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Dec 25, 2008

Nokia N85



Sitting in the very narrow gap in Nokia's range between the new N79 and N96 handsets is the Nokia N85 slider - another "N95 class" smartphone with 3G, GPS, WiFi and a 5 megapixel camera.

Again, the N85's camera makes use of Carl Zeiss optics, and it features VGA resolution video capture at 30 fps, comes with a dual LED flash and autofocus. The camera integrates with the N85's on-board GPS to allow geotagging of photos, and these can be uploaded directly from the handset to the web.

Like the Nokia N96 (and N95 before it) this is a two-way slider with a numeric keypad in one direction and a set of multimedia or gaming keys in the other. The media keys change legends depending on function, a little similar to the Motorola ROKR E8 in concept.

The Nokia N85 is a 3.5G HSDPA device that comes in two different tri-band UMTS configurations, one for Europe and one for North America. It supports 802.11 b and g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0 connections.

The display is a large 2.6" OLED panel in 16 million colours rather than the TFT displays we normally see. Theoretically this is lighter and more energy efficient than a TFT panel, but OLED displays are not yet widely used. This is larger than the typical display you'll find in competing mobile phones, but you just might wish that the N85 was a touchscreen device (of course, it isn't).

GPS is included as standard, and the Nokia N85 supports A-GPS for quicker fix times. A three month subscription to Nokia's navigation service is included, longer term use will require an online purchase. Alternatively, Google Maps works very well on these S60 devices.


As with all N-Series phones, multimedia support on the N85 is pretty comprehensive. In addition to playing back various audio and video formats, the N85 also has an FM radio, FM transmitter (so you can listen to it in the car without wires), plus a standard 3.5mm audio socket to connect your favourite headset. The N85 also has a TV output, and comes with an 8GB microSD card in the box. That pretty much ticks all the boxes that we can think of in this respect.

This is an S60 smartphone and amongst other features it supports N-Gage gaming, interfaces with Nokia's Ovi service and of course there are a large number of applications available to extend the N85's capabilities. Nokia have also preloaded 10 N-Gage game titles onto the N85.

At 128 grams in weight, the N85 is somewhat heavier than most current 3G phones, but that will be partly because of the larger screen.. remember the N85 is pretty tightly packed with features and these all take up weight. The 1200 mAh battery in the N85 can support up to 4 hours of talktime on 3G, 5.5 hours on GSM. Maximum standby time is 12 days with up to 25 hours music playback in offline mode.

Nokia say that the N85 should cost (£360 or $680) before tax and subsidy and it should be available from October 2008.

Nokia N85 at a glance

Available:

Q3 2008

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 900 / 1900 / 2100 or
UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSDPA + WiFI

Screen:

240 x 320 pixels, 16m colours

Camera:

5 megapixels

Size:

Medium-large slider
103 x 50 x 16mm / 128 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

GPS:

Yes (A-GPS)

Battery life:

4 hours talk / 12 days standby (3G)

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