Nokia N95 continues to impress but GPS sucks on it

My Nokia N95 continues to impress. I took it out and shot some pictures at sunset. Can your camera phone make images like this one? Here’s my entire Flickr stream. I’m using Shozu to get images up to Flickr automatically from the phone.

Some other thoughts? I love my readers. They tend to let me know where I’ll hit trouble spots before I even know about them. Several people said the battery life and GPS sucks in the Nokia N95. My battery life has been fine, but then I charge it every night. I don’t think it’d survive more than two days without a charge. The GPS? Frustrating to use. You’ve gotta be outside and even then it takes several minutes to get a “fix.”

Since that’s one feature the iPhone doesn’t have, that tells me that Steve Jobs was probably smart in leaving GPS off of the iPhone.

But the camera in this thing is awesome. It even autofocuses and has a little LED flash, both features that the iPhone doesn’t have.

It’s the one reason why I’ll probably keep the N95. Having a cell phone camera that’s pretty good matters a LOT to me. But, to Maryam? Not at all. So she’ll probably end up with the iPhone cause she needs a new phone anyway.

Oh, and yesterday I was over at Adobe meeting with its new blogger/evangelist Ryan Stewart. I shot an image of a bunch of wires overhead and Kevin Devin wrote in the Flickr comments “Geek Porn.” Heheh.

Other things I’m running: Google’s Mobile Maps, which now includes traffic data for Silicon Valley. That really rocks. A lot more than the GPS in the phone (although I wish the GPS worked better and was hooked up with Google’s maps).

Comments

  1. The first link (this one) points to a story about Rocketboom….is that what you intended? Nice pics by the way.

  2. The first link (this one) points to a story about Rocketboom….is that what you intended? Nice pics by the way.

  3. How come nobody has covered the fact that Loren’s site 1938media.com has been hacked and hijacked by a Russian crook since yesterday? It attempts to load something from the site m-gallery.org which has in it’s directories stolen keylogs.

  4. How come nobody has covered the fact that Loren’s site 1938media.com has been hacked and hijacked by a Russian crook since yesterday? It attempts to load something from the site m-gallery.org which has in it’s directories stolen keylogs.

  5. What carrier are you with? and how fast is your data connection? snappy? does the N95 pick up some 3G network?

    I’m doubting between the N95 and the iPhone myself… Network access is high on my list.

  6. What carrier are you with? and how fast is your data connection? snappy? does the N95 pick up some 3G network?

    I’m doubting between the N95 and the iPhone myself… Network access is high on my list.

  7. Niels: I’m with Cingular. The phone works better on the Web than my old Cingular 2125 phone. But, it will certainly be interesting to compare this with the iPhone since the iPhone supposedly has a better Web browser (according to the TV commercials I’ve seen).

  8. Niels: I’m with Cingular. The phone works better on the Web than my old Cingular 2125 phone. But, it will certainly be interesting to compare this with the iPhone since the iPhone supposedly has a better Web browser (according to the TV commercials I’ve seen).

  9. I don’t get what is so hard about plugging in your phone everynight. I have to do that with my treo. I plan to do that with my iphone.

    I just hope the thing has a good alarm clock on it. The Treo doesn’t but I can add my own software. Found a nice clock app called Palmary Clock wireless. I hope someone from the iphone team reads this and borrows some features. ;-)

  10. I don’t get what is so hard about plugging in your phone everynight. I have to do that with my treo. I plan to do that with my iphone.

    I just hope the thing has a good alarm clock on it. The Treo doesn’t but I can add my own software. Found a nice clock app called Palmary Clock wireless. I hope someone from the iphone team reads this and borrows some features. ;-)

  11. Funny thing about the iPhone — NOTHING has been said or demoed regarding it’s built-in camera.

    As a photo enthusiast, nothing gets me riled up more than seeing folks lined up at an event and taking (what turn out to be) crappy cell phone pictures with teeny focal lengths.

    My bet is that Apple probably thought the same thing — doing a camera they could be proud of would not be possible in that tiny form factor, and the geeks that get the iPhone would most likely have a great digital compact anyhow.

  12. Funny thing about the iPhone — NOTHING has been said or demoed regarding it’s built-in camera.

    As a photo enthusiast, nothing gets me riled up more than seeing folks lined up at an event and taking (what turn out to be) crappy cell phone pictures with teeny focal lengths.

    My bet is that Apple probably thought the same thing — doing a camera they could be proud of would not be possible in that tiny form factor, and the geeks that get the iPhone would most likely have a great digital compact anyhow.

  13. Is it actually the N95 GPS or just GPS in general. Every GPS receiver I’ve used requires you to be outside (I believe you need line of sight to the satellites to get a good signal) and have taken anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes to get a fix, depending on where I was. I use to use GPS while teaching Outdoor Science School up in Felton, right above Santa Cruz, and it was really tricky due to the Redwood trees not allowing line of sight to the sky.

  14. Is it actually the N95 GPS or just GPS in general. Every GPS receiver I’ve used requires you to be outside (I believe you need line of sight to the satellites to get a good signal) and have taken anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes to get a fix, depending on where I was. I use to use GPS while teaching Outdoor Science School up in Felton, right above Santa Cruz, and it was really tricky due to the Redwood trees not allowing line of sight to the sky.

  15. Robert – Try installing Nokia SportsTracker. It seems to connect the quickest with GPS. The Maps app takes forever as does MGMaps (mentioned above as a replacement for Google Maps with GPS). Once you’ve got GPS running in SportsTracker you can then GEO-Tag your images with Shozu automagically as well.

  16. Robert – Try installing Nokia SportsTracker. It seems to connect the quickest with GPS. The Maps app takes forever as does MGMaps (mentioned above as a replacement for Google Maps with GPS). Once you’ve got GPS running in SportsTracker you can then GEO-Tag your images with Shozu automagically as well.

  17. “Can your camera phone make images like this one?”

    Yes. But who would want to? That’s a perfect example of why cell phone cameras suck.

  18. “Can your camera phone make images like this one?”

    Yes. But who would want to? That’s a perfect example of why cell phone cameras suck.

  19. Oh…I love my Nokia Sports Tracker. Combining with the music player, it is exactly what I need. If I had an arm band to carry the N95, that would be perfect.

    Another essential app is the internet browser. I am now so used to surfing while lying on my sofa with my N95 via WiFi.

  20. Oh…I love my Nokia Sports Tracker. Combining with the music player, it is exactly what I need. If I had an arm band to carry the N95, that would be perfect.

    Another essential app is the internet browser. I am now so used to surfing while lying on my sofa with my N95 via WiFi.

  21. The automatic geotagging that Shozu is doing looks really cool. Also shows up the inaccuracy of the GPS though with this shot of yours…

  22. Robert, I was the first to point out to you that GPS chipset in N95 is weak. Clearly you cannot blame GPS in general but only the GPS chipset used in N95 – several Windows Mobile phones for example use SiRF STAR III chipset that is super sensitive and is gettin fix very quickly and sometimes even you don’t have to go outdoors to get fix – being close to a window suffices.

    So don’t blame GPS as such but only a cheapo/poor implementation of GPS in N95!!!

  23. Robert, I was the first to point out to you that GPS chipset in N95 is weak. Clearly you cannot blame GPS in general but only the GPS chipset used in N95 – several Windows Mobile phones for example use SiRF STAR III chipset that is super sensitive and is gettin fix very quickly and sometimes even you don’t have to go outdoors to get fix – being close to a window suffices.

    So don’t blame GPS as such but only a cheapo/poor implementation of GPS in N95!!!

  24. Robert, a good tip to grab a quick GPS fix was detailed by Darla Mack at her mobile diva blog. There’s images etc over at her blog but you basically do the following

    Open maps > skip the zoom in > options > view > satellite info

    This will show you white bars if it has found a satellite but hasn’t yet fixed, and solid black bars if it has made a fix, with his open the device usually hurries itself along, I can get a fix within 30 seconds a lot of the time using this method, and if it is having trouble with getting one because of high buildings etc, you’ll be able to see straight out because the bars wont be turning black. Hope that helps.

  25. Robert, a good tip to grab a quick GPS fix was detailed by Darla Mack at her mobile diva blog. There’s images etc over at her blog but you basically do the following

    Open maps > skip the zoom in > options > view > satellite info

    This will show you white bars if it has found a satellite but hasn’t yet fixed, and solid black bars if it has made a fix, with his open the device usually hurries itself along, I can get a fix within 30 seconds a lot of the time using this method, and if it is having trouble with getting one because of high buildings etc, you’ll be able to see straight out because the bars wont be turning black. Hope that helps.

  26. […] down.  My recommendation, which means absolutely nothing, wait for iPhone 2.0 or just buy the Nokia N95.  Enough of my pandering to the Apple PR […]

  27. It is far better than iPhone, for two reason
    a) Better international support, since Nokia is a well known player in most of the markets.
    b) Amount of widgets, or third party software available for Symbian S60 are more than what Apple have to offer.

  28. It is far better than iPhone, for two reason
    a) Better international support, since Nokia is a well known player in most of the markets.
    b) Amount of widgets, or third party software available for Symbian S60 are more than what Apple have to offer.

  29. The GPS on my N95 generally locks within 30 seconds, from cold boot. I look at the ‘Satelite info’ and I agree with other posters that for some reason when youre looking at the bars it seems to lock quicker. But more importantly, if Ill be using it frequently that day, I start the ‘GPS data’ app (found under the tools menu), and leave it running in the background. (It consumes the least memory i.e. lower than nokia sports tracker, and lower than nokia maps.) Then, every time I open another GPS app, I have a instant lock!

  30. The GPS on my N95 generally locks within 30 seconds, from cold boot. I look at the ‘Satelite info’ and I agree with other posters that for some reason when youre looking at the bars it seems to lock quicker. But more importantly, if Ill be using it frequently that day, I start the ‘GPS data’ app (found under the tools menu), and leave it running in the background. (It consumes the least memory i.e. lower than nokia sports tracker, and lower than nokia maps.) Then, every time I open another GPS app, I have a instant lock!

  31. N95 is good, but not good enough. After a few hundred pics, there will be a delay of 4-5 seconds between when you press the button and the image is shot. Unacceptable. But since this only happens after a while and when you have taken some pics, clueless and naive journalists and bloggers overlook construction errors like these. I bet that the iPhone will be extremely snappy.

  32. N95 is good, but not good enough. After a few hundred pics, there will be a delay of 4-5 seconds between when you press the button and the image is shot. Unacceptable. But since this only happens after a while and when you have taken some pics, clueless and naive journalists and bloggers overlook construction errors like these. I bet that the iPhone will be extremely snappy.

  33. Is there a GPS program for the N 95 with maps and directions that will work that does not have to be connected to the internet? If yes where and what?

  34. Is there a GPS program for the N 95 with maps and directions that will work that does not have to be connected to the internet? If yes where and what?