Nokia N85 8 GB Review

By Team Digit | Updated Mar 25 2009
Nokia N85 8 GB  Review
DIGIT RATING
70 /100
  • design

    80

  • performance

    70

  • value for money

    60

  • features

    80

Verdict

At a price of Rs 27,299 (MRP), the N85 8 GB is certainly expensive, but it’s a lot of phone for the price. We did not like the flawed menu pad and joypad; we didn’t really care for the OLED screen and this phone should have had at least a 2.8-inch display. Other than that there’s very little to nitpick about. It’s very well built and very compact for the features; and the price is certain to fall in a couple of months’ time. Do bear in mind that it doesn’t have any more features than Nokia’s other phones like their N96, N82 and N95 8 GB; so you have no dearth of choice.

Nokia N85 8 GB detailed review



N95 8 GB Junior!

 

Nokia’s has always been known for solid albeit unattractive phones. Their latest phones try to solve the latter issue, and the N series has been a forbearer in this regard. Their N85 8 GB follows the latest design trend of being sleek, compact and sports the same kind of glossy, two-tone finish that we’ve seen from the newer N series phones like the N78, N82 and such. While some like the new colours, others may prefer the suave black of the N95 8 GB to the glossy mocha brown of the N85 8 GB.

 

We feel that looks aside, these new finishes are longer lasting; this is noticeable after months of regular use. The N85 8 GB is built like a small tank and feels extremely solid in hand; much better than the N95 8 GB; full points to Nokia here.

 

It’s a really compact phone that is slim even while incorporating a two way slider which has a nice slick movement. The slider does develop a little play after awhile of use; just how bad this is we’ll only know after three or four months of heavy usage which is impossible to test within the timeframe we had. The screen is OLED, a first for Nokia and measures 2.6-inches. We found this screen dimmer and the colours slightly darker than other Nokia LCD screens. The colours also seem a little saturated, and we feel there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on OLED screens judging from this one before they can replace LCDs in high-end smartphones. The first serious complaint is with the call accept / reject buttons — they’re too tiny for proper use. The joypad is also a pain with a rather uncomfortable bezel around the middle button. This four-way button (bezel, whatever) is also hard to press and the menu buttons on either side of it sometimes get pressed when you use it. Conversely, the four-way button gets in the way of the menu buttons, unless you use your nails. The buttons are, however, well lit. The inner keypad is completely devoid of beveling and only has a thin raised surface between the three rows of keys; despite this the keypad is good mainly because the number keys are well laid out and exude positive feedback. SMS junkies will not be disappointed. The volume buttons on the side and the camera button are really well placed and very easy to use; once again button feedback is excellent and positive. There is a hold slider provided for disabling the keypad; a plus when travelling as this avoids accidental key presses. The multimedia buttons on the two-way slider also work well and their backlighting is good.

 

For the first time Nokia has offered a USB charger; and the data cable and a/c adapter both utilise the same port. The five megapixel camera has a nice cover with a smooth action slide-back. Nokia provides a dual-LED flash which is more powerful than the flash aboard the N95 8 GB. A 3.5-mm connector for the headset means you can hook up your own headphones; a trend we’ve seen more often from Nokia in recent times.

 

Music quality is good; and the N85 8 GB is a good phone to use as a music PMP; the screen does let down for video playback; we like OLEDs; they save power, but this isn’t acceptable at the cost of display quality. Although text quality is good; and the screen is very crisp yet multimedia is not the pleasure it should be. In-call quality is good; and the N85 8 GB didn’t drop a single call during our test and maintained good voice quality on speaker phone and with the headset. The phone is fast; faster than the Nokia E66 which we tested this month; and with a 369 MHz ARM 11 processor we’d expect it to be; this is faster than the hardware on the Nokia N96 which is their flagship model. NGage games support is built in and the N85 8GB can be used horizontally with games; the multimedia buttons double as game control buttons — neat! Additional goodies like WLAN and A-GPS with Nokia Maps keep things interesting; expansion is provided via microSD; and the suffix 8 GB is a misnomer as this phone doesn’t have 8 GB of inbuilt memory; although Nokia does provide an 8 GB microSD card.

 

The camera is quite good; although we’ve seen an eight megapixel unit from Samsung; this unit produces good photos with decent lighting even indoors although you need to fiddle with the manual settings to get the best out of it. With a large 1200 mAh battery expect battery life to be quite good. We tested it and measured it at five and a half hours which is really good; right up there with our best phones.

 

 

Nokia N85 8 GB Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 25 Mar 2009
Market Status: Discontinued

Key Specs

  • Screen Size Screen Size
    NA
  • Camera Camera
    NA
  • Memory Memory
    NA
  • Battery Battery
    NA

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Nokia N85 8 GB

Nokia N85 8 GB

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