Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nokia Phone Comparison: N82 vs N95

Nokia sent me an N82 to evaluate. I wanted to get one to see if it was a viable alternative to the N95 for streaming live video over Qik on the AT&T 3G network. They sent me a European version, so it doesn't have US 3G on it.

So while I had it, I took it out for a spin to see how it's camera compared to the N95 that I've had for a while...

Phone freak Robert Scoble carries around three phones, the Nokia N95, N82 and Apple iPhone... He says that the N82 takes the best pictures.

One thing that I noticed right away was the processing time it takes to refresh the camera and get ready for a new shot. On the N95 is seems like it can take minutes, the N82 processes the photo faster.

Burst Mode
Jamaica Pond: N82 Photo TestJamaica Pond: N82 Photo TestJamaica Pond: N82 Photo TestJamaica Pond: N82 Photo TestJamaica Pond: N82 Photo TestJamaica Pond: N82 Photo Test
With burst mode, the N82 can take 6 photos in a row without processing so there's a better chance you won't miss a shot if you have burst mode set. After the 6 photos are taken, they are processed.

For those of you not familiar with what I'm talking about, the Nokia N82 takes a moment after each shot to process and save the image. One my N95 I refer to this as the Polaroid moment, where you wait to see what the photo actually looks like.

One thing I really like it the shutter protector. When you slide it off the lens, the camera turns on...

Here's a photo slideshow, A Study in Trash:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

These were all taken at ISO setting HIGH since that's the setting the last trial user left the camera on.

Shutter Button
Nokia N82 vs. N95

The shutter button is moved away from the edge of the phone. For an N95 user this takes getting used to, but for new N82 users, this shutter placement makes more sense. You can now stabilize to phone with our middle finger and shoot photos with your index finger.

Display Photo = No
If you shut of the display of photos after you shoot, you don't have to semi depress the shutter to enable taking another photo. I turned this on for a while, but then turned it off because I like seeing the photo right after I shoot it.

Nokia N82 vs. N95

New to the N82 is a grid that displays on the screen that allows to to follow the Rule of Thirds. I like this feature. Helps in composing shots and lining up horizons.

USB Cable
Nokia N82 vs. N95

The non standard micro USB cable makes it problematic to connect multiple devices to a computer. On my MacBook Pro I have a standard USB cable plugged in at all times so I can attach cameras and load in photos. When I tried to connect hte N82, the USB connection didn't match. This meant that I had to unplug the standard USB cable and plug in the USB cable that came in the box with the N82.

PC Transfer
Once I plugged in the cable, I found out that the photo transfer would not start without memory card inserted in the N82. I shut off the phone and inserted a 2BG card and the phone told me that it didn't see a memory card. I checked, and it had popped out, so I pugged it back in, and iPhoto recognized the card and showed me that the memory card had no photos to import. Right. They were all on the internal memory of the phone. D'oh!

File Manager
I ran File Manager and moved the pictures to an existing folder on the supplied memory card. It doesn't seem to allow you to move the folder over to the memory card. i wonder if the previous tester left photos on the memory card? Hmm. We'll see....

iPhoto recognized all the photos on the memory card, but no extras. :-)

Importing 67 photos.

All these photos were taken with the standard camera settings, Auto ISO, no post processing was done.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

European Version
No 3G to test on this phone.

Function Keys
Nokia N82 vs. N95

The function keys are flush with the phone vs. raised on the N95. That is going to take some getting used to. I prefer the ergonomics of having raised keys so you don't have to look down to see where the key is. I'd like to see raised function keys on future N82's.

To unlock the phone you have to press the * as the second key. That's a lot less easier than the way it works on the N95. A lot less.

First Impressions
Overall I liked how the camera on the N82 worked. It's a lot faster at both taking and processing photos. I felt that this camera has a better chance of capturing a fleeting moment than the N95. I really liked the grid feature, but am not happy with the non standard USB connection. Maybe it's different on the US version.


  1. the usb cable with the n82 is standard, it's just a new standard that isn't very much in use yet called microUSB. the n95 has miniUSB.

  2. Tricia switched from a N95 to a N82 about a month ago and hasn't looked back. Both you and her are making me feel like I should do the same.

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  4. Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
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