MSI looks to add executive chic to a winning laptop formula
Nokia 9500 Communicator
- Nice software, full keyboard, support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, tri-band, good screens
- The price, the size and weight, the battery life
A very good phone in terms of features, but way too large and heavy for most people.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
If there are things that the Nokia 9300 lacks, then the 9500 has them. It has the same operating system (Symbian 7.0s Series 80), similar software and a rather similar clamshell design with full QWERTY keyboard. It also has things that the 9300 does not: an integral camera and support for Wi-Fi. These additions come at a cost, however, both in terms of the product price and in terms of its size, weight and battery life.
With its massive size and grey and silver styling, the Nokia 9500 looks downright industrial. It's 148mm x 57mm x 24mm--much larger than conventional phones and not something that can be conveniently carried around in the pocket.
The large size does give Nokia enough room to provide generously sized buttons on the internal keyboard. The phone, when opened, can lie completely flat, and with practice it's possible to type quite quickly using a six-fingered typing style. The 9500 also has a thumbstick for moving a mouse pointer around or selecting applications. It's a little sensitive, but again works well with practice.
The screens, both the 640 x 200 internal screen and 128 x 128 cover screen, are both excellent, with vivid colours and good brightness. We had no problems with the phone's audio, either--even MP3s sounded good when we tried them.
The 9500 supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) and USB 2.0 connectivity to PCs and other devices. It can store up to 80MB of data locally, and also supports the insertion of an MMC card for extra capacity.
We're rather fond of Symbian OS 7.0s. It has a lot of worthwhile features, but most importantly it allows the user to get things done quickly and painlessly. There are quick access buttons for switching to applications, and context-sensitive buttons at the side of the internal screen for actions like saving and deleting. It's user friendly, looks good and works fast. There are a range of supplied applications, including a media player (for videos and audio--including MP3 and AAC) and image viewer, messaging (for SMS, MMS and email), document editing (for text and spreadsheets), Web browsing, calendar and contacts. It also has VPN capabilities for corporate networks.
The 640 x 480 camera phone is decent, but it's rapidly falling behind as megapixel cameras are now available in other phone models.
The Nokia 9500 Communicator has an excellent array of features, but its bulk and cost would turn off the majority of potential buyers. We suspect this is one only for the hard-core Nokia Communicator fans.
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