The Nokia N82 is the latest high-end imaging-focused device from the Finnish manufacturer. With a Xenon flash, a 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus, and video capture at 30 frames per second, the Nokia N82 is set to replace the venerable N73 in the Nseries imaging lineup. Going back to the candy bar form factor that Nokia is known for, does the Nokia N82 set the benchmark high for other multimedia handsets?
The Nokia N82 measures 112mm x 50mm x 17.3mm (4.4" x 2" x .7") and weighs 114g (4oz). The N82 is one of the first Nseries candy bar phones since the Nokia N73. It feels solid in the hand, and the sides are slanted slightly to offer better grip. There are no creaks when handling the N82, even though the body's cover is made from plastic. The only noise that I can coax out of this phone comes from pressing down on the d-pad. When I first received the device, there was a clicking sound, as if the membrane inside was sticking to the physical button. However, as expected, after some use the sound has disappeared. The back of the device sports a geometrical striped design with a smooth surface that, unfortunately, attracts fingerprints easily. The Nokia N82 is currently only available in a white and silver color scheme, though more colors have been promised for Q1 2008.
The display on the N82 is a 2.4" 16.7 million color TFT screen, with 240 x 320 pixel resolution. The display is mounted flush with the front of the handset, and is protected by a polished layer of plastic. This causes some readability issues in direct sunlight due to glare, but otherwise, the N82's display is bright and easy to read.
Above the display is the speaker, an ambient light sensor, and a front-facing VGA-resolution camera for video calling (where supported). This front-facing camera is also handy for self-portraits and MMS video messages.
The buttons on the Nokia N82 are different from what I've seen on an S60 device before. However, after some use, I grew to really enjoy using them. The end and send keys are large, and positioned at the left and right edges of the phone, as with the Nokia N81 8GB. Between them lie the softkeys and S60 keys, with the d-pad and its center select button located in the middle. The softkeys and s60 keys are really just 2 rocker-style buttons. Pressing on the top half of the key gets the appropriate softkey function, while pressing on the lower half will trigger the S60 or "c" button. The reduced sized multimedia key is on the right, next to the "end" key and activates the new S60 multimedia menu, made up of panels with nice transition animations to facilitate a smooth look. The numeric keypad is quite different, with very small buttons that are each about the size of a grain of rice, with key labels printed directly above each button. These keys were slightly difficult to get used to, but after some time I have found that they make fast SMS composition much easier, eliminating the problem of accidentally pressing surrounding buttons.
On the right side of the handset are the camera shutter button, the gallery button, and the volume rocker. The left side houses the micro-USB data port, the microSD card slot, and the Nokia charging port. The bottom of the device, oddly, has no ports whatsoever. The power button and 3.5mm audio jack are located on the top.
The microSD card slot on the Nokia N82 is covered by a plastic tab that is easily opened and keeps dust and other foreign particles from getting inside. The 5 megapixel camera is located on the back of the N82, with a Xenon flash above the lens, and a lens-cover switch located to the right of the lens. The dual stereo speakers are both located on the right side of the handset, one at the top and the other at the bottom.
I found the reception strength on the Nokia N82 to be on a par with with other recently tested Nokia handsets, which is to say that it was pretty good. Even in lower-signal areas, the N82 was easily able to hold a call and deliver solid audio quality.
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