Pros: 3.5 mm connector for earphones • state-of –the-art music player • special control keys • FM radio • online station search • videos can be played in full-screen mode • access to online video archives • video streaming
Cons: earphones enclosed in the retail package are very bad quality • earphone connector is located on one of phone's sides • album images are not automatically open • no RDS in the radio application
Nokia N95 is fully equipped to entertain everybody. After all, providing fun is one of its basic missions. One of its key functions is the music player controlled through special keys for quick and efficient control. These keys are located on the smaller, sliding half of the phone. They are functional, even when the music player application is minimized. In case that the music player is off, pressing on the “ Play” button will make it run from the last played piece of music.
The music player is able to read music from any directory; it then sorts it by artist and album on the basis of additional details from the music files. You can organize music by genre or composer as well. Music files can be organized in playlists. Besides, the player automatically generates lists of frequently played and last added tracks.
Repetition (of one or all songs) and shuffle functions are available too. There is a detailed equalizer for finer tuning in all frequency bands. A very interesting detail is the visualization. It is identical to the one we know from computer music players: curves surge or columns gambol in the rhythm of the music. Visualization can be played in fullscreen mode. After you lock the keypad, however, visualization stops. Another interesting option is playing music and viewing images from the gallery simultaneously.
As usual, the music player shows song and artist name. You can also set it to display album images in the top left corner of the display from the context menu, but it is a bit awkward. For example Sony Ericsson models visualize album images automatically, as long as they are part of the album directory.
The original earphones enclosed in Nokia N95?s retail package are a real shame taking into account the high quality of the phone. They distort sound, which come out with aggressive heights and with no basses. Their shape is inconvenient too: they tend to fall off your ears frequently. We recommend you to get yourself another headset leaving the original one aside. The earphone connector is universal permitting the purchase of practically any model. As expected, the tests made with Sennheiser PX-100, HD-212 Pro and Koss Porta Pro came off excellently. The results were brilliant. Since no sound output works with all earphone models in the same way, the built-in equalizer is much appreciated at the moment of fine tuning.
On the other hand, the use of earphones different form the original ones complicates remote control from the cable (otherwise very practical). The cable of the original earphones is short; the rest of it starts with the controller and finishes in the phone. Everything is designed with the idea of carrying the phone in your pocket: the remote control is fixed to your breast pocket or pined to your collar and the earphones lie down into your ears. The remote control also has a standard head-phone connector, but if you use headset of your own, you can loop the rest of the cable around your neck. That’s why we recommend you to use the following combination – the first part including the remote control from Nokia, the rest – any earphones from the competition - Sony Ericsson walkman’s for example. I use the headset of Sony Ericsson HPM-82; they cost 30 euros. This combination of brilliant earphones on a short cable is optimum even if Sony Ericsson remote control will remain unused.
The remote control features forward and backward keys as well as a pause/play key. Volume and call control keys are available too, of course. There is also a switcher for activation of the key lock and a fixing clip.
If you get tired with your own music, switch on the radio. The radio only works if earphones are plugged into the phone as these serve as an antenna. Once you have activated it, it is also possible to divert playing from the earphones to the loud speakers in the phone. The radio offers manual input of frequencies and automatic station search. It also provides 50 saving positions for favorite stations, which you will manage to occupy immediately thanks to a special online service: you select the country, the region, and the city you live in and ask the phone to download the entire list of all available stations. Then you can edit this list adding new stations, for example. If you need to switch from one station to another, use the music player keys on the smaller sliding plate.
Videos are played in Real Player – a well known application from older Symbian smartphones. Apart from standard video playing in full-screen mode, Real Player also manages streamed videos and music. It works with MPEG4, 3GP and RealVideo formats. Here again you can use the side keys to pause, forward or backward videos.
While you are watching videos you may want to use a cable to connect the phone to your television converting Nokia N95 into a video player for mass entertainment. Standard television sets do not usually need any special high resolution so videos look pretty well. The above mentioned cable, however, does not suit only videos, but also allows you to view pictures from your trips, browse the Internet on a big screen, or even browse documents. None of the above functions is new, though. Nokia N93 would manage them successfully, too.
The innovation brought by Nokia N95 is called Videocenter – a function providing direct access to video archives on the web. The greatest lure is the beta-version of the mobile YouTube: you connect to the server, look through the last videos menu and play the one you like. The original guide-post for this service is Nokia Video Service Catalogue – a simple webpage with links to all offered services. Besides YouTube here you will also find Reuters news-bulletin, for example. As you can see, Videocenter is basically a classical videopodcast.