Nokia N82

Nokia's latest N-series handset combines the form factor of the N73 and the feature set of the N95 into one powerful camera-phone package.


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When details of the N82 were first released we wondered if this could be the camera phone we had been waiting for. Finally, after watching our colleagues in Asia and the UK enjoying this phone, it's landed in Australia and we've had a chance to get our grubby little paws on it, smearing the reflective stainless steel surface in the process.

Design
Unboxing the N82 is a tiny bit underwhelming. The stainless steel fascia immediately reminded us of Sony Ericsson's super-stylish and super-slim W890i, but the N82's chunky form factor ends the similarities. If the N82 had been released 12 or 18 months ago we'd have looked past the N82's thick frame, but in 2008 the N82 is one noticeably hefty handset, nearly identical in size to the much older N73.

Next we encountered the ridiculously tiny keys. Similarly unusable slivers left the mobile world shaking their heads when Sony Ericsson incorporated them on the W880i last year. To see the same lousy design element 12 months on had us rolling our eyes in disapproval. These keys are uncomfortable to use and owners of the N82 will complain about them until the day they thoughtfully recycle their N82 handsets.

Thick frames and stupidly-sized keys aside, the N82 is still quite a stylish looking phone. The front and sides of the handset are a pleasant mixture of reflective and matte-finished stainless steel, and the back is beige plastic with a subtle herringbone patterning; interrupted by the hulking big camera module. The N82 also comes in a piano-black finish, similar to the N81 and the N95 8GB, which we saw a few months back.

Nokia have side-stepped a few common design hurdles by placing the micro SD card slot on the side of the phone — for swift swapping of memory — and having included a 3.5mm headphone port at the top of the handset. Both of these features are desirable and necessary on a media-focused N-series device.

Features
If you've been eagerly awaiting the release of the N82 it's probably for one reason: the 5-megapixel camera. It features a similar Carl Zeiss lens system as the ever-popular N95, but improves on it with the assistance of a Xenon flash. On the software side, the N82's camera features nearly as many settings and adjustments as we saw in LG's Viewty. Between scene modes (a combination of numerous camera settings), image size, white balance and flash settings you have more than enough control to take excellent snaps.

While the camera is superb, the N82 is far from a one trick pony, and the comparisons to the N95 don't stop at the Carl Zeiss shooter. We know that Nokia is ramping up its mobile content services this year and to take advantage of this, the N82 also features HSDPA data (3.6 Mbps) for over-the-air downloads, and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) connectivity for dodging mobile data charges at Wi-Fi hotspots. The built-in Nokia Web browser is Web 2.0 compatible and works well, even if page navigation with the five-way nav key is a bit tedious.

The N82 also features a GPS receiver, plus Nokia Maps v1.3 (although be aware that turn by turn voice guidance costs extra). Running on Nokia's S60 Symbian operating system means if you don't like Nokia Maps you can easily replace it with other mapping software of your choosing.

A not-so-common feature that enhances both Web browsing and Nokia Maps, plus just about every other application on the phone, is the built-in accelerometer — technology that switches the display from portrait mode to landscape when you tip the phone on its side. The 2.4-inch QVGA display is fantastic, especially when you maximise your screen real estate in landscape view.

Performance
Before we continue, a quick announcement: this is the best camera in a phone currently available. This fact may change by mid-year with everyone, including Nokia, releasing a slew of 5-megapixel camera phones, but for the moment the N82 takes the cake. The image processing is lightning fast, and the pictures we took were uniformly sharp and colourful.

Nokia is constantly improving the performance of their handsets running S60, and the N82 is no exception. Menu performance is fluid and lag-free; a marked improvement on S60 handsets from this time last year. Call quality and messaging is second to none. USB data transfers, particularly music, can be a little slow and tedious using Nokia's PC Suite, but overall the job is done well and the music sounds good, with the 3.5mm headphone jack offering the opportunity to use your favourite headphones with this handset.

Battery life is a bit concerning, being only marginally better than the power hungry N95. With light to moderate use during tests we saw between a day and a half and two days between charges. Add some GPS mapping and Wi-Fi use and you could expect to charge the phone at the end of each day, which is less than ideal.

Overall
The N82 is caught somewhere between being best-in-show and standard Nokia fare. Its excellent features and performance are offset by some thoughtless design and its lowly battery life. For people who want the very best camera in their phone then the decision should be simple, however, others who'd prefer more usable buttons and for the pockets not to bulge, may choose to wait for the next batch of Nokias when they arrive mid-year. There's no doubt that those who look passed the design flaws will enjoy a full featured handset.

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ArminH posted a comment   

I still have it since 4 years but retired:), i had the display and the mainboard replaced 2 months before the guarantee expiry, the battery life is very bad even when you don't go online, i changed the battery at least 3 times, it's heavy, thick and the keys are not comfortable.

 

as castomar posted a comment   

how much it is?

joeb1468
7
Rating
 

joeb1468 posted a review   

The Good:camera and flash

The Bad:battery life, slow sometimes

not a bad phone

Al
9
Rating
 

Al posted a review   

The Good:camera and size. easy opperation and great programs like panoman.

The Bad:previously owned a n73 and was realy happy with the mp3 player, miss it with its more standard mp3 prog, although the headphone jack was an 'about time' addition.

have had the n82 for 9 months, geat phone but feel a little bit out of date with this phone not having a large touch screen. this phone will do me till I am happy with a design of a large touch screen mobile.. preferably one similar in shape to the new n97 but whos screen folds inwards towards the keyboard. sick of the scrached screens, and having to watch what items can share a pocket with it.. eg:car keys

kazgti
9
Rating
 

kazgti posted a review   

The Good:everything

The Bad:nothing

Previously owned n95-1 and 8gb but prefer the n82 over both. Camera better, music player just as good, keypad no problem at all, headphone jack on top edge of phone, and in my opinion feels better made.

****
1
Rating
 

**** posted a review   

The Good:hahaha

The Bad:cracked screen many times poor designe, pathetic service and staff.

Piece of crap. Just like the Nokia People. Short story of mine: cell 2 months old- cracked lcd, no warranty repair cost $135.
Cell 4 months old- camera door dead warranty repair 4 days- got back the phone ...well... camera working, BUT nobody can hear me, they f..ed up the microphone-1 hour drive back to service-3 days-got back the phone-two weeks later cracked lcd( same place:right bottom)- back to Hurstville again, this time $130, 4 days, wanted to pick up the phone BUT discovered a HUGE GAP between the lcd cover and the cell. Got really **** hahaha they told to me to left the cell and come back again- I was wery close to beat up the indian service manager- got promised: will fix ASAP and send to u by courier...hm...its been 5 days...still waiting.Never mind tomorrow I'll go there...just watch the news guys...
NEVER EVER NOKIA AGAIN

 

Aveen posted a comment   

Ibought N82 4 MONTHS AGO IN KURDISTAN IN IRAQ BUT NOW TTE BLOTOTH DOESNOT WORK AND SOME TIMES EVERY THING WILL BE STOP!IT IS EVERY THING BUT NO MOBILE!

Chrisj
1
Rating
 

Chrisj posted a review   

The Good:Worked well until screen died.

The Bad:Nokia wont stand by their product.

Screen cracked spontaneously after 4 months. Nokia wants $160. Last Nokia I will ever buy.

Muz
9
Rating
 

Muz posted a review   

The Good:Camera and Video - definately.
Looks pretty good too.

The Bad:Size.

The best Nokia I have had so far... I know I am a bit late with this review but only 2 things to mention -1) I agree with you , I wish the size was 20-25% smaller. 2) However, I totally disagree about your keyboard keys comments, These are the type of keys I was looking for. Most mobiles I have had have flat (or barely raised keys) which when I use them I always manage to hit the surrounding keys and then need to correct. The N82 design lets me actually push the correct keys without interference from the others. I suspect Nokia made this connection. I like it. They are accurate and distinct. Maybe I have fat fingers.

wolf3188
5
Rating
 

wolf3188 posted a review   

The Good:specs

The Bad:price
design
performance

looks like a candybar n95 thats even uglier and has crappy battery life


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User Reviews / Comments  Nokia N82

  • ArminH

    ArminH

    "I still have it since 4 years but retired:), i had the display and the mainboard replaced 2 months before the guarantee expiry, the battery life is very bad even when you don't go online, i changed..."

  • as castomar

    as castomar

    "how much it is?"

  • joeb1468

    joeb1468

    Rating7

    "not a bad phone"

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