I’ve been using the Nokia N95 phone for the past week and I have to say I’m really impressed. Several folks from the Nokia Blogger Relations Program have been testing it as well and the opinions have been quite varied. Stuart Henschall is in love (with minor caveats), Dameon Welch-Abernathy feels similarly and Ken Camp almost sent it back on day one. The one universal complaint, which I have not experienced issues with, is battery life.
This phone tries very hard to be everything to everyone. For the most part, it excels at everything. The camera is amazing (searching Flickr for “N95″ yields around 6929 results for you to look at). The video camera app is the best I’ve seen (here’s an example). The multimedia features are upgrades of apps that previously existed. There are ample blogging and podcasting features and the web browser is based on WebKit, which powers Apple’s Safari desktop browser. There’s a GPS on board with a nice mapping application, but this seems somewhat of an afterthought and might need some further firmware upgrades to be completely useful. Of course the phone and wifi capabilities are top-notch, sporting the regular Nokia quality that we’ve come to enjoy. The N95 is the ultimate evolution to what the team at Nokia have been trying to do with the Nseries devices on the current technology stack.
The evolution of these devices will continue, that much is certain. 3G and 4G networks are being rolled out (or already exist) in many countries and this phone is but the first of a new generation that will be more capable and easier to use. Nokia has the lead in what is now known as the “Smartphone” market with their Series 60 operating system, which is based on a Symbian core OS. Mobile devices are a huge marketplace and feature-rich phones like the N95 and iPhone are built to drive revenue back to the carriers and the small developer communities that surround them. I think that all of the mobile devices out there (100 million Series 60 have been sold, over 60% category market share) will eventually move into the “smart” category with the evolution of wireless technologies.
I’ll have a more thorough review of this device and it’s companion N800 tablet soon.