The alphanumeric keypad of Nokia N82 is surely its most controversial component. The tons of negative feedback the Nokia N91 received for its similar layout does make one wonder why Nokia decided to have another go at it in such a landmark product as the N82.
The ergonomics of the keypad are not as bad as in Nokia N91 mainly because this time it's level with the screen and each row is easy to reach. By no means would we call it good either. The keys are far too small and difficult to distinguish and, generally, typing without looking down is almost impossible. However, because of the ample spacing between keys we are giving it an average score. We still believe Nokia could have done a better job, especially with this particular phone.
The backlighting is even enough and, although not the strongest around, it does a decent job.
Nokia N82 is equipped with a 2.4" TFT LCD display of QVGA resolution. It is capable of showing up to 16 million colors but its quality did not particularly impress us. It does lack some brightness and the colors are a bit washed out compared to Nokia N95 8GB. Otherwise, in bright sunlight it is just as good as any other recent Nokia - the display remains perfectly visible and choosing the right angle to work with it is not in question at all.
With N82 signal reception is just what you would expect in a high-end Nokia phone - simply flawless. The vibration is also strong enough to make sure you never miss an incoming call or message. The phone offers brilliant speaker quality and the sound during calls is very clear and without any interferences.
As far as ringing volume is concerned however, the situation is somewhat different. It is by far not the loudest phone around beating only the Apple iPhone among all 33 phones we have tested so far. In all honesty, Nokia N82 seemed to perform a bit better on some extremely high-pitched ringtones but these are hardly ever used anyway. Here is how Nokia N82 ranks among some other tested phones in our loudspeaker test. You can find more info on the actual testing process along with more results here.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overal score|
|Apple iPhone (firmware 1.1.1)||67.2||60.2||66.6|
|Sony Ericsson K850||71.0||75.7||75.7||Very good|
Nokia N82 runs on Symbian 9.2 OS with the Series60 3rd Edition user interface. The added Feature Pack 1 is no news for Nokia smartphones any more but still deserves mentioning.
The 128MB of RAM is also an important factor to OS performance. In reality, 128MB is virtually impossible to deplete no matter how hard you try. Unless you do it intentionally, Memory Full warnings are not something you can expect on the Nokia N82 screen.
The phone's main menu has only two different view modes. They are both well known: a 4 x 3 grid of icons and a list. In addition, you can choose whether you prefer your icons animated or not. For some reason the V-shape and Horseshoe views are not available with the recent Nokia handsets we get to test. Font sizes are also configurable depending on your preferences.
Navigating the menus is fast with instant response to key presses and no delays. Most screens of the user interface can be displayed in both portrait and landscape mode depending on the user preference. The screen automatically rotates when the phone is turned to the left. However, it sometimes won't rotate straight away and needs a gentle shake before switching between view modes. The screen rotation is as fast as in Nokia N95 8GB - that is almost instant. Nokia hasn't included any animation for the screen rotation - as seen in Apple iPhone - the screen just goes black for a second and pops back up in the desired mode.
|"...Navigating the menus is fast with instant response to key presses and no delays. Most screens of the user interface can be displayed in both portrait and landscape mode depending on the user preference. The screen automatically rotates when the phone is turned to the left..."|
The blue circle next to the icon of a running application is a well known Symbian indication reminding users to quit unwanted applications that are still running in the background. Luckily, the days when there was only a single alarm slot and the voice recorder was limited to a miserly minute are now long gone.
The active stand-by display is naturally also present with Nokia N82. This is a nice and convenient way to bring shortcuts to all favorite applications to your home screen. You can even assign shortcuts to websites of your choice for quicker access. The two soft keys functions can also vary. As the standard keypad lock pattern is a quick successive pressing of the left selection key and the asterisk , when the left kay is pressed in a normal day-to-day usage it will wait for about a second before acting as assigned to see if a lock command is to follow.
Otherwise, the automatic key lock is activated after a pre-defined period. The options are from 5 seconds to an hour and you can switch this feature off if you see fit.
The built-in memory is 132MB, which is a respectable figure by all means. The included 2GB microSD memory card comes in very handy for extending it but you can go for an even higher capacity card as user reports suggest. Accessing applications or any other files from the memory card is quick and you probably won't notice any difference compared to accessing ones from the phone memory.
The multimedia menu is among Nokia N82's highlights as seems to be the case with all other recent Nseries models. It is launched by pressing the dedicated key and provides quick access to the multimedia features of the handset. It is identical to the ones found on Nokia N81 and Nokia N95 8GB, with icons sorted thematically. They appear as drop-down menus when the respective tab is selected. If you find the menu layout unsuitable, you can freely rearrange icons until you're pleased with the result.
As with any Symbian phone, there is a built-in voice recognition system. It is doing an amazing job, being fully speaker-independent and recognizing a remarkably high percentage of the user commands. Its performance can be matched only by Nokia N95 and N95 8GB.