Ahh, finally the all purpose phone in my hands. Its like the butter(fly) in me is totally in .........
To begin with I have tried several smart phones lately. I am the kind of guy that tries all programs and possibilities of a system to see how it works. The high end SonyEricsson phones are pretty good all around, however as Neonde(behind the P8/9xx series) decided to produce their own phones SE has had problems following up the success. well partly they have but I know many are looking for something like a P1000.
Then we have the Windows smart phones. The first edition of Windows CE I find to be pretty good. Light and flexible with an impressive pack of compatible software thanks to the IPAQs success. Also there is little of the overhead and the fuzz (vaporware). Seems to me for every later version of this portable Microsoft OS it gets worse and worse. The latest version I tried is 5.0 which in theory can do everything you want but in practice is just a major pain and you end up with nothing working. Another problem is that we already have version 6.0 and the software has problem to be compatible and this means you will always have a limited bag of software that you need.
Of course I have had a extreme usage pattern of phones so I decided to go for a second hand Nokia 6680 to save some cash. While this is strictly maybe not a smart phone, it runs Symbian S60 and I was just so relieved to finally have a OS that works and still have fairly good software support. But what is even more important is the OS is efficient to use and has what you and I need both as a power user as well as a light user. While I think there is still room for massive improvement in user friendliness in the GUI - it still gives me pleasure when compared with the others on the marked. iphone will probably show us later how to make something better.
So here we are at the stand with the Nokia N95 which runs S60 3rd edition, making it incompatible with a lot of the software. I really hope a lot will be ported over soon.
Now what does this phone offer?
A 5 MP camera. As we all know its not the number of MP that makes a good camera but the lens what is behind the lens. The sensor is not good enough to support the 5 MPs and one should probably think of it as a decent 3 MP camera. Maybe not to impressive for some of us but I firmly believe that there are to categories of photographs. The normal one; usually called the amateur. Which means about all of us that enjoy to take photos at parties, holidays and so on but does not take much interest and time into creating beautiful pictures. For us this phone-cam will do! The other kind is the (semi)pro photographer that will need a better camera anyway - a much better one. If I am going to purchase a better camera it will be one of those - but not until I have the time and the urge to go into the semi-pro business. Meaning: that a Nokia N95 can save you the bucks and hassle of an extra camera.
Other thing to say is that the current firmware is not fully optimized for the camera so the quality will improve with future firmware releases. A camera that grows better with time - how cool is that?
A GPS. No this is something to say. Its built in and several 3rd party software does not support it yet (come on TomTom!!) and this can be a drag as it forces you to use the Nokia built in application. Basically this is a service that gathers the info needed through a online service, meaning it will cost you both a subscription and GPRS data packets. The application itself is quite neat but has to little features to offer to satisfy most of us. There has been a lot said about the GPS antennas sensitivity. While it takes a bit time to initiate satellites, it does perform quite nice when driving :) Wayfinder 7 is also compatible with N95. It works quite like the Nokia one. But gives you more juice - options. The firmware also hasn't optimized fully for the GPS so the sensitivity will increase with time... Again this is nice.
A SIP phone. I really like hooking up to WLAN and have my IP phone service on my cell phone. No need to have a separated phone at home anymore. (ok for families this might not be the ultimate choice?? - but maybe I will look into the possibilities to engineer a solution for this later on)
3D accelerator. I am wondering if this phone actually gives better 3D than the Nintendo DS lite, I have to wait for some new games to compare. It is very promising indeed.
Mediacenter - I am not so much for using a cell phone as a media player, I still prefer the ipod. But for those lighter users this phone has all you need.
Radio - Again I don't think I will need it much, but some people might find it useful
Everything else you need - N95 does about anything you'll ever want.
The negative sides: Its a sucker for battery. It is fully possible to make the battery last a long time if you don't use the phone much. Problem: if you buy this phone you will be a power user, which means you will use the options the phone gives you, which means battery life is a joke. Nokia should go back and give everybody that purchased this phone a free battery upgrade (yeah, like that would ever happen).