Nokia 9500 review: Communication expert

Marek Lutonský, 26 November 2004. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Tags: Nokia

We have been waiting for the new Nokia Communicator for three and a half years. And here it is - being just launched, fulfilling all our expectations. This communicator has everything it is supposed to have. It supports EDGE, Bluetooth and even Wi-Fi. For its exceptional features the new Nokia 9500 definitely deserves a detailed review.

Key features

  • Fully functional keyboard
  • Big detailed display
  • 80 MB built-in memory, support for additional memory with MultiMediaCard (MMC)
  • Wi-Fi, EDGE and Bluetooth support
  • Data profiles can be sorted out according one's priorities
  • Progressive web browser
  • Office applications supporting the most frequently used formats
  • Comfortably compatible with computer
  • A very effective calendar and address book
  • Integrated camera

Main drawbacks

  • Size and weigh, square design
  • Some of you may miss the touchscreen display
  • A certain software instability

Nowadays with all the manufacturers offering dozens of new phones it seems almost unbelievable that Nokia comes out with its new communicator after three and a half years selling the old model only. To make it even more interesting I would mention the fact that Nokia 9210 Communicator was already out-of-date at the time of its launching: it lacked GPRS support - a function which has been essential for the mobile communication for years.

Fortunately Nokia has not followed the same line when preparing the new 9500 model. This time we are talking about an absolutely packed up device, which does not lack a single essential communication function. Although the lack of support for a third generation net may be a disadvantage in some countries, we could stay calm.

Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500
Nokia in the stand, which is a part of the standard delivery

Although we could accuse Nokia of launching the new communicator with a notable delay, we should also thunder at its competitors. In fact, so far none of them has offered a device, which would be able to compete with the communicator. None of the devices already existing is to combine a telephone, a pocket computer with a fully functional and easy-to-use keyboard, communication functions and office applications in one body. Never mind all the rebukes the old communicator was a device of an extraordinary quality. Therefore probably Nokia did not feel in a hurry when developing the successor.

Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500
The less beautiful the design, the smarter the device

I suppose some of our readers will not agree with my opinion stated in the previous paragraph. There are devices as the communicator Treo or the Sony Ericsson P series smartphones, the computers MDA and DataPhone as well as an army of smart phones - they would say. Well, the truth is that these devices are of a little bit different category, never mind the fact that they stay closely behind Nokia.

Who is the communicator for?

Nokia 9500 Communicator is meant to be used mainly for work. People often buy smart phones as an entertaining toy. With the communicator, this aspect seems hard to imagine. It is relatively boring. You will find only work application in it as well as other programs, which are possible to install, but they all seem to be of a strongly serious character.

Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500
The keyboard brings about a higher level of productivity

A typical user is a person, who would like to effectively organize their time, staying in distant contact with the headquarters (office). It is evident that the communicator cannot offer its users the same comfort as a notebook can. By compromising in ergonomics Nokia has managed to offer a pocketsize device. Nevertheless, you can effectively work with e-mails, office documents and Internet applications.

The communicator has always belonged to the class of the most expensive mobile devices. Times have changed and therefore it will not be necessary to pay 1300 euros as we used to three years ago. Nevertheless the Communicator is not for everybody. It is going to cost around 800 euros. The first pieces appeared on the market one week ago at a prices slightely higher than this. It is possible though that the potential buyers will not all manage to get their communicator for a limited number will be offered.

Nokia 9210i That is how the predecessor Nokia 9210i Communicator looked like.

Is it worth switching from the old communicator to the new one? It absolutely is. We have hardly ever been so categorical when recommending a new device but Nokia has come out with an essential innovation.

It is not about design

To say the truth I have not really come to like the new Nokia outlook. But in this particular case it does not seem to be a relevant detail. The 9500 model has not been made to be looked at, but to work with. Neither is a problem its extreme dimensions 148 x 57 x 24, which will allow you put it into your front pocket at maximum. There is no way to wear it in a trousers' pocket. Buying a belt case may solve the problem with the size though.

The weigh parameters follow the size ones: nowadays a mobile device of 230 grams is not an ordinary thing to see (According to different but also official information it weighs only 222 grams.) Nevertheless the new communicator is still lighter than its older brother. The 9210 Model had dimensions of 158 x 56 x 27 and weighed 244 grams.

Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500 Click to zoom. Nokia 9500
Comparing the new communicator with a payment card and the smart Nokia 7610

Even though I do not remember the reason Nokia phones caught the nickname "bricks", I must say that this pejorative expression suits the new communicator just perfectly. It is a square and you will have to take a very careful look at it in order to notice that the desks are not fully parallel and the edges are not straight.

Nokia has tried to break up the square impression by designing a little different front cover. It has three asymmetrical platforms, each of a different color. The cover, which is exchangeable, is going to be offered in a dark and light version as an extra to the standard two-color one. It sits perfectly and does not creak at all. Unfortunately the cover surface is dark and glossy, which makes every fingerprint obvious. A light cover may help in such case for smudges are not so easy to notice.

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