Nokia N82 Review

The best cameraphone on the market

By Cosmin Vasile on August 26th, 2008 09:14 GMT
The rightful successor of the highly acclaimed N73 makes its way on the mobile phone market to the sound of fanfare playing. The handset offers almost the same array of features as N95, but at a much lower price. Nokia N82 cannot be tagged as a cameraphone or a business phone, but it can instead be considered an all-in-one device. Moreover, every piece of technology included is of the highest quality and offers great functionality to the users. The 5 Megapixel camera, together with the HSDPA and Wi-Fi technologies, the built-in GPS, as well as the low price mark the new Nokia N82 device as one of the few mobile phones that can perform excellently where all features are concerned.

Announced in November 2007, Nokia N82 was launched on the market in the same month. The phone is one of the best deals for what it has to offer, as it can be bought for only 500 bucks, free of contract.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Design

Nokia N82 is everything but good-looking. Sure, the phone looks OK, but it doesn't come with any "wow" factor and such. Still, it makes a good impression on those looking for a well-balanced and compact device. Thanks to the 5 Megapixel camera on its backside, N82 is in no way slim, measuring around 17mm. Still, surprisingly for its size (112 x 50.2mm), the phone is pretty lightweight (114 grams, including battery). The generous screen doesn't have any protection and can be easily scratched. Above the screen, there's a small light sensor, the secondary video-call camera and the in-call speaker. The keypad layout resembles the N81 pattern, but the keys are very different. If you're a heavy texter, then this phone is definitely not for you. There is only one other Nokia handset that had almost similar keys, and that's the old N91.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Feedback received by Nokia regarding the small keys of N91 slider wasn't positive at all but, still, they're set to continue with them. In fact, more and more handsets (especially Sony Ericsson's) adopted the thin keys pattern, which is bad for texting. The big D-pad is too thin (again) and seems a little bit flimsy, especially after extensive use. The 2 main keys that control the calls, Accept (green) and Reject (red), have been placed at the edge of both sides of the handset, exactly like on the N81. Again, if you're a right-hander, you'll have no problems using the Accept (green) key, but you'll have a hard time with the Reject (red) button. The right side of the phone is the most crowded, as you can also see from the pictures.

The 2 stereo loudspeakers have been strategically placed at both ends of the right side. Between these two, there's a dual-volume key, a dedicated camera button, and a special key that opens the Gallery. The left side of the phone features a microUSB port, a small charge port and a microSD slot card that's been covered by a plastic strip. On top of the phone, there's the usual Power button and a 3.5mm jack port. On the bottom, there's only a small gap that marks the place where the microphone has been embedded. When turned on its back, Nokia N82 reveals one of its strong points – the 5 Megapixel camera, featuring a Xenon flash.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The camera can be activated by pulling down the plastic knob placed right near it. The plastic cover that protects the Carl Zeiss lenses are controlled from this knob, which can be easily slid up/down, but not easily enough as to be pulled by mistake. The back cover can be pulled out with ease, revealing the small 1050 mAh Li-Ion battery and the SIM slot. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed by the materials used by Nokia in this case. On the contrary, I noticed that the plastic compound can be very easily damaged if the phone is dropped by mistake. Even if it doesn't look cheap at all, the safety of the device is pretty much inexistent, especially for those users who might be a bit sloppy. However, even if the keypad has been covered by a polished silvery plastic that could have turned out to be highly susceptible to fingerprints, this is not the case. This means that users won't have to wipe the mobile phone too often. Overall, despite looking solid and compact, the plastic used to manufacture it ruins the sturdiness of the phone. Speaking of looks, Nokia N82 is more on the traditional side, and will not impress those in search of "otherworldly" designs.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Display and Camera

Only a 0.2-inch difference separates the N95's display from that of N82. It might not be much, but these things do matter, especially for those who are using the phone mostly for Web browsing, movie watching or gaming.

Review image

Review image

Review image

The quality of the screen is already common to all Nokia Nseries devices – flawless. Supporting 16 million colors and 240x320-pixel resolution, the TFT display measures 2.4 inches and is perfectly visible under bright light.

Review image

Review image

Unfortunately, there's no protection against scratches for this screen and, no matter how hard you try, the display will be damaged in time. Anyway, the quality of the image displayed is excellent, but it still does not rise to the level of performance offered by Nokia's N95 slider.

Review image

Review image

The screen lacks a little bit on brightness and contrast, but that's a minor detail when it comes to a Nokia display. Overall, the performance during various tests was more than satisfactory.

Review image

The 5 Megapixel camera embedded in this Nseries device seems to be the best on the market. Featuring Carl Zeiss lenses, auto-focus and the best Xenon flash available, the module camera is way above most of the other cameraphones.

Review image

Review image

Review image

There have been numerous talks about the two main rivals on the cameraphone market, Sony Ericsson K850i and Nokia N95 but, once N82 was out, I am very positive that all of them came to an end, as everyone must agree that, for the time being, this is the best cameraphone. In other words, the 5 Megapixel monster is second to none and, as seen in pictures below, it performs excellently in all weather conditions.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The Carl Zeiss lenses are doing a great job, and users will be particularly thrilled to take shots, no matter if it's night or day. On the front of the phone, there is the secondary camera used for video calls, but also for taking self-portrait pictures (640 x 480 pixels max. resolution).

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The camera functions are easy to use and intuitive, especially if you have handled a digital camera before. In fact, the interface is the same as that of N95, so if you previously owned one, you'll have no problems with N82. Activating the camera takes exactly 2 seconds, which is a considerable improvement from N95's 5-6-second activation time. The maximum resolution supported is 2582x1944 pixels, while users can choose to shoot in 5 modes, as seen in the pictures.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

There are no specially created functions for this camera but, as you can see from the screenshots, all of them remain very easy to use. The same goes for the video camera, which can capture clips in MP4 or 3GPP formats, depending on the quality you choose.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image


Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Menu and Software

Nokia N82 runs Symbian 9.2 operating system, with S60 3rd Edition and Feature Pack 1 interface. This Pack offers several improvements and adds some new features, like an alarm clock, vCalendar 2.0, support for 3D graphics and hardware acceleration, as well as screen turning. The repeated alarm clock provides users with the wake up call whenever they want, so they don’t have to buy third party applications for that purpose.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The main menu can be accessed by pressing the left key, right next to the 5-way control key. In addition to the usual options and applications that we find in almost all Symbian-powered handsets, Nokia N82 features Search and Maps utilities. Maps is used together with the GPS receiver and enables owners to use Nokia maps, localization and directions when they're on the go. Lots of maps can be downloaded from Nokia's website and then used to pick the shortest route from one point to another. Under the Office category, we find QuickOffice applications, used for reading Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Again, you cannot edit any files without upgrading the application, which, of course, costs money. There's also a PDF reader, a notepad, a Zip archivator, a calculator, a currency converter, a voice recorder and a barcode reader.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The Applications submenu offers the interesting feature called Lifeblog, an application that helps bloggers post pictures and information on their blog pages. The Video centre connects the phone to a bigger screen (projector, monitor, or TV) through the TV-out cable, in order to get a better view of the videos. The phone features two 3D games (demo versions) when N-Gage menu is accessed, and the old, now refurbished, Snakes, all of which make a great addition to the entertainment side.

Review image

Review image

Review image

The most thrilling feature of the device is the Motion sensor that grants the device the Automatic rotation ability. This means that, every time you want to use your phone's screen in landscape mode, you'll only need to turn it’s upper left side down, and the interface will automatically reshape in landscape mode. What's more important is that this feature works in almost all menus, and with all programs and applications included with the phone, the only exception being the main screen.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The phone includes everything a user may need on the road or in the office, pre-installed on the handset: email, web, calendar, organizer, IM, office tools, messaging, applications manager, connectivity wizard, synchronization tools, GPS navigator, themes, profiles, and even more. Nokia N82 is definitely a complete tool that will satisfy the needs of any user that purchases it; if not, you can always install your own software applications compatible with Symbian S60 3rd Edition operating system from our database.

Communications

Nokia N82 is a quad band GSM (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) handset, HSDPA compatible, which features GPRS class 32 (107 kbps), EDGE 32 class (296 kbps), High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (57.6 kbps) and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g. Tested on the EDGE and 3G networks, the phone performed a little bit above average, as you can also see in the screenshots. We obtained the best results when testing the WLAN network speed. This proves that the phone can actually reach higher numbers on both EDGE and 3G, but was limited by the operator's network (Orange).

Review image

Review image

The WLAN wizard helps you search and define your WLAN network connection settings. If you want to connect to the Internet, you must first define an Access point (EDGE, WLAN or 3G). You can do that by going to Main menu – Tools – Settings – Connection – Access points, and define which access point to be used whenever a network connection is required (Main menu – Home network – Settings).

Review image

Review image

Other connectivity tools include Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support, and microUSB for PC synchronization (no charging). The Bluetooth connection reached almost 90 KB/s with ease, so you'll be able to transfer data fast. When connecting the USB cable, you'll be able to choose between 4 modes: PC Suite, Data transfer, Image print and Media player. All 4 modes are intuitive and easy to use, so there's nothing more to add here.

Review image

Review image

The built-in GPS receiver features the A-GPS function, which makes localization even faster. I tested the phone even indoors and I didn't have any trouble with satellite signal. The GPS located my position in less than a minute and the strength of the signal was average. When outside, it worked flawlessly in conjunction with the Nokia Maps.

Review image

Review image

In terms of messaging, the phone accepts all available message types but, given the not-so-friendly keypad, it will be hard to enjoy texting. Anyway, the phone includes no less than four message editors, one for each type: SMS, MMS, audio message and e-mail. The message client works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols, and supports more than one email account. Also, it can download headers and supports attachments.

Review image

Review image

The quad-band (GSM 850 / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900) network compatible bar phone has a very good GSM signal reception. Unfortunately, the UMTS signal reception is only at half strength, so I don't recommend accessing it unless you intend to use the phone to browse the Internet or to make data transfers. The sound is above average in quality at both ends, and pretty loud. The vibration alert is also above average in intensity, so you don't really need to set it to higher levels.

Processor and Memory

Nokia N82 is powered by an ARM11 family processor running at speeds of up to 330 Mhz. It is the best choice for the N82 handset, and specific to almost all Nseries devices.

Review image

I haven't experienced any lags when using Java applications or browsing the gallery.

Review image

Review image


Review image

Review image


Review image

Review image


Review image

The handset embeds 100 MB user free internal memory and 128 MB SDRAM memory. Storage space can be expanded up to 8GB through the hot-swappable microSD slot card.

Review image

Review image

The phone comes with a 2GB microSD card, so there's plenty of space for music and pictures.

Review image

Multimedia

I was hoping that N82 would score high in terms of music sound, and I wasn't surprised at all when it really did. The phone performs very well when using another set of headphones than that which Nokia included in the sales package – HS-43. Thanks to the 3.5mm, you'll be able to attach to it any kind of headphones compatible with this kind of port. Still, Nokia N82 is in no way better than most of Sony Ericsson's Walkman series, or even than Nokia's own N81.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The integrated music player looks very cool, but it is no different from N81's, supporting a plethora of file types: MP3, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+, WMA, M4A, as well as playlists. Files can be automatically sorted by artist, genre, and albums. The music player can be easily controlled with the D-pad, as the phone lacks any music controls. If Nokia N81 featured a music player that was always resident in the internal memory and could not be closed no matter what, I think that, this time, Nokia corrected this strange bug, and you'll encounter no problems with closing or minimizing the application. The Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support enables users to listen to music wirelessly.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

The music player features all kinds of options and settings: Equalizer, Visualisation, Balance, Loudness, Stereo Widening, or Shuffle. Some of these settings are also available for the included FM Radio, which can memorize up to 50 base stations. The reception is pretty good, but it lacks the RDS function. Videos can be played with the help of the integrated Real Player application. The video player is fully compatible with both orientations, landscape and portrait, and can run movies in full screen.

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Review image

Battery

The 1050 mAh Li-Ion (BP-6MT) battery has an officially stated life expectancy of 225 hours in standby and of about 4 hours and 20 minutes in talk time mode. What we got was 3 days of use: 40-minute calls per day, 15 minutes of Internet navigation everyday. These numbers are acceptable for an all-in-one tool and will certainly please most users.

Review image

Review image

Impressions

Nokia N82 doesn't impress with its design, but it is one of the most reliable and versatile mobile phones on the market. It has all the latest technologies, lots of high-end features, which are performing at their highest. For those looking for a better N95, I strongly recommend trying the N82, as it exceeds its predecessor in most areas.

The Good

The fact that Nokia N82 features the best camera on the market will not go unnoticed. Nevertheless, if that be the case, then it will be the Finnish manufacturer's fault for not properly advertising one of its best products. HSDPA, 2.4'' display, good battery, good music sound, Wi-Fi are only a few of the strong points of this phone. What can be better than getting an improved N95 at a lower price?

Review image

Review image

The Bad

I guess a bit more work on its design would have attracted more users, making people forget about N95 or N73. A more resistant compound should have been used at manufacture, as the phone has been designed for frequent, full use. Ergonomics is not a word that would define N82, especially with the kind of keypad that Nokia included.

Sales package

Nokia N82 handset
Nokia Battery BP-6MT
Nokia Travel Charger AC-5
Nokia Music Headset HS-43
Nokia Connectivity Cable CA-101
Nokia Video Connectivity Cable CA-75U
Nokia 2GB microSD Card MU-37

Review image

Review image

  
MORE ON THIS TOPIC
LATEST NEWS
HOT RIGHT NOW

13 Comments