It's a camera, it's a GPS, it's a phone, yes it's the Nokia N95!

The Nokia N95 is getting into the hands of reviewers and lots of people are talking about this latest S60 3rd Edition device sporting the latest Feature Pack. The N95 sports a whopping 160MB of internal memory, 3G wireless radio, WiFi, Bluetooth, IR, and GPS connectivity. The unique dual slider display allows you to quickly make calls or immerse yourself in media. The 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics capture high resolution images and video at 30 fps in VGA mode. The device packs a lot into a light and compact form factor, but the large 2.6 inch display makes it feel like a much bigger device. Check out over 20 photos of the device and ask questions about it to be answered over the next couple of weeks.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

I had the chance to play with the Nokia N95 back at the Nokia Open Studio event in New York last fall and was blown away by the light weight of the device for all the features that were packed into it. There has been a lot of initial impressions and thoughts on the device now that it is shipping to reviewers and I was surprised when I came home yesterday to find a box on my porch that contained a sand colored Nokia N95. I immediately took some unboxing photos that you can check out in the image gallery, charged up the device, loaded up several applications, and then started using it as I begin a couple week test of using it as my primary device.

 Image Gallery: Check out the Nokia N95 S60 multimedia computer.  
Image Gallery: The Nokia Nseries devices
Image Gallery: N95 in the box

I have been bouncing around between lots of devices lately with the Nokia N73, Nokia E61 and T-Mobile Dash pulling most of the daily duty. The N93 I have been testing is acting up a bit and I have to perform a hard reset and clean off all the 3rd party applications to get it back up to speed again. I really enjoy using the Nokia N80ie, but the battery life prevents me from using that as a primary device since my push email usage knocks it down after half a day. It will be interesting to see how the N95 performs with only a 950 mAh battery. I may miss the keyboard from the N95, but the keypad is well contoured and designed so text entry may not actually be too bad.

I'll post more detailed thoughts and experiences after I have had more time to test the N95, but my initial impressions are mostly positive. The display is large (2.6 inches) and takes up most of the front, which is great for taking photos and viewing web pages. I do wish it was a bit higher resolution though (has 240x320 pixels), but it seems every device has a couple things you always want better. The keypad has a bright blue backlight and well-designed buttons. The front hardware buttons seem to be well designed and easy to push while holding the device single-handedly. The slider is solid and locks into place quite well. When you slide the display down and reveal the media buttons, the display goes into landscape mode. The great thing I discovered is that you can actually use any application in this landscape mode so web browsing is made better than when browsing in portrait mode. I played a couple of songs and the speakers sound loud and clear. The shutter button on the camera is a nice feature that is missing on the N80ie. I like the fact that the N95 uses a standard 3.5mm headset jack and also a miniUSB connector to tether to your PC.

As you dive into using the software on the N95, you will find some improvements in the latest S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 1. For example, the multimedia button now launches a very graphical and scrollable application launcher that reminds me of the launcher I had on a Sony CLIE UX50 several years ago. When you go into Settings you will also see a revised layout with some utilities now found within this area. I think these improvements make finding things more intuitive, especially for new users.

I am also a big fan of 3rd party applications and to get push email functionality with my hosted Exchange service I loaded up the latest version of DataViz's RoadSync, version 3, instead of trying the older Nokia Mail for Exchange utility since RoadSync has more functions and is officially supported. I now just need 4Smartphone to upgrade to Exchange 2007 to get lots of great functionality. I also loaded up Gmail, Truphone, Shozu, and Widsets. I setup my Flickr and Vox photo blog conduits and setup the active standby display with my favorite apps. I was a bit bummed to see that Fring doesn't yet work on the N95, but understand they are working on support for the device right now.

I am also seeing a full 7 bar RF signal strength at my house, which is higher than ANY other device I have seen. I'll be testing out the RF reception more in weak areas over the next couple weeks, but this is a good sign. I plan to check out the phone functionality, GPS mapping and navigation features, Yahoo! Music support, Office document compatibility, TV-out functionality, and more over the next couple of weeks. Let me know if you have any specific questions or features you want me to check out and I'll respond in the TalkBack area.

Editorial standards