In 3 months of ownership, I snapped nearly 1000 pictures with my Nokia N85, US version, including some truly great ones! That covers most of the pictures taken during my holiday road trip to New Orleans.
Right about now, you probably expect me to write a glowing review of the N85 camera, but I can’t – it’s pretty nice, but it’s not good enough.
Color balance is fine. Exposure, while sometimes off, is generally decent. But low-light performance is plagued with noise – I’m not sure if this is a firmware problem that can be fixed with future updates, or a hardware limitation related to sensor size.
No matter the reason, it’s a show-stopper, and it’s extremely disappointing! When I first played with the N85 last summer it seemed like a better flagship than the N96, and a logical replacement for my N95-3. I wrote:
Take the awesome N95-3, add a lens cover, add European 3G (in addition to US 3G), add USB charging, replace the single LED flash with a dual ultra-bright LED unit, replace the LCD with an OLED screen, and make it a lot thinner. That’s the N85, and after playing with it in Helsinki, I can’t wait to replace my N95-3 :)
The lens cover is a necessary addition. Tri-band 3G is really useful, and hopefully destined to become a standard feature on all future Nseries devices.
USB charging is great until you find out it’s somehow incompatible with any generic USB (home/car) charger other than Nokia’s. The OLED screen looks beautiful (if not a bit warm in color) until you use the phone in direct sunlight…
– Lens cover
– Dual LED flash
– Poor low-light performance
– OLED screen difficult to read in direct sunlight
– Slow picture viewer
The N85 camera looks good on paper, but beware of specs. Although the N85 is a very nice phone overall, I ended up somewhat regretting the sale of my N95-3.