CNET First Look
Nokia N86 8-megapixel camera phoneIf you can afford it, the Nokia N86 8MP is one of the more advanced and better camera phones on the market today, but there are cheaper alternatives.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Hi. I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com, and today we're taking a First Look at the Nokia N86 eight-megapixel camera phone. If you're familiar with the Nokia N series at all, you know that all the models have a heavy focus on multimedia. If you can't already tell, the N86 strength is its imaging capabilities. This isn't the first eight-megapixel camera phone on the market. There have been others, like the Samsung Memoir, the Samsung Innovate, and the Sony Ericsson CyberShot C905, but it is the first model in the N series to have an eight-megapixel sensor and offers some advance features like variable aperture and mechanical shutter and wide-angle lens, which aren't often found on camera phones. The camera lens is located here on the back and is protected by a sliding cover, which is nice. Here you'll also find the dual LED flash, and there's a capture button here on the right side. Once you launch the camera, you'll see all the various options and settings like scene modes, white balance, and color tone. The N86 also offers a panorama mode, and you can geotag photos with the phone's built-in GPS. In addition to just still photos, the N86 can record video at 30 frames per second at VGA quality I have to say, I was really impressed by the photo and video quality of this camera phone. I took pictures at night, indoors and outdoors, and all the photos looked great and so did video. Usually, a lot of camera phones don't produce the best indoor, nighttime shots, but the N86 definitely delivered in that and produced clear and very colorful images. Wouldn't say it's a replacement for your digital camera, but it'll definitely be a good stand-in. And if I had to nit-pick at anything, it's the fact that I would like to see some functions like face detection or blink detection, which the other eight megapixel camera phones have, but definitely not a deal breaker. Once you've got your photos, you can share them with others by uploading them to Nokia's [inaudible] service, Flickr, or Vox, which you can do right from your device. The N86 offers eight gigabytes of internal memory, and a microSD expansion slot, so there's plenty of storage space for your photos and videos. There's even a little kickstand on the back, so you can prop the phone on a desk and view your photos in a slideshow or watch movies. What's even cooler is that you can program the phone to launch different apps, like photos, email, the web browser, or the music player, when you use the kickstand, which is very smart. I do have to say that the kickstand is a little flimsy, so be sure not to pull back too far or slam it down on a desk. Other design features of the phone include dedicated multimedia and gaming keys, and you can get to these by pushing the screen down, while pushing the screen up reveals the alphanumeric dial pad. Nokia redesigned these keys so they're now raised above the phone surface and have spacing between them, unlike the Nokia N85. So they're much easier to use and press. I'm still not a huge fan of the navigation controls below the display since they're pretty tiny here. Also, even though it has an amyloid screen, I thought the resolution was a little low, so it wasn't quite as sharp as some of the competitors. The Nokia N86 has plenty to offer, though. Aside from the camera, there's a built-in music player, an FM radio, and an Internet radio app. You can also play games through Nokia's Engage gaming platform. Also, it's a full-fledged smartphone running on the Symbian S-60 series platform, so you get organizational and productivity tools like calendar and the Quick Office Suite for viewing Office documents. And it's also got full email support, which is great, but I feel like the user interface feels a little outdated compared to some of the latest smartphones on the market today. Overall, though, I think the N86 is a great device. It's definitely one of the most advanced and best camera phones out there and has smartphone capabilities. But I think the biggest hurdle is going to be the $500.00 price tag. If you can afford it, that's great. You're going to get one awesome camera phone with smartphone capabilities. But if you can't, there are also cheaper alternatives out there, like the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre, which have lesser cameras, but I still think they take great pictures, have better functionality, and cost less. I'm Bonnie Cha, and this has been your First Look at the Nokia N86. ^M00:04:01 [ Music ]