Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rumours: E71

Courtesy of, look what could possibly be the new phone for this year!

Looks like a combination of E51, E61i and E90 all rolled into one.
Ok, I know its only January 2008, but I know what I want this Christmas. (Only another 11 months to go)

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Happy New Year 2008 with Nokia N95 8Gb

First of all, let me wish everyone a very Happy New Year 2008.

Reading a few local blogs, there were a numerous "happening" events going on throughout the country, as it should on new year's eve. But for me, it was a quiet one. Just me and my buddy, the Nokia N95 8Gb right beside me. (Hey, this IS a mobile blog right?)

I started last year with a new year's resolution of sticking to one phone for the whole year. I did quite well half way through, then the madness began. I broke my goals, amidst the mockery of those who know d3xlabs. Closer to Christmas time, I had already gone through quite a few phones, and to be honest, at one point, I was just stumped. I just did NOT know what to get. Having reviewed and played with so many new phones in the market, I was like a master of all models, but owner of none.

It was during my period of silence in December (sorry everyone, but coupled with moving house, delayed espeed access and festive hols around, it was difficult to update my reviews), I decided to get myself this, the new champion of all Nokia's, the new improved version of the Nokia N95 8Gb.

Reading reviews from GSMArena, Mobile88, Mobile-Review and Allaboutsymbian, (all GREAT and EXTENSIVE reviews) I knew this would be the right choice. In fact, compared to my Nokia E90 review, the King of Nokia's, I would dare say that this new N95 8Gb is REAL close to dethroning the mighty E90.

On a side note, having read all those reviews (and MANY more, believe me), I started thinking, hey, how can I make my blog more interesting to read this year. 2007 was a good learning point for my blog. I always thought that readers like reading my blog because of the "hands on feel" of the phones that I review, compared to the hundreds of close-up's, spec filled, stating-the-obvious type of reviews that anyone can find out there (like the 4 review sites I mentioned above, no offence to them of course. To me these sites are like "my point of references" if you like). So, true to my goal, I think this year, I will try to include more of these "hands on feely" type reviews. So far I haven't received any negative feedback from you, my kind readers. And even from the handful of faithful ones I have who have kept my tag board active. (Thanks guys).

With this, starting 2008, my goals are:
  • To be more consistent in my reviews and blog posts
  • To be more subjective in brands (I know, I know, I seem to favour more Nokia's, SE's or Treo's)
  • Include more pictures because we all know, pictures speak a thousand words.
Armed with the new iMac which I hope to purchase soon enough, I think this will be a great year for d3xlabs.

Anyway, personal sentiments aside, back to the Nokia N95 8Gb. Let me try to give different perspective from the 4 reviews above. And this will be my first straight-to-the-point type review for 2008.

First Impressions
  • Using it for a month now, I have to say, I enjoy every moment of using this phone. From the moment I opened the inbox, with the black beauty peering at me from its transparent enclosure, it made my heart skip a beat. Taking it out, I just had a feeling that this was one precious device. Those of you out there who REALLY take care of your phones will know what I mean. (It also meant that I would inevitably have to buy a screen protector, a leather case or at least SOMETHING to protect this new baby!)(Note: I have done all three)
  • Switching it on, I'm faced with the super familiar S60 3rd edition OS on the beautiful 2.8inch screen.(A MAJOR improvement from the previous N95. And yes, the 0.2" difference sounds small on paper, but it really is a thoroughly enjoyable experience using it in real life)
  • The two way slider worked great, with a nice click on both ends.
  • Of course, one of the main features I used immediately was the camera and video. More on this shortly.
In short, I knew immediately, this was one impressive device.

What I loved about the N95 8Gb
  • The layout of the keypad is very ergonomically friendly. Big hands / fingers like mine have no issues problems whatsoever.
  • The weight and material used is "just nice" in my opinion. Doesn't feel like it will slip off your hands in use.
  • The performance of this beauty is F-A-S-T. With the improved processor included, I would expect this really. Gone are the days of hanging, or slow laggy activation of applications. (This is becoming a norm for the newer Nokia's. Thanks for listening Nokia)
  • The battery life. It has been tremendously refreshing to use! I have gone 3 days without charging even! Compared to my previous N95 review, this is a BIG PLUS. And this is after making calls, tons of SMS-ing, camera usage, music/radio activation and MSN chatting on wifi!
  • Sending SMS's, MMS's and emails have never been easier! With the Nokia trade marked T9 dictionary and the great keypad layout, I found myself just finding reasons to sms people. (Yea, I'm sad)
  • 8Gb of internal memory?! Need I say more!? To date, I have about 200+ photos and 217 songs stored in my N95 8Gb, and so far, not even close to 2Gb used. Its great not to have to worry about finding back-up storage for additional stuff.
  • Did I fail to mention the N-Gage gaming features were also included in the N95 8Gb, like the sibling N81? The included games, FIFA and Racing STREET RULES are nothing short of amazing. I'm not a gamer myself, but just to see the graphics and speed of the games is quite something.
  • The camera, the camera, the camera. Yes, that's right, leave your dedicated digi camera's at home. For everyday snapping and capturing-those-special-moments, the N95 8Gb will be more than enough. I'm afraid, since using this, my Canon G7 has been sitting on a shelf just collecting dust. I'm so heartless. And can you blame me? Look at some of my sample photos below. There are tons more I have to admit, but alot of them have me, my family, friends and my car inside. Now you wouldn't want to know the identity of d3xlabs now would you?
My Christmas tree. Not my best attempt but hey, I just bought it a few days before Christmas.

The view from outside my window. Night mode.

What I enjoyed on New Year's Eve lunch with friends at a local restaurant in town. Macro mode.

The buddies I sleep next to every night. I'm serious.
  • Camera - Video mode. On a phone, this has GOT to be one of the best I've ever seen. DVD quality, Nokia claims. They're right. Those of you with kids, or not, this comes in really handy. And the inbox comes with AV cables which you can watch on your compatible TV's too. How amazing is that?! And what's more, these videos are also YOUTUBE friendly. I even have a friend who's posted all his videos on youtube taken by his N95.

What I didn't like about the N95 8Gb

  • Glossy black surface = fingerprint magnet. Enough said.
  • Yes the 8Gb is iPhone-beating but it can also be a worry. I've read in other reviews that if anyone ever, EVER drops the N95 8Gb, it could cause harm to the flash memory, meaning... you could lose everything. Of course, if you're like me, backing up the phone every night, then you'll have nothing to worry about. And again, if you're like me, you'll probably also make sure that you'll never ever drop your phone. Just guard it with your life ok? That's my rule.
  • Why oh why didn't Nokia include at least a leather case in the package like they did with the previous N95. Not a problem I guess for some as you can probably find other alternatives elsewhere. (I even contemplated getting a Vaja leather case for this baby would you believe). But here's what you can get separately from Nokia, the CP 235. Its not the best around I have to admit, but, it'll do its job in protecting your black beauty.
  • The two-way slider (again this won't be a problem is a case was included) tends to slide in your pockets (for guys). For the ladies, this may not apply to you as phones have become accessories in your handbags anyway right?
  • If you have as many photos as I do (so far) saving / sync-ing them through your pc (or mac in my case) can be a bit of a patience-builder. I suppose I COULD delete everything after saving it to speed up the process next time, but where's the fun in that?
My take on the N95 8Gb? I have to at least give it the same rating as I did with my E90 review.
5 stars.
It is the ultimate Nokia phone in the market today, next to the E90 dare I say.
So, after you read this, switch off your pc, hop into your car, drive straight to any Incomm branch and get one! From what I hear, stocks have been lapped up quite fast. That alone if proof that I'm not the only one who feels this way about the N95 8Gb isn't it?

Available at all Incomm outlets.
Price - BND1,168
Please use your DST Privilege cards for additonal discounts.

PS: If you have any feedback for me, I would be more than happy to accomodate your ideas. Please email me at

PPS: I won't dare say I will stick to one phone again. That was 2007. I've learnt my lesson for 2008.