Nokia N82: Not Your Average Camera Phone

I just got back from the beautiful Island of Boracay and after almost two weeks of playing… err I mean testing the n82, the time has come for me to let go (reluctantly) and give the skinny on this phone. Well let me see… It was shiny… but that’s it. The Nokia N82 does not have that “sports car look” that is what majority of the buyers want but what it lacks in looks, it more than makes up for it with features.

Boracay White Beach taken from N82
Photo taken in Boracay last October 16,2008 using Nokia N82

The casing is made up of several materials, a really shiny metallic faceplate (front cover) which looks really sweet but it is distracting, irritating during sunlight (as my friends experienced :p ) and the key labels are hard to view when it’s unlit (no, I know where the keys are by heart but what about the new phone users?). The back cover is made up of a VERY durable plastic material but it feels cheap and has a rushed feel to it.

The screen is 2.4 inches with 240 x 320 resolution. It’s a bit smaller compared to my buddy’s n95 which stands at 2.6 inches. The screen brightness is very good but still a few notches lower compared to the n95 even if I adjust their brightness to the max level.

The keys are a bit troublesome for those who are umm “bigger” like me, this is understandable since Nokia made a lot of compromises just to make sure that they can fit in all the features. The alpha numeric keys are small elevated stubs which are surprisingly easy to click however the other buttons could be a challenge. Have a look at this:

Slightly above the number keys are the other buttons, the left and right buttons which changes functions depending on where your are (yes, no etc), the menu and delete buttons. Now tell me, can you see them with out the circles that I’ve drawn? And beside those 4 buttons are the universal button (used to open a menu or click on something) big fat button on the middle, the direction keys which is really sensitive and is prone to being accidentally clicked (the square thing surrounding the middle button) and the “answer” and “drop” button to the left and right respectively. I managed to click on 2 or 3 of them at the same time so many times.

It also features a multimedia key which allows access to all your pictures and videos. I hope they keep this on all upcoming models as it makes for a quick way of getting your stuff.

The side buttons, unlike the buttons on the front, are perfectly placed.

Since the n82 is a camera phone, the shutter and camera buttons are located in the spot where you actually expect them to be. The speakers are located on the sides as well, this creates a stereo playback during movies and the like.

All in all, the layout of N82 is perfect for multimedia/camera usage but it needs a lot of getting used to for other phone functions like sms.

Nokia listened to us and gave this phone a 3.5 mm jack located at the top. J That means I can use it together with my headphones and forget about the world.

But what is essential is invisible to the naked eye.

Under The Hood

The best gadgets are those that function as much as you expect it be. The N82 is no exception. Under the plastic and shiny hard to master keys is a monster of a camera. It has a 5 MEGApixel camera which has Carl Zeiss optics and a Xenon Flash. A carl xenon what you say? Let’s just say that Carl Zeiss Optics is the leading name when it comes to opto-electronics, add in the leading mobile phone manufacturer and you get their n-series camera phones. A xenon flash is designed to produce extremely intense, full spectrum white light. Do I need to add them up for you? Carl Zeiss+ 5 megapixel camera + Xenon flash = intense, brilliant photos no matter what the situation, take a look at these shots.

The camera captures videos perfectly as well even while on the move and with minimal to no noise at all.

Photo enthusiasts will feel at home with the tons of camera features that the N82 has, if you want to review the other features scroll down a bit.

The auto view orient is sometimes irritating as it switches frequently even if I am just using the phone for SMS but other than that it is a welcome feature as it enables me to watch my videos and slideshows in landscape mode which, in my opinion, is the only way to watch high quality pictures and movies.

It also supports 3g with HSDPA, EDGE and GPRS and can function almost anywhere. The signal reception, as with other N Series phones, is top notch and call quality is consistent. Browsing on the N82 is ok but the fonts could be bigger. It could be adjusted but it will not show the entire page which is sometimes a bummer.

The N82 also has a GPS which supports hundreds of locations (network charges may apply), it does not see a lot of usage from where I’m at but if ever you are stuck in a strange place, it will come in handy.

THIS IS A CAMERA PHONE not a phone with a camera

Nokia N82 is a high-end quad-band GSM cameraphone with 5-megapixel resolution, auto-focus, Xenon flash and Carl Zeiss lens. Sometimes it feels like the N82 was a camera with the phone features being just an afterthought. The boys from Finland made sure that this is THE camera phone. They made sure that the pros and aficionados would actually have a lot of features that they could use to tweak their shots. The Xenon flash does wonders for the pictures but that is just one of the many things that make this an awesome phone.

Greenbelt 5 Makati Philippines - N82 photo
Greenbelt 5 in Makati City – This photo was taken last October 15,2008 using Nokia N82

A feature that should be standard to all camera phones is included. The N82 has a convenient sliding lens cap, to protect it from clumsy people like me. The set up time has been shortened as well, I think it takes a total of 2.5 seconds to get the shot off.

Let me count the settings that you can play with.

  • manual white balance
  • ISO sensitivity
  • exposure compensation
  • sharpness and contrast
  • various effects (you know sepia and stuff)
  • Gridline for the viewfinder (rule of thirds)
  • The sequence
  • self-timer
  • Flash settings
  • a host of other basic features like picture size, macro mode etc

What can I say? It is THE camera phone.

Too Lazy; Didn’t Read Section:

The N82 is a top notch, if not the best, camera phone in the market. It may not look as stunning as a N95 (it’s big bad brother which shares it’s features) but take a few pictures and you will be willing to turn your eye on the cramped and difficult keypad. According to Nokia, it was a compromise that they had to make to make sure that it fits the design for a candy bar phone. I think it is a fair trade though, cool phone; AWESOME camera. I know what I’m buying this holiday season.