Nokia’s Unlocked Campaign is enjoying some magical timing right now. While there’s no way to have predicted that Apple would become so greedy with regard to apps on the iPhone – sometimes you just score.
As I mentioned in my Unlock LA recap, Nokia has committed some substantial resources to the US market and finally delivered a very high end device to take specific advantage of the available 3G network. The N95-3 is an amazing release and represents everything that the N-Seres platform has to offer. While physically it look like the original, substantial enhancements have been made that deliver on the promise we initially heard.
In specs, the N95 in all it’s flavors (there are now three) is a very powerful device that delivers great voice and data capabilities, robust multimedia creation and consumption ability and looks and feels great in your hand as well. That said, my initial experiences while cool from a geek perspective, was also disappointing by some actual limitations as well. There are quite a few software related bugs that got in the way causing either input or low memory errors or both; an overtaxed and anemic battery tends to cap out after only a few short hours; and even some reports of poor build quality.
I don’t think I can emphasize enough that Nokia shorted the original N95 in RAM making it difficult to impossible to multitask efficiently — at least the way I want to use things. I could never snap an in the moment picture if anything was open and running…
Those days are over.
The N95-3 is exactly what should have been released initially making it truly the “multimedia computer” Nokia touted. With about 80MB of RAM available to the user along with the new 1200mAh BL-6F Battery AND the addition of US HSPDA, the N95-3 is a force to be reckoned with!
It was impossible to really appreciate the changes to the N95 in LA. Even though there was plenty of time to play, it’s not the same experience as when you are able to load your own applications and use things over the course of a day. As you can see in the screenshot above, I have plenty of things running simultaneously and almost 58MB of RAM free. For non-S60 users, this is a metric-assload and something you just don’t see. It also means that I don’t have to worry about deciding to snap a picture or shoot a video and seeing an out of memory error or worry that something will have been shut down in the background – both regular experiences on the previous edition.
Over the past two days I’ve been really using this device pretty actively – though the way I usually do as well. Jaiku has been loaded and active the entire day along with the browser and a number of other apps which I use on and off as needed. I’ve made liberal use of WiFI as well as cellular data and a few applications (Nokia Maps, Zonetag, Jaiku and Earthcomber) have tapped the location capabilities of the GPS (as well as through A-GPS) and my battery has easily made it from morning until dinnertime and beyond. Aside from the fact that it is impossible to run everything at once on the original model, the battery would certainly have been drained by lunchtime.
I can’t say I really have any real gripes here. The Multimedia Key was initially unresponsive but was fixed by powering down and removing the battery for a few minutes. I already knew (but forgot courtesy of the iPhone) that the S60 browser does not easily handle multiple windows – something that would be amazing now with all this memory. Shozu refuses to run reliably, but that’s not Nokia’s fault and Yahoo’s Zonetag’s S60v3 release seems to be filling that need nicely.
I do have an issue with ATT… get the 3G service to Northern Westchester, STAT!! I had a taste (all over NYC and in Southern Westchester) of 3G – actually 3.5G according to the N95 and wow!! EDGE, while adequate for email and mobile optimized browsing is nothing in comparison to the speed of the faster network. It’s equivalent to the upgrade from dial-up to broadband.
Even though much of the N95 is familiar, this latest release is like a new experience and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. Having so many capabilities in such a small package and essentially no limit on what you can do is seriously empowering. I will certainly have more to add soon…