A few months ago, I compared three 5 megapixel camera phones with auto-focus and flash – the i-mobile 902, the Nokia N95, and the Sony Ericsson K850i.
I concluded that:
- The i-mobile 902 was the best camera overall
- The Nokia N95 was the best camera for my purposes
- The Sony Ericsson K850i was the best camera for most people
Enter yet another 5 megapixel camera phone with auto-focus, macro and flash, the Nokia N82.
Now that I’ve used the N82 camera extensively (see pictures above), how does it fit into the picture (pun intended)?
Well it definitely improves upon the N95 camera in terms of features by offering a xenon flash, faster startup time, and faster auto-focus (as well as providing a lens cover, which is missing on the Nokia N95-3).
It matches the K850i camera in terms of features with the brighter xenon flash and quick operation, and beats it in terms of performance with the better Carl Zeiss optics and richer colors.
However, it still lags behind the i-mobile 902 camera in terms of sensor noise and low-light performance.
The N82 beats the K850i in video performance (VGA vs. QVGA resolution), but the K850i trumps the N82 when the time comes to upload pictures (tri-band HSDPA). Also, the N82 is a smartphone, whereas the K850i is a feature phone.
1) The i-mobile 902 is the best camera overall, but is limited in terms of phone features
2) The Nokia N82 is the best camera for people who want a smartphone with a xenon flash – the Nokia N95 is the best camera for people who (like me) want a smartphone with (US compatible) HSDPA
3) The Sony Ericsson K850i is the best camera for people who want a feature phone
I’d seriously consider retiring my N95-3 for a version of the N82 with US-compatible HSDPA. Are you paying attention, Nokia?