N95 vs. iPhone

I have tried to be fair in my appraisals of the N95. I have given the phone some strong praise (including calling it “addicting”) but I realize I have been critical at times as well.

The iPhone certainly has been receiving all the buzz of late, but it looks like we are beginning to see the euphoria waning a bit and people coming down to earth. Amy Tiemann expresses some buyers remorse in her article “My summer fling with iPhone”

Apple convinced me that the iPhone was the next quantum leap in the digital lifestyle.

Well, now that iPhone and I have been together for a couple of months, I wish I could kick it to the curb like a summer fling. Unfortunately, we’re bonded together by a two-year contract.

Martin Varsavsky says his iPhone was stolen and he’s not getting another one and provides a long list of reasons why.

I don’t have an iPhone. I offered to accept one, but none was forthcoming. 🙂 Therefore, I can’t speak with first-hand experience, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe below is a short list of a few important things I can do on my N95 that I could not do with an iPhone.

  1. GPS. The N95 knows where I am, shows my location on a live street map, and offers real-time voice guided navigation.
  2. Shoot video. There’s irony in how much Apple brags about video and the iPhone, but while one can watch videos made by others with the iPhone, they can’t make videos of their own with it. At least they can watch the videos I shoot on my N95!
  3. Shoot real photos.The N95 shoots pictures that are comparable to modern digital cameras at 5.5 megapixels, certainly photo-quality, even for printing.
  4. Comfortably carry it in my pocket. The fragility of the iPhone is a major design flaw. The N95 is pretty rugged while still being light and small enough to survive my pocket.
  5. Download applications. I can install applications, both Symbian and Java (like PhoneGnome Mobile) on the N95.
  6. VoIP over Wifi. While the SIP capabilities on the N95 may not be perfect, at least it has them, including being configurable for any SIP provider.

And, one of the biggest differences of course is, with the N95 I can use any SIM card from any provider. I am not locked to a specific plan or carrier. This is an immediate show stopper for me when it comes to the iPhone — I’m never going back to a locked phone again. Consider the situation of international travel use where I can pop in a different SIM for different countries (really the only way to get decent rates abroad).

With a few of the harsh things I’ve said about the N95, it’s easy to lose site of how cool and powerful it really is. I do hope some of the iPhone user-interface simplicity and design rubs off on Nokia and the Symbian OS though (and other cell phones for that matter).

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