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Bottom line on the N95

Ronn refuses to be an N95 sycophant.

Part of my problem with the Nokia N95 is everyone who has one is in love with it. I like it, but not as much as my friends do.

This is minor, but know what drives me crazy? When you get a call, there's no finger bar to grip when you move the slider up like on the Motorola z3 or the Samsung G600. So, there's always a slight lag before I get it right. And as I wrote in the first part, the spring mechanism is on the soft side.

Although it feels great to hold while conversing, if you're looking to make a fashion statement, the N95 is lacking. It's chunky, though with all the features, it's amazing it isn't even bigger.

Yet rereading this, I realize this is coming off far more negative than it deserves.

Now that's navigation! With the keypad hidden you might mistake the N95 for a PND device. Upper right is the low-res camera lens.
Now that's navigation! With the keypad hidden, you might mistake the N95 for a PND device. Upper right is the low-res camera lens. Nokia

The N95 is more than a smartphone. Its mediacentric applications are state of the art, and its cameras are at the core of that. There are two of them, including a basic 1-megapixel snapshot device on the front and the fabulous 5-megapixel camera on the back. It has an excellent auto focus and Carl Zeiss glass (is it really glass?). Still images come out at 2592x1944 size, and in video mode you'll get MPEG-4 files at 30 frames per second and close to DVD resolution. When you're done, there's integrated photo and video editing inside the N95. Bottom line: you may be done carrying your Nikon Coolpix when you travel!

Speaking of traveling, the N95's GPS technology provides onscreen nav second to no other phone I've used. When you're bored on that plane or train, the MP3/video player is equally superb. Speakers are OK but you'll really be blown away by the sound through headphones. It matches any MP3 player I've ever tried in terms of sound quality. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth only adds to the N95's attractiveness.

Bottom line is it's an 8 out of 10. So why I am I not over the top? At $699, it should be at least a 9 out of 10. Although the N95 could be the standard for the next full year, at its price point you have to love it--not just like it--to buy it. I just like it.