I’ve had the Nokia N82 for a few days now so its time to update on my early impressions.
I was quite intrigued to see what the N82 actually had to offer, a quick check on the Nokia site seems to suggest that it is damn similar to the N95 apart from the obvious visual differences.
So its got the 5MP camera, same Carl Zeiss lens, GPS, basically everything the N95 has, in fact if you compare the two side by side on the nokia site you will struggle to find any difference at all between the specs.
Makes me wonder what is the point? It also makes me worry just a little bit, this newer phone might in someway be an improvement on my own phone, and that just won’t do, especially as I have to send it back.
So when I opened the box I was a bit relieved/disappointed. The N82 isn’t very exciting to look at. It’s even worse to caress as it feels like a plastic kids toy. I don’t know why Nokia keep insisting on putting together some really desirable packages and then wrapping them in crappy cases. Gadgets need to be sexy. The N95 isn’t really that great to look at either but the burgundy back plate sure beats the awful pearlescent number on the rear of the N82. Both phones are improved by the addition of the battery, the extra weight seems to make you feel a bit more confident in the kit.
If you believe the spec list (which obviously I don’t) the only difference is in the case and style of phone. You can see this from the photos but basically the N82 is longer, thinner and a bit lighter. The N95 is a slider though and it becomes a bit longer than the N82 when you open it. I can’t stand the buttons on the new phone, you have to twist your thumb on its side and use the nail to dab at the ridiculous bumps. Maybe my thumb is too big and I really need a special needs phone. The only exterior improvement is the lens cover, that has an incredibly satisfying motion, I just sit there clicking it open and shut. I may have OCD as well as a special needs thumb but its very therapeutic, just like popping bubble wrap.
As soon as you start playing with the lense cover you notice how much faster the camera is to respond. It engages immediately, none of the 10 second delay that you have to get used to with the N95. The responsiveness applies when taking a shot as well – instantantaneous. This results in a better photo, the two cameras may have the same lens but there is much less camera shake with the N82 and the Xenon flash is much better (more powerful or something), shots taken in dim light are very impressive.
The screen is a touch smaller but has the same resolution and is crisper, brighter and appears to have more colours if thats possible. The screen rotate function works pretty well as you move the phone round as well but I think you can download an app for the N95 to get it to do this too.
All the features seem just a little more refined on the N82 but I still wouldn’t swap it. The case is just too unappealing and I’m clearly a gadget whore requiring more than just a good personality. This is a phone for someone with more sense than me and so long as they don’t hold it before the battery goes in, I’m sure they will be impressed. It’s encouraged me to go through the palaver of upgrading the firmware on my N95, hopefully that will reduce the gap in performance just a little bit.
*Two Week Update*
After playing with the N82 for almost 2 weeks now I have to start thinking about sending it back. Trouble is, I really don’t want to.
I still hate the silly little buttons but I’ll live with them because everything else about the phone is so swish. I wonder if they’ll notice when I stuff the N95 back in the box and keep the N82 for myself?
There are two major improvements over the N95 and these are the radically enhanced GPS reception and a much improved camera facility. The GPS picks up almost instantly and even seems to hold the signal indoors, it beats my Garmin Forerunner 305 by minutes and the N95 trails in last place, occasionally failing to pick up a signal at all before I’ve decided to give up and start my run anyway. Now that I’ve got myself addicted to Sportstracker I don’t want to lose the functionality.
Then there is the camera, I’ve already commented on the responsiveness and snazzy lens cover but the quality of the picture is much improved too. I don’t think there is much difference in quality when the light conditions are good but when the flash is required you want to opt for the N82 and on the night scene setting I’ve witnessed amazing results.
I’m even beginning to think it’s an attractive phone, in its own special way.
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