Pros: video calls • automatic change of ringing profile after connection • call filters • voice dialing based on voice recognition
Cons: display blinks during ringing, not possible to switch-off • no option for terminating calls by simply closing the phone • ringtones are independently set up for each profile
You can make calls with Nokia N95 in three different ways – the standard one in a GSM network, via Internet, or in a 3G network with video. As usual, Nokia offers a high-quality, fine sound. Both the headphone and the microphone work brilliantly and so does the loud speaker.
Nokia N95 rings in 64-voice polyphony MID files, as well as with audio files in MP3, AAC, AMR, RealAudio, and WAV format, or through vibrations. Naturally, vibrations can be combined with sound. The display backlighting becomes active too. Ringing is of average quality, even though its basses are a little bit vague. Vibrations are strong enough, but at the same time they are rather loud. We tried to find an option to make the display stop blinking when the phone is ringing, as we would have preferred to see comfortably who was calling instead of getting a visual alert about incoming calls, but our efforts were in vain.
Game lovers will appreciate the application 3D tones installed in Nokia N95. It uses the pair of stereo speakers to create miracles through common ringtones. For example you can not only set the sound to circle around you, but you can even define at what speed it should do so. An echo option is available too. If you select the sound route called „fly“, the phone will even offer you a Doppler effect setup option.
When the phone is ringing, the name of the caller as well as its number and mini image appear on the display. Thumbnail images are extremely small, unfortunately. Calls are accepted by opening the phone, but they cannot be terminated by closing the device. They simply go on. In fact, calls can be executed even if the phone is not fully open. In any case, an option for terminating a call by closing the phone – if there has been such – would have been much appreciated.
Let’s now have a look at ring profiles. You can set up as many of them as you like. You can define ringtones for standard calls, a different melody for video calls, a preferred style of ringing, keypad tones, vibrations, or even call filters; the latter can be configured according to call groups in the phonebook. We have never met anyone who has a different ringtone for each profile, but this is no guarantee that such users do not exist. If they do, they will surely enjoy the configuration options for ring profiles in Nokia N95. I myself use one favorite ringtone as it helps me recognize that it is my phone that is ringing. If I want to use it in all profiles, I will have to set it in each one of them independently. A far more comfortable and universal solution would have been the option to „copy settings from another profile“ in the context menu of the respective profile, but the pity is that there is no such one.
Any audio file can be used as an alert for incoming message, but, once again, you will have to set it up in each profile. The alarms of the alarm clock as well as reminder sounds are set up from elsewhere and are valid for all profiles. Each group of contacts as well as individual contacts can be assigned a specific ringtone, which does not depend on the active profile, either. Another handy option is the automatic switch between profiles after connecting accessories; for example, when you plug in your headset, Nokia N95 will automatically select the profile that best suits it like the one, where caller’s name appear on the display before ringtone is activated.
Incoming calls can be denied or simply silenced. From Settings you can insert a SMS text that will be automatically sent to the person, whose call you have denied. For example: „I cannot answer your call at the moment. I will call you back later. “
You can use other functions of the phone while you are calling. For example, you can check your calendar or start the voice recorder to make a track of your call. After several years of doubts, uncertainties and intentions without result Nokia has finally designed a voice recorder that creates tracks longer than a mere minute! Nokia N95 offers an entire hour. Yet, it remains unclear why the length of voice records should depend on anything else but the available free memory only…
There are no modifications worth mentioning in the video calls application. As usual, you can switch from one camera to another, zoom-in, or cancel your image and select another one from the settings menu to represent you before the opposite side.
Executed calls are archived in a well organized call log. Here you can set how long should the log be kept: 2 days, 10 days, or a month. When you open the call register you can immediately see the name or the number of the respective contact as well as the date and the time of the call (in smaller font). You can deactivate the call log for good, too.
The phonebook is a Symbian classic. Its capacity is only limited by the available shared memory. Each contact can be assigned a great amount of fields. There are precisely 46 types of fields, but it is also possible to add more fields of the same type. The entire phonebook can be synchronized with Outlook or with Lotus Notes. The phonebook is organized in lines and is not sophisticated. The only option you can select here is whether contacts should be ordered by first name or by last name.
How you will access your phonebook is up to your choice. One reference can be found on a first position in the active stand-by mode; however, you can also set an access on one of the context keys or from the user menu, for example. The phonebook is searched by gradual typing of the initials of the respective contact. The phone filters promptly, both by first and last name. Searching by company name is not available. Nokia N95 searches its phonebook faster than older Nokia models.
As any other Symbian smartphone, Nokia N95 manages voice dialing very successfully. You do not need to predefine a voice label; the phone recognizes your commands and then checks in the content of the phonebook. If you pronounce both the first and the last name of the desired contact clearly and loudly, Nokia N95 guarantees nearly a 100% probability for success.
Contacts can be organized in groups; to do so, simply mark the ones that need to go into the same group. Each group can be assigned a specific melody and used as a call filter. The list with contacts on the SIM card is fully independent; it can be opened from the context menu.
Pros: great T9 dictionary • delivery reports archived in a separate list • no need to preset MMS • good email client • possibility for setup of regular email receiving • support of office formats in attachments
Cons: last message recipient cannot be immediately selected
The message menu does not bring along any significant innovations, either. A novelty is the extended menu for creating new messages, where, along with SMS, MMS and emails, you will also find the so called audio messages, which are nothing else but instantly created MMS containing only sound.
You can receive as many SMS as you like; you will only be limited by the available shared memory. The first detail you see when you receive a message is the name of the sender; the message itself starts on the second line. SMS and MMS are stored in one and the same folder, while emails are saved in a separate directory. Reports of SMS delivery are saved to a folder of their own, too, which is convenient.
The message editor counts down characters and advises you of the number of already completed sub-messages. T9 learns new terms quickly: if you correct the word three consequent times, it will start offering you the version you offered on a first position.
Message recipients are selected from the phonebook and, of course, you can pick up more than one. There is no option for quick selection of the recent message recipients Sony Ericsson phones as well as Nokia models of Series 40 usually have this option. „Smart“ Symbian models - not yet.
Sent messages are saved in a special folder, while unfinished texts are stored in a section called “Drafts”. When you decide to leave the editor in the middle of a message, Nokia N95 asks you whether it should save the message or delete it. Delivery reports can be set either globally, for all messages, or for each particular message. Delivery reports pop up for an instant on the display, after which they are saved in the folder “Reports”.
Each MMS can contain up to 300 KB of data. Creating a multimedia message is very simple: first select a recipient, then type a message subject and select content or create it (no matter if it is a picture, video or voice record). Add text and send out. If you have time and desire to play with MMS, you may want to use the function “Presentation”, which offers improved MMS pages with colorful background etc.