Comparison: iPhone vs Nokia N95

iPhone (1st Gen) running Firmware v2.2

Nokia N95-1 running Firmware v30.0.015 Both great phones, but which one is better?

OS
iPhone: The iPhone runs a cut down version of Apple’s OS X and runs incredibly well. Its slick and looks georgous. Its so easy to use and navigate to the App that you want to run. You want Settings? push your finger on Settings, you want Phone, push Phone. If you ever want to go back to the home screen, press the button below the screen. Its a joy to use and the touchscreen works better than any other I have ever used.

iphone_home
Based on Mac OS X, the iPhone is a joy to use.

N95: The N95 runs Symbian OS S60 3.1 and with the latest firmware its speedy to use, stable but navigation can be slow. Better than most phones and it certainly feels like a smartphone should. Similar in functionality to Windows Mobile but in use not as fast and intuitive as the iPhone OS.

Functionality over beauty.
Functionality over beauty.

Winner: iPhone

Camera
iPhone: The iPhone comes with a fairly basic 2MP camera, which can be seen on the rear of the iPhone. There is no flash, no video mode, no image size adjustments either. To say its basic would be an understatement, press the Camera App and press again to take a photo. It does take decent shots though, providing you have just the right of light and be careful outside because you may get more lens flare than you bargained for.

iphone_camera
Easy to use, but is 2MP enough?

N95: 5MP, Carl Zeis Lens, LED flash, 640×480 Video mode with stabalisation and the ability to upload photos to Flickr. This is a very good camera phone which as you can imagine takes very good photos. Quick and simple to use but with more control of your photographs similar to a real digital camera when you need it. Excellent Video mode and thanks to the flash can be used in low light. Obviously a far better camera than the iPhone and thanks to the LED flash and Video mode its a clear winner.

The N95 has a camera more like a stand alone digital camera and is far superior to the iPhone camera.
The N95 has a camera more like a stand alone digital camera and is far superior to the iPhone camera.

Winner: N95

GPS
iPhone: You may be thinking, how can you compare the iPhone without Built in GPS to the N95 with Built in GPS? Thanks to the iPhone’s Map App its not as unfair as you may be thinking. Using your Network Cell Towers and Wifi, it can locate your position very fast. Much faster than GPS. Planning routes is very fast thanks to the very fast and intuitive interface. The only thing missing is voice navigation, but as the 1st Gen iPhone uses the same software as the new 3G model with built in GPS, there is no real benefit at the moment. If Apple can add Voice Navigation to Maps or another third party company releases a real Navigation App, the iPhone will be a serious threat to all the other phones with GPS built in.

   iphone_maps  

 

 

Don't get lost again thanks to Maps.

N95: Thanks to the built in GPS, Voice Navigation is possible. The N95 supports A-GPS to provide a faster lock of satelites. Maps 2.0 is included as standard and there is also great support by Third Party’s such as TomTom and Garmin XT and both these apps work extremely well. The only problem is the speed at which the built in GPS locks on to the satelites. With the latest Firmware, A-GPS enabled and a clear view of the sky, the initial lock can take between 3-5 mins. Using a Bluetooth dongle this time is reduced to between 30 secs – 1min. So it would appear the built in GPS is not that sensitive. Obviously better than the iPhone because of the built in GPS but not the clear winner it should of been.

Note: Nokia have released a new firmware for the original N95. Firmware v31.0.014. I would highly recommend updating your phone because my GPS locks on in a minute or two and have 4-5 bars of signal strength in my room with the curtains drawn. Previously I would not get a signal. Well done Nokia! The GPS is now usable.

Maps is very good. Its just a shame that voice navigation is only available as an extra.
Maps is very good. Its just a shame that voice navigation is only available as an extra.

Winner: N95

Radio
iPhone: No built in Radio at all, but there are a few Radio Apps which can be downloaded at your expense and used over WiFi. If you listen to just the BBC Radio stations than pop over the http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer where all the main BBC Radio stations can be played over WiFi. You do have to live in the UK to use iPlayer and the best thing about it? Its free.

N95: Built in RDS Radio (Visual Radio) which works very well. A good signal is achieved providing a pair of earphones are plugged in, as these are used for the antenna. A built in RDS Radio which works very well. If only it was DAB.

Its not RDS but it does a decent job with a good signal.
Its not RDS but it does a decent job with a good signal.

 

 

Winner: N95

Bluetooth
iPhone: The ability to pair to a Bluetooth Headset and thats it. The chip inside the iPhone supports Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and A2DP but Apple chose not to include support for it and any other profile. I really hope Apple do something about this in a future firmware.

iphone_bt
Bluetooth on the iPhone. Limited? Yes

 

 

N95: Unlike Apple, Nokia included support for all the major Bluetooth profiles. The Bluetooth works flawlessly with Windows XP, Vista, OS X and other mobile phones, except the iPhone. Any Bluetooth stereo headset I tried works well and Apple have a long long way to go before beating the N95 in the Bluetooth department.

The Bluetooth functionality is excellent on the N95.
The Bluetooth functionality is excellent on the N95.

 

 

Winner: N95

Games
iPhone: Since Firmware 2.0 the iPhone has had the Appstore which was launced with Super Monkey Ball. A brilliant lauch title and one which shows the potential of the iPhone as a gaming platform. There are over 1000 games avalible, but to be honest, only a small percentage are actually any good. Guitar Rock Tour, Toy Bot Diary, Ashphalt 4 and Crash Bandicoot all work well on the iPhone and with Need for Speed on its way, things can only get better for the iPhone. With EA and Squaresoft onboard, the future certainly looks very promising for the iPhone as a gaming platform. If only Apple could create an online community for the iPhone in the same way as Xbox Live or Nokia’s N-gage.

No other game showcases the iPhone's gaming ability better.
No other game showcases the iPhone's gaming ability better.

N95: Nokia has N-gage. Nokia’s attempt at turning the N-series phones into a gaming platform. Initially the games were nothing special but with an online interface and experiance similar to Xbox Live abeit smaller and better games coming, N-gage could be excellent. Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil Degeneration have recently been released, work well on the N-gage platform and are of console quality. Nokia now needs to attract more third party companies to make console quality games. It has the potential, it just needs the games. My only gripe is the price of the games are too high, compared with games on the iPhone and buying a game is very long winded.

Thanks to N-Gage the N95 has a few decent games. Asphalt 3 above is one such example.
Thanks to N-Gage the N95 has a few decent games. Asphalt 3 above is one such example.

Winner: iPhone

Music
iPhone: The iPhone is an iPod and was born to play music. Buying songs can be done via iTunes on the iPhone or computer and playing them is simplicity in itself. Navigate via Artist, Track or use a Playlist or rotate the iPhone and use Coverflow. Coverflow is such a simple idea but it works extremely well and is a joy to use. I defy anyone not to be impressed by it. All of this would be pointless if the sound quality was poor, but luckily the sound quality is excellent and comparable to any other iPod. If only Apple would add A2DP support so that Bluetooth headphones could be used.

Thanks to the association with the iPod the music player is awesome!
Thanks to the association with the iPod the music player is awesome!

 

 

N95: 

Very functional Music Player which can stream music to a pair of Bluetooth Stereo Headphones.
Very functional Music Player which can stream music to a pair of Bluetooth Stereo Headphones.

 

 

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