Nokia N93 review: Ringing camcorder

GSMArena team, 10 September 2006.

Taking a closer look…

Right in the center of the outer panel of the flip you can see the small secondary display. Below it is the loudspeaker grill.

Nokia N93
Nokia N93

On the bottom rim of the flip you can see the Infrared port which blends nicely with the phone's design and is barely noticeable for an inexperienced eye as well as a rather large eyelet used for the wrist strip supplied with the retail package. We cannot imagine that someone might hang that monster of a mobile on their necks.

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Bottom side

The upper part of the handset's body is taken by the zoom lens. Unlike Nokia N90, the lens cannot be rotated. There is a plastic protective cap, which you might lose soon if you don't use the supplied string. The swivel joint for the upper part of the clamshell is positioned on the right side of the lens tube. Besides the camera lens and the LED flash, the left side of the handset incorporates the miniSD card slot and the Pop-port for data cable connection and TV-out functionality. Both are hidden underneath protective rubber caps. Right next to the Pop port is the standard Nokia charging port, the tiny one. The miniSD card slot has hot-swap functionality but it's recommended that you exit all running applications before taking the card out.

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Left side

The top part of the phone is rather bare in fact and incorporates only the On/Off key.

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Top of the phone • on/off key

The right side of the clamshell is more interesting as it houses the zoom lever. Inside it is a button marked with a red dot. It is used as a shutter key. Below it is a key that is a full copy of the navigation D-pad on the numeric keypad. It's very convenient to use it with the screen rotated in camera mode. In fact, when you rotate the upper part of the clamshell that way the camera application gets automatically started and the main navigation D-pad gets disabled so you can navigate through the available options only with the side D-pad. Below the side D-pad there is a key used for changing between still camera and video camera modes when you are using the handset as a camera. In any other case a longer press on that key locks the keypad. Below that key there is yet another key that is used to turn on/off the flash. It works even with the clamshell closed, this way allowing you to use the LED as a flashlight.

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Right side • Shutter key and zoom lever • side controls

Delving even further…

Opening the clamshell reveals the large, and rather comfortable, we must add, keypad. Besides the navigation keys, there are the standard Nokia smartphone keys such as the Pencil key, the Menu key, the Multimedia key and the correction C-key.

An interesting object you may notice on the one of the close-ups is a small hole in the upper left corner of the keypad marked with "L". That is the left microphone used for recording the stereo sound in video clips. There is another, "R" or right microphone on the opposite back side of the phone. In fact Nokia N93 doesn't have any other microphones besides those two little fellows so the "L" microphone is the one used in calls. Keep this in mind when you hold the phone to your head.

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Nokia N93 keypad

The keys are evenly illuminated in white color.

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Nokia N93 keypad in pitch dark

Above the main display there is the secondary VGA camera used for video calls and a light sensor used for dynamic changing the brightness of the screen in accordance with the current light conditions.

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The N93 main display has a pleasant blue tint when the backlighting is off

Mechanics revealed

The swivel joint of the upper part of the clamshell allows it to take several working positions. Besides the normal flip opened mode, there is an imaging mode and a view mode. The imaging mode is used for taking pictures or video. It's a shame that you cannot use the rotating flip in order to make self-portraits. Indeed you can turn the display in all directions but you can use the camera only in the imaging mode. The second additional mode is the view mode or as we like to call it - the notebook mode. A similar mode is seen in mobiles such as Samsung D550, Samsung D300 and the scrapped Motorola MPx. Although we have to say that the rivals' implementation is more convenient. Firstly, those three are equipped with a QWERTY keypad. And secondly, the Nokia design has two substantial flaws. On one hand, forgive us the pun, the camera lens in fact gets in your thumb's way when trying to operate the navigation D-pad in view mode and on the other hand, the upper row of keys - "3","6","9", and "#" are in fact almost unusable because the flip covers half of them.

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Imaging mode • a set of pictures of the view (notebook) mode

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Holding the phone in view mode

Tightly knit construction

The back of the Nokia N93 is occupied by the large battery cover. It has an exceptional construction with several mounting points which allows for a greater stability. It seems possible that this cover won't become loose even after several years of use. Below it is the SIM card bed and the Nokia Li-Poly BP-6M battery with capacity of 1100mAh. Although we couldn't find any official information, it seems that the SIM card bed has hot-swap functionality.

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Nokia N93 back view • battery cover opened • SIM bed

Being a very large phone, Nokia N93 seems quite solid at first sight. When you actually touch and feel the phone the first impression you might get is of the plastic material it is made of and that leaves a bad memory after all. However, N93 proved us wrong in the end as it turns out to be a device with rather good construction. Its twisting and opening parts worked great and made clear sounds whenever such were expected.

No problems occurred with its top clamshell part and it functioned perfectly. The spinning display seemed well put in place too and there is not risk in suddenly falling down broken. Speaking in general, the construction of N93 may have been slightly better, mostly due to its plastic covers, but the phone is in no way as bad as the N90 model. In fact, it is much better made.

Reader comments

  • Auwal abdulkdir adam

Hello am very happy to nokia mobile beacuse it the best company in the world .

  • thePRODIGY

No it does not.

  • osama

yes it has 3.5 mm of audio output jack