Is Nokia's N85 a better mobile phone than the flagship N95?
- OLED display, Wi-Fi, GPS, 5-megapixel camera, HSDPA capable, microSD slot and 8GB card, 3.5mm headphone jack, FM transmitter
- Build quality of slider, display is difficult to see in direct sunlight
It's not a revolutionary product, but Nokia's latest N-Series handset, the N85, is smaller, cheaper and has better battery life than the top-of-the-range N96. If you're after a fully fledged multimedia phone with most of the latest features, the N85 is hard to ignore.
Price$ 919.00 (AUD)
Nokia's latest N-Series handset is similar to the flagship N96. However, the N85 boasts an OLED display, a built-in FM transmitter and better battery life than the N96.
Although both of the handsets are dual-sliders and have a similar shape and finish, the N85 is smaller, thinner and lighter than the N96. This makes it easier to pocket and a little more comfortable to hold in your hand. The gloss black finish remains, as does the rear casing etched with a stylish, wavy pattern. Build quality is average and although the slider feels smooth, it rocks slightly from side to side.
The buttons and controls are the same apart from the N85 losing the music playback controls surrounding the five-way navigational pad. The handy keypad lock slider remains, but it has been moved from the top of the handset to the right side. Sliding up reveals the keypad, while sliding down reveals four multimedia keys which morph depending on the application you are using. The N85 also boasts an accelerometer that rotates the orientation of the display when the phone is tilted.
At 2.8in, the N85's screen is slightly smaller than the N96, but this doesn't have a big impact on the user experience. More importantly, the display technology used is OLED rather than the traditional TFT screen found in most phones. It is supposed to use less power than regular LCDs, and the clarity and colour of the screen are excellent. Our main complaint is its performance in direct sunlight — at times it can be almost impossible to see.
The N85 runs the popular Symbian Series 60 software and it is extremely easy to use. It does suffer from lag at times, especially when opening and closing applications, but it doesn't have a significant impact on the overall user experience.
Features are aplenty, headed by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP, USB with a standard micro-USB interface and HSDPA capabilities. A built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS is also present and the Nokia Maps application is preinstalled, enabling you to search for addresses and locate POIs. Users receive a three month free trial of full turn-by-turn navigation before a subscription fee is required. Be warned, though: A-GPS is a network feature that requires a data plan, so watch your additional charges if you are a frequent GPS user.
A 5-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens is unfortunately let down by the lack of Xenon flash, with Nokia opting for a dual LED flash instead. A lens cover — absent on the N96 — is a welcome addition though.
Multimedia is excellent, aided by the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is an FM radio, and a built-in FM transmitter means you can wirelessly stream your music to any radio. This feature is particularly useful in the car, for example. Unfortunately, the convenient kick stand seen on the N96 hasn't been included, though the N85 remains a very capable video player. There also isn’t any internal flash memory, but Nokia includes an 8GB microSD card in the sales package to compensate.
Finally, battery life is much better than the N96, with the N85 being equipped with a 1200mAh battery rather than the 900mAh one on the N96.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCIT Systems Specialist- Database l Bathurst LocationNSW
- TPTrim Helpdesk AnalystVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerWA
- FTApplication Support SpecialistQLD
- CCSenior Communications Advisor - Australian TelcoVIC
- FTChange Manager, Agile Environment, Financial ServicesNSW
- FTSystems EngineerVIC
- CCSalesforce ArchitectVIC
- FTInfrastructure Engineer - End User ComputingNSW
- FTSenior Software EngineerACT
- TPSenior Web DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Consultant - ServiceNowNSW
- TPSOE EngineerACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperSA
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTData Analyst - SASNSW
- FTDeputy Chief Engineer - Defence Systems - IT Services - Nowra BasedNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst- Wollongong, Loftus, Sutherland ShireNSW
- FTSalesforce ConsultantQLD
- FTsolution ArchitectNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectSA