The Nokia N95 8 gig US edition (known fondly by it's model number, N95-4 by S60 lovers) is indeed the 4th version of Nokia's extremely popular flagship phone. To be fair, there have been two worldwide models, the N95-1 and N95-2, and two US models that mirror these (the N95-3 and now the N95-4). The N95-4 is actually just the N95-2 (N95 8 gig) with US rather than Eurasian 3G bands. The N95 US edition (N95-3) was more than a remake of the original N95 with US 3G, it boasted several improvements that Europeans didn't see until the N95-2 8 gig was released. Follow all that? Hope so.
What does all this mean? If you're outside the US, the N95 8 gig (N95-2 being the more logical choice) has significant hardware improvements over the original N95-1, having a larger battery, more memory and a slightly larger display. If you're a US buyer, the N95-3 offered these improvements (except the larger display), so the choice is harder and the difference comes down to two things: storage and newer firmware. The N95-3 (like the original N95-1) has a microSD card slot for storage and the 8 gig model has (surprise) 8 gigs of flash storage built in but no microSD card slot. Though Nokia specs the N95-1 and N95-3 as supporting up to 2 gig microSD cards, we've used a variety of SDHC cards in higher capacities with no problems so you can in fact have an "8 gig N95" just by inserting an 8 gig SDHC microSD card.
Since the first release of the N95-1 and N95-2, there have been firmware improvements to the camera, GPS, and updated software (N-Gage support, Flash Lite 3, demand paging memory management). Any N95 model variant owner can enjoy these via a firmware update using Nokia's updater in Windows, except N95-3 owners. Nokia has yet to release a major firmware upgrade for the N95-3, so the N95-4 is the only way to get these improvements in a US 3G model right now. We assume Nokia will release a serious firmware upgrade for the N95-3 (it's been months since the N95-1 got a major firmware revamp). Currently, the N95-4 has the latest, greatest firmware since it's the new kid on the block and you'll enjoy all these improvements out of the box. For those who are new to Nokia and S60, firmware updates are free downloads and are quite easy to install.
Like the US N95-3, the Nokia N95-4 comes with a US warranty from Nokia, so there's no need to send it overseas for repair should it need work.
Features at a Glance
The N95 is a well-known commodity, having first released in April 2007, so we won't do a detailed re-review here. But for those new to the N95, we'll give a run-down of the N95-4's many features. The N95-4 is an unlocked quad band GSM world phone that will work anywhere GSM service is available (and will accept any GSM carrier's SIM). It supports the 850/1900MHz US 3G and 3.5G bands (UMTS and HSDPA) but not the 2100MHz 3G band used in Europe and Asia (the original N95 and the N-95-2 have only the 2100MHz band). The phone has a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss autofocus lens and an LED flash. The N95 family leads all phones (with the possible exception of the Nokia N82) with its imaging capabilities which also include shooting incredibly good VGA video at 30fps.
The smartphone runs Symbian S60 3.1 (3rd Edition feature pack 1), and can sync to Mac and Windows computers. Windows syncing software is on the companion CD and you can download an iSync plugin for the Mac from Nokia's web site here (be sure to download the N95 8 gig version of the plugin and not the N95 plugin). S60 3rd Edition offers full PIM applications (contacts, calendar, tasks and notes), as well as email and one of the best full HTML web browsers on a mobile phone (the iPhone is the only one that can compete).
The N95 8 gig has a music player, FM radio with RDS, video player and a streaming Internet player that handles Nokia's free programming (Sony Pictures trailers, Reuters News, RocketBoom, YouTube mobile and more). Slide the display up to reveal a numeric keypad, and slide it down to reveal the multimedia playback controls.
The smartphone comes only in black and has a soft touch finish.
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