Nokia N95 vs Apple, Canon, HP, Motorola and TomTom

Is the Nokia N95 brilliant at all the many things it does, or is it better to stick together an iPod nano, a Canon IXUS 50, an HP iPaq hx2790, a Motorola Motofone F3 and a TomTom One?

The Nokia N95 is a convergence fanboy's dream -- there's a built-in sat-nav, a 5-megapixel camera, a media player, a PDA and of course, a mobile phone. But is it better than the standalone competition or is it a jack of all trades and master of none?

We've pitted the N95's component parts against five standalone devices to see if you're better off Sellotaping together all your favourite gadgets or going down the shops and picking up Nokia's flagship handset.

Music
First up, it's the Nokia N95 versus the iPod nano -- both play music but which one plays it better? In terms of getting your music on to the device, the N95 wins hands down, since you can drag and drop music on to it without using iTunes.

The N95 also wins when it comes to connectivity options, since it comes with a 3.5mm jack that supports normal headphones and stereo Bluetooth, giving you the option to listen to music wirelessly.

The nano is much smaller and lighter than the N95, however, and it has the best audio quality in the market, which some music fans will value above anything else.
Verdict: A two-all draw.

Camera
Next up, we challenged the N95 to a duel with the Canon Digital IXUS 50, a compact 5-megapixel camera. The N95 is Nokia's first camera to come with a 5-megapixel camera, but can it beat one of Canon's best?

For camera fans, this is a no-brainer. While Nokia may have put a 5-megapixel sensor and auto-focus capabilities into the N95, there's no question that the lack of optical zoom and xenon flash gives the IXUS 50 the upper hand and the win.
Verdict: A resounding defeat for the N95.

PDA
The fight doesn't end there though -- the N95 is also a smart phone capable of running third-party apps, so we put it in the ring with one of HP's PDAs, the iPaq hx2790, which runs on Windows Mobile 5.

If you're looking for something to read your Outlook emails on then the iPaq hx2790 is probably worth checking out, but PDAs are a dying technology, particularly when you take into account connectivity options.

The Nokia N95 features infrared, Bluetooth, GSM, HSDPA (3.5G) and Wi-Fi connectivity, giving you access to the Web and telephone almost everywhere you go. The lack of these options on the hx2790 signifies a clear win for the N95.
Verdict: N95 for the win.

Phone
Of course the N95 is also a phone, so we let it fight it out with one of Motorola's simplest offerings, the extremely basic Motofone F3 . While the N95's user interface takes some getting use to, it's miles easier to understand than the F3.

The N95 also features all the latest phone and texting options, while the Motofone F3 keeps it to the absolute basics of dialling and texting. Since we couldn't figure out half the time what the F3 was doing, we think this round should go to the N95.
Verdict: N95 by a mile.

Sat-nav
Last but definitely not least is the N95's GPS satellite-navigation capabilities, which we've pitted against the TomTom One Europe.

Unfortunately, in this race the N95 fell flat at almost every hurdle. For starters its maps aren't pre-installed -- instead you download local and European maps on the fly via a data connection.

You also have to pay extra for voice guidance, which you don't have to do on most standalone sat-nav systems. Indeed, the N95's GPS capabilities are more like Google's mobile maps and not a serious sat-nav replacement.

We found the N95's sat-nav feature useful for short journeys and checking where we were abroad, but if you're driving then you really need to get a dedicated system.
Verdict: The TomTom by a clear head.

So there you have it: the N95 drew with the nano, was beaten heavily by the Canon, beat the iPaq and Motofone F3 down like a WWE superstar, and lost like a scared mouse to the TomTom One Europe.

With that in mind, if you want a compact device that does a fairly decent job at everything, then get the Nokia N95. But if you want the best of the best, then get yourself down to Urban Outfitters, buy some really baggy jeans and stuff your pockets with five devices instead of one. -Andrew Lim

 

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