Nokia has big expectations for the new Nseries flagship and it's easy to see why
Nokia today announced that the much-anticipated N95 'multimedia computer' (or: all-singing and dancing camera phone in normal parlance) is starting to ship. We first saw the N95 six months ago at last year's Photokina show and immediately saw what a hit Nokia's latest brainchild was destined to be.
Not only does the N95 feature a five megapixel, Carl-Zeiss autofocus-lensed, still camera and a 30 frames per second video clip mode, plus a very neat digital music and AV player - and a nice big LCD screen, all in a package that's easily pocketable, but it also has an integrated GPS receiver ready for SatNav use. You also get Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and the best phone-based Web browser in the business.
The N95 is the first Nokia camera phone, sorry - multimedia computer, to feature an industry-standard mini-USB port. It also uses standard Micro SD memory cards and these can be fitted to full-size SD card slots using inexpensive adapters.
And Nokia has big expectations for the N95, with plans to manufacture hundreds of thousands of units, much more than previous Nseries flagship models like the N90 and N93. These were ambitious and flamboyant show-off designs, but not particularly broad in terms of mass market appeal. Not so the N95, the design of which should appeal to a very wide audience.
I've been fortunate enough to have used, if briefly, a number of pre-production engineering samples and, in use, the N95 doesn't disappoint. The way the bi-directional slide works is ingenious, revealing the playback controls in one direction and the phone keypad in the other. The Carl-Zeiss lens is sharp and image quality from the camera section is surprisingly good.
Pre-production N95s were a bit slow in operation, but the shipping versions should be speeded up with production firmware. We're certainly looking forward to seeing a production N95, especially as the GPS functionality remains un-tried.
If there's one thing that the N95 lacks, it's a convenient user-interface for entering information. Tegic T9 predictive character-input has its limits and if I were Nokia, I'd be planning a version of the N95, right now, with a touch-screen. You read it here first!
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Nokia's N95 - you won't have to wait much longer for the definitive super camera phone
DPNow Nokia's N95 - you won't have to wait much longer for the definitive super camera phone
Nokia has announced that its much-anticipated N95 5 megapixel camera phone is now starting to ship. ... (more)