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Nokia N95: Opening the window to a magic box

At first, we didn't see the fuss about the N95. My, how things change.

commentary In October last year we attended a Nokia product showcase for its N-series phones, including the N95 -- which has just been released.

Our first encounter with the device was courtesy of a promo video in a room dimmed to reverent darkness. The screen came to life. Moby's gentle piano plinks danced in the background. An array of youthful, attractive-but-not-conventionally-so people of varied nationalities, captured in seemingly unscripted moments, confessed their passion for the device.

"It's my window, you know? Like, I can look through it," purred a pigtailed gamine, in her sexy French accent.

An American woman in funky threads got philosophical: "It's the world in your hands. Think about that: It's the world in your hands!"

Accustomed to the hyperbolic rapture that accompanies most Nokia product launches, we took such statements with a shake of Saxa. Even when we got to hold the phone and take a tour through the menus, we remained unconvinced of the merits of converging so many devices into one product.

Sure, it was a hot phone. Looked good, did a swag of useful stuff with a sprinkling of fun, all that. But surely that much convergence could only be a bad thing? For example, if there's an issue with but one facet of your multitalented device, and it needs to be sent off for repair, there goes your "world" for a few weeks. And what about design and interface issues?

Cut to two weeks ago. A review model of the N95 hits our desks. We open the box. We insert a SIM card. We turn it on. We fall in love.

Somehow, the N95 bewitched us, despite our concerns over convergence. And it seems we're not alone -- our N95 review, photo gallery and video have been among most-visited parts of the site since they appeared on CNET.com.au.

Now that the initial excitement has worn off, there are a few little niggles we can mention. First off, battery life is dismal. The processor can be sluggish if you multitask, and the AU$1,379 price tag is higher than the cost of some laptops.

All up though, we have to renege on our initial view of the N95. While we won't go as far as calling it our "magic box", it's an example of convergence done very well, and receives our "Editors' Choice" award.

Has the N95 captured your heart, or is it just another device? Give us your thoughts below.