Top 10 holiday picks: Nokia N95 (North American edition)
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>> You guys probably think you're one step ahead of the CNET crew when it comes to our Top Pick for a cell phone in a holiday gift pack, but that's where you're wrong. Now, there's no doubt people are drooling over the iPhone right here but the iPhone is not an Editor's top pick. Nope, we chose, whoop, the Nokia N-95 North American edition. Now I know guys you are probably shaking your head in disbelief but stay there because you might just become a believer. I'm Brian Tong from cnet.com and we'll break down why the updated Nokia 95 takes the cake. You already know the N-95 is jam-packed with multimedia features and an innovative two-way slide design. But the new North American edition now brings even more to the table and packs just about everything possible into a cell phone; even more that the iPhone. So what's the new killer feature? 3G support; yes, that 3G support. That same 3G people are dying for in the iPhone world and it makes a whole world of difference. The N-95 is also unlocked. It's compatible with GSM carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T so that means you pop in your SEM card and you're good to go. So it's a lot easier to give it to someone as a gift. Now think about it; it's kind of an awkward situation to give someone an iPhone and then tell them "Oh sorry you have to be on AT&T so go kill your current contract and pay 200 bucks. Merry Christmas." Yeah, you know. Then there are the great features the Nokia N-95 has always had. This Symbian Smartphone has a 5-megapixel camera and you can't get that on any phone, and it also records VGA quality video so You Tube can do the soldier boy dance on You Tube. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go look it up. Now the audio player supports just about every audio file under the sun and there's a 3.5 millimeter audio jack for any of your favorite headphone gear--not of that recessed phone jack like the iPhone has; plus Wi-Fi, FM radio, Bluetooth and an integrated GPS. GPS people--I told you I wasn't lying when I said this thing was jam-packed. Now the N-95 features its signature unique two-way slide design so slide up for the dial pad controls and slide down for the multimedia controls; it's effortless. The N-95 body is compact and sleek and the phone has a nice weight to it as well but it's definitely not as thin as the iPhone and there's no touch screen or QUERTY keyboard. The first time I looked at this phone I complained about the battery life and its sluggish interface, but those problems are taken care of with the North American edition. Before you could get about 4 hours of talk time but the updated N-95 was able to squeeze out 8 and 1/2 hours in our lab test; that puts it on par with the iPhone. The interface and mini navigation is a lot snappier this time around. We know it's not as pretty as the iPhone but there's not really anything to complain about with it either. The only real complaint left is price. It is more expensive than the iPhone and right now an unlocked model will set you back about 700 buckaroos; but hey you gotta go big for the holidays. I'm Brian Tong for cnet.com and the North American edition of the Nokia N-95 packs everything imaginable into a cell phone and brings even more features to the table compared to the iPhone. No one can dispute that and that's why our Editors have made it their top recommendation for this year's holiday gift guide.
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