Nokia N82 review: Nokia N82

4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good 5-megapixel camera with xenon flash; GPS.

The Bad Design looks unfinished; keypad can be fiddly to press at times.

The Bottom Line We don't like how the N82 looks and we're not keen on its keypad, but it's such a good phone in terms of features that we're prepared to overlook its aesthetic shortcomings. This is how the N95 should've been -- from the camera to the GPS, everything works as you expect it to. Fingers crossed Nokia manages to squash all of this into a smaller, more attractive handset next time round

8.3 Overall

On paper the Nokia N82 is very similar to the N95 -- except it's a candybar phone and not a slider. But before you think this is just a redesign, take a second look, because the N82 really surprised us in more ways than one.

It will be shortly available for free on a monthly contract with most major networks.

Design
This is not an attractive phone. It may come packed with features, but the N82 is ugly. It literally looks like it's fallen off the production line too soon. The silver front and silvery grey casing combine to create a flat, uninspiring look.

It feels solid but lacks the quality feel of the Nokia 6300 and is rather plasticky. Things don't get better when it comes to the keypad, which although usable, features rice-grain like keys that are a too small for our liking.

There's a small shortcut key nestled in between the right soft key and cancel key that feels out of place too -- but all is not lost in the design department.

The soft keys and navigation key are large and easy to press, and the camera keys are equally straightforward. The camera cover uses a simple switch mechanism and the expandable memory card slot is easy to get to.

In a massive improvement over the N95, the N82's 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the phone instead of the side. Another noticeable difference is that the N82 has no moving parts, so taking it out of or putting it into your pocket won't accidentally activate anything.

Features
The N82's most impressive feature is definitely its camera. You may be thinking that on paper there's no significant difference between it and the N95's -- they both boast 5 megapixels -- but we think it's much better. It's possibly even the best camera on a phone so far.

Flick the cover open and you're ready to go. Auto-focus works very well and most importantly so does the xenon flash, which the N95 doesn't have -- it really illuminates scenes well in low light and even in total darkness.

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