After having my n95 for about a month I've got used to it and it's got
used to me.
I've spent a long time in UAT environments and know how to improve
software so it's become a bit of a habit to think about all devices as
works in progress.
Observations and suggestions for the n95:
1) If you don't fanny about with it all the time the battery lasts for
a quite a while. Charging it up every night isn't too much of a
problem - the battery charges from empty to full in around 80 minutes
so I've just plugged it in when I'm sitting down I'm listening to
music on it and that's been fine.
2) The camera is very good even if you don't fiddle with it too much.
Close up photography isn't all that hot unless you put it in 'close
up' mode - I'd prefer it if it detected the distance and decided for
itself. It would be nice for the camera to have an optical zoom on it
as well as a reasonable wider-angle mode, but I suppose you can't have
everything in such a small lens.
3) Additional uses for the velocity sensor: The phone does indeed
have one as when you take a photo landscape it knows it's landscape
and then you don't change anything and take a portrait orientated shot
it knows the difference between the two when you go to the gallery and
look at both images. It orientates them correctly. Why not use this
velocity sensor during normal phone use. When I'm looking at a web
page and turn the phone 'landscape' why not auto-orientate the screen
to landscape instead of waiting for me to open the phone 'sideways'
before it detects it? Also, why not let me turn the phone landscape
but 'upside down'? I would much rather navigate a web page in
landscape with the phone in my left hand but if I do this the web page
is the wrong way around – an option to use the web browser in a kind
of left-handed mode would suit me, even though I'm not left handed.
4) Audio player: A very good audio player, for a mobile phone. Why
not give it a hardware equaliser instead of just a software one as I
find that the bass isn't as strong as it could be, even with it up
full. Still, a very good quality reproduction for a mobile phone and
I can even leave my Bose QuietComfort 2 Noise Cancelling earphones on
'high power device' mode.
5) Get rid of the 'gallery' button on the side of the phone as it's
not much use and I keep pressing it my accident – why not move it to
near the power button on the 'top' of the phone or add two more
user-assignable shortcut buttons there, or perhaps just make the
shortcut button harder to press, like the volume buttons.
6) Auto-orient the phone to portrait when I 'close' the handset
instead of leaving it in landscape mode.
7) Improve the Nokia PC Suite so that I can sync via WiFi instead of
just USB/Bluetooth. Plugging the phone into the USB port is an arse.
For such an 'independent' phone it seems odd that I need to plug it in
to talk to my PC.
8) Improve the Nokia Media Manager PC software so that it's more user
friendly and compresses in more useful formats.
9) Install an Instant Messenger client by default with the phone for
free which saves me having to look around for an Agile
Messenger/eBuddy style 3rd party one.
10) Improve the processor power usage. It would be nice to have
something like the Intel SpeedStep technology on the phone. The phone
seems to have two options, On and Power Save screen saver mode. When
the phone is in 'on' mode and I'm writing a text message the whole CPU
isn't needed so why not just have the CPU powered high enough and
running at a speed for which the running applications require? It
would improve battery life.
11) A bit of a radical suggestion, I know, as it will impact of the
look of the phone: When I had a Nokia 7110 and other similar phones
there was more than one battery option. The first was the slimfit one
which came with the phone and the second was a fatter battery which
lasted a lot longer between charges. Investigate the possibilities of
creating a fatter battery for the n95 or newer models and a 'bulging'
battery cover instead of the flat one.
12) Podcasting. The Nokia Podcasting app seems pretty good (although
it would be nice if it linked in with the normal browser instead of
having to manually key in RSS/Atom feed URLs to the application) –
When I download the BBC Breakfast Takeaway in the morning to watch
when I'm sitting outside having the first cigarette of the day for 10
minutes it always says something like "Video will not play on this
device" but then launches it in RealPlayer and it plays perfectly.
Someone needs to tell the podcasting application what the phone can
and can't play.
13) Nokia Media Manager needs some tweaking. Videos like the
Breakfast Takeaway above play perfectly at a decent framerate, but
when one uses the Nokia application on a PC to encode a video it
encodes it at a bitrate much lower than what the phone is capable of
playing and it reduces the frame rate (The phone records video itself
at 640x480 @ 30fps so it can handle pretty much anything that one
would wish to throw at it). The application asks for the phone to be
connected via USB or whatever when the video is compressed so it does
it at the best format but it's obviously underestimating what the n95
14) Move the GPS receiver into the top of the screen, perhaps bin the
2nd camera as I don't use it and video calling hasn't taken off in my
circle of friends. The GPS receiver appears to be at the bottom of
the phone, under the keypad. Yes, where you're going to be holding it
and have your hands around it or if you want to take sat-nav into the
car then that's likely to be where it's mounted too. If it was at the
top near the camera and environment sensor then it would get a much
better signal as nobody holds their phone by that area.
15) My Nokia e61 has the option to kill off applications from a kind
of 'task manager' but the n95 doesn't have this option. If you've
exited out of an app by going to the 'hang up' button the application
is still active and you can see it's active by going to the phone menu
where a little icon shows next to active applications. If the app has
died then you can't go into the app and then close it so have to
reboot. If the option to kill off running processes was present
(perhaps accessable by holding the 'hang up' key for a few seconds)
then it would save power cycling. Not that any of the applications
16) Flickr auto-uploading of photos: Give the ability to add tags to
photos, mark them as private, insert them in Sets or Groups. At the
moment any photo that is uploaded is not marked in any way and is
defaulted to 'public'. I do a 'daily photo' for a Flickr group I'm in
and I upload it as soon as it's taken via T-Mobile Web'n'Walk but I
have to wait until I get home to assign it to a group, add tags, etc.
I have tried just logging into Flickr via their normal website on the
phone but the Yahoo! sign in jobbe doesn't appear to understand mobile
phones. The Flickr Mobile website doesn't give the options to assign
tags to your own photos or set groups so perhaps this is more Flickr
related. However, I think the option to add these tags before sending
the photo will be good from the app, such as one can do with the PC
"Flickr Uploadr" software.
17) Despite my initial reservations this phone is excellent. After a
month I haven't got bored with it and use it for pretty much
everything. Well done Nokia.
-- Nick ICQ: 9235201 EMAIL & MSN: firstname.lastname@example.org
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