dscn4100-smallThe N85, is the second Nseries phone being reviewed on this blog. Let me tell you a little about the N85. The N85 is supposed to be a successor to the N81, though some people believe it to be a successor to the N95.

The N85 stole the thunder from the N96, which is the flagship Nokia device currently, by providing similar and better features as the N96. The battle was now not with the Sony Ericssons and the Samgungs. It was with the N96 for the N85.

Let me tell you about the N85 as I see it, without getting into the history. But first, a big thanks to good people at WOM World, for making it available to me for review purposes.


The design of the N85 seems like an evolution of the N81’s design. The N85 is definitely better looking than the N81. It is definitely slimmer than the N95 and also more rounded too. I must be honest and tell you that I haven’t seen such a compact Nseries since the N76. When compared to the N96, the N85 is like a breath of fresh air. It’s that good!

The only thing that the recent Nseries have got a problem with is the glossy finish. It looks good, but the minute anyone holds it in the hand, its transformed into this fingerprint magnet. The mocha colour along with black front, gives a great refreshing look. It definitely looks ‘unique’.I’m dearly grateful to Nokia for having the keys or buttons at the sides in the same colour and not something else.

The keys below the slider (soft keys and menu and ‘C’ keys) are not visible when the phone is switched off or when it is not in use. Something that was first seen on the N78. I don’t whether I should like it or dislike it, because the keys or buttons are spaced out well, but despite that there seems to be a lot of space, which could have been used to make those keys a wee bit bigger.

I am grateful that Nokia did not put that music keys setup around the D-pad. I absolutely hated it on the N96. The N85 is an all plastic affair in terms of the body, but I must say that the quality of plastic is definitely good.

There were a few things that I did not like on the N85.

  • Firstly, the slider function is not nearly as smooth as the N96’s slider action. The slider for the music keys is extremely hard for some reason as if there is no spring.
  • Secondly, the music keys are too small, the keys could have been easily made bigger and thereby more friendly.
  • Thirdly, the black portion, which houses the call and end keys along with the menu and ‘C’ keys, below the screen is already peeling off.
  • And lastly, the camera key is spongy and a little too ‘fragile’, meaning that I could not figure out the difference between pressing the key half way for focusing and pressing it outright to click a snap. I have already mentioned the glossy finish above.

To round it off, I think the N85 is a distinct leap ahead from the N81, N95 and in in some ways even the N96. But overall, there is still some scope for improvement. I hope the newly announced N86 addresses them all.

Overall I think the N85 scores good by amassing a total of 8.2/10. In terms of design, the N85 is really a challenger to N96’s title. it just needs those last few things to be addressed quickly.