This morning, I woke up to find a virginal Nokia N75, still in its shrink-wrap, delivered to my waiting arms, waiting to be unpacked, clicked through and reviewed. A refresher for those of you who haven't been paying attention: The series 60 Symbian phone is notable because it's the first N-series Nokia to be picked up by a US carrier. It takes advantage of Cingy's UMTS 850 / 1900 to rock 3G speeds, and it's packed with the N-series multimedia goodness like the 2MP camera, 352 x 288 pixel video cam. It's a potent handset, and you should be glad it's here in the US and not yet another business oriented smart phone.
Like its bigger brother, there are endless lists of features worth knowing about: In fact, it has most of the main features the N95 does, minus the more potent camera and GPS, and video podcasts (UPDATE: can download the app, along with the map application without GPS.) But the N75 has 3G network speeds, and a somehow snappier feeling OS. And it's subsidized at $200 after $50 rebate, with a two-year contract, so it's about a quarter the price of the N95 flagship.
Before you dive into the gallery tour below, you'll be happy to know this: Even though carriers have traditionally been pretty scared of the openness and power of the N-series Nokia phones, Cingular hasn't neutered the N75's smartphone-ness.
Here's a gallery of the hardware, screenshots, and even some sample shots taken with the camera phone.
And here's a complete rundown of what the powerful phone has to offer:
Sure, the menus are tarted up with Cingular branded stores and many of the powerful apps, like the Office doc readers, are really trial ware. But you can go ahead and install your J2ME and S60 apps, like the Google Maps, GMail, Shozu, and Opera browser we did. And you can transfer to and browse the file system over Bluetooth.
The music section, which the N95 doesn't have, is particularly interesting. There's a pay-per-month service for identifying music (á la Sony Ericsson's Free TrackID). And a link to the Yahoo Unlimited Music Store, which didn't work (despite the link on the phone, you can only sideload). UPDATE: To purchase music, you have to sideload from a PC. This is strange considering you can access the store from the phone itself. But that's so you can check out the store and mark them so that next time you're on your PC, you can mark them and DL.
Here's a list of the mountain of functions the phone has:
Video Download (Browser linked to Real player, UPDATED:
free subscription clips, goes full screen)
Messaging (SMS, TXT)
MEdia Net (Browser)
Mall (Buy media crap)
Music (Cingular's interesting music app menu — see below)
My Stuff (Media Gallery for images, music and vids)
Games and Apps
IM & EMail (Email: Bellsouth, AT&T, Yahoo, AOL, AIM, MSN. Chat: AIM, MSN, Yahoo, with logging)
Adobe PDF Reader
Quick Office (Trialware for office format reader)
Transfer (From one symbian phone to another)
Data Cable Modes
Music (files, playback)
Music ID (Subscription, $4 a month)
Shop Music (Seems useless — will go to Yahoo! Unlimited, but you have to sideload from a PC.)
Music Videos (Cingular's store)
Billboard (More Cingular's content)
Music Apps (store)
Games and Apps (this is where your j2me and S60 apps show up after you've installed them)
Lifeblog (uploads all your images and text to a typepad blog, over the network)
Ebay Trial (Ebay app)
And all the other apps I installed.
The speakers are tooth-sized, but super loud. And the camera needs a lens cover, because when it get dirty, shots end up looking terrible. But clean 2mp shots are great, if not a little grainy compared with a full digicam. Best results occur when you're using the shot mode, white balance, or flash.
The video/image modes are annoying to switch between (UPDATED: Actually, there is a dedicated button to switch modes next to the shutter). And I like the sequence/time lapse mode. (See the samples in my gallery.)
UPDATE: I forgot to mention the external screen — can be used as a music player screen (using the dedicated buttons, or a viewfinder for the video and photo camera. (It's a decent 160 x 128, at 1.6 inches wide, diagonally.) You can actually control the music player and do everything but make playlists from the external controls, which are called quick cover.
Overall, good job Cingular for not messing up a good thing. I highly recommend this phone.