Nokia N95 First Impressions

April 14, 2007

Nokia N95
Yesterday the FedEx guy showed up with my new Nokia N95, fresh off the plane from Hong Kong. The idea of a well-connected, web-enabled feature-rich phone that also had a decent camera was just too tempting.

I like the idea of shooting pictures and videos, but I seldom leave the house with the intention of doing so; even though I’ve got a nice small digital camera, I hate dragging it around with me on principles, and even when I do want to use it, it’s seldom charged up.

The N95 is a better camera than my little pocket digital, and since I keep my cellphone charged and with me 24×7, I won’t have any excuses not to take a few pictures.

Setup was simple; installed my T-Mobile SIM card, a two GB mini-SD card and the battery, plugged it in and started charging. Enabled bluetooth, installed the N95 plugin for iSync (available here), paired it with my MacBook Pro, and synced up my contacts and calendar.

All in all it’s a beautiful phone, at least once you get the hang of it. Open the cover on the Carl Zeiss Optics lens, and it goes into camera mode. Slide the display towards the bottom, it reorients the display to landscape and goes into media player mode. Slide it the other way, it goes back to portrait and is ready to be a phone.

A decent phone, too. Signal strength is excellent, on par with the 3650 – my only other Symbian experience and the best signal quality phone I’ve ever owned. Audio quality is excellent, at least on my end (called parties have said it’s good, but few of them are as picky about call quality as I am).

The camera is amazing, for a phone cam at any rate. I’ll post a few pics as soon as I take some that are even remotely interesting.

So far the battery life has been far better than some of the reviews have suggested – easily on par with my other smartphone experiences. I’m also not experiencing the hiss some have reported during calls, nor have I had any lose slider issues. Knocking on wood.

The only problem I’ve really had so far is with Wi-Fi. It connected fine to both my WPA-encrypted Airport Extreme, and my old 802.11G D-Link access point (running WEP), but network operations would seem to time out a lot on the Airport Extreme. Switched to the D-Link network and all is well. Which is a shame, because the Airport has much better range. I’m wondering if this is a WPA related issue…

More as I learn more…

[tags]Nokia, N95, S60, Symbian, Smartphone[/tags]

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2 Responses to “Nokia N95 First Impressions”

  1. Jim Long on April 14th, 2007 2:13 pm

    Small video/WiFi enabled phones are fast becoming a powerful video journalism tool. The ability to be live from anywhere you have connectivity has huge implications from a television journalism point of view.

    Chuck, from a pracitcal, news photogs point of view, does the n95 have a decent optical zoom?

  2. Chuck Lawson on April 14th, 2007 2:54 pm

    Jim, thanks for the comment!

    (for those who aren’t familiar with Jim’s work as a serious pro video journalist, please be sure to check out Virge New Media).

    I’m probably not the best judge of how good the optical zoom is — I’m pretty much an out of practice amateur — but in the half-dozen or so shots that I’ve taken, it’s looked fairly good — at least on par with what I’ve seen from the current crop of sub-SLR digitals in the 3-5 megapixel range.

    For motion work, it does have a built-in steadycam mode also.

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