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printed December 19, 2014
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Nokia Open Studio Fall 2006

N75 N95 5300 Comments  30  

There's really no other way to say it: the N95 is a phone from the future.

It's not just that it raises the bar in terms of technology, or that it packs in an amazing number of features. That could be said about past Nseries devices such as the N93. What sets the N95 apart is that it merges its industry-leading technology with a design that's small, light, and practical.

While the N93 (and many other Nseries phones) sacrifice pocketability to pack in their cutting-edge features, the N95 is small enough for pretty much anyone to carry as their everyday phone.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

HSDPA, Wi-Fi with UPnP, stereo Bluetooth, full GPS, a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, and a huge 2.6-inch QVGA display are just a handful of the impressive features on the N95. The HSDPA is even the latest and greatest 3.6 Mbps peak-rate variety, something still rare outside of data cards for laptops. It really does have just about everything you could want in a converged phone device.

The only thing really lacking is 3G for the U.S., although it is quad-band GSM and does have EDGE data, so it's still not a bad choice to import and use here. Nokia did tell us that they plan to bring a device "with similar features" to the U.S. sometime in 2007.

The N95 has a mostly typical sliding form factor. Holding it upright and sliding the display up reveals a typical numeric keypad. All of the keys are very easy to feel and use.

The twist is when you slide the other way, sliding the display down from the closed position. This reveals media keys (play, pause, rewind, etc.) More importantly, it activates landscape mode, rotating the interface 90 degrees on the display, for a wide-screen viewing experience. Even better, the N95 stays in landscape mode if you close the slide, so the two-way slide mechanism ends up being most useful as a quick physical way to toggle the N95 between landscape and portrait modes.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

In the same way, the camera application can be started instantly by simply opening the lens cover.

The graphics on the latest version of S60 are pretty slick-looking. Everything is smoothly animated, often in 3D. Media-related screens now have colorful, subtly animated backgrounds. In many ways the slickness of the UI is reminiscent of Apple's Mac OS X interface.

The N95 will be the first device to ship with Nokia's new browser, with enhanced RSS and the new pop-up toolbar. Being able to flip to landscape mode quickly for wide-screen browsing is extremely handy.

The N95 has a new type of connector that doubles as both a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and a video output for connecting to a TV for multimedia viewing. Like the N80, it also has UPnP, so you can also send multimedia to a UPnP TV wirelessly via Wi-Fi.

The best feature of the N95 though is the size. It's really hard to believe they packed so much into such a small package. It's also very light, and the build quality is quite good.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

More comparison shots: (added Oct. 12)

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

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