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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Nokia N95 is really a leap ahead for the mobile industry.

Thu 01/02/2007 15:00 London504
Looking at amazing Toro on the N95, one could eat it off the screen.

The Nokia N95 (pre-production proto) finally arrived a couple weeks ago and it is the most existing mobile device I have used in years. It has everything. The Camera is amazing and the device is lighter than one thinks. It does produce spontaneous WOWs. I think this is due to three things, weight, size and brightness of the screen and 5MP camera. It is much faster than N73 and the mechanics have a great clicketiclack feel to it. The stereo audio is good, the slide show feature is improved as the panning is smoother.

I love the fact that the video recording has matured to VGA resolution and 30fps. It is smooth and clips are really watchable, The pictures are crisp and the macro is as great as it has been on N90 and N73. If I ever buy another digital camera it will be a SLR.  I hence pronounce the pocket camera dead. The Camera boot time is my greatest criticism of the device! This needs to be fixed it is unacceptably slow!

The GPS was cool, I was impressed how swiftly the maps came down over 3G. I also liked the graphics on them. Clean design. The N95 screen is big enough to make mapping useful. From utility point of view it is first generation and there is plenty room for innovation. I wish it was more, I am here, let me explore what’s around me. What makes the Maps app really interesting is the way they split it into product and service. The maps are downloaded dynamically, so where you move, a map corridor is downloaded and stored on the card. If you want turn-by-driving direction you need to buy a service. There are also point of interest services from several providers. This is real end2end management from Nokia’s point of view.

The N95 is a major upgrade compared even to the N73 launch last summer.  For anyone who makes phones, the N95 must be a source of stress. The sheer level of complexity to engineer this device would make most engineers have sweat pearls in the forehead. This is the most sophisticated gizmo at 120g ever engineered. Congrats guys, my hat off. My very rough guess is that more than a thousand engineers worked directly full-time on the device around the world and across the ecosystem, most of them have worked very long hours. I am also sure that in the labs there are engineers and designers who already are bored stiff with it, busy making the successors, and like this they will blow your socks off when public. As an outsider I am constantly surprised by the seemingly acceleration of utility in some many domains. When I put the N95 next to my wife’s 6682, they seem to be from a different decade, and it is only two years ago. The N95 to me is yet again proof that we are living a mobile revolution that is about to transform society in a profound way. All that said would I recommend the N95 to friends and family the answer is yes.

05:04 PM in Technology | Permalink

Comments

Glad to see you like it, but I'm going to have to disagree with your statement about the death of pocket cameras.

The images produced by the N95 still aren't up to par with something like the Canon ELPH or Casio Exilim.

Posted by: Stefan Constantinescu at Feb 1, 2007 9:21:37 PM

Agreed. The amount of sheer convergence in this device is staggering. [FX; Steve Jobs impression] "It's a phone. It's a music player. It's a 5MP camera. It's a DVD camcorder. It's a GPS navigation device. It's an Internet terminal. It's a stereo radio." etc. 8-)

Posted by: Steve Litchfield at Feb 1, 2007 10:02:03 PM

I would seriously doubt that the low light performance or even flash performance is anywhere near that of my wifes Fujifilm F31fd.. otherwise, can we have an E61 like model with the same specs please..

Posted by: Michael at Feb 1, 2007 11:03:39 PM

I worry about the whole 'maps downloaded over 3g' here in the UK we have to pay £5 (€7) per 2mb of data, unless network operators bring out unlimited data plans, I can see it being very expensive!

-Mike

Posted by: Mike at Feb 2, 2007 12:11:56 AM

Re: Mike's comment, we actually have had TMobile's Web'n'Walk for most of a year now, which is unlimited 3G data for £7.50/mth and 3 have now got the X-Series plans with the same for £5 mth. So cheap, you can't really say no...

More operators are rumoured to follow suit this year - Vodafone in particular.

Posted by: Alex at Feb 2, 2007 12:53:59 AM

What about the weak battery, 950mAh is a joke in a UMTS/GPS/etc device.

Posted by: Sebhelyesfarku at Feb 2, 2007 2:04:39 AM

It's amazing not to have a stylus to go with that huge juicy screen. Only buttons? Come on, h/w designers, we are analogous creatures, this has long been proved by pointing devices like your PC mouse.

Posted by: Zak. at Feb 2, 2007 9:40:14 AM

To mike:

You can for example download to map of britain with your computer and then transfer it to your n95, so you dont have to worry about data transfer being expensive :)

Posted by: Late at Feb 2, 2007 1:47:31 PM

To Zak.:
For this device it is a wise decision of Nokia NOT to have chosen a touchscreen with stylus.

It makes the device literally stronger in use (in pockets etc it is much less vulnerable.

And Christian, I totally agree that this device is another step in the current mobile revolution!

X,
Maxine

Posted by: Maxine at Feb 2, 2007 2:10:59 PM

I assume maps can be downloaded over the WLAN and cached?

Posted by: Mario at Feb 2, 2007 4:41:43 PM

I couldn't disagree more on the camera issue. I have constantly downgraded (voluntarily) the resolution on recent smartphones since the image sizes are too big with too little quality, not usuable to be transfered anymore over the air in emails (can't look for WLAN hotspots all the time, and even Finnish residence with quite good 3G does not do it).

The camera boot-up time is a major issue. It seems to me that is takes longer and longer with every phone release to start the camera app. On an N73 or N80, it takes easily up to 4 seconds to start the camera. In addition, the picture taking process itself is horribly slow and usually the picture shown is not the one taken. That is nowhere near a digital camera. Rather than "catch the moment" it is more of "destroy the moment" with all the required delays and waiting times.

Posted by: Dirk Trossen at Feb 2, 2007 5:16:47 PM

Replace pocket camera?? You're kidding I hope.

A 200 dollar camera does better than the N95. The colors are still a bit washed out, they are not sharp, and low light photography is just unusable.

As much as I would like to have "all in one", we're still at least 2-3 years off before anyone can make that claim.

Posted by: zo at Feb 3, 2007 3:01:14 PM

I don't get it.

Maybe I am not that bright but, having used a P910 (with keypad and touch screen) and an E62 (albeit briefly)...how does one surf the web without a keypad?

Am I supposed to key in www.autosport.com with a 0-9 button set?

Posted by: Richard Durishin at Feb 5, 2007 3:51:53 PM

"If I ever buy another digital camera it will be a SLR. I hence pronounce the pocket camera dead."

Really? If so, then one has to assume that every digital camera you have owned was extra ordinarily bad and produced purple hazed images.

Lets get real, this phone has a toy camera with an okay lens and an awful sensor. Quit the hyperpole. Things like this make the whole article lack credibility.

Posted by: skagen at Feb 6, 2007 9:06:18 AM

I've compared my N73 to images taken on our equally pocketable Casio EX-Z600.

The N73, at least in good lighting easily takes images that look as good, both on screen, and printed up to 7x5 as the 6mp Casio. Maybe the N95, with a higher res sensor takes worse images? Possibly.

I've taken plenty of pics, a few on my flickr pages :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53601971@N00/

I'll agree about camera app startup times, it is painful. Autofocus works well, but is also way too slow. It'd be nice if low light sensitivity could be improved as well.

Posted by: Dave B at Feb 6, 2007 12:13:03 PM

Sorry but my wife has an N73 so I'm pretty familiar with the phone. It does not take picturs remotely comparable with a decent digicam and not even with a BAD quality digicam such as a Casio.

If you cant see the difference you may be the ype of person that goes around saying 128Kbps MP3 files sound "just like CD". Were sure if you have tin ears. But not otherwise. ANd no none of these cameras are as good as an average digicam. Their lens is poor and the sensor is even worse. It is a cheap toy. Dont fool yourself.

Posted by: Skagen at Feb 9, 2007 7:00:14 AM

I wonder whether the Mologogo client will work on this phone?

Posted by: Angus at Feb 13, 2007 5:39:50 PM

Lovely!! Nokia n95 is one of the best phone if you can afford the $779 price. Its features are really fascinating with mini USB port, 5 mega pixel camera and 8GB memory. Nokia n95 review

Posted by: Jane at Jan 19, 2011 10:31:06 AM