Nokia N86 8Mp cameraphone
The serious snapper's smartphone?
Review While many mobile makers in the smartphone game have been concentrating their designer firepower on touchscreen devices, the Nokia N86 8MP rolls in as a successor to Nokia’s previous generation of Symbian S60 3E-packing heavyweights rather than as another touchphone contender.
Nokia's N86 8MP: the N-series ancestry is immediately apparent
Making its mark as Nokia’s first 8Mp cameraphone - and its first with a mechanical shutter - the N86 8MP combines design and functionality elements from both the N85 and N96, two of Nokia’s most fully featured S60 devices. Imaging may be its focal point, but the N86 8MP also offers Wi-Fi to complement its HSDPA 3G data connectivity, A-GPS satellite navigation, 8GB of on-board storage, an FM transmitter plus a full spread of multimedia features and support for Nokia’s suite of online Ovi services.
There’s no mistaking that N-series family connection in the bodywork and front panel layout. The N86 8MP’s two-way slider design, which incorporates a numberpad and a media player control set as first seen on the N95, is chunky, measuring 103.4 x 51.4 x 16.5-18.5mm. It weighs a pocket-sagging 149g and feels very substantial in the hand.
Scratch-resistant hardened glass covers the front panel and the display, a 2.6in, 16.7m-colour 320 x 240 OLED screen that’s strikingly bright and clear.
Decked out in black or white with chrome detailing, the N86 8MP’s face appears uncluttered thanks to the tiny sliver-thin controls keys, which are arranged around a conventional central navpad. These rice-grain shaped keys are oddly proportioned for such a bulky handset. Larger-fingered users may not like them and find them fiddly, but they do their job. A slightly larger unmarked menu takes you to the main menu.
The navpad is a single five-way key, and we felt the directional controls weren’t particularly well separated from the central select button. We found that our thumbs could select up, down, left or right options when attempting to select something.
The keys are good for fast texting
The numberpad, however, has a no-nonsense feel that we liked. The number keys are large and well separated, and the texting action suitably responsive for pacey messaging.
The point of having a camera phone
I have an N82 for the simple reason that the photo you took with the camera you had in your pocket will always be better than the photo you didn't take with the camera you didn't have in your pocket. And I've only got so much pocket space. And I carry my cellphone no matter what.
Yes, the resulting photos are poor compared to even a cheap dedicated digital camera. But I get photos, as opposed to nothing. So from that perspective, it seems sensible to try to get the best cellphone camera possible - because I'm always going to have it with me, so I'll always be capable of taking photos of some sort.
But yeah, looking at this as a real replacement for a real camera is, of course, silly...
Works for me
I got this for my wife on a T-Mobile upgrade. It's much better than the N95 she had before (which died after a drinks leakage in the vicinity) - the maps work really well with a very fast GPS lock, the pictures are perfectly good enough, and the music plays fine.
It was around £25 for the upgrade which to be honest I think made it a bit of a no brainer.
Hopeless and pointless, its a bit sad really that with so much interesting stuff happening on iphone and android, nokia come up with this crap. Sure they'll sell a few to some of the die-hards above, but at this rate they'll easily halve their current market share within a couple of years. Good Job Nokia!
"S60 3E user interface is beginning to feel old hat"
Understatement of the year. Or even the past 5 years.
Thanks, but in all fairness, I should point out that I'm pretty sure I'm paraphrasing Dan of dansdata.com. If only I really was that clever.