Monday, January 14, 2008

Why would anyone want that?

...That's what I used to ask a few years ago, when discussing phones that could take photos, or play music.

A phone is a phone right? A phone should be used for calling people. Why would anyone want a phone that takes photos, especially photos that aren't as good as those taken by a proper digital camera....and as for music...I've already got a MP3 player, so...so what if a phone can play music as well.

No thanks...all I want is a phone that's a phone...nothing else but a phone.

Ahhh...

that was then, about four years ago, when mobile technology was on the verge of being good, but hadn't quite made it to the standards that now exist . However having spent a week with my new Nokia N95, it's a different story today.

Having seen what this beauty can do I am most definitely sold on having an all-singing-all-dancing phone and would not look back.

As a phone, it is easy to navigate the
Nokia N95 and its interface offers flexibility in managing the menus. As you would expect, it is also possible to personalise the look and feel as well as manage your diary and contacts list.

The integrated music player is excellent and has already proven useful. It is compatible with most music formats including AAC, MP3 and M4P.

A key feature of the phone is an easy-to-use 5 Megapixel camera, which I now wouldn't be without. Its quality hasn't quite replaced our 8 Megapixel Canon Ixus. However it is a great substitute and takes excellent photos, which means that there is one less thing to remember when leaving the house in the morning.

Of course, as you've seen from the previous blog posts, the camera doubles up as a video camera, which suffers when filming distance shots but makes up for it when videoing closer scenes. It's great for filming footage of our children growing up and it is possible to make individual recordings of up to 60 minutes in length. This easily beats the very short 30 second shots offered by our little Canon camera.

The Nokia N95 comes complete with a basic video editing facility, which allows you to edit and merge different footage together (video and photos) and add soundtracks to make your own movies. The kit also comes with a cable to connect the phone to the television, which is great for family viewing. The video edit suite has proven to be an unexpected treat and will enable me to make more family movies to record fun times and special events that we can enjoy in the future. With this kind of functionality, I would recommend going for the 8gb memory card upgrade rather than the standard phone, as good storage is essential.

Accessing the Internet on the go has also proven to be useful. I've not used it to search for information yet, but the facility to check and send emails has been invaluable. The phone has options to use O2's own WAP service, but I have found it more useful (and certainly less expensive) to connect through our home wireless router or even the free Wi-Fi access points that can be found around town. This has been excellent as it is much quicker to check emails through the phone rather than boot up the computer unnecessarily,.which for a busy mother has been a useful time-saver, even if I only work part-time.

Being able to access emails in this way, makes it a lot easier to work on a freelance basis and respond to enquiries, rather than rely on having to be at the computer, which often eats into the evenings and can easily lead to other distractions. So far I have used Yahoo's Go service for checking emails but when I set up MMS (multimedia messaging), I will be able to have the emails delivered directly to my message inbox.

The Nokia N95 comes with a user-friendly PC interface, which can be used for transferring photos from the phone as well as installing new applications onto the phone. However, if your PC is bluetooth enabled, you won't even need the interface or cables to transfer files as these can be sent directly.

On the subject of downloads, one application that was recommended to me from a couple of sources (thanks Bryan and Mark) is the Lightsabre application. I have now loaded it up and the kids enjoy it (from a distance)....but at the end of the day it's most definitely a "Boy's Toy". (However the accelerometer is a useful feature, allowing the screen to change when you turn the phone sideways).

For those who don't know what I mean, you can check out one of the many YouTube videos with grown-up men demonstrating their excitement....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi6dNJs_-cY&feature=related


Thank you for bearing with me while I have been enjoying the honeymoon period with my latest technology. I am sure that you and 21st C Dad will be relieved to know that normal service will now resume.

For anyone who wants further information about the Nokia N95, you may find the following sites useful.

http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/0,39030107,49294472,00.htm

http://n95blog.com/

http://n95.bloggercomm.com/

http://thenokiablog.com/2007/10/31/video-nokia-n95-accelerometer-demonstration/



12 Comments:

Baba said...

This is all far too impressive for me, (surprised!) but as usual I have tried my best to follow your story and learn at the same time....I did better this time than the last time you did a technical blog!! I just got a new blackberry at work so am also in a relative honeymoon period - its very exciting although I'm spending too much time on the camera funstion and not enough on emails, hee hee!!! You'll be cooking tea with your new gadget next, not to mention programming the washing machine...........XX

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Baba - you must be a true executive with a Blackberry. Enjoy your honeymoon...I must admit, I was a little scared by the N95 when I first turned it on, but having spent my spare time trying to master it, I now feel confident. I now can't believe how I coped with my old pone for so long. I guess it was a case of Needs Must and Horses for Courses I suppose (not that I've ever needed a horse) ;-D

Bury Boy said...

I have just gone full circle.
I have just swapped my Blackberry after 5 years of continual use, controlling my life every minute of the day, for a new bit of kit.

A hTc TyTN2 running windows 6, that replaces my blackberry and while travelling my Laptop. It receives and sends e mails, files as well as a phone,camera, blue tooth, 3G internet search, I am told it has a M3P player and other things.etc etc.

This is great as I have now got my life back, and avoid carring my laptop every where including on the plane ( ryanair and easyjet).

Just to add to the collection I found it useful to have a seperate phone to make those calls while you were using the htc. So I asked for a basic phone and received a
Nokia 6300 which also comes with a camera, radio a M3P player etc, most of which I wont use. But to me its a nice slim phone which fits into my pocket, and works via blue tooth using the radio while in the car. I am still able to communicate without the hassle of e mails.

Now as a mini driver I seem to have a Ferrari.

Florries Mum said...

Que? Sorry, but you're speaking another language to me. I only just got a phone with a camera on it last week, and all I've managed to do is put a photo of Florrie on it. (see where my priorities lie!)

grumpyoldwoman said...

I think they are being paid to advertise, Florries mum - and I havent a clue what any of them are on about!

Cashier No.5 said...

Your sounding like you'd make a good carphone warehouse sales person.

picklesmum said...

Good grief, you love your new phone don't you 21st CM? I love my technology too but you've lost me. I'm happy with my Nokia 6300, it's nice and thin, has a camera on it and LOVELY Russell Brand Wallpaper. What more does a girl need?

21st Century Mummy said...

Hee Hee...hello everyone ;-D

Bury Boy - that sounds like a fab phone. I've looked it up on the Internet and am impressed....and wow...a Mini too. (I don't know how you keep up with all those letters in the name of the phone though - I'd never remember which way round they go) ;-D

Hi Florries Mum - That sounds perfect for setting up a Florrie Blog....and don't worry I'm back to normal now...there'll be no geeky stuff for a while ;-D

Hi Grumps - I'd love someone to give me some money for this post, especially Nokia or O2...If they are reading this please please please please can I have some money for saying all those lovely things? And if the manufacturers of Bury Boy's h2o TuTu2 (sorry BB - couldn't resist)are also looking in (or indeed BMW even) I am sure he'll be happy to get some commission too. ;-D

P.S. While I am on the subject...if you ever see me raving about the iRobot vacuum cleaner...I will have definitely have blagged one as a swap for a write-up ;-D

But Cashier No.5 - that would mean I would have to learn about all the other phones as well. My brain has reached its full capacity...but of course if anyone would like a Nokia N95........ ;-D

Hi Picklesmum - Yes I love it so much I even have to take it to bed with me...as it doubles up as my alarm clock (that's another thing I forgot to mention)

P.S. did I also mention that it can also be used as a barcode reader...now that one has puzzled me?!

P.P.S. Feel free to use this space to chat to Bury Boy about your Nokia 6300. BB might even want to share your Russell wallpaper ;-D

Paul F said...

21CM - Little time to blog at present, but on a quick catch-up I see you are not only taking over as the Bury Tech Guru but you've also picked up blog comment trade with your erudite frequent posts. How do you do it all?

BB/FM - I need to email the parameters of something we were discussing on your doorstep, but have no address. Please send to mail@paulfarmer.com and I'll fill you in. Too scared of Florrie's territorialism to call by.

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi Paul - and thank you for your comments...the answer is that blogging is my form of therapy. It's one of the few things that keeps me sane. It probably keeps others sane too as they realise that they are not as mad by comparison.

It is good to see people "talking" to each other though and I love having visitors on my blog as well as in "real life".

However, I am missing Ruby now that she's thrown herself into full-time work. Come back Ruby...you are the real blogstress after all ;-D

headless said...

Great review, 21CM! I have been wondering what to replace my current RAZR phone with and I'm really "sold" by your review.

Looks like you've really got your head around the technology. I am going a little green with envy!

Glad to hear though that this is the last of your technology-based posts for a while. I was worried you might be usurping me :-0

21st Century Mummy said...

aha Headless...I tried to stop... honest...but I just had to go for the photo blogging as I'm going away for a few days and want to make the most of the technology. I hadn't been successful in emailing the images via my router or the WAP service and as the MMS system failed me for a very basic reason, I eventually tracked down another way....

Thanks very much for the comments...and I wish you well in your search for the best Nokia N95 deal.

P.S. I've been tracked down by the real Nokia experts. See:
http://www.womworld.com/nseries/?cat=33

You might find the site useful. ;-D