Nokia N95 first impressions

I’m switching to a mobile phone network that actually has some coverage (Vodafone), and as part of the deal I’ve been forced (forced!) to get a Nokia N95 to replace my Orange Nokia N80. Keeping up the tradition set by my Nokia N80 review, here’s a brief review of the new phone.

First impressions

  • Good grief the screen is huge!
  • Good grief microSD cards are small!
  • The back of the phone feels rubbery/velvety, but in a good way.
  • The plum colour on the back is delicious-looking.
  • A shutter to protect the camera lens – at last!
  • Excellent two-way sliding action, with a satisfying spring to it.
  • Butt-ugly voda logos everywhere *sigh*
  • Standard headphone jack, but that also supports video out. Very cool.
  • It’s lighter than the n80, even though it’s slightly wider. More briquette than brick. My pockets thank you, Nokia.
  • No more annoying n80 blinkenlights.
  • The ‘C’ key is annoyingly close to the ‘end call’ key.
  • Stereo sound! Actually quite acceptable volume and quality from the internal speakers, too.
  • The screen is yummy.
  • The new Clock application supports multiple alarms (hurray!) and time zones (hurray!).
  • Turning the phone sideways gives a great widescreen-style effect. The welcome vid with Moby shows the phone off well.


Not all of the apps seem to support wifi for connection (radio) – I don’t want to start using GPRS/3G connectivity yet (and I can’t, since my true SIM won’t work until the end of the week), so I can’t try everything.

Fnding music: I used Nokia Media Transfer to send music to my phone, but couldn’t see it in the gallery or the music player. had to go into Music Player -> Options -> Refresh Music Library before it found the added tracks. This is the sort of mind-numbingly stupid task that I’d expect the iPhone to get right first time.

A lot of the services seem to be tied in to Vodafone Live!, which is unfortunate since the site has been down for the last 18 hours. And not just down as in “sorry, we’re experiencing technical difficulties, please try again later”, but down as in “server stopped responding”. Doesn’t anyone use the httpd proxy error page for 99.999% uptime trick any more? I can see I’m going to enjoy being back on Vodafone!

Nokia advertise the N95 as “it’s what computers have become”. Well, if that’s the case, we can look forward to a bright future:

  • Time to first crash: 3 hours (downloading voice commands for the GPS mapping application caused a reset).
  • Time to second crash: 2 hours (pairing with bluetooth headset, making test phone call). Had to remove the battery, it crashed so hard.
  • Time to third crash: 1.5 hours (installing shozu and activating it caused a reset).

No crashes since, possibly as a result of the WiFi dropout fix I tried.

It will be interesting to see how well I get on with the phone once my number has been ported and I can start using it for real. It’s annoying that the mobile networks lock the phones to their network, so I can’t just pop my Orange SIM card into the phone for a week until the number porting completes. Handcuffs and stupid restrictions are not a great first experience for customers!

Overall, my first impressions are mostly positive. Let’s see how I get on with the phone over the next few months …

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