First Thoughts On The N95

I got a Nokia N95 to use as a camera on our trip to europe. It’s not the greatest phone, but it’s one hell of a camera. Here’s a photo I took of a card game we played in the airport lounge waiting to board our plane yesterday.


My blackberry could not have taken such a crisp picture and my Canon SD750 wouldn’t have done much better. I also shot some video and it was equally good.

I am having a rough time with the phone now that we are in Paris. I can’t get it to upload via 3G broadband on my T-mobile SIM card. I think I’ll stop by an Orange store in the next day or two and get a local 3G broadband card for the N95 and see if that works better.

I’ve installed Shozu on the phone and that seemed to work well in the states. I put a twitter client called twibble on the phone, but I don’t like it very much. On the advice of several people, I am going to try another one called SlandR. I’ll let you know how it goes.

But honestly, I suspect I’ll mostly use the N95 as a camera (still and video) and not much else.

Zemanta Pixie

Comments (Archived):

  1. sfmitch

    Why not just use the Canon? I am sure there is a reason to buy a phone that is 3x more expensive than a plain old digital camera, even if you aren’t using it as a phone.

    1. fredwilson

      it’s got wireless connectivity, both 3G and wifii’ve found that i use my blackberry to take pictures over my canon because i can just upload instantly to the web

      1. Glenn Gillen

        Have you considered one of the wireless SD cards for the Canon?

        1. fredwilson

          Not really. I want a device that can run software like shozu and other things like it

  2. vgill

    Be careful if you are using your US t-mobile sim in the nokia and uploading/downloading data. It will cost you substantially. For more information, look up the international data roaming rates for t-mobile.

  3. ErikSchwartz

    What do you think of the UI on the N95? I’ve only played with it a bit, but I found it not terribly transparent to use.The camera shutter also seemed a bit slow (a pet peeve of mine with digital cameras).

    1. fredwilson

      the UI is not anywhere near as easy/intuitive as the iPhone or even the blackberry, but once you figure it out, it’s not bad

  4. Zach

    Hey Fred, if I recall correctly I think you linked the US version when you mentioned you’d be picking one up on Twitter. You won’t have any luck with 3G in Europe if that’s the case. There are four variants of the N95 and you’ll need the N95-1 (original N95) or the N95-2 (N95 8GB) to use Euro 3G.

    1. fredwilson

      I have the 8GB version in BlackI thought that would work

      1. Zach

        Yeah it’s not smart how confusing they’ve made it. If you go to your standbyscreen and type:*#0000#you’ll likely see RM-421 on the third line. This indicates it’s the NAMversion whereas RM-320 is the Euro version. Why they couldn’t just put atri-band UMTS antenna in there is beyond me. Sorry to be the bearer…

        1. fredwilson

          shit. well it’s wifi for me in europe then.

          1. Zach

            If you shoot me a quick note (zacharye |at| gmail) I’ll see what I can do to get you a euro n95 8gb on loan if you’d like. Using a lot of WiFi typically doesn’t agree with the n95’s battery…

  5. scottpurdie

    Qik and Kyte work great for me – Kyte probably tips the scales because they load pictures too. Iv got the N95, the UI is miles away from competing with the IPhone.Edinburgh Fringe – Stephen K Amos is a brilliant comedian worth seeing perform at The Pleasance.

  6. RacerRick

    Holy crap! That is a clear photo. I am so sick of the smudgy blackberry photos. I hope that I won’t have to carry two.Qik now supports iphones, btw.

  7. needcaffeine

    I’ve got the N95 8GB, N95-2 edition. I’ve got t-mobile blackberry service setup on it, w/ unlimited international data; it takes good photos, but has an incredibly slow shutter speed. I do think I got 3G working once while in the US, but as I’m near a lot of Cell switching stations, they tend to change/test signal often.I use it solely for Qik and few photos – as I can’t TXT type well, prefer my blackberry

  8. needcaffeine

    I changed to a new blackberry recently, b/c my old 8320 burnt out(screen wouldn’t come on) – anyhow there’s got to be a better way to clean the screen, b/c this new unit has a clean lens and I don’t have smudges

  9. needcaffeine

    also, here’s another photo I took a few months ago, w/ my n95 8gb, it does good detail

  10. benton.yetman

    I use my N95 pretty much exclusively for photo/video capabilities. I’ve had some major frustrations with it hanging/crashing, particularly when using Qik. Overall it’s a great media capture device, but i wish the 3G support was better here in NYC.

  11. jonathanpberger

    I demo’d an N95 for a few weeks, and its a dog. Great camera, unusable phone.

    1. fredwilson

      So far that’s my take tooAltough the browser is as good, maybe better than blackberry

      1. jonathanpberger

        Maybe better than a BB, but it can’t hold a candle to an iPhone. I use a Treo 650, which has a piss-poor browser, but having a touchscreen instead of a mouse-pointer is such a huge advantage that the N95 didn’t feel like a step up in usability, even if the rendering was far better than my treo.I’m starting to think that on a mobile device, when the screen in a few square inches, a touchscreen is an unbeatable edge.

  12. Jim Kerr

    I have an iPhone and an N95 and recently moved to the N95 full time. The UI, as many mention, is light years behind the iPhone, but for someone who does a lot of photo and videoblogging, the N95 simply can’t be beat. And if you use Kyte as your videoroll, it’s freaking amazing. Point, click, push a button, and your video is live on the web. If you use Kyte make sure you get the Symbian native app beta. It’s hella goo.I miss the email functionality and bigger web screen of my iPhone, though. 🙁

  13. Matthias

    Any news concerning visiting Hamburg, yet?

    1. David B.

      And Prague? There’s a lot going on here, and while the TechCrunch party went well last month, I think the Fred-In-Town party would be even better.

  14. fakedjs

    I hope the next iPhone takes pics this clear.

  15. Jeffrey Dachis

    I have an n95 that I’ve used as a camera, and the photos are truly great… but for the most part the Symbian OS is the same clunker that it has always been. A few years ago I thought the Sony P900 series was going to be smart phone heaven and multimedia perfection. WRONG- The chips were too slow, connectivity was weak for email, and the browsing experience was unbearable. The n95 is faster but the OS hasnt evolved and the phone is going to join the other Symbian powered phones in a drawer. What a bummer. Which leads me to wonder if yesterday’s news about Nokia’s purchase of Symbian willl make one bit of difference. I doubt it. Symbian iterations will be the Vista of mobile OS.

  16. kyleanelson

    Show us some video. I’ve been checking out as an integration partner for our collaboration solution. Works easily with your new phone so you can send “live” video to a website (yours) so we can see what you see. Google and check out what Fast Company has been using it for.

  17. danlevy

    The N95 8GB’s camera’s macro mode is outstanding. I have used it to capture plants and insects on hikes…seriously great and clear photos.Not having owned an iPhone, I can’t compare daily use, but I love the N95 8GB (and I’m a die-hard Mac user who was just waiting for the second-generation iPhone when I was gifted the Nokia at an industry party…Now I see no reason to switch to the upcoming iPhone rev, especially since the iPhone’s camera isn’t slated for improvement.)I find it to be easy and enjoyable using Mail for Google Apps, Google Maps, and Nokia Maps on the N95 8GB…and the web browser is fast.

  18. Al Pavangkanan

    I suggest using fring for twitter. There are audio and vibrate options for notifications.

  19. jackson

    I think I’ve officially lost you to the dark side of gadjetry. I’m okay with it.

  20. jonathanpberger

  21. roelandp

    Slandr is the new black my dear VC 🙂 ! To give you some unrequested background info: I’ve built Slandr ( because I was in desperate need for a good online, full featured, “ – bet better” site to monitor my twitter account on my Nokia E61i. Of course, all iphoneys use the best iPhone twitter experience in my opinion.If you want to browse twitter, your directs, your replies, Twitter Local, or search Twitter through Summize on your mobile phone, which happens to not be an full fledged iphonised browser, you might stick with Slandr. The only downsides are the API limits, which can conflict with e.g. Twhirl or other 3rd party Twitter apps consuming your API limit and the fact that the Twitter API at this moment doesn’t support the ‘older’-button in the main timeline.Looking forward to your experiences and comments on the useablility of Slandr. Please keep me posted @roelandp. Happy Slandr’ing!

    1. fredwilson

      I lost my N95 on my second day in europeBut it wasn’t working on the european carriersAny chance of getting slandr on a blackbery curve?

      1. roelandp

        @fredwilson so far I’ve heard Slandr is working on a mobile browser on Blackberries? would you be so kind to elaborate more through @roelandp on twitter?thanks