I’d been mulling over getting a N95 for a few weeks, and I was quite hyped up with moving to a intelligent handset (compaired my Nokia 3 Series mobile). To cut a long story short, I didn’t get the handset but Jo got it for me on Orange. I’m 6 days into my usage of the N95, so I feel now is a good time to air some initial views.
First of all, lets start on the obvious. The N95 is Nokia’s convergence product combining 3G, Wifi, and GPS with the Series60 3rd Edition (SymbianOS 9.1) software. The N95 has been a hit with few due to the ever crowded market place (HTC smartphones, iPhone) and a few minor issues. Nokia have recently addressed the major concerns with the launch of the N95-3 which has 8gb on-board storage, better battery, and larger screen, but it could be a little late with the impending arrival of the iPhone in europe. I’ve got the N95-1 version of the phone which was the main release version for the UK.
First boot, the phone showed the traditional “holding hands” Nokia branding, date/time setup, then dropped into the front screen. For the last year or so I’ve been using a HTC Wizard running Windows Mobile and have had to deal with a fair share of awful interface design from the hands of 3rd party developers, but the only way I could describe the front screen that came with the current firmware is a abomination. Orange had decided, in it’s infinite wisdom, to replace the plain and simple Series60 front screen with a menu driven nightmare that chews RAM and makes the whole phone sluggish. I had to get rid of it. I jumped into the familiar menus and tried in vain to remove the horrid front screen, it seems orange don’t want you to remove it.
I might as well admit, I’ve voided my warranty already, in fact, I voided it on the same day. Theres a few details available on-line to change your product ID to a generic Nokia one, then using the official Nokia Software Update to re-flash the phone with a nice generic firmware. This worked a treat. It might just be my opinions, but the Orange menu was just too much of a hindrance on the phone, enough to warrant trying to get rid of it as fast as I could. This is a carrier issue, not really what everyone would experience with the phone.
Bar the misfortune of the Orange menu, the interface is slick and easy to use. The menus for the phone are a tad over-complicated but you soon get used to the location of the commonly used functions. So, i’m keeping it, flashy menus and features win me over. The battery life could do with some improvement, and hopefully Nokia will release the improved battery for N95-1 edition handsets, but I guess only time will tell.