Got the N82 today. Nicknamed, “the imaging king”, the Nokia N82 is a Candybar form factor phone which is the latest crown jewel in line of the N series line of phones. On paper the specifications seem impressive, feature-wise, the N82 is in not much in any very much different from the flagship N95 8GB and very very way ahead above the N81, so why the lower model number of 82?
Has Nokia tech or marketing team forgotten something in the phone which do not entitle it to be called the N94 or N96? The obvious overlapping features with the N95 means that this is the prefect contender to the N95 now, so how will it stack up to it? Well we will find out in a moment.
Open the Box and be greeted by an array of accessories and eye candy, otherwise what you get is rather basic for the fat-free operation of the phone. Here are a list of of items you will get:
- N82 set
- BP-6MT Battery
- TV out Cable
- Compact Mini-Charger
- Micro-USB Sync Cable
- 2GB Micro SD + Adapter
- 3.5mm PTT headset
- Generic 3.5mm headphones + Ear Sponges
- Manual + Quickstart, GPS instructions
- Nokia PC Suite DVD
External Looks & Ergonomics
Spec-wise, the closest contenter to the N82 will be the N95 8GB, and in case if you wondering which to get, size-wise first, obviously the N82 wins with thinner depth but only a few millimeters shorter in it’s width. Height-wise, the N95 wins with it’s slider layout. However, the N82 will fit nicer into the long pockets with it’s relatively more slender profile.
The N82 is only available in Silver at the moment, until Nokia decides to launch a new “i”, music or 8GB edition, sleek black will be out. I can safely say that is phone is the successor to the N73. Strangely is the lack of colour options in the N82, considering how Nokia was so pimpy about exotic “Sand” and “Plum” colours of the N95. Dominating the front fo the device is a 2.4″ color 16-bit (16M Colours) TFT main display at 240×320 of pixel real estate. Though not exactly big, it fits the profile and phone size real well in a small compact body.
I simply love phones these days with standard 3.5mm audio plugs, gone are the days of having to put up with third party adapters and proprietary ports just to use your own headphones with them. The N82 have it’s audio out situated right at the top of the phone which I say is where ALL audio plugs should be, it’s not only grasp friendly, but pocket, sock, pouch and attachment friendly as well. It’s a pity the N95 have it by the side.
Music wise, you don’t get any dedicated audio control keys in the N82. Twin stereo speakers dominate the whole right side of the phone, personally I prefer them side-by-side just like the N95 as the bottom speaker will tend to be covered with your hands holding it. Otherwise, the volume is a little low even when maxed, otherwise with descent sampling music played shown no noticeable distortion when maxed. In comparison, the N95 have a louder volume.
The N82 is targeted at youths and generally younger people, therefore the more cheery facade and full shiny chrome front finish. The plastic is matt smooth but otherwise, not as nice to grip as compared to the tactile N95 with it’s rubberised plastic coating. It can get rather slippery to hold as well, otherwise, the I see the front face prone to stratches and catches, but does not show fingerprints as well as the N95 8GB.
The lack of infrared is a lowdown, but not much of an issue either, considering most people including me always use bluetooth over it, except that you cannot remote command appliances with your N82 with IR remote software.
My biggest issue is the tiny keypad and the layout of the direction and menu buttons. The D-pad is not segmented as it looks, but infact rather a big single button pad for all 4 directions and enter, it needs getting used too and sometimes you can accidentally press select when scrolling. Moreover the softkeys, though tactile do not offer some form of segmentation here again so it’s quite difficult to do “touch navigation” without looking. The needle numeric keys are quite of a nightmare to use at first, especially with the buttons so near the edges, it quite difficult to type single handedly if you have big hands or fat fingers. But a good thing is that the buttons, though small are raised considerably higher, so you actually do not need to depress each key by alot of type, glad Nokia saw this.
The N82 is a Quad band and UTMS phone supporting networks EDGE, GPRS, GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 Bands), HSDPA (3G), UMTS (3G). On top of that, we get the array of wireless protocols typical to that of most modern N series phones now. Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP is standard together with Wi-Fi (WLAN a/b/g).
The phone uses the new micro-USB port (At USB 2.0) for sync, so technically you are quite out of luck if you intend your old mini-USB sync cables. Personally this feels just like the stone ages with proprietary ports, but I see this as a transition problem, just like how we go from full sized SD to mini and microSD cards presently, the miniaturization is so for the port as well. But things like that will become norm it is used over future phones.
You get 100MB of internal memory standard for applications and such, otherwise you can bump it up with Micro SD. The slot a SDHC capable, so technically you can use the current 8GB SDHC microSD and beyond.
Software and Menus
The N82 runs on the symbian Series 60 3rd edition software with preloaded chinese-english dictionary together with panoman and snakes. Theres preinstalled Ngage games as well which I think won’t be as nice to play with compared to the N95 with the dedicated music buttons doubling up as game action buttons.
Contrary to the N95 (which requires 3rd party apps), the N82 ultilises it’s accelerometer auto-screen rotate feature out of the box for rotating menus and music players based on the orientation of the phone itself.
The 5 megapixels camera is similar to that of the N95, with a maximum photo resolution of 2592×1944 pixels over 5 different size settings. The main difference is the LED flash being replaced with a more powerful Xenon flash, which sadly, drains the battery by alot more per shot. But Xenon does a very good job in capturing night shots in dimly or totally dark area and have a larger lumination “throw” range than LED, so you can catch subjects sitting further in the background. The presence of a lens cover comes very much of welcome compared to the N95 8GB which always collects dust and fingerprints on the delicate multi-coated Lens.
Like most camera, the camera button is a 2nd stage button, with the first for auto focus and fully depressing will take the picture. You get 20x digital zoom in the device with the absence of optical zoom found in the N93 given it’s camera orientation. Video recording bumps in at the similar 640×480 at 30fps and you can also take pictures with the secondary front VGA camera activated when the lens cover is closed or manually activated in the camera program.
Juicing the N82 is a lithium ion 1050 mAh battery which though is 150mah smaller than the N95’s behemoth BL-6F 1200mah capacity, it does a pretty good job at powering the relatively smaller smaller screen yet feeding the hungy Xenon flash. Standby and Talk time are rated at 225 hours & 4 hours respectively by nokia but expect real life hours to be shorter. I will confirm his with more tests to come.
N82 VS N95 The Low down- as practical as a Lamborghini built by Audi
Frankly speaking I love the N82, namely for it’s size, weigh and being so much more practical than the N95. However, I am not simply just ending this review on the obvious fact the it’s just an “N95 with the IR thrown out in place of a Xenon flash”.
The thing I find lacking in the N82 is not so much on the features (which handsdown it wins), but much on the style and soul, it’s not something which I love to hate but I something rather I personally think it based on a rather common footprint. It’s just like Lamborghini losing it’s flamboyant and “simply mad” nature when the captain sensibles of Audi owned took over part of them. The N82 not much a device which sets it’s own trend or paints it’s own path for more phones to come, it’s more like a trend follower, simply an upgrade of a previous model based off a previous model, infact it’s almost a direct copy of the N95!
Which brings me to the point of the “show factor”. You can use an N82 in the streets and no one will notice your v12 under the hood. Bring up the N95 with the dual slider and it will turning heads on the streets.
Personally I find the N95 a more professional device which paints sophistications and though older and despite it’s flaws, is definitely the trend setter phone of today and many more to come.