Comparitive review: Nokia N95 vs. Sony Ericsson P990

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MobileXpert have done an pretty indepth comparitive review of Nokia N95 and Sony Ericsson P990. Although N95 wins this one pretty comfortably, they have promissed a better and more indepth comapritive review between N95 and SE P1 once it is out. Till then, here you go :

Disclaimer: I do know that it’s not fair to compare these two phones, but fear not, as I will do a comparative review of P1 and N95 in a short time, that will be a bit bigger than this one and more thorough, as this one isn’t that thorough.
It might not seem fair to compare a 1-year old phone with a new one. And it really isn’t, but due to the many resemblances and cons/pros in both phones and to actually see, what happens in a year, I’m doing it anyway.

Phone features
Nokia N95 can connect to other devices in many ways; WLAN (b/g), Bluetooth, EDGE, 3G, 3.6 mbit/s HSDPA & mini USB. In comparison P990’s fastest mobile network connection is 3G. It does have WLAN, too, although it ‘only’ operates at the b-standard.
N95 will automatically prompt you about internet usage, dataprofiles and such, if you wish to connect to the internet. This is not the case with P990, and has cost me a lot of money, when switching from WLAN to 3G without any notice.
IP-telephony is possible on both handsets, although the setup is easier on N95. P990 requires a third part application - like fring - to do VoIP-calls.
Sound quality-wise both phones are very good. The volume is loud and clear, although N95’s is a notch louder and more full. Anyhow, the P990 is clearly the best one for talking, because there is room between the speaker and the screen. On N95 it’s just flat, which makes it a bit uncomfortable.
The phone book is excellent in both phones, and you can enter almost any information about every contact. N95 has a small advantage, because it has more settings, gives you a better overview and is faster.
E-mail and messages can be used in both phones, and this is where P990 is showing muscles by having its full QWERTY-keyboard and excellent messaging possibilities. E-mail setup is easiest on N95, which can have you ready to go in just seconds, but once the P990 is set up, it leaves as a winner. Besides N95 is acting a bit weird with Gmail mails and didn’t want to delete them, once asked.
For normal texting (MMS & SMS) both phones are working just fine, but again P990 has a clear advantage with its keyboard. N95 is again faster on opening the messaging application, though. P990 has some advanced layout features and extra features such as smiley-support, which N95 doesn’t have.
Nokia N95

Multimedia & features
Both phones were developed as being multimedia giants! Nokia N95 features a GPS and a 5-megapixel camera, while P990 has a huge touchscreen and well developed messaging possibilites.
On the camera side of things, you’ll quickly notice, that P990 has a camera resolution about 2½ times lower than N95’s. Both phones have auto focus, and while P990’s pictures are a bit colorless and borring - however very real-like - N95 has really nice colors. N95 is a bit slow, when it comes to saving pictures (and starting the camera application, for that matter!) in comparison to the semi-veteran P990. In general they have about the same amount of settings, but the ‘collection’ of settings is different, i.e. P990 has frame support, while N95 has manual ISO-configuring.
Both can record videos, but N95 does it in a resolution four times bigger than P990’s - VGA-resolution. And to top that, it does it with 30 frames per second, while P990 tops at 15 fps. The results are quite good, and can be used for viewing on the TV.
The music player in the phones are very much alike. They pretty much do the same thing, and the sound quality is definitely approved in both cases. However, the bundled headset, that comes with N95, are of very bad quality, and should be replaced as soon as possible. Also, sometimes when editing the settings AND playing music at the same time at N95, it lags a bit. Quite irritating.
Winner: Nokia N95
Operating system
Both phones use the same operating system - Symbian OS 9. However, there’s a twist, as P990 uses version 9.1 and N95 uses version 9.2. Also, the user interface is different, as P990 uses the so called UIQ 3-platform and N95 uses S60 3rd edition with Feature Pack 1.This means, that although they use the same operating system, they don’t look like each other.
Symbian is probably the most advanced mobile operating system, and with it you can install a lot of third party applications and games. More are available for S60 than UIQ, though.
Winner: Nokia N95
User experience
It’s pretty obvious that N95’s user interface has been developed through many years and is definitely more userfriendly than P990’s. Nokia’s S60 interface is very initiative - even old Nokia users would be able to use it. UIQ on the other hand is a bit hard getting used to. You’ve got to learn how to use it first, but after that it’s working very well, too.
It’s a nice thing, that you can press on e.g. the battery icon on P990, and it’ll tell you how much power there’s left on the battery, while writing a text message or doing a call. You can also press other things in the interface - i.e. the clock to bring the dato and time settings or the signal strength to change network settings.
Winner: Nokia N95
Material and build quality
If you just look at the design of the phones, N95 would probably win. It looks hot and seducing. And it is, until you get it in your palm and feels the poor build quality, which really isn’t something to write home about. The slider mechanism is actually working pretty well, but there’s some space between the top and the lower part of the phone, which definitely shouldn’t be there. Especially not, when dealing with such an expensive phone! Shame on you, Nokia.
P990 is one of the most classy business phones, I’ve ever seen. And it’s durable! I’ve tossed mine into the walls and floor many times (well, not on purpose!) without anything happening to it. More than many times, have I feared that all hope would be out for the screen, but no sir, it’s survived every time.
N95 is made of plastic, and it might feel a bit cheap. Especially the purple edition, in my opinion. P990 is partially made of plastic and metal (the frame around the screen is metal), which gives it a good feel. However, I’ve actually been shocked a few times, when it was charging in the USB dock. Nothing serious, just a small shock.
Winner: Sony Ericsson P990

It’s pretty obvious that N95 is playing a muscle game in almost every categori. But it doesn’t scare the Swedish-Japanese opponent P990, which is right behind N95 almost all the way through. If you’ve got a nice, thick wallet, then you should go for N95 - if it’s a bit skinny and suffers from anorexia, you should go for P990. N95 costs about twice as much as P990, yet they’re not that far apart. Impressive.
Overall winner: Nokia N95

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