The Good The Nokia N85 features a sleeker design and more solid construction than the N96 and N95. The smartphone also offers full wireless options as well as a 5-megapixel camera, a decent music player, and gaming support.
The Bad The N85's can be sluggish at times, particularly when viewing photos. Some navigation controls are stiff and difficult to use. The smartphone is also expensive and the Nokia Music Store hasn't fully launched in the United States.
The Bottom Line The Nokia N85 may not offer as much memory as the N95 or N96, but it offers just as many features and a sleeker design, making it a better value in our book.
Over the past few weeks, we've had several Nokia N series smartphones come through our office doors, including the Nokia N96, the Nokia N79, and now the Nokia N85. Like the rest, the N85 is a high-end smartphone that offers advanced multimedia capabilities, so for this review, we didn't dwell on the shared features (for more details on the N85's features, please read our full review of the Nokia N79. Instead, we focused on some of the N85's differences and standout capabilities, including music and gaming. In some ways, we found it a better device than the Nokia N96 and the Nokia N95. While you lose a bit of internal memory, you do get most of the same features; the same dual-slider design but in a slimmer, sleeker package; and snappier performance--all for about $280 less, so if you're in a dilemma of trying to decide among the three, we'd say the Nokia N85 is certainly the better value.
The Nokia N85 is like a smaller, slimmer, and sexier version of the Nokia N96. The smartphone measures 4 inches tall by 1.9 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep and weighs 4.5 ounces (compared with 4.1 inches high by 2.2 inches wide by 0.7 inch deep and 4.4 ounces); compared with some other smartphones, the N85 is still on the thick side so it'll make for a tight fit in a pants pocket, but it's definitely better than the N95 and N96. The sleek, black chassis also gives the N85 a more attractive and modern look, and the smoother edges make it more comfortable to hold in the hand. More importantly, the smartphone has a solid construction. We've complained in the past about the Nokia N95 and the N96 feeling a bit cheap and plasticky, but that's not the case with N85.