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Nokia N95 Symbian Smartphone Review

GPS Satellite Navigation, 5mp Camera, VGA Video, Bluetooth, WiFi...... And It's A Cell Phone!

Apparently the Nokia N95 will change the way we think about mobile phones with its multifunction capability, but I suspect existing Pocket PC and Smartphone users may be a little skeptical of this claim. We are after all used to having in our Pockets a small Windows based device that can do almost everything that a laptop can - and be a phone to boot. Let's put our skepticism to one side for a moment and enter the world of the Symbian Operating Systems and the wonder of the N 95.

Hardware wise the Nokia's specification is impressive. A two way slide design (one for the phone keypad, one for the music player controls) keeps the device fairly compact and it is not too heavy either. Built in GPS receiver, Bluetooth , Wi -Fi, FM-Stereo, 3.5mm audio jacks, 5 mega pixel camera with VGA video capture, 150mb of internal memory, mini-sd slot, and superb 2.6 inch screen. Quite amazing, and at the time of writing it's available for £89.99 with a £35 a month contract - and even cheaper if you're an existing customer and are willing to haggle if your contract is up.

So what can you do with a Nokia N95 (apart from calling!)?

Of great interest to most will be the built in GPS, and how the navigation system works. In essence you have free access to a worldwide collection of maps, and you download what you need when you need it. This gives you basic route planning and the ability to find local POI's. If you want to use the N95 for car navigation you pay for the premium service and then you get a great little Satellite Navigation device. Don't worry too much about the cost - you pay for use of the service for a set period, be that a day, month or year. At first this seems a little odd, but it is a lot cheaper in the long run if a few members of your family or company need Sat Nav at different times, rather than have to buy a number of dedicated units and their associated maps.

Connectivity is second nature to the N95, with every type of protocol you will ever need. Imagine you've just arrived in a new city and want to download a map so you can find your way around. Just go to the local wi-fi spot, download the relevant map and you're off!

The music player on the n95 is great, and the use of a standard 3.5mm stereo jack means you can use your favorite head-phones, or the in built stereo speakers.

The camera is superb too, with a Carl Zeiss lens and five megapixels. Ok, it doesn't have a great optical zoom, but it's the best camera I've seen on a phone to date.

Being a Symbian Series 60 phone there are many different applications built in and that can be down-loaded, but the included Calendar and Office are more than up to the job.

So there we have it. The Nokia N95 is a superb phone with amazing extras like GPS and a great camera, but it definitely is not a Pocket PC. No real text editing software, spreadsheets or PowerPoint. No pop-out keyboard.

All we need now is for an XDA Mini S with a built in GPS receiver......

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