Firstly I’m sorry for such a long sabbatical from blogging. I’ve been busy with a lot of things lately. A couple of days back I bought a new PC- a netbook actually. I bought the Asus EeePC 1000H at a really cool price (at least in India) and I’ve been busy getting it up to the condition I need. In fact this review has been written on it.

Well lets get back to what this blog and this post is about, phones and in particular the N85. Now I’m sure you have read about the first two parts of the N85’s review (click here for the first part and here for the second part).

N85-1For this post I shall concentrate on the factors that can make or break a device in an instant. First, it’s the Software.


Now the N85 has the famous S60 OS doing duty inside it. The S60 on  the N85 is quite different from the N96’s, though both were V3 with FP2. It seemed that the N85 seems to have a better rendition of the S60 within it compared to the flagship N96. I wonder why it is so? N85-4The transitions on it are reminiscent of the N78’s transition effects. I thought that this version of the S60 to be really good. It’s more fluid than the N96’s transition effects.

Tilt the screen and the screen adapts to the new dimensions almost instantaneously and it’s a pleasure watching the N85 transition from landscape to portrait.

N85-2If you have read my post on the N96’s software (click here to check it out), you will see how the S60 V3 with FP2 is different and definitely an evolution from the FP1. The N85 is very much the same. there is however but one difference, the Active Standby. The Active Standby on the N85 seems a step ahead and is a ‘real’ step forward. if you saw, the there were only 4 icons on the N96’s Active Standby. vis-a-vis the N85 which has a full complement of icons in the Active Standby, 7 to be precise. With these 7 (configurable) icons you can pretty much do everything you want on the phone. Wonder why the N96 could not have such an implementation.N85-15

I would give the N85 a very high 9.5/10 in this parameter.


N85-9Now music is one place where the N85 really disappointed me. With the memory of the N96 fresh in my mind (and ears too :P), I was expecting something similar, but was letdowwn, the N85 performs nicely but it lack that ‘wow’ factor. Personally the N82 is much better here on both counts, viz. the speakers and the headphones.

N85-5The N85’s speakers aren’t made for listening to songs, and I thought that it could have been much better. It lacked any depth and every song sounded pretty much flat to me on the speakers. But when you connect the headphones, you realise a marked difference in the sound, though it’s still lacking that punch. I was left waiting for something like that to hit me.

N85-8What this means is that, if you are looking at using this as your MP3 player, you could probably use it, but it just can’t replace that 2GB sansa clip or iPod shuffle. Also since my N82 performed even better on both counts I was left wondering what went wrong with the N85 then?

A rather poor 6/10 for the N85’s music capabilities. Really thought a lot was lacking here.


07032009793-smallBattery is the one place where the N85 reclaimed itself. with a huge battery, I was expecting it to perform really well and it did not disappoint, I got close to 2.5 days on regular usage and even with heavy usage I was able to get 2 days worth of battery life (the screen brightness cranked to max.). The N85 has superior energy management systems in place. The addition of a ‘Power saving’ option allowed me to stretch the phone’s battery life to about 3 days.

07032009794-smallI think this makes the N85 a worth buy. My N82 lasts me about 2 days with light usage and about a day if I used it heavily. I don’t one needs to even ask where the N96 falls. The N85 gets a very high 9.2/10 from me on this parameter. A good battery life means that it allows you to do more.

07032009795-smallI won’t give you a list of what I did to get battery life like this, just go to the N96’s review on the same parameters and scroll down you will get an idea. The screen brightness on the N85 was max.


N85-3The screen is another area which needs an extensive post, but I won’t do that, I’m sure you know how good AM-OLED is compared to the traditional TFT screens. in case you don’t a quick ‘Google’ will throw a lot of information towards you. the AM-OLED screen allows you to see more clearly with better contrast. In the sun however, you just cannot read anything on the screen. Tilt the phone and the screen’s orientation also changes quickly. The phone’s screen is definitely a must have for all phones. I love it, it makes my N82 look like an ancient baby. the N96’s 2.8″ screen in AM-OLED would have been very ‘revolutionary’ for the company. the N85’s screen is a comfortable 2.6″ screen and is capable of reproducing 16.7 million colours like all the other smartphones’ screen. I think the N85 deserves a 9.5/10. Simply marvelous.