The Nokia N95 vs. the N95 8GB, Part I

The Nokia N95 vs. the N95 8GB, Part I
Photo of the Nokia N95 8GB and the N95 taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 7610.

While the original Nokia N95 (aka “The Classic” or the N95-1) was released to European and Asian distribution in March of this year, I did not order mine until July of this year due to my Nokia N80’s meltdown. I have truly enjoyed and loved my N95, it is a great machine – the 5 megapixel camera, GPS, internet, and all. I have a 2 GB microSD chip in the add-on memory slot and have not filled it up as I download my photos and videos every day or two to my laptop.
When WOM World’s Donna offered to send me the Nokia N95 8GB (aka the N95-2) for a two week trial, I took her up on the offer. I had read many reviews comparing the two devices (pretty darned similar but a few tweaks – bigger screen and more memory on the #2) and wanted to try out both devices at the same time.
Two days after I returned from England, when SoCal was getting a much needed rain storm, the DHL fellow dropped of the package in front of my door step and did not knock to see if I was in. Luckily I heard him and rescued the box containing WOM World’s £500 phone before it was soaked through! I quickly evacuated the N95 8GB box from the soggy shipping box and there it was! with a Mobile Video Hat (?!?!?)*.
Over the course of the last two weeks, until shipping the N95 8GB back to the UK yesterday, I have had the opportunity to use both devices at the same time and give them a good comparison. The short version of my review is this, I wouldn’t trade in my Nokia N95 v. 1.0 for the 8GB model, as there are not enough new features to entice me and the 8GB N95 is a wee bit too big to fit comfortably in my hand.… –>

Yes, Ladies & Gentlemen, for all of its slimming black exterior, the Nokia N95 8GB is a wee chubby for my small adult female hands. It is not a one handed device like the N95, but for me it is two handed. I like one handed devices that I can comfortable use and text from with just my right hand. Until Nokia released the 7610 in 2004, I was not tempted by any of the other smart phones, Crackberries, or Windows Mobile devices out on the market at that time, because they were all too wide for my hands and obviously designed for men with big hands, which is interesting that many devices are too wide for a woman’s hand but the buttons are too small for a man’s. Equal opportunity user device failure?
The great part about the Nseries phones is that most of them are slim enough to comfortably fit in a woman’s hand. Good job, Nokia! Bad Crackberry. Bad Windows mobile. Bad Treo.
While the stated Nokia Tech Specs for the N95 v. 1.0 and the N95 8GB seem to state that they *could* be the same dimensions (read the print that says (max) after each dimension), the N95 clocks in at 90cc (cubic centimeters) and the N95 8GB is 96cc. I can feel that extra 6cc and so could most of the women that I asked to hold both phones and try and use them with only one hand**.
The two biggest pluses of the Nokia N95 8GB over the classic N95 is the larger screen and the 8GB on board memory. For me the size issue of the 8GB in my hand outweighed the larger screen and to make more room for the larger screen, Nokia had to reduce the size of the external keys which was hard for me with small fingers to navigate without error, so I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for large man fingers. Since I have not had to use more than 1.5 GB of space on my 2GB memory chip in my N95, the extra 6.5 GBs did not really outweigh the other concerns such as the N95 8GB does not have a camera lens cover. When it arrived from WOM World, I could tell it had already been through at least another 2 week trial as the lens cover was already scratched. Imagine the hassle of scratches if one had the 8GB model in one’s pocket or purse for longer than a month or two without putting it in a lovely felted cozy to protect it?
Some reviewers stated that the camera on the N95 8GB is a bit faster in taking photos than the N95, as Nokia reworked some of the algorithms. If this is the case, I did not really notice it. Both are moderately slow to focus and take the snap, but not as slow as my N80 was. My big concern was not speed of capture but the actual photos, of which I will post a side by side comparison of photos from both devices tomorrow.
Last but not least, the N95 8GB comes with a larger battery and longer battery life than the N95. Several days in a row, I started both devices with a fresh charge, ran them through their paces, used the camera, video, and GPS to see if the N95 lost all battery charge before the N95 8GB. I was not able to get the N95 to decrease in charge before the 8GB device, but I also recharged them each night and did not let them lapse into the next day without a new charge.
Here ends my Nokia N95 vs. N95 8GB phone review. All in all, I will keep my N95 and hope that Nokia continues to make kick ass camera’s with internet access and GPS that fit a woman’s hand, esp. my small hands. I don’t have N95 8GB lust, sorry. It was a nice trial, but I won’t be running out to buy one tomorrow as it is not different enough or does not have enough new features that I would desire to make me be unfaithful to my one true electronic love of 2007 – the Nokia N95 v. 1.0.
*Ok the Mobile Video Hat was quite odd, like something out of SciFi Virtual Reality fantasy from 1995. Most interesting about it, is that from the photo here you can see that one of the holding arms obscures the camera lens. Thus, I concluded that one was supposed to use the front facing VGA camera to film your own face with the Mobile Video Hat… Whaaaaaa…????? How can I be iJen if the MVH only videos my face, not the world as I see it? The further upswing is that I could never convince anyone to wear it while filming themselves sliding down the winter sand berm wall at the beach, so it stayed in its box until returning to Oxfordshire yesterday afternoon.
** hmmm… get your mind out of the gutter. One handed texting or moblogging or Twittering or… is all the better to drive with*** the left or walk the dogs or any number of other activities.
*** Don’t act shocked and get all prudishly puritan on me, you know you have done it. We all have. You are stuck in traffic and not going anywhere, so it is time to Twitter or text a friend or…

3 thoughts on “The Nokia N95 vs. the N95 8GB, Part I

  1. hi.
    i have the 6220 classic but i want to change my phone. i have been looking at the n95 and the n95 8gb but i dont know which one would be better. i have heard that the n95 8gb is faster but i like the sd slot and lens cover of the n95. also i have read that the battery life is better on the n95 8gb.
    what do you think having used both?

  2. Hi Chris,
    I don’t know where you are geographically, what carrier you use, or what your budget is, but if you are in North America and on one of the carriers (like AT&T) that supports the NAM (north american) version of the N95, then that is the one I would get. If you are in Europe or India, then the 8GB should work fine.
    The best part of the N95, be it the older v. 1 (what I own), the 8GB (v.2), or the NAM (v.3), is that they have all been out for about 2 years so you can get one for a great price new if you shop around (I really like and watch on Sat. mornings for deals) or you can get an almost new one for a great price used.
    I have put my N95 v.1 up against new Nseries phones (like the N79 & N97, reviews coming) and have found it to still be a very worthy competitor.

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