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Phones

Photos: Nokia N85, the middle child

If it ain't broke, don't fix it: that's the Finnish way. Enter the Nokia N85, a phone that's not very different from the Nokia N95 8GB or N96, but that's no bad thing

Rather than try to outdo itself every time it releases a phone, Nokia has sensibly -- if rather boringly -- opted to make a range of phones that do similar things to previous models. Take the new Nokia N85: it sits between the N95 8GB and N96, without any particularly distinguishing features, but it is a more refined handset.

The Nokia N85 packs a double sliding mechanism, a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, HSDPA, GPS and Wi-Fi -- exactly the same features you get on the N95 8GB and N96. It's a little smoother around the edges than its siblings and we think its build quality and general feel are a little better too. Click 'Continue' for more info and pics.

It's relatively thin, with an expandable microSD slot that can take up to 8GB of memory. Unlike the N95 8GB or N96, there's no on-board memory, but it does come with an 8GB card in the box.

The N85's back features a smooth surface, similar to the N96, and a 5-megapixel camera with a neat and effective lens cover. It only slides when you need it to and won't move around in your pocket.

We gave the N85's camera a quick test in the office and it seems to work well, but we need to test the dual LEDs further to see what levels of illumination they offer. Using the GPS, you can geo-tag all your pics and send them to friends via HSDPA or Wi-Fi.

It's fantastic to see a 3.5mm headphone jack on the N85, particularly one that sits at the top of the phone. We can't express enough how we want to see standard headphone jacks on more phones -- it makes life so much easier.

The N85's keypad is flat and initial testing suggests it works well, but we need to do some hardcore texting before we can make a final judgement. So far, though, we think we like it more than the N96's keypad.

A dual sliding mechanism allows for dedicated media keys that give you fast access to the N85's media player. We can't say we're big fans of the concept, because the sliding mechanism tends to move around too much, but on the N85 it seems solid.

Nokia has informed us that the N85 will be available soon, but pricing has yet to be announced.