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Review of GSM/UMTS-smartphone Nokia N82

Live photos of Nokia N82

Table of contents:

  1. Positioning
  2. Design, size, controls
  3. Display
  4. Keypad
  5. Battery
  6. Memory
  7. Hardware department
  8. Performance
  9. USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  10. VoIP
  11. Camera
  12. GPS-navigation
  13. Search 4.0
  14. Multimedia menu
  15. N-Gage and gaming department
  16. Music department
  17. Preinstalled applications
  18. Competition
  19. Impressions

Sales package

  • Handset
  • Battery (BP-6MT)
  • Charger (AC-5)
  • Wired stereo-headset (HS-43)
  • USB data cable (CA-101)
  • TV cable (CA-75U)
  • microSD memory card (2 Gb)

Positioning

The market is now witnessing a unique situation when Nokia has three all-in-one devices on offer, retails them for pretty much the same cost, yet packages these solutions with different features. In Europe you will be able to grab them for:

  • Nokia N95 480-500 Euro;
  • Nokia N82 450 Euro;
  • Nokia N81 8Gb 430 Euro.

The Nokia N82 seems somewhat odd, however it wedges into Nokias otherwise consistent range and then provokes a natural question Is there any real need in this phone? But the answer is right on the surface, you just need to take a better look around to figure out that the N82 is in fact striking back at Sony Ericssons flagship the Sony Ericsson K850i. This is what Nokia has set to do roll out a direct rival for the K850i with comparable price tag and an edge in the form of S60. Speaking in favor of this guess is the fact that only now does a Nokia-branded device employs a motion sensor for auto menu rotation, not only in the camera application. The N82s Xenon flash is another tribute to its imaging department. So, these two phones share a whole lot of features, plus Nokia has quickly released the N82 into the wild, which is not exactly typical of this company all these facts seem to add up. The Finnish manufacturer had to launch its solution before the Christmas season and trip up the Sony Ericsson K850i. Hard to say for sure, but as I see it, the company has coped with both goals.

The calls the audience this handset is aimed at Technology/Style Leaders, which is a target group characteristic of the N-Series in general the Nokia N73, which was rivaling the Sony Ericsson K800i a while ago, also came in to appeal to this segment. Obviously, the company is trying to capitalize on the N73s success by positioning its latest and greatest N82 as a decent replacement for the former and, well, this is pretty much how things stand.

On the other hand, this phone focuses on the imaging department its N-Gage functionality, as well as default applications for the latest generation of S60-powered handsets, only indicate that this is another do-it-all offering with knack for photography.

This model is designed for those who still havent got a Nokia N95 in their pockets for some reason, yet need a pretty good phone with a potent camera onboard. Also, all candy-bar style buffs will feel content with the N82, since it is the handsets very conventional design that seems to be quaint for this end of the NSeries.

Its rushed release also indicates that the model will be all the rage pretty soon its price curve will match that of the Sony Ericsson K850i, ensuring some serious rivalry between the two.

The group of consumers looking for a decent camera-phone wont find the choice between the Nokia N82 and the Nokia N95 8Gb particularly easy, even though the junior model trumps its 8Gb sibling only with the form-factor, lens cover and xenon flash its image quality is pretty much in line with the N95 8Gb, and all hardware specs are relatively the same.

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Design, size, controls

The N82 is housed in a candy-bar type design with average dimensions for its class 112x50.2x17.3 mm, 114 grams. However when we met it in person, it seemed to be on the chubby side, the same impression were delivered by Sony Ericsson K850i, by the way. On the other hand, the phone is very pocket-friendly. But it is not friendly enough to be carried on a neck strap, some will use an arm strap at best.

The microUSB socket is going to be par-of-the-course element of every Nokias phone the N82 is no exception, look for it on the left-hand spine. It is used for wired data transfers, while headphones can be plugged in the 3.5 mm audio jack sitting on the top edge alongside the power button. The left side also features the 2 mm charger slot.

Video, looks, dimensions (31,1 mb, wmv)


Among the strange things about the N82 is the way its stereo-speakers are laid out they are housed on one flank (on the right). This is the first time that the maker has adopted this layout while you gain with it when watching videos, ring tones are a tad muffled, as they arent as loud as the Nokia N81 or the Nokia N95.

On the N82s right side is where you will find the gallery button, the dedicated camera key and the volume rocker.

The build quality was never an issue with the N82, however we still felt that we would need to see how its surface would fare in the long term. But generally our phone seemed to be sturdy and solid.

As of today, the N82 comes only in one color - Warm Titan/Silver Titan, where the front fascia is silver and resembles metal, plus it picks up finger prints with ease. The rear enjoys a patterned surface made of milky plastic.

According to Tomohara Yazawa, the N82 manager, we might see the white edition of the phone in January/February. No word on other trims, all the company has to say is that they are possible.

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Display

The handset comes equipped with a 2.4-inch QVGA (240x320 pixels) display, capable of showing up to 16M colors, presenting you with quite a bright picture that remains visible in various environments.

Facing off the N82s display against the Nokia N95, you wont see any real supremacy of the latter in your daily routine, but when it comes to the Nokia N95 8G and its 2.8-inch behemoth of a display, the 0.4-inch difference wont pass unnoticed. Generally, the N82s display fares well. The display accommodates up to 8 text and up to 3 service lines. In some modes, though, you may get up to 14 text lines. All fonts are sharp and easy to read.

No protective glass screen is mounted on the N82s display.

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Keypad

One of the most popular questions asked about the N82 is whether its keypad is any good. Indeed, its buttons are smallish, and the shapes arent exactly conventional. In fact, this element somewhat reminded me of the Sony Ericssons solution, and I dont think this is a pure coincidence they wouldnt have had any troubles squeezing normal numeric buttons on this area, but for some reason, Nokia had dumped its standard keypad style.

Ergonomics-wise, these keys are quite average, having no real positives or negatives. They, well, just work and click, and generally leave me indifferent. All buttons are lit in well-visible white.

Another question circulating around the web is the navigation pad, specifically whether it has the Navi-Wheel feature enabled. One-word answer no, and will never have it. The N82 isnt a gaming-minded device, even though it comes preinstalled with the N-Gage application.

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Battery

The handset utilizes a 1050 mAh Li-Pol battery (BP-6MT). The N82 is rated for 5 hours of talk time and 225 hours of standby. Music time up to 10 hours, max quality video recording up to 110 minutes, video playback up to 200 minutes.

The handsets battery life averaged 2 days in our tests, when we used the N82 for about an hour of calls, a dozen or two snaps, several minutes of video, and around an hour of music/radio. On the whole, it is very similar to other smartphones and tends to drain battery faster when shooting in the dark, but even if thats the case a fully charged cell will survive a hundred shots, which is more than enough. It takes the N82 around 2 hours to charge from empty to full.

Below is our chart of battery times we managed to squeeze out of the N82:

  • GPS-navigation 3.5-4 hours
  • Video 4 hours 20 minutes
  • WEB-surfing (EDGE) 3 hours
  • Wi-Fi (non-stop data upload) 3.5 hours
  • Music (in earphones) 11.5 hours
  • Games 4.5 hours

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Memory

The device comes equipped with 128 Mb of RAM, after first launch you will get around 90 Mb of free memory at your disposal, which is enough for running a dozen applications and browsing heavy web-pages the word slow-down is definitely not in the N82s vocabulary.

The user almost has 100 Mb of storage available, where any data can be stored.

The N82 deals with microSD memory cards (hot-swappable), the phone comes packaged with a 2Gb unit. There are no restrictions as far as memory cards size is concerned our handset easily identified a 4Gb card.

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Hardware department

The handset builds upon the TI OMAP2420 platform, comes with a 3D accelerator, ARM11 CPU, running at 332 MHz. Based on these specs, the N82 turns out to be a close sibling to the Nokia N95, being quite different from the other makers latest and greatest offerings running on the FreeScale solution. Much like a couple of other devices out there, the N82 spots an in-built motion sensor, that serves not only for rotating the viewfinders screen while shooting (can be disabled in the menu), but also switches the display into landscape mode and back in any menu. This feature is identical to that found in the Sony Ericsson K850i, however the latter employs it only for its Multimedia menu, whereas the Nokias offspring can pull off this trick anywhere. We dont have any gripes with the N82s sensor it was very responsive in operation. On a more interesting note, these sensors will be used for gesture-based phone controls down the road in fact, the Nokia N82 utilizes only the very basics of the technology, the things that are on the surface. More ways to embrace bundled motion sensors will be introduced in Feature Pack 2 or a tad later.

Video, motion sensor (4,33 mb, wmv)


Back to the table of contents >>>

Performance

The Nokia N82 is no different from the Nokia N95 8Gb on this front technically, this is one and the same device running the TI OMAP 2420 platform.

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USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

USB. The handset comes in with USB 2.0 support (data transfer speeds 600-650 Kb/s, whereas the Nokia N95 offered up to 900-950 Kb/s), upon a successful PC connection you can choose one of the following modes:

  • Data Transfer (Mass Storage USB) memory cards is available, no drivers required, as your OS identifies the handset automatically.
  • PC Suite used for device management via Nokia PC Suite, enables all features of the phone, data backup etc.
  • Image Print no explanation required.
  • Media Player (MTP protocol) synchronizes data with Windows Media Player.

Bluetooth. The phone comes with Bluetooth v2.0, with support for EDR. The following profiles are supported

  • A2DP
  • AVCRP
  • BIP-ImagePush
  • DUN-GW
  • FT-Server
  • HandsFree-AG (1.0)
  • Headset-AG
  • OBEX
  • OPP-Client
  • OPP-Server
  • SIM Access-Server

The top speed you can get with the N82s Bluetooth connection is around 100 Kb/s. We also tested its A2DP profile in pair with the Sony Ericsson DS970 headset, which worked just fine we managed our play list, skipped within tracks and adjusted volume seamlessly, however we couldnt make current tracks title show up on the N82s display.

Wi-Fi. This handset comes armed with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 g) support. All security standards are supported: WEP , WPA , WPA 2, with other advanced settings available. The device supports Universal PnP standard (UPnP), which is the successor to the wired standard PnP. With its help, along with Wi-Fi, you can send slides to a TV, music to a stereo system, and photos to a printer. In a certain sense UPnP is like an add-on to the infrastructure (Wi-Fi, for example) in the form of Bluetooth-esque services, so this looks more like a software upgrade. The sales package includes Home Media Server, which allows connecting the N82 through your home Wi-Fi network to a desktop PC.

There is also a Wi-Fi wizard available in the N82 it can keep looking for enabled networks in the background mode and tap into them.

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VoIP

This feature has been carried over from the Eseries, as it retains just the same settings pool and is pretty easy to manage. The SIP protocol enables you to make calls bypassing your GSM-carrier (though you will still need an IP-telephony operator). The best thing about this solution is that you can employ Wi-Fi networks to reduce your call-related expenses. If you would like to have a Skype-esque application on your handset, then Fring or TruPhone are the way to go.

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Camera

The N82s camera module has been carried over from the Nokia N95, and its major trump here is the xenon flash. The edge it has over the standard LED unit manifests in a couple of scenes, such as snaps taken in the dark and indoors. Sony Ericsson was the first maker to adopt this type of flash, and the K850i, in addition to its xenon unit, boasts a LED flash, which is the best way to go for a mobile device, ensuring high quality of images you get even in photography-unfriendly environments.

If you dont tend to take your snaps in the dark or use the flash extensively, you wont spot any substantial difference between the Nokia N95, the Nokia N95 8Gb, and the Nokia N82. The latter may be using revamped image procession algorithms, but you wont know this from the cameras shots. The camera lens is protected by the cover, opening it launches the camera application. The companys managers put a special emphasis on their efforts to reduce the time between sliding the cover open and taking a snap. The N82 does all this in a couple of seconds, which is a pretty good result comparable with the markets finest offerings. Probably, this speed is mainly due to the increased RAM volume.

Video, camera (11 mb, wmv)


The N82s top resolution is Print 5M large, which stands for 2592x1944 pixels and image size of 700Kb-2Mb. The user can also make use of the following resolution settings:

  • Print 3M Medium (2048x1536 pixels)
  • Print 2 M- Medium (1600x1200 pixels)
  • E-mail 0.8 M Med. (1024x768 pixels)
  • MMS 0.3 M Small (640x480 pixels)

Time required to save a shot in any of these resolutions is 3-4 seconds if you have enabled after-shoot view. Or 1-2 seconds in case you are ready to take another snap right after that (in the latter case shots are saved from the buffer).

Color tones. Since these overlays can be applied to any snap in a standard graphics editor, it wont be wise of you to enable them for taking a snap on the N82. There are four effects available Sepia, Black & White, Vivid, Negative.

Exposure compensation. This parameter is adjusted at a 0.5 step here; it will prove useful for shooting objects with dominating light or dark tones.

White balance. The N82s camera does very well in the auto mode, though you can manually adjust the white balance and choose one of the following settings - Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent.

Flash module. One of the most interesting things about the N82 is how its brand-new Xenon flash functions and how it improves over a standard LED unit. Effective distance for the phones flash is 2.5-3 meters, while at close range (10-30 cm) it gives too much light, especially to tiny objects.

Take a look at the Nokia N82s snaps with (on the left) and without flash (on the right).

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Now, lets see how the Nokia N95 (LED flash), Sony Ericsson K850i (Xenon flash) and the Nokia N82 fare when put in one and the same environment. It is clear that the N95s LED unit ends up behind the Xenon flash modules embedded in the other two phones it lacks some details due to poorer illumination, many objects are blurry, and in the first photo it makes disk titles very hard to discern. The fight between the other two cameras demonstrates the N82s prevalence, even tiny disk titles are readable, it offers more detailed shots and better color reproduction.

Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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Nokia N95 Sony Ericsson K850i
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Nokia N82
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We continued the comparison with the Nokia N95 in normal lighting conditions after we moved out to the streets. Thats the place where neither of the cameras have the upper hand, sometimes the N82 produces fractionally clearer shots, but it is not much better. Effectively, these samples prove that these two camera modules are pretty much similar, as they perform equally well in the same environment.

Nokia N95 Nokia N82
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We were particularly interested in putting the N82 up against the Sony Ericsson K850i while we were outdoors. The outcome didnt surprise us much, though the N95 had been marginally ahead of the K850i in our earlier tests, and so was the N82 that time around.

Sony Ericsson K850i Nokia N82
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There are a bunch of people pondering over which phone, the Sony Ericsson K850i or the Nokia N82, is the best imaging-centric handset around. I, for one, dont think there can be two polar opinions the Nokia N82 is the one. Speaking in its favor are a conventional camera cover, and thus its always-clear lens. Its flash module is mounted in the way that, in contrast to the K850i, you cant put your finger on it should such necessity arise. Shooting with the N82 is a snap almost in any environments, even in winter with thick gloves on, whereas the K850is button were deaf to our touches, so we had to take gloves off and feel the chilly breath of winter. On top of that, the quality of flash and final images are superior in the Nokias product, and, lets be honest, snaps made in similar conditions, while comparable, seem a tad clearer and more vibrant when taken with the N82. All in all, the Nokia N82 comes out on top in this battle.

Video

The handset is capable of shooting video in a number of quality modes, with the best one putting up 30 frames per second at 640x480 (VGA resolution). All clips are captured in MPEG4 format, plus you can record sound simultaneously. The default storage place for video clips is the memory card, though you can easily switch it to the handsets own memory. Any clip cant run longer than 60 minutes, but in truth before the battery goes down, you will be able to record from 40 to 50 minutes of video, as in this mode the Nokia N82 gets extremely power-hungry. While shooting you can take advantage of digital zoom (x8), and disable sound, in case you dont need it.

Much like still images, here you can adjust white balance, apply color effects, though the available scene modes form a list with two options auto and night mode.

Now on to the video samples we took in top quality they are pretty decent for a mobile device and, as of today, remain unrivaled. Quality of sound recording is worse than that on Nokia N93, yet matches Nokia N93i.

Video sample (mp4, 6,67 mb) >>>

Sony Ericsson K850i 5 Mpix camera performance

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GPS-navigation

You can navigate with the N82 both in landscape and portrait orientations of the display it is handier in the former mode, although isnt suited for in-car navigation very well because of the car cradle, plus shortcuts to settings will be unavailable, as the keypad will be barred.

Current location

Includes route building, navigation to a specified location, ability to save current location as a picture or a landmark. The last item in this sub-section allows searching for places of interest located nearby, which are categorized in the following way: Food and Drink, Transport, Shopping, Leisure, Sights, People, Housing, Services. The extra menu enables to carry out a context search in a more detailed list.

GPS-fix

Allows spot current location to the map as a landmark. In other words, when navigating you tap the right soft-key to find out where you are.

Extra services

With the help of this service you can purchase guides to cities or subscribe to tracking services, which include additional information on nearby places of interest. The subscription price varies depending on contract terms a three-year support plan will cost you 79.99 Euro.

Search

Allows searching for a specified location; to use this feature effectively for locating places you will need some practice - in other words, you will have to figure out the way Russian words are transcribed into English. This way, for Moskow and Moscow the search will pop different results. The search screen will also feature distance between you and the object, as well as its address. Each found location is accompanied by a thumbnail identifying which category it belongs to. Right from the search results window you can call up the map, build a route to the place with your current location serving as the starting point or sort all found objects by name or distance.

Route building

To build a route from one point on the map to another, first of all you have to select start and end locations specifically landmarks, addresses and places from the guide. After building a route you can adjust extra settings choose transport (by car or on foot), route demonstration speed, allow building a route through additional objects, which include toll roads, so if you want, you can disable these. Right here you can check out the calculated route. If you select the Show Route item, the application automatically picks the shortest way, pins landmarks and calculates total distance from one object on the map to another. Having built a route you can see its demo in the simulation mode. Going further on a route is accompanied by voice tips. Hints in Russian can be loaded from the general settings menu. You can also turn the cursor off and learn more about places of interest located nearby they are marked with thumbnails on the map. Pressing the right soft-key brings you back to the tracking mode.

View

Image scale is adjusted with the help of keys * and # 10m is as close as you can get (maximum 1000km) in this case you will see street names, without house indexes, though.

The application allows showing objects on the map on the go in a 3D perspective view to go into this mode just press 0. You are also at liberty to change map colors and check out satellites status.

Landmarks

Adding a landmark to list is done by typing the name of a landmark (by default it is assigned accordingly to the objects name), and picking its type from a drop-down list. Landmarks can be used for building routes, also you are free to change, delete tem transfer as text messages, or send via IrDA/Bluetooth.

Settings

This item includes network-related options, route types, system of measures, backlighting settings, and preferred language for voice tips.

MAP Loader

This is a separate application for PC that enables you to upload maps onto the smartphone (the device itself, or the memory card). The process itself isnt complicated at all, but for some obscure reason certain maps take hours to get into the N82, despite being pretty tiny in size. We strongly recommend downloading maps into the handset at night or via a card-reader - that will allow you to use the phone itself how you please during this time.

GPS Data

The menu carried over from the previous models sitting here are a digital compass, current speed, distance, etc.

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Search version 4.0

The utility marries the local search abilities and browsing. Furthermore, the search engine used in the N82 may vary by country for Russia it is Yandex.ru. Generally, you can pick a search engine you like manually or keep the default one Yahoo. The reason behind this differentiation between regions is that the maker deems local search engines better tweaked for respective countries.

Local search is performed in all categories, which are:

  • Music
  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Messages (including message body)
  • Email (headline and message body)
  • Bookmarks
  • Images
  • Video
  • Points of interest
  • Applications
  • Notes

Video, search 4.0 (22,9 mb, mpg) >>>

All you need to do is punch in first letters of a word and the N82 will instantly display how many matches it could find in every section, which is really handy. For the time being, Samsung-branded devices come with a quite similar feature onboard; however their search engine is somewhat less sophisticated, even though the abilities are pretty much in line with Nokias search.

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Multimedia menu

This is a wheel-shaped menu (made its first appearance with the Nokia N81), where every tab features kindred functions. You can navigate through these tabs with the help of the D-Pad or the numeric keypad.

Video, multimedia menu (7,2 mb, mpg) >>>

The current version sports only six pages, whose order of appearance may be easily varied by the default, the first tab you see is all about music (with this tab on, you can check out your library, start random playback of your tracks or view podcasts). The Games tab proposes exactly the same options as the N-Gage section. The Gallery allows you to view your last captured shot and calls up the Album. You can submit some entries to the Contacts tab, so it acts like a speed dial menu, which may come in handy on certain occasions. Internet links to your favorite pages, Maps points of interests and locations.

It doesnt take a rocket scientist to notice that there are a whole lot of functions typical of stand-alone apps duplicated in the N82 in the multimedia menu you can add new bookmarks, but the browser can serve the same purposes as well. You can throw some contacts into this menu, but adding them to the list of Fast dial makes more sense. Ergonomics-wise, this menu is a complete blank, bringing nothing new to the table. It is just another way to display the phones contents, and thats about it. Lets call it a contemporary way.

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N-Gage and gaming department

Much like the Nokia N81, the N82 comes preinstalled with the N-Gage app. When the service is released into the wild, however, this application will be available for download for the Nokia N95 as well, as there is no real difference between these two in this sense. The N82 ships with two games Asphalt 3D and Fifa07, both are demos, with full versions retailing for 20 Euro and more.

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Music department

While the N82 is not a music-savvy phone by definition, it is the department where Nokias specialist music phones and the rest of the pack arent all that much different. This handset doesnt come packaged with a remote control, but you can always get one separately. And although it packs no music-minded keys, like those found on the Nokia N81, standard buttons do pretty much the same job.

The main thing here is that the N82 holds a 3.5 mm audio jack, and its player does the rest, offering the user exactly the same abilities as other solutions and good sonic experience. Together all these things constitute what we can safely call a music phone.

The following formats are supported: AAC, AAC+, eAAC, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, Mobile XMF, SP-MIDI, AMR (NB-AMR), MIDI Tones (poly 64), RealAudio 7,8,10, True tones (WB-AMR), WAV. MP3-files with various bit rates, including VBR, are seamlessly played back by the N82. Upon synchronization with Windows Media Player 11 and higher, you can take advantage of protected DRM-files (Janus DRM).

The player interface found in the N82 sports a run-of-the-mill design, but still we feel like giving it a close-up. First, it boasts full-fledged support for Album Arts, thumbnails of images shown on the display are quite large at that; and then you can turn on one of the three visual effects, the N82 will display the visualization youve picked in the full-screen mode. It makes no sense at all, though, and what is more important, constantly glowing backlighting knocks the battery time down.

Track title and artist are displayed on the screen, as well as player controls. Progressive fast-forward feature is enabled in the N82.

The N82s results in our RightMark Audio Analyzer tests:

Alexander Dembovskys take:

The N82 is a potent performer on the music front, standing pretty much in one line with audio players, especially as far as bare numbers are concerned. Its Frequency response graph is quite smooth, except for slightly uneven highs and a small dip at the lower part of the frequency range. Though, the vast majority of people will never hear these minor glitches, and you shouldnt really pay much attention to them.

The N82s trumps are its standard 3.5 mm headphones jack and a decent output signal strength. The former preserves you from various inconveniences and sound distortions, unwanted noises brought in by adapters, while the latter decreases the chance of experiencing problems with your favorite pair of headphones by a high margin.

General performance

Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.35, -0.64Good
Noise level, dB (A): -78.1Average
Dynamic range, dB (A): 78.1Average
THD, %: 0.0057Very Good
IMD, %: 0.060Good
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -74.4Good
Intermodulation at 10 kHz, %: 62.539Very Bad

General performance: good

Frequency response

Noise level

Equalizers. As the equalizer settings are modified, the handsets sonic experience changes considerably. Each of the 6 pre-installed equalizers feature 8 bands and is fully user-manageable. The lists of presets are as follows - Bass Booster, Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock. In the Sound Settings you can adjust sound balance, Stereo Widening and Loudness.

The handset has random and repeat (all or one track) playback modes onboard. While at the standby screen the display is filled up with data on currently playing song.

Calling up the Music Menu allows you to browse all tracks, playlists, sort the library by artists, albums, genres and composers. The music library (or the track list) gets updated automatically on every successful synchronization attempt with a PC via Nokia PC Suite, and in case you use a memory card with pre-loaded tracks, this wont happen.

Visual Radio online radio, also allows viewing album arts and lyrics on the phones display.

FM radio this application sports a standard interface, with the ability to save up to 50 stations. When tested in the city, the radio performed well.

The handset houses two stereo-speakers placed on the right-hand side of the casing. The volume they put up is above average. Even though you may give it a go and use the phone as a portable juke box, it wont make much sense, as with the handset rocking at full blast you will surely notice some distortions.

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Preinstalled applications

The Nokia N82 comes armed with LifeBlog an application that gathers all your multimedia content in one place and then allows you to browse it via a timeline, which is interesting in a certain sense, but as far as I know very few people actually find some use for this feature, while others prefer employing the phones Gallery or the File Manager.

Video, phones menu (14,1 , wmv)


Video Center enables the user to subscribe to various channels offering an assortment of video clips, including YouTubes mobile version. All videos get uploaded onto the device, so that you will be able to watch them whenever you want. You can expand clips to full screen in the landscape mode, plus there is the portrait mode available with the N82. The best way to upload clips is via home or office Wi-Fi networks.

QuickOffice comes in its shrunk edition. Specifically, with the version found in the Nokia N82 you wont be able to edit office documents. To go beyond the Read Only mode you will need to pay extra money.

Adobe PDF allows reading PDF-files, no complaints about the application.

ZIP enables you to extract files from archives or create new archives.

Barcode reads bar codes, as its name suggests. Almost of no real use these days, though.

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Competition

Taking other Nokia models out of the brackets, the N82 clashes only with the Sony Ericsson K850i, matching the former in terms of price and feature pack. Lets take a look at all primary specs of these two phones:

  Nokia N82 Sony Ericsson K850i
Size, weight (mm, grams) 112x50.2x17.3, 114 102x48x17, 118
Display 2.4 inches, TFT, QVGA, 16M 2.2 inches, TFT, QVGA, 262K
Bundled memory 100 Mb 40 Mb
Memory cards microSD microSD orM2
Battery Li-Pol, 1050 mAh Li-Pol, 930 mAh
Average battery time 1.5-2 days 2-3 days
MTP mode on USB connection Yes Yes
3,5 mm audio jack On the casing Adapter required
Camera 5 Mpix, CMOS, lens cover 5 Mpix, CMOS
Flash Xenon Xenon + LED
Video recording VGA, up to 30 FPS QVGA up to 30 FPS
Stereo-speakers Yes No
Platform S60 3td Edition FP1 A200
GPS Yes No
Price 450 Euro 450 Euro

Putting these two handsets up against one another, you will definitely wonder how many things they actually have in common. All interesting aspects of the Sony Ericsson K850i have been addressed in the Nokia N82 and deliberately put into the limelight. As a matter of fact, apart from throwing the camera module that is just as good or even a tiny bit better (still wrangled about), Nokia has also kitted it out with the lens cover, bigger memory card shipping in the box and TV out for recorded video. Additionally, the video quality is quite decent. The Sony Ericsson K850is drawbacks, or, lets put it this way, odd features are ergonomics of the navigation pad and the lack of hardware soft-keys. All these sacrifices have been made so as to trim down the phones length. But does its size really make this much of a difference, or having a conventional keypad under your fingertips is a more important factor? Hard to tell.

One thing is for sure while yesterday Sony Ericssons imaging-heavy flagships were a step ahead of Nokia in terms of functionality, design and price-quality ratio, these days Nokia has the lead. If you look at the sales packages of these two phones, the Nokia N82 is on the richer side, as it packs a lot of extras under its hood, which is also the amenity we cant overlook. Speaking in favor of the K850i are its longer battery life, marginally smaller dimensions and probably design. And, undoubtedly, the love and loyalty of this brands followers. It is the first occasion when Nokia has managed to deliver a direct competitor to a Sony Ericssons imaging flagship just in time. If you try to assess every models performance on the market in terms of sales, even now its clear that Nokia comes out victorious there is such a vast difference between these companies size-wise.

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Impressions

Call quality was never an issue with the N82, as it easily lived up to our expectations of a Nokia-branded phone. Ring tones sounded quite loud thanks to the handsets dual speakers in this sense, it is one of the markets vociferous offerings. On the other hand, sometimes both speakers, since they are located on the right, get covered with something, making the sound come out muffled. The vibrating alert was on the stronger side.

Has Nokia hit the bulls eye with this model? It is absolutely safe to say this handset will appeal to the masses and will be a truly sought-after offering the N82 definitely has what it takes and just like the Nokia N73 a year ago, it is on its way to the title of the most affordable and decent Nokia-branded imaging-minded solution. Its music department is no different from the Nokia N95 8Gb, meaning that it proves to be somewhat inferior to the Nokia N81. Still, your music experience with the N82 wont be irritating or dismal. Omitted remote control is another hint at the handsets true positioning.

Given its current retail price of 450 Euro, the N82 is up against the Sony Ericsson K850i alone. Which one to go for, I hear you ask? It will be one tough decision for you, better listen to what your experience of playing around with either of the phones tells you. For the owners of the Nokia N95, the N82 wont break any new ground by and large it is the same old N95, yet with some of its shortcomings mitigated and more RAM onboard. The Sony Ericssons solution costs less, but offers less punch as well. Even if you dont really need GPS navigation, the N82 is worth a glance for having a higher potential and better out-of-the-box abilities sweetened by more conventional ergonomics.

Shedding some light on myths and rumors circulating around the web on an impending music-savvy edition of the N82 carrying 8Gb onboard, I have to say this is very unlikely in view of the handsets positioning. It already has a rival, which can only dream of 8Gb of storage. Looking at Nokias range you may well come to a conclusion that the arrival of a handset like this retailing for 70 Euro more would be fine if only they didnt have the Nokia N95 on offer. Which wont happen for at least 7-8 months to come. Just like the Nokia N73, the N82 doesnt have any sort of 8 or 4 Gb variations.

Winding our story up, I can say only one thing that you probably already know anyway. The company has rolled out a true bestseller in the form of the N82, which is now among the finest smartphones in the entire NSeries, as well as one of the top handsets for youth, the best cameraphone around (on the mass market) and also one of the most potent business-minded handsets. Curiously, the best prefix has stuck to this model, and, in one way or another, it has deserved it.

Starting January 2008, Mobile-Review.com will be picking best products of the month, with awards handed out around the end of each month. And in January 2008 our sympathy is with the Nokia N82, undoubtedly the best buy among all todays offerings in this class.

The Nokia N82s SAR level 0.62 W/kg

P.S. Wait, we got some more before the curtains fall:

As you have already guessed, with these services you can get coordinates for your snaps, if you took them with enabled GPS on an NSeries device. These services seamlessly deal with the Nokia N82 and other smartphones as well.

Related video:


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Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Oleg Kononosov (oleg.kononosov@mobile-review.com)

Published — 01 February 2008

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com

 

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