Nokia N95 Review – If You Have Such A Device In Your Hands, Do You Need A Pc
Has anyone ever thought about the fact that in the appearance of the phone gives a clear feeling that it is full of functions to the eyeballs? Why is it worth looking at some mobile gadgets, and it immediately becomes clear that this is the embodiment of all modern technologies? Who knows, maybe this brand is doing its job, but when you look at the Nokia N95, you immediately realize that the favorite phrase of Nokiev’s marketers "mobile computer" in this case, not just an advertising move, but a real statement of fact.
Table of Contents
What is one of the latest developments of the Finnish company? You can immediately say that it looks expensive. High-quality, pleasant to the touch silver plastic on the front panel, and slightly velvet terracotta – on the back. The main space of the front is an impressive display. Below it is a control unit, consisting of 8 main buttons and a five-position joystick. The upper part of the front panel is crowned with a camera for video calls, a light sensor, a speaker and, of course, the proud NOKIA N95 inscription.
We go to the back of the device and observe only the camera on it, and the latch on the back cover, under which there is a SIM card slot and battery.
But the side parts are full of all sorts of differences. On the left side, one after another, there is a speaker (which has a twin brother on the opposite side of the handset), a 3.5-mm headphone jack, an infrared port, and a micro-SD memory card slot. On the right side also, one by one, a speaker settled down, a button-"swing" to change the volume and scale of images. This is followed by a button for quick access to the gallery, followed by a camera shutter button.
Once again, turn the device and look at the bottom of the case. She left a place under "eyelet" for the strap, mini-USB port, microphone and a hole for the charger plug. And exactly in the middle of the upper edge is the button for turning on / off the device, traditional for the manufacturer.
The display of the Nokia N95, as already mentioned, is large. More specifically – its diagonal is 2.6 inches. Resolution 240 x 320. But, despite the small resolution for such a physical size, grain is not visible. The display is capable of displaying 16 million colors, and thanks to the light sensor it does not fade in the sun and reduces brightness when it is not needed, saving battery energy. Everything in the display is good, but due to the lack of a protective glass, there is a chance of accidentally damaging it. So it’s worth being careful when putting it in your pocket, especially if there are any other items there.
For those who have not guessed yet, it is worth explaining that the smartphone is made in the slider form factor. However, the slider is not ordinary, but cleverly conceived! Cunning thought is that you can move the top cover both up and down. If with the first option everything is more or less clear, then about the second in more detail. In this case, the user is faced with a narrow strip of buttons for controlling the multimedia player. In appearance it seems that the buttons are touch-sensitive, but in reality they are ordinary mechanical ones, they are only tucked away under a single layer of plastic with transparent areas through which a pleasant blue backlight peeps. By the way, such a backlight is applied to all buttons without exception, so everything is perfectly visible in the dark.
The main keyboard is made in a classic style, only slightly curved around the edges. The key travel is not big, but not short, moderately tight. In general, just right – you feel that you are pressing a button.
Now let’s talk about what is hidden under the stylish case. The smartphone is based on the OMAP 2420 chipset manufactured by Texas Instruments. The heart of the device is the main 330 megahertz processor. He is echoed by a digital signal processor with a frequency of 220 MHz, which is engaged in highly specialized computing and consumes much less energy than the main one. The GPS chip hidden directly below the keyboard is responsible for determining the location, and 160 MB of dynamic memory, which can be expanded with a micro-SD memory card up to 2 GB, is responsible for data storage. The RAM in the phone is 64 MB.
The new architecture allowed manufacturers to implement in the device such functions that we had not thought of before. For example, hardware support for 3D: on the motherboard there is a place for a separate video processor. Now it is possible to transmit high-quality images to external output devices using the “tulip” cable included in the kit. On a regular TV, the picture looks decent, and manufacturers promise equally impressive performance on HD TVs. This cable is inserted at one end into a universal 3.5 mm jack, and the other three into the corresponding connectors on the TV (2 audio and 1 video). This connector is very convenient to use, just insert the plug into it, and the phone will ask whether to display the image on another display or are these simple headphones. By the way, for the fact that you can connect ordinary headphones to the device, we put a huge plus for manufacturers – now you will not need to buy adapters and constantly get confused in excessively long wires.
If we are already talking about wires, then let’s move on to the communication capabilities of the smartphone.
It can be connected to a computer using a mini-USB 2.0 cable. This was another step towards the needs of users. The data transfer speed in both directions does not exceed 850 Kb / s. In the "Disk Drive" mode, the memory card is easily detected by Windows XP and is immediately ready to transfer data. In PC Suite mode, the phone and memory card are available for installing applications and synchronization using the program of the same name. You can also select the “Photo Print” mode. In this case, the cable is connected either to a computer or directly to the printer, if possible, and the photos selected using the phone’s interface are printed. The latest version of the cable connection – “Media Player” – allows you to integrate the phone’s multimedia libraries into Windows Media Player on your computer. On this, wired telephone communications are exhausted.
But wireless pleases with its many. First of all, it is, of course, GSM of three ranges (900/1800/1900). In addition – the advanced standard for voice communications of the third generation WCDMA. To access the Internet, you can use not only GPRS, EDGE (UWC-136) and HSDPA, but also Wi-Fi.
As for Bluetooth and infrared, they have become almost mandatory for modern mobile, so, as expected, they are present in the N95. The infrared port works properly, transfers data to itself at a low speed and does not ask for food. And Bluetooth 2.0 is very fast – about 120 Kb / s when interacting with a smartphone-computer.
The story about the software of the smartphone promises to be long, so it is recommended to sit back and have fun.
The N95 runs Symbian v 9.1 on the S60 platform of the third edition, which opens up new opportunities for N95 owners, such as playing flash movies, working with GPS (about which a little later) and SVG files, and navigating between open applications. Otherwise, it is difficult for an ordinary user to notice visible changes.
Talking about the interface to those who have already used it makes no sense, it has not changed, so anyone who has already dealt with smartphones based on the S60 platform can proceed to the next part of the review.
We tell those who did not communicate with S60.
The interface is customizable. This applies primarily to the main menu: the phone can show it in a list or in the form of shortcuts. In addition, the standby screen can be adjusted. Conventionally, it can be divided into three parts. At the top is the name of the operator, the clock (again, you can select analog or digital), the date and day of the week, the battery level and signal level. A little lower, on the main and largest part, tiny icons of the currently activated services (Bluetooth, etc.) are displayed. Next, the separator is followed by an analogue of the Quick Launch bar in Windows. There you can add 6 shortcuts to choose from. Following them is information about notes, scheduled tasks and the availability of Wi-Fi access points.
In the third part of the screen there is space for shortcuts for the two buttons under the display, for which you can also set links to any application.
The transition to the menu is carried out by two buttons on the sides of the joypad. The one on the left is responsible for the main menu, and the one on the right is for multimedia. Let’s start with the last one. It is made for speed and convenience, although, in general, all of its items can be reached through the main menu. By pressing a key, a beautiful animated menu consisting of nine items appears on the display. This menu can be customized as you like, starting from links, ending with the background and sound.
The main menu contains 12 items, each of which can be called up by the corresponding key on the main keyboard.
There are plenty of applications and services on the phone, but it is unfortunate that even a small part of them cannot work at the same time. Too little free RAM. Two or three small programs are the threshold. Everything else is occupied by Symbian.
Camera, or rather. cameras, because there are two of them (the main and the front for video calls) as never before deserve special mention. Just think: 5 (!) Megapixels. What a technique it came to! Some time ago, such a resolution was available only to cameras, and now here in mobiles there are cameras with high resolution. However, the matter was not limited to this: the manufacturers managed to shove a rather powerful means of editing the received pictures into the smartphone. But first things first.
The Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens is located exactly in the middle of the round bulge on the back of the device. It is protected by sliding curtains, so the dust does not fall on it, and you can not worry about scratches. The shutters are set in motion by a special slider located above the lens, if you hold the phone in the “camera” position. Below the camera is a flash made on the basis of LED. The viewfinder is the display. On it, in addition to what is happening in front of the camera, it also shows the number of pictures that can be taken at a given resolution, and a side menu. You can configure shooting parameters in it, including white balance (presets only), sharpness, photosensitivity, exposure compensation, etc. You can also choose a color rendition (normal, sepia, negative, b / w), resolution, self-timer after a specified period of time and burst shooting.
After all the parameters are selected, you can safely click on the shutter and get very high-quality photos. The only disappointment was the time it takes the device to save the picture. At least 5 seconds elapse before the camera reverts to operational status. From this "ailment" you can get rid of by choosing a lower resolution, say 3 megapixels. If the large size of the photo is a priority, then you will have to sacrifice the shooting speed. Separately, it is worth talking about digital zoom (zoom). Having twisted what is called it, we get a picture to the maximum, consisting entirely of large pixels and artifacts. But do not lose heart. Feel free to click on the button, and the result is a pretty tolerable photo, it can be slightly unclear, but nothing more. For this, the developers put a big plus.
Macro shooting is also at a high level. The minimum distance for shooting is 10 cm, although sometimes it is possible to focus on closer objects.
We can only say about serial shooting that it is slow and that the delay between the next shot can be set to the taste of the photographer.
Having received the desired picture, the user can proceed to further photographing, or maybe send it to print via a local Wi-Fi network or send it by e-mail.
In addition, the smartphone has an album system, so before you start shooting in the options you can choose one of the existing albums or create a new one. Photos will be saved in it.
But it’s better to see once than read several times. Here are a few photos taken by the Nokia N95 under various conditions:
Thumbnail, click to view the original
Camera features are not limited to single photos. She can shoot video, the quality of which is also commendable. 30 frames per second at VGA resolution plus digital image stabilization give very good results. The video is clear, not blurry. It is saved in MP4 format. File size is limited solely by the amount of free space on the memory card. You can also enable sound recording. With it, the file size increases, but the effect of presence increases. The microphone is quite sensitive and picks up even very quiet sounds.
All that is said above concerns the main camera. But there is also an additional frontal. Its resolution is 352 x 288 pixels. With it, you can make video calls. However, it was not possible to verify how this option works due to the lack of 3G networks in Russia. In the meantime, networks are developing in our country, it can serve as a good mirror for girls.
Opening hours, productivity, conclusion
The phone is powered by a 950 mAh lithium-ion battery. It charges quickly – literally in an hour. However, Nokia has never complained about this figure. But the duration of a single charge leaves much to be desired. In talk mode (only GSM, WCDMA could not be verified for obvious reasons), the device worked for 2.5 hours, in standby mode (if you do not touch it at all) about 100 hours. In active use mode, the operating time almost reached the mark of 5 hours. This is without GPS, and if you turn on navigation, the battery will be discharged in two hours. After that, it becomes clear why the charger included in the kit is so small – it is convenient to carry it with you and, if necessary, give the battery an additional portion of energy.
It’s impossible to evaluate performance subjectively, so we turn to all kinds of benchmarks that test the power of a Java machine and the processing power of the device.
For today’s test, 5 benchmarks from Jbenchmark and one from FutureMark were selected.
For those ignorant in this area, we explain – the more points a particular device scored, the better. But let’s move from words to numbers.
2D Shapes: 1269
3D Shapes: 643
Fill Rate: 313
Image manipulation: 396
Sprites, game scene: 526
3D transformation: 844
User interface: 426
JBenchmark3D High Quality: 956
JBenchmark3D Low Quality: 949
Triangles per second: 45970
KTexels per second: 5724000
Gaming score: 670 (22.3 fps)
Smooth triangles: 333762
Textured triangles: 314997
Fill rate: 12785 kTexels
Bilinear filtering: 85% (failure)
Trilinear filtering: Failed / Not supported
Sub-pixel precise perspective correction: 99% (Success)
Z-buffer depth: 16bit (Success)
SPMark for Symbian OS
3D Game: 70, 66 fps
3D FillRate: 26, 87 Mtexels / s
3DPolyCount: 550, 35 Ktriangles / s
In conclusion, we can say that the smartphone is definitely a success. The model is not perfect, but there are still many more pluses than minuses. It is unlikely that the N95 will become a mass phone: not everyone needs such rich functionality, and not everyone is ready to give 30 thousand rubles for it, but the device will definitely find its buyer.
We thank SPN Ogilvy PR agency for providing Nokia N95 for testing.