Nokia N82 mobile phone

Nokia's flagsip mobile phone is the N95 8GB, but that still hasn't stopped the Finish company from launching the N82 a pseudo N95 with a focus on the digital camera elements rather than an overall multimedia device. But is it just a candy bar version of the N95? We get phoning to find out.

Described as "the latest multimedia computer optimized for photography, navigation and internet connectivity" the Nokia N82 is a candy bar handset that comes in a plastic and metal finish. Dimensions are 112 x 50.2 x 17.3mm while it weighs 114g slightly lighter than the N95.

Tech specs include A-GPS, a 5-megapixel camera, Xenon flash, Carl Zeiss optics and internet connectivity alongside HSDPA and Bluetooth connectivity.

The design, which is large and fat is also confusing to use with too many menu shortcut buttons cluttering the keypad. Do you really need two dedicated menu buttons for example? In fact there are 12 shortcut keys beyond the 12 numeric keys, all of which are fiddly and, like Sony Ericsson's W880, prickly to use.

If that wasn't enough buttons for you, then there are a further four buttons on the top side for the camera function and that's not including the on/off switch or the lens cover slider for the camera.

Compared to the iPhone's four buttons, the tally of 29 is impressive.

Get past the buttons and the, in our mind, ugly design, and you've got the Symbian S60 software interface as found on most of the Nokia N series handsets.

With two menu buttons you have two ways of looking at the applications in addition to the home page and you can either opt for a rotating page system (which works like Apple's Coverflow interface) or for the more traditional amongst us via icons in a grid formation.

Applications of note here are the A-GPS and preinstalled Nokia Maps that allow you to find your way around and users can buy additional features, such as city guides and longer subscription to the navigation.

The A-GPS works extremely well in locking on to a GPS signal when you are indoors and compared to the first N95, finding where you are is a lot quicker.

Additionally maps have now been stored on the device from the start meaning you don't have to download as you go, again speeding up finding directions and you can get voice guidance so you don't have to look at the small screen to know where to turn next however this is an optional paid for extra.

Map excerpts and routes can be sent to friends by MMS or users can save map screen shots to the gallery.

Like the Nokia N95, one of the main reasons to get the N82 is the 5 megapixel camera. Exactly the same as the N95 the only difference here is the inclusion of a Xenon flash, the same as the Samsung G800, and picture quality was good.

The camera is more responsive than the first N95, comes with autofocus with a dedicated autofocus assist lamp, fast reloading between shots and DVD-like quality video capture however it doesn't have an optical zoom as found in the G800.

Thanks to the 2GB microSD card in the standard Nokia N82 box, you can store up to 900 high-resolution photos or up to 84 minutes of high quality video on the device, although customers opting for the N95 8GB will clearly be able to store more of everything.

Like the N95 the N82 has Wi-Fi connectivity and one-click upload to online communities allowing you to share content to Flickr or Vox.

Games wise the phone supports the N-Gage platform and games are vastly improved on previous efforts from Nokia outside of the N-Gage handsets however we found it frustrating that you aren't able to opt to rotate the screen to play landscape.

Verdict

The N82 is best described as the bastard child of the N95 and not really an improvement on the N81. This is Nokia packaging its current lineup of phones in a different form factor and adding a Xenon flash rather than offering anything new and improved.

Where the phone fails even further is that the repackaged exterior isn't actually that nice or easy to use either. Like the Sony Ericsson W880 the keys are prickly to use and the overall build quality compared to other handsets in this sector isn't that great either.

If you want a Nokia with a 5 megapixel camera you would be better off, in our minds, going for the N95. It's got a lot more going for it.