo-tagged photos on Flickr). As more and more location-based services will become available for mobile devices, a built-in GPS might become a more common feature. Strictly speaking, just a GPS sensor (not the map data, not the route planner) is already worth quite a lot.
  • Internet: the N95 uses the same browser as the N91, but the screen is much better, certainly when you switch to landscape mode. I also have the impression that Proximus Live! is a faster and robuster way to connect to the Internet than Mobistar’s “Orange World” which I’m using now. I’m switching to Proximus soon anyway.
  • Camera: quality-wise it’s a big step: from 2 megapixels to 5 megapixels, with better contrast and better focus. But while the N91 is a slow photo camera, the N95 is super slow. There are easily 2 to 3 seconds between the moment you push the button and the actual photo. You won’t be using it for sports photography. But the image, even after maximum digital zoom, is still way better. There’s also the option to upload your pictures to Flickr right away. On the N91, you still needed Shozu (excellent program by the way), with the N95 that functionality is built in. To be honest, Shozu is still better: it also supports uploading videos to YouTube, geotagging and upload queuing. Shozu is free and works on the N95, so no worries.
  • Wifi: I’m spoiled, I’m already used to this on the N91. But the N95 can scan continously and connects automatically. And the adding of new access points is finally more intuitive. Wifi on a mobile phone opens a whole new world of applications. The browser benefits from it, obviously, but also the photo uploading, RSS reading … There should be more applications for the wireless network, or if there are already, Nokia should promote them more.
  • Gallery: the application that lets you browse the photos and videos you made is much slicker than the N91.
  • Storage: the Nokia N91 has a 4GB of 8GB hard disk inside, which takes up a lot of battery, and it obviously cannot be removed. The N95 uses these itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny Micro-SD cards, which now go up to 2GB, but 4GB soon. The N95 has the better future ahead.

Software

Some of the stuff I’ve tried out on the Nokia (Symbian-based):

  • Google Gmail Mobile: killer app #1. Gmail on your phone kicks ass! You won’t be typing long replies, but having your email in a familiar application on your phone is something addictive.
  • Google Maps Mobile: killer app #2. This gives you a glimpse at what will be possible once we have enough bandwidth: no pre-installed GPS program, but a web-based solution with maps on-the-fly, points-of-interest (speed cameras, resaturants, ATMs) always up-to-date, routes calculated at the server and maybe even new voices (speech TTS) delivered over the network.
  • I mentioned Shozu before: it uploads photos and videos to Flickr, Youtube, Blogger, Typepad …

Battery

A GPS, a video camera, Wifi … you can imagine that these things suck your battery empty in no time. When using the N95 on a regular basis, don’t count on lasting two full days on a full battery. From my experience with the N91: the power consumption might improve with new versions of the firmware. In the mean time: when your phone dies because you were recording a video of your cat playing the piano, you might be mad at yourself.

16 thoughts on “The Nokia N95

  1. Arthur

    I must say N91 user experience is better than any one else in the market i have seen so many good things while using it but the processing speed is classic .For applications i have found many free games and trail applications on http://www.youpark.com so just go on and enjoy!!!!!!

  2. Pingback: Nokia Nseries Discovery Blog » Blogger Peter Forret vergelijkt de Nokia N91 en de Nokia N95

  3. AF

    TRIVIA:

    You might have seen the flash that Nokia has published for the N95. on http://www.nseries.be/

    If you have the patience to go up to the end of the story, once the main character is in the “club with a live band” the song that you hear in the background is Funky Flower from be-funk.

    As for the phone, this is definitely a good step in the right direction. Nevertheless the main question remains unanswered: the offer should include a mix of product and services. Here we only see the product.

    Peace
    be-funk

  4. dekay

    Peter,

    what about its weight? Is it as much of a brick as its cousin N91? Software stability?

    But those cameras are a PITA. I wish they would have a “Lomo” mode, just shoot as quickly as possible, taking into account wacky colors and using fixed focus. Much better for candid shots IMHO.

    …but I am still waiting for that iPhone UMTS plus affordable data plan.

  5. Pingback: Nokia Nseries Discovery Blog » Le blogueur Peter Forret compare le Nokia N91 et le Nokia N95

  6. Giovanni

    The N95 doesn’t weight a lot. I personally think it could weight a littel more. It weights about 130 Grams including the battery. It’s unbelivable what this thing can do when you look at the weight and overall size. Just the nearly perfect phone. The only downsites are:
    – Price (but that’s subjective)
    – Ram-memory (after a startup there is only 20Mb free available from the 64Mb, when listening to music and browsing you’ll get the message “out of memory”. Maybe memory-management will be better in new firmware, but they had to put in 128Mb to solve the issue entirely.)
    – Battery (I can’t last a whole day with one charge. When I charge it at night and I get up around 07:00 the battery is empty at 20:00. I use roadsync for pushmail all day on a 3G-network what uses a lot of power and am a poweruser. I think a “normal” user can last through-out the day maybe if he/she is lucky two days)

    Despite the downsite I still think this is the best phone I ever bought and there are no real compatiters on the marked the photo’s are cristal clear, the video is verry good for a phone and the screen is really brilliant. Also the sound of the internal speakers is good. If I have to rate it I’ll give this phone a 9.5. It would be a 10 with a bigger battery and without the memory-issues. The only thing I can sy is: I love this phone!

  7. Nik

    Nice to seea comparison on these 2 BUT you leave out the MOST IMPORTANT things IMO. Music abilities, music quality…. Cheers! 🙂

  8. Peter Wu

    Hi… umm i was wondering about the web browsing capabilities betweenthe n91 and the n95. On my N91, i seem to get the out of memory pop up alot, and thats really making it hard for me to leavemy laptop at home and just carry the n91 to school. I was wondering if its alot better on the n95, or if theres a way to fix it on the n91.
    thx.

  9. saL-onE

    i guess the gps, battery, randim wifi disconnects and some other issues have been solved with the latest firmware version, 12.0.013. though the latest firmware version created another bug, not detecting keyboard strokes. i hope there will be an update of that firmware out soon so it’s possible to enjoy my n95 even more..

    rergards,

    sal
    http://sal-one.com/

  10. Terri

    Im interested in the calender features, I am currently a BBerry user (purely for the easy agenda) and looking to buy a N95 because of the camera features. Can anyone say yee or nee for the calender in the N95.

  11. Peter

    I’m currently using a N80 with Navicore Sat Nav which is superb can the N95 use Navicore software using the built in sat detector?

  12. Pingback: Test Nokia N95 | MobileHub : le blog des smartnautes

  13. Compare

    Anyone know if you can get tomtom to run on my N95 8GB? I’ve been running it on my xda and want to know if it’s transferable.

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