Nokia N95 review

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It isn’t the traditional worker or consumer markets that Nokia is aiming the N95 at – it’s the Web 2.0 generation. Not only is it proficient online, with its web browser, Flash video player and myriad wireless options, but with a 5-megapixel camera and excellent bundled PC software it creates content as well.

It certainly gives a good first impression. The 2.6in 240 x 320 screen is bright and clear and, although it’s too small for long videos, it’s fine for two-minute shorts: we can see its potential for YouTube when the video site goes mobile later this year. The screen also slides both ways: up to reveal a numeric keypad, down to reveal four media control buttons.

Flip the phone over and there’s a Carl Zeiss lens. Five megapixels sounds impressive, and compared to most phones the camera offers good quality, but it won’t replace a dedicated compact – the lens is tiny and noise is a problem. There’s another 352 x 288 pixel camera on the front for video calls.

The N95 comes with great software. The media player, in particular, is excellent, plus you can use standard 3.5mm headphones. You’re stuck with Nokia’s Music Manager software, but it’s straightforward, while LifeBlog can automatically upload everything on your phone to a blog. Although the N95 works well with Outlook’s calendar and contacts, it won’t sync Outlook email – only POP3 or IMAP.

Besides the quad-band GSM and GPRS networks, there’s also 3G and HSDPA, as well as 802.11b/g. There’s also a GPS receiver built in, but it’s here we ran into problems, as getting a reliable signal in London was nigh-on impossible. We managed a stable connection from a 15th- floor flat, but there are no guarantees, especially since Nokia has located the GPS antenna in the bottom of the handset, so it’s pointing at the ground. The software downloads maps as needed, so you could also face some huge charges if you use it abroad.

To cap it all, battery life is poor – you’ll often find you’re out of power within 24 hours. Plus, it’s annoying the N95 doesn’t charge through its USB port.

The Nokia N95’s impressive feature list may tempt bloggers or gadget lovers, but it’s just a shame that the few problems the phone does have are so serious.

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