posted by Eugenia Loli on Thu 3rd May 2007 19:21 UTC
IconHi-Mobile.net was ultra-gracious this month to send us over the Nokia N95, the most advanced multimedia smartphone Nokia ever released. Read on for more information in our review, with plenty of pictures and screenshots.

The N95 is quad-band GSM/EDGE worldphone with HSDPA support for everywhere except USA. It features a 2.6" 240x320 16mil color TFT screen, a microSD hot-swap slot up to 2 GBs, 256 MB internal flash memory (160 MBs free), Bluetooth 2.0, IrDA support, mini USB 2.0 for communications, Nokia's proprietary 2mm charging mini-connector, WiFi 802.11 b/g with UPnP support, built-in GPS hardware support, 3.5mm audio output jack, stereo/visual FM radio, PTT (everywhere except USA), TV-out support, 5 MP autofocus camera with flash and a protective cap, 320x240 QVGA front-camera for video-calls, stereo speakers, 950 mAh battery, 3D graphics accelerator in hardware, 64 MB RAM and a 332 Mhz ARM11 CPU.

The device weighs just 120 gr, which is amazing for a phone that has so many features in it. In the box we also found a TV A/V cable, a leather case, a 3.5mm headset (which had very good sound quality), a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm adapter with push-talk/volume buttons on it, a USB cable, a CDROM, manuals, a screen protector, a 1 GB microSD card and a travel charger. We also tested the phone with a 2 GB Sandisk card kindly provided by Geeks.com which proved to be faster than the bundled one. Special thanks to SHAPE Services as well for sponsoring us with a copy of their IM+ instant messaging application that helped us test third party application compatibility in the N95.

The Nokia N95 comes with Symbian base OS v9.2 and the front-end of S60 v3.1. There are some security and stability fixes on Symbian kernel's new version, but the S60 v3.1 adds a few new features too, like h.264 support, automatic keylock, the WebKit browser can now also render WML among other, mostly visual enhancements.

The phone features all the normal keys on the front as you would expect from a S60 device plus a video call camera and an LED light for new messages. On the left it also has a "multimedia" button which loads the "Gallery" application, a camera button that only works if you have your camera cap open, volume buttons up and down and the right speaker. On the other side you will find the IrDA, the 3.5mm jack, the microSD slot and the left speaker. On the top of the device there is the on/off button that also serves as a profile switcher, while at the bottom of the N95 you will find the charger port and the USB mini-connector (does not charge the device).

The N95 is a slider, and so sliding the device up exposes the numeric keypad. I like the keypad as it is easy and fast to tap precisely at the right keys. When you slide the device down the other way, a second set of keys are exposed that have multimedia purposes (play, pause, forward, back etc). I found myself not using this gimmick much though, in fact I found it annoying. However, a real problem is the build quality of the phone: it is not a sturdy phone. When the phone is slided up, you can easily grab the two sides next to the numpad and break the cover by exercising very little strength (even a 2 year old could break that).

The N95 is a classic S60 device. It comes with a calendar, alarms, tasks, contact list, call log etc. In addition to these standard applications you will find a refined music player that now has a menu structure more like the iPod's, the "Gallery" application that shows images and videos in a pretty impressive visual way, the Lifeblog, a voice recorder, IM (requires GSM operator support, won't work via WiFi and Yamigo), FM radio app (which unfortunately does not download the Visual Guide via Wifi but again it requires a GSM internet connection), a QuickOffice viewer, the Search application that supports Yahoo! and Windows Live as sources, Adobe PDF, a Zip app, a barcode reader, two 3D games and of course, the also 3D-based OpenGL maps application licensed from NavTeq.

I found the 3D processor in the phone very impressive! The graphics looked really good and the two included games that support that graphics processor were running real fast!

My favorite features on the phone is the addition of A2DP/AVRCP under Bluetooth 2.0. OBEX transfers maxed out at about 110 KB/sec. Unfortunately, Bluetooth seems to have major incompatibilities with some Bluetooth headsets (including our own and reportedly, some Sony Ericsson ones). It would pair, but it wouldn't connect. Thankfully, it did work with our second headset. Other than the incompatibility with some headsets (which is a bug appearing on some other Symbian phones too), Bluetooth worked fine with A2DP and OBEX transfers.

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