On New Year’s Eve, I blew a load of cash and got myself a Nokia N-Series device just two days after first thinking about it. Sure, I’d seen it around before, but I’d never paid much attention to the N82 because a) it’s kinda ugly, and b) I had a terrible experience with Nokia’s Symbian S60 UI once. You can read a little about why I hated the E65 here.
I don’t know whether I fell for the marketing again, or if Nokia has just finally built a solid, modern phone. It’s been 2 days, and I suspect the latter.
The feature-set is the most impressive of any candybar I’ve ever seen, Japanese models included. Sure it may not be much to look at, and it still uses the same Symbian OS I hated on the E65 (with some small tweaks in a new FeaturePack 1 update), but it’s hard to hate a phone that essentially packs all the power and features of the new N95-8GB into a slimmer, narrower form factor. The N82 has the same 128MB of operating RAM as the N95-8GB (twice that of th regular N95), which makes using the phone much less of a pain. Things happen snappily enough, and there’s little lag when switching between applications. It’s stupid that it took Nokia engineers this long to finally make an N-Series phone feel good in actual use.
I still don’t believe that it’s a phone for everybody, as some of the menus go quite deep and are thick with options. But for someone determined to have GPS, locally-stored maps, WiFi and HSDPA data connections, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack (whoohoo!), and the best damned 5-megapixel camera I’ve seen on any phone, even besting Sony-Ericsson’s new K850, then this is it in one package.
I must stress that as far as I know, the only two Nokia N-Series devices worth buying are the N95-8GB and the N82. The former has a larger, brighter screen, and the latter has a very bright xenon flash unit. The N95 is fat, and the N82 is acceptably sized. Everything else performs like junk. Have a look at what Om Malik thought of the N81 while you’re at it.
First impressions have been good, and so unless I fall out of love with it, I should be writing a proper review after a week or so.