Nokia N95 8GB
The default menu page isn't overloaded by shortcut icons and you can easily customise this menu by adding your own. This proved to be a great boon to a busy journalist. I spend a great deal of time interviewing people, so I added the microphone recorder as a shortcut, making it much easier for me to find than the alternative option of Applications - Media - Recorder. When time is of the essence those extra seconds can be vital.
I also quite like the fact that if you activate the recorder during a phone call, it beeps at regular intervals to alert your interviewee to the fact that they're being recorded. That way everybody knows where they stand. While, to be honest, it is slightly annoying to begin with, you soon learn to live with it and it's a case of business as usual with the conversation. The speaker phone quality is also excellent and I have conducted many calls in this way with no problems at the recipients' ends in terms of broken sentences or echoes.
The built-in GPS mapping offering will please those in both the business and consumer worlds as it's perfect for finding your way to a meeting place or pointing you in the direction of nearest pub, should said meeting turn out to be particularly intense or dull.
It took roughly a minute to find my location at home the first time I tried, while subsequent search attempts locked back onto the same location in a matter of seconds. With the decent sized screen, this would make a decent stand along satnav solution for the car.
The media options of Nokia's smartphone are pretty good. In particular I was pleased by the more than ample quality and volume offered by the two tiny speakers at the top of the device. Fortunately, however, the pricing nature of the phone (while it's free on some contracts, those contracts aren't likely to be cheap) puts it out of the grasp of annoying teenagers who would only abuse this functionality to 'treat' us to the latest offerings from the 'yoof' music scene on public transport.
The N95 8GB is missing the camera lens shutter that featured on the first generation device, but that's no great loss at all as it was just another thing to break. I haven't had any problems with the lens getting scratched or dirty at the time of writing, but this would be something long term users would need to keep a watchful eye on.
Picture quality is impressive. But I would be disappointed if it was anything less given the five mega pixel Carl Zeiss lens. However, in low light conditions the auto-focus functionality can slow things down, meaning potential missed opportunities if you're trying to photograph a moving subject.
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