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Nokia N95 8GB smartphone

Hardcore handset that has the whole package

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Demo versions of a couple of N-Gage titles come pre-installed - FIFA 07 and Asphalt Street Rules 3 - give a fair idea of how rich the gaming experience can be, albeit without the essential interactivity that’s billed as the key element of the new N-Gage platform. Some users may find the tightly-packed navigation keys a bit small for gaming controls, although the numberpad can also be used.

As an N series handset based on the Symbian S60 operating system, the N95 8GB has a suitably hefty rundown of additional applications loaded up, and more can be added to the phone. Your most-used multimedia content, maps and web links can be quickly accessed by pressing the multimedia key, next to the central five-way navigator pad. It brings up a carousel of easily-selectable content.

Nokia N95 8GB smartphone

Plenty of apps come pre-loaded

As well as the multimedia headline-grabbers, Nokia stocks the N95 8GB with its usual spread of personal information management functionality and the customary email support. There are Quickoffice and Adobe PDF document viewers on board too. Speaker-independent voice control and dialling, and voice recording are also featured.

The Nokia Web Browser provides a speedy web experience with vanilla 3G, HSDPA or Wi-Fi, with Mini Map overviews of pages as you’re browsing helping you to negotiate pages. The browser does a decent job of presenting complex pages, allowing you to zoom in or out.

Not only does the Nokia N95 8GB come with an enhanced set of features and a heavy duty memory upgrade, its battery pack gets a boost, too. This promises a longer life performance than the N95. Nokia claims the N95 8GB can achieve around 25 per cent more between charges, quoting 3.5 hours talktime on 3G networks or five hours on GSM, and standby time of up to 280 hours. In the real world, of course, battery life will depend on just how much you’re using the multimedia functionality, music player and GPS; not many of this phone’s users are going to simply use it for voice calls. Speaking of which, the N95 8GB gets top marks for its phone performance too, delivering the sort of clarity and signal-grasping tenacity you’d expect from a phone costing this much.

Verdict

With the N95 8GB, Nokia has added significant improvements to an already feature-loaded multimedia mobile. The enhancements aren’t solely cosmetic - it’s not just an iPhone-challenging memory upgrade either. Nokia has refined the screen design to make it more media-friendly, enhanced the GPS system, and worked in a number of software upgrades. Battery performance has been extended. It’s still quite a large handset, which may put off some buyers. But the real heavyweight you get is the package of useful and entertaining features in what is a sophisticated smartphone.

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Nokia N95 8GB smartphone

A big improvement over the original N95...
Price: Contract: from free to £400 / Handset only: £500 RRP

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