The N95 8GB is black rather than silver in colour, but that notwithstanding, it looks a lot like the original N95. There are, though, many subtle differences. These included the loss of a physical shutter to protect the main camera lens, which is now just recessed slightly from the rest of the casing, and the use of a slightly larger screen.
The screen measures 2.8 inches corner-to-corner (it was 2.6 inches in the original N95), and offers 240 x 320 pixels. This puts it on a par with many PDAs, though it leaves them standing with its 16 million colours.
You also get seven application shortcut icons on the main screen – I remember the original N95 offering six.
You may not notice these differences unless you have the two phones side by side, but take my word for it that the N95 8GB looks and feels like a more solid piece of kit – except for the lack of that protective lens shutter.
The N95 8GB can play video and Nokia bundles a copy of ”Spiderman 3” on the phone. I can’t say watching a movie on a handset appeals to me at all, but I can say that the rendering was impressive.
The 3.5mm headset jack proved handy for listening to the movie and, even better, the headset jack is two-piece with a second 3.5mm connector past the music controls so I was able to use a decent pair of headphones.
The N95 8GB includes Nokia’s N-Gage gaming platform. This was not live for downloading as I wrote this review, but a couple of sample games gave me a feel for it. The big screen, usable in landscape or portrait format for gaming, does the handset proud here.
There is also a GPS antenna and with Google Maps built in you can use the antenna to pinpoint your position and plan routes. Turn by turn navigation is a charged for extra. Using the N95 8GB’s Wi-Fi you can download maps direct to the phone if you have access to a wireless network. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also bolstered by infra red. I’m always glad to see IR on a mobile just because, old fashioned though it may be, it is still good for file exchange.