Nokia N95 review: Nokia’s crown jewel

Crown jewel

David Polesný, 01 May 2007.

Construction and design

Pros: attractive design • comfortable size and weight for a smart phone • both-way sliding construction • high-quality plates • matt „soft touch“ surface on the back

Cons: no spring to facilitate opening • top half plays when the phone is open • friction between plastic surfaces causes creaky sounds that accompany each opening

It is a beautiful phone, discreet but at the same time irradiating a huge performance potential. The front plate is silver, while the back one is dark velvet („plumy“ in our case). Nokia N95 is coming in two color versions though: the above mentioned one and in a light „sandy“ one. The phone’s one and only design particularity is the expressed camera frame on its rear side. Surface is matt, so fingerprints will never ever be a reason to worry; except for the display, of course.

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The phones slides out in both directions

Nokia N95 is a slider, but it slides either direction, which is quite surprising; this is the first time we come across such a constructional solution. A classical slide move upwards reveals the keypad, while a slide move downwards shows the four keys, through which the music player is controlled.

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Moving directions according to the user mode applied in the phone

Nokia N95`s size of 99 x 53 x 21 mm is pleasing with respect to the great amount of functions it offers. The same holds true for its weight - 120 g. Nokia engineers have managed to reduce remarkably N95's thickness (by 5 mm) and weight (by 14 grams) in comparison to the slider N80 from last year. The only smaller-body multimedia smartphone from the N series featuring a Symbian S60 3rd edition OS is Nokia N73. The latter may be longer than N95, but it is also narrower and by 2 mm thinner. Nokia N73 is lighter than Nokia N95 by mere 4 grams.

Nokia N95 looks rather compact among smartphones, but it is a true „fatty“ in comparison to common feature mobiles.

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Size comparison: N73 and N95

Sliding both directions

Sliding is accompanied by „crinkly“ chafing of plastic against plastic. When you slide the top half out, it is recommended that you twist your thumb and lean it against the top edge; otherwise you will not be able to open the phone with one hand. In fact, a tiny jag (if it existed) located beneath the display against which a finger could lean would have been extremely helpful. When you slide the phone out in the opposite direction, generally you will be holding it with your both hands in a horizontal position, so you should not meet any difficulty like the above mentioned.

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Sliding construction could have been elaborated better

When closed Nokia N95 shows a tiny space between both its halves. When we slid the phone upwards, however, we faced a rather unpleasant surprise: N95 produces extremely loud clicks when it is worked with in open mode. These clicks do not originate from the keys though. They are caused by the top half interfering with the bottom one. The problem is in the tiny space between them, so a press on any key results into the top half moving towards the bottom one and producing the above mentioned annoying sound. As various opinions from our discussion forum indicate, this is not a sporadic drawback, but even so, most pieces should not suffer from it. We recommend you that you test Nokia N95 well before you proceed to a purchase.

Beyond the sliding mechanism the overall construction of Nokia N95 is excellent. The plates fit in perfectly, without any creaks, at least for the moment.

Equipment, battery life and accessories

Pros: stereo speakers • instant access to images • 3.5 mm jack connector for earphones • 160 MB of internal memory • microSD memory card slot • mini charger

Cons: memory card is not part of the retail package • poor battery life

Naturally, the front plate is dominated by a large display. Nokia designers deserve a complement for having outstretched it making use of all available free space. The display is imbedded by a millimeter and thus relatively protected from scratching (in case you put your phone on a table with the display facing downwards, for example). Above the display you will find a receiver with a metal grill, an ambient light sensor for display brightness control, and a camera for video calls. Below the display is located the functional part of the keypad. It is decorated with chromium-plated keys organized in a rounded frame and with a navigation key with a glossy center.

Mounted on the top of the device is the switch on/off button, which also serves, as usual, for switching between ringing profiles. In the top of each phone’s side you will see a metal grill hiding a stereo speaker. Since the stereo effect is most appreciated during movie playing when the phone is held in a horizontal position, locating one speaker at the top and the other one in the bottom would have probably been a far happier solution. This is a minor issue, though.

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Display makes full use of the front plate • camera for video calls • you will not miss the camera... • speakers on both sides

The right side of the phone also features a dual volume & zoom-control key, a camera release button, and an instant-access key to the Gallery. Newly created images can be immediately viewed without additional, unnecessary menu browsing.

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Dual key for volume control of the receiver and for zoom setup • camera release button and a key for instant access to the image gallery

On the opposite side you will find a slot for earphones – a standard 3.5 jack mm compatible with any earphone type; no adapters are necessary. Surely enough, at the beginning this connector will seem like an enormous hole in the phone to you, but thank heavens it is there. Further on, you will see the discreet tiny Infrared port and a protected memory card slot. The cap of the memory card slot is easy to open due to the space nearby, which is big enough to allow you to insert your nail. Nokia N95 works with microSD memory cards, but surprisingly, there is none in the phone, or in the retail package. Apparently, Nokia chose to keep price down in reasonable limits and left card purchase to users according to their preferences. For example, Nokia E61i also comes without a memory card included in the package. Nokia N95 offers 160 MB of internal memory space that should do it as a starter.

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Plug in your favorite earphones • memory card slot hidden under a protecting cap

The cap of the memory card slot is not active, that is, the phone does not recognize that you are about to extract the memory card. That is why we recommend you that you select the option „Extract memory card“ in the ringing profiles menu accessed through the switch-off button. In result, the phone will close all applications running on the card avoiding unpleasant complications. The memory card can be removed without making the above steps too, though. And of course, memory cards can be exchanged while the phone is working (hot-swap).

Daily charging

A miniUSB system connector is situated in the bottom of the device. Right next to it is the charger slot. The charger delivered with the phone is utterly minimalist with the socket plug being its biggest part. The charger slot is the same like in any other Nokia phone.

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In the bottom: miniUSB connector, a charger slot... • ...and an eye-let for a wrist band • charger is extremely small

On the back: the camera is surrounded by an expressed, slightly elevated silver frame. Only the bottom part of the rear plate is removable. Under it you will find a battery of capacity 950 mAh, which is advertised to provide the phone with power for up to 215 hours on stand-by or 240 minutes of calls. There is no need to tell you that these values are literally impossible to achieve. We have been testing Nokia N95 for 4 days quite intensively and we have had to charge it daily; yesterday even twice.

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Only part of the rear plate is removable • what a pity there is not enough space for a bigger battery

The poor battery life of Nokia N95 is probably its most significant weakness. The phone is packed with features so that users never get bored. Yet, they may easily get bored to death if left without a battery juice. However, things do not have to go that wrong and the phone will serve you all-day long provided you watch movies and browse the Internet moderately.

Reader comments

Poor battery life indeed...

  • shivaa
  • 04 Jul 2021
  • fxH

N series phone is best quality on nokia world!! Plz again launch this phn!!

  • Aleksej
  • 21 Mar 2020
  • d%{

5MP GPS HSDPA Very handy 3.5mm jack