- 2.0 Megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and autofocus, external screen, distinctive design, crisp internal screen with high resolution, display light sensor
- Size and weight, small displays, lack of regular headphone jack, poor external speaker, extremely slow interface, no vibration, poor sound quality for MP3’s, slow loading times at start-up, expensive
The N90 is certainly an excellent camera phone but its size and weight and extremely slow interface, amongst other issues, leave a lot to be desired. At this inflated price, we expect much better.
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
Nokia's N-Series line of phones has been highly anticipated for some time. In the clamshell N90, Nokia has created a distinctive, swiveling 3G camera phone which takes quality photos, but has sacrificed size and weight to do so.
Measuring 113mm x 51mm x 24mm and weighing a hefty 173g, the N90 is one of the largest Nokia's to hit the market and its bulky frame does not sit well in your hands. While we appreciate the stylish swivel design that Nokia has developed, we don't think this justifies the units sheer size and weight.
The design of the N90 makes it one of the most unique phones in the market and those who enjoy mobile phone imaging will surely appreciate the camera operation. The clamshell design N90 flips open after which the screen can be twisted sideways, automatically starting the dedicated photography mode. The design resembles a small video camera with a red record button and a small joystick to adjust camera settings that can be controlled by your right hand. Other functions are accessed by the two buttons at the top of the screen, which are controlled with your left hand. While recording video or taking pictures, the 2.0 mega pixel camera can be operated with one hand, but Nokia recommends using both hands for optimal image stabilisation.
The record button on the camera is sensitive: just a slight press will focus the image and a further press will begin recording when in video mode or take a photo in still shot mode. Supporting a resolution of up to 1600 x 1200 pixels, the quality of images we uploaded to our PC were very impressive to say the least and the Carl Zeiss lens that the N90 boasts certainly lives up to expectations.
The N90 has both an internal and external screen. The 2.1 inch internal screen was striking, but considering there is plenty of extra space, we feel Nokia could have accommodated a much larger display. The external screen displays basic information such as battery life, signal strength, operator information, time information, status indicators and the name of the currently active profile, The standout feature of the N90 display is the light sensor, which automatically adjusts the screen or keypad light brightness and dims or brightens these depending on lighting conditions. This is useful when you don't want the phone lighting up an entire room, such as in a movie cinema.
The N90 is capable of playing MP3 and AAC files with the supplied RealPlayer software. Unfortunately, the sound quality is poor for a unit which emphasises its multimedia features. The external speaker is extremely harsh, especially at louder volume levels. The supplied headphones are an improvement, but still far from the quality you should be expecting from a handset in this price range. The lack of a standard headphone jack is also a limitation as only the Nokia headphones supplied in the package can be used with the N90. Other multimedia handsets, like the Sony Ericsson W800i, use their proprietary jack but provide an adapter in the package so that any headphones can be used, but Nokia has failed to include this with the N90.
The N90 only contains 27MB of internal memory which can be used for contacts, text messages, multimedia messages, ringing tones, images, video clips, calendar notes, to-do list and applications. Thankfully, there is an option to expandable the memory with a MMC (MultiMedia Card) slot and a 64MB card is included in the sales package.
The N90 is well equipped with standard mobile phone features. The unit offers SMS, MMS and e-mail support and also provides full T9 messaging. We had no problems with the keypad which was quite responsive, but those who message frequently may be disappointed with the slow interface. Much to our surprise there is no included vibrating alert on the N90, which is puzzling to say the least. This is a feature which is generally standard across the entire mobile phone range. It is even seen on most low end pre-paid units, so it's omission from a handset in this price range is a mystery.
Calendar, alarm, calculator, converter, notes and voice recorder functions are all present, as is support for GPRS and WAP 2.0. For connectivity, the N90 provides integrated Bluetooth and USB 2.0 via a Pop-Port interface. A USB data cable is included in the package, which means users can transmit and synchronise data between the phone and their PC straight out of the box.
The biggest drawback of the N90 is the interface, which is shockingly slow. Start-up times were over 30 seconds, shutter lag was about one second and writing the image to the phones memory took an inconceivable four to five seconds. Browsing through the menu was also slow and delays were experienced when selecting a menu item. We found the menu navigation was frustrating and not what we have come to expect from Nokia. In a multimedia device such as this one, such delays are unacceptable.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Apple iMac Pro
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Toys for Boys
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Internet Security
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Technology is revolutionising the way we do things and that includes in the kitchen where a wealth of must-have gadgets and appliances are the making life easier for home cooks.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Oppo tease biometric and camera innovations ahead of MWC 2019
- LG V50 release date, price, specs and news rumours
- The new iPhone XS battery case works with the iPhone X, but don't expect perfection
- Fnatic and OnePlus announce global esports partnership
- Oppo tease a 10x zoom smartphone camera
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- 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