Nokia N82 review: Comes with xenon

GSMArena team, 10 December 2007.
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3D Gallery

The gallery of all Nokia N-series devices is simply great, so Nokia N82 just comes to confirm that. The 3D rotating view looks really nice, but we have to admit that the Navi wheel functionality of Nokia N81 would have been a nice addition to the Nokia N82. Not that it has any superior functionality, but its real fun to use.

Otherwise, no changes are to be seen here in terms of features - pictures can be viewed in both portrait and landscape mode and zoomed in up to 8x. Overall, picture browsing and zooming is fast but, as we noticed, a tad slower than Nokia N95 8GB. Not an easily noticeable difference, that is, but still when both phones are put side by side the N95 8GB gains a narrow advantage.

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The 3D rotating gallery looks great and has nice functionality • Looking at a picture in portrait and landscape mode • Zooming in on a picture

The gallery also offers a nice slide show with customizable settings, including automatic browsing and playing a pre-defined track from your phone.

If the gallery file-management functionality (which even includes sending multiple files at a time) is insufficient you can use the file manager. It allows you to do almost anything you can think of with your files.

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File manager is well familiar to all Symbian users

There is also an application manager to take care of the installed applications on Nokia N82. Not much to talk about here, as it is identical to the one in any other Symbian device. Its functionality boils down to providing details about installed applications, removing them and keeping a log of movements in both directions.

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Application manager interface

The useful "Search" application is also present in Nokia N82. Its reserved line in the active stand-by menu no longer comes as a surprise. After all, an application this useful really deserves to be conveniently placed. The application itself finds almost every item in your Nokia containing a given keyword. From messages to settings, every bit of data is checked and then all results are shown.

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If the needed data is on your phone the Search application will find it

A camera above all expectations

The camera is surely Nokia N82's element. Nokia have thrown in a lot of efforts on the matter and have come up with a truly wonderful camera. Not that it is any different in terms of lens, sensor or picture processing from Nokia N95 but the included Xenon flash really makes a difference.

The convenient cap keeps that precious camera lens safe from scratches.

The camera set up time is really short. It is about the same as in Nokia N95 8GB, totaling a bit less than three seconds. With Nokia N82 the shot-to-shot time can also be reduced to about 2.5-3 seconds, which, again, is about the same as Nokia N95 8GB. Of course these times are only achievable with the automatic preview turned off. A solid result by all means, loosing to Sony Ericsson K850 by only tenths of a second.

The camera user interface is the same as in N95 8GB and offers the same extensive settings - starting from manual white balance and ISO sensitivity and including exposure compensation, sharpness and contrast settings, as well as various effects, which are labeled color tones. Gridline can also be applied to the viewfinder to assist you in framing you photos, using the photographic rule-of-thirds. Using it to align your subjects and place points of interest on or near the lines and their intersecting points makes your photos more professional and aesthetic. The rule-of-thirds also applies to landscape shots. For example, the sky should take either one third or two thirds of the frame, instead of placing the horizon in the center. The sequence mode and self-timer are no news. The Xenon flash can be set in four ways: automatic, always on, red-eye reduction and always off.

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Nokia N82's camera user interface

Small font tooltips are displayed to help you understand what the phone is doing at each specific moment (processing image, for example).

The picture quality is great. It's the best you can find on the market, which is kind of surprising. After all Nokia N82 is supposed to be an all-in-one device and it's strange that it outperforms even dedicated cameraphones when it comes to camera quality.

Speaking of which, the guys at Nokia have even managed to go another step further. The only thing Nokia N95 and Nokia N95 8GB were to blame for was the inadequate LED flash. Now Xenon is implemented with Nokia N82 and this takes us to a completely different level.

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Putting the flash aside the cameras of Nokia N82 and Nokia N95 do not differ at all

Furthermore, it is the best flash to be found on the market dethroning Sony Ericsson K850. It's not even a close call; the difference hardly needs any further comment.

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Flash comparison of Nokia N82 and Sony Ericsson K850

Have a look at the sample photos made with the camera of Nokia N82

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Nokia N82 sample photos

You can also have a look at the camera review of the original N95 and the shootout with the Sony Ericsson ultimate cameraphone - the K850. The camera module of Nokia N82 is performing exactly the same way as the N95 one, but it's faster and it's backed up by a xenon flash. So if we were to put the N82 and the K850 head-to-head, Nokia would have scored way better than Sony Ericsson.

"...The only thing Nokia N95 and Nokia N95 8GB were to blame for was the inadequate LED flash. Now Xenon is implemented with Nokia N82 and this takes us to a completely different level..."

Also, be on the lookout for the second part of our 5 megapixel face-off, which includes some of the most exciting 5 megapixel cameraphones recently released.

The secondary camera can also be used for taking pictures. It is quickly accessed from the camera interface and can be used as a fast and convenient way to make self-portraits or contact images. It is also capable of recording video but it is hard to imagine that the clips it will produce will be usable in any way.

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Secondary camera user interface

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