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Nokia Nseries 2006

Intro N73 N93 Flickr Comments  26  

As I mentioned before, the N93 is the largest Nseries phone to date. This monster of a phone is not only large on a spec sheet, but feels large in hand, and quite heavy, weighing in at over 6 ounces.

The ample frame of the N93 does hold an impressive feature list, however. The focus is definitely on the 3.2 megapixel camera. Compared to the N73, the N93 upgrades to a 3x true optical zoom, an upgraded Vario-Tessar lens, and a vastly superior video recording mode. The N93 also inherits the impressive full set of controls in camera orientation of the N90, including a tiny d-pad, zoom switch, shutter release, and two soft-keys next to the display.

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The tiny d-pad on the side is surprisingly usable. It's not great, but it's easier to use than it might appear. It also doubles as a set of music controls when playing music and the display is closed.

The camera works pretty much the same way you might expect, and a lot like a standalone digital camera (which is the idea). Taking a spur-of-the-moment shot isn't as quick as the N73, but the focusing works in a more logical way. If you pre-focus the shot by pressing the shutter button half-way, it takes a second or two, but then actually taking the shot is very fast (well under one second).

The different ways the display twists are quite handy for taking photos. You can tilt the display up or down to easily frame a shot from hip-height, or from up in the air (like over a crowd). The display also rotates to face you for a self-portrait mode.

Nokia calls the video capture mode "DVD-quality". At VGA resolution and 30 fps (frames per second), that's not 100% accurate, but it's darn close. This is definitely among the first phones I've tried that could be considered a true convergence device between a camcorder and a phone. The video capability is emphasized by the display's ability to twist into a special video-viewing configuration, just like the N92.

Nokia certainly doesn't expect to you keep such high-quality video on you phone and only view it there. To that end, they thoughtfully include a special version of Adobe Premiere so you can edit your videos.

The N93 also has Wi-Fi with the new UPnP feature just like the N80, so it can stream your photos and videos directly to a Wi-Fi-enabled TV supporting the new DLNA standard. Since there aren't many DLNA-compliant TVs available yet, you can also connect the N93 directly to a TV with a cable via the built-in TV-out connector.

The TV-out feature does more than just stream photos and videos; it can also display the phone's whole interface on your TV, which could be interesting for web browsing and gaming.

As for build quality, the N93 feels very solid, and actually more ergonomic than the N73 - especially when it comes to the numeric keys. The crazy twisting hinge might look delicate, but doesn't feel that way at all. (Perhaps extra reinforcing for the hinge contributes to the phone's bulk and weight.) The two annoyances I found were the lens cover and memory card door, both of which were exceedingly frustrating to manipulate.

The N93 also has almost everything else you'd expect from an Nseries phone, like a great QVGA display, miniSD card slot, Bluetooth 2.0, music player, 3G, etc. Unfortunately - like the N73 - the Bluetooth is not stereo.

Some sample photos: (keep in mind these are prototypes!)

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