"Great smartphone, great price"4.5 starson by bast525
Pros: - Nice size, feels great in hand
- Vibrant display
- Best camera I've ever seen on a phone
- Loud speakers
- Decent games with N-Gage and Java
- Great as a music device
- Battery life is very good
- Decent selection of 3rd party apps, many free
Cons: - No QWERTY keyboard (predictive T9 text is easy to use and still allows quick typing)
- A bit of a learning curve for some features
- Built in web browser not that great (get Ozone and Opera Mini for free, much better)
Summary: I bought this phone coming from using Windows Mobile devices for a long time, and also being with Verizon for 10+ years. I generally loved Windows Mobile as an operating system, and had very few issues or complaints, but had really bad luck with the actual phones/hardware which I have owned. After Verizon sent me replacement after replacement, and moved me from one model to the next, I decided to try something different. I was looking at the Palm Pre, but honestly, I am kind of moving away from the whole touchscreen craze. Then I read some articles about the Nokia N95, and then the N85, and it looked really impressive for such a small package.
So I bought an unlocked N85 from Dell for $300, and signed up with AT&T on a month to month basis. So far I have really enjoyed the phone, and with the addition of some third party apps it has become even better.
The camera on this phone has amazed me. Taking good, clear pictures even indoors in less-than-ideal lighting. Something none of my WinMo phones could EVER do. It has tons of options, almost like a standalone point and shoot. It's not quite as good, but it's so close, and definitely is acceptable as a backup when I don't have the 'real' camera with me. As a music device it is also fantastic. 3.5mm headphone jack, built in internet radio, built in FM radio (but only with headphones), FM transmitter for wirelessly playing your music over your home stereo... a lot of great options for music lovers here. The sound on the built in speakers is fairly loud but does distort a little at the highest volumes.
As a gaming device it is good, not great. Graphically it is somewhere around the level of the Nintendo DS. Controls are okay with the D-pad and dedicated gaming keys. There are a few really fun games but many that I tried were just OK. I think the capability is there but companies are still releasing just 'phone games' instead of really putting effort into some real games. But still, nice to have the option to always have a few fun games on your phone to pass time.
Everyone talks about the OLED screen, I am one of the few who is not that impressed with it. To me, the colors are WAY too oversaturated, and also, it cannot display true gray, rather, there is a definate reddish brown tint to the white/black/grey color on the display. Also it is hard to see in daylight, but all of my previous phones had the same issue so I don't feel like I am losing out here. It is fairly bright however, and overall pleasant to look at.
For watching videos, I strongly recommend Coreplayer even though it is a pay for app, you will get support for almost every video format out there, as well as streaming Youtube videos at a very high quality. Videos look good even though it's a smallish screen, but again, the colors are a bit over-the-top.
Build quality, so far, seems fine. I did get one that was "made in China", which I had read these were the ones with the problems. So far, my slider is solid, a little bit of wiggle, but far more solid than my last phone which was an HTC Touch Pro with slide out QWERTY keyboard. The buttons on the N85 do creak a little (plastic rubbing against plastic), but again, no worse than my Touch Pro. Mind you, the Touch Pro is pretty much the top of the line WinMo phone out in the U.S. right now, and was Verizon's most expensive phone. I paid more for the Pro ON CONTRACT than I paid for the N85 UNLOCKED.
Overall, this phone is great so far, having only had it for about a month, I am very pleased with it. It does so much, especially considering the price (definitely shop around!). It is more media centric than WinMo but can still handle business as well with email and scheduling and all that, just not as deep as with WinMo, so it might not be the best for full business users.