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Nokia N85 smartphone

Puts in a big-hitting performance

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Gamers will welcome the N85's N-Gage multiplayer gaming and online community. A bunch of games are pre-installed, but unfortunately they’re all trial versions, so you’ll have to fork out more cash if you want to have them long term.

The N85 takes care of more serious business with a briefcase full of organiser features and tools, including the regulation calendar, notes, calendar, unit convertor, voice recorder and various clock functions. Quickoffice software and a PDF viewer enable document viewing but not editing, unless you purchase - you see a theme here? - an upgrade. Text-to-voice software will read out your messages.

Nokia N85

A good all-rounder

Additional software - including the excellent BBC iPlayer - can be grabbed using the Nokia Download! tool. Both the firmware and pre-installed applications can be updated over the air.

In the time we spent with the N85, the phone behaved impeccably when making and taking calls. Sound quality was excellent in a variety of conditions. But we found battery life to be reasonable rather than outstanding. Nokia estimates the N85's battery can clock up a maximum of 363 hours in standby mode or deliver 6.9 hours of talktime on GSM networks, falling to 4.5 hours in 3G operation.

How you manage in the real world will, of course, depend on the extent to which you use the more power-hungry apps, which are the whole point of owning an N-series handset. While we averaged around two days between charges, you can expect rather less if you hammer Wi-Fi, HSDPA or GPS regularly.

Verdict

The N85 is a very likeable, feature-packed handset. It may not break the N-series mould, but it provides most of the N96’s gadgetry ground in a smaller - if still not tiny - package. Its performance is right on the money too, and you certainly get plenty for your cash. If you’re looking for a high-quality multi-tasking mobile, the N85 is a smart choice. ®

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Build a business case: developing custom apps

85%

Nokia N85 smartphone

Nokia’s versatile all-rounder puts in a big-hitting performance.
Price: Contract: free to £195. Pre-pay: N/A. Handset only: £400 RRP

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