January 23, 2008

Nokia N95-3 (RM-160) Review Part I

I have decided to let go of my Cingular / AT&T 8525 in favor for a phone with integrated GPS. Currently, there are only two phones that I am interested. Nokia N95 vs. AT&T Tilt. Having owned the 8525 and gone down the Windows Mobile route, I've decided to give the highly appraised N95 and Symbian OS a shot.

For those not familiar with the N95 Variations, it basically comes down to about 4 versions. The original N95 (aka N95-1) was the first release with only Europe and Asia support of 3G. This phone was a great intro but due to the 64MB RAM configuration, it is often too stressed to support multiple applications running at once. Later came the N95 8GB (aka N95-2), another Euro+Asia only 3G phone with bigger LCD, 128MB of RAM and bigger battery. Finally, a US 3G supported N95 NAM (aka N95-3 aka RM-160) with the first gen LCD but 128MB of RAM and bigger battery came along. As one would have guessed, a US 3G N95 8GB (N95-4) is now soon to be available. (CORRECTION: the N95-4 is not available. The link I provided originally had inaccurate description according to some of the reviewers, this is just a N95-2)

I have purchased the N95-3 from Buy.com as they have the best price. While 8GB version would have been nice, the difference in price ($515 vs $649) and having SDHC potentially capable of supporting up to 32GB made me decided to go with the N95-3.

First impression of the phone is that it is gorgeous looking and the Symbian OS is definitely more slick compared to WM6. The overall material and craftmanship can use some improvement. As I have read it elsewhere, the material and feel of the phone is not worth its MSRP of $699. Nokia's quality is usually superb especially in their premium phones (I used to drool over the 8000 series). As far as features goes, they work like a charm, everything from GPS, 3G data, WiFi, Full Web broswer, 5MP Camera, Media Player and even its PC Suite sync software worked flawlessly. I will spend some time in the next week reviewing these functions and compare them against my last phone.

Update (3/2/2008) - Please find the second part of my review here!

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