Nokia N91

Monday, September 27, 2010

After nearly a year of hype, Nokia has finally released the much-anticipated N91, the first music phone with a whopping 4GB hard drive. This bulky handset has practically every bell and whistle you can think of, including a 2-MP camera, Bluetooth (though not the stereo profile), and Wi-Fi. But is this phone worth $599?

Encased in stainless steel, the Nokia N91 has a smooth, cool-to-the-touch body that's a pleasure to hold. Those who have been spoiled by the RAZR will find this handset a bit bulky, however; the N91 is nearly twice as thick as Motorola's fashion icon. At 5.8 ounces, it's more than 3.5 times heavier than a 4GB iPod nano.
The lower half of the N91's face slides down to reveal an illuminated keypad that's small but provides excellent tactile feedback. Dedicated music controls are well placed and easily accessible using your thumb. The volume keys are located on the phone's left side, which while standard for cell phones makes this music device more awkward to use than an iPod.

A power button is located on the top of the phone, and pressing it revealed a big weakness: a lengthy boot-up time. It took almost a full 30 seconds from turning on the unit to seeing the home screen. While not as smooth as the iPod's scroll wheel, the thumbstick gets the job done. You can access other functions while playing music, but when we snapped photos, the music paused for a few seconds.

On the phone's rear is a 2-MP camera that shoots quality images as large as 1600 x 1200 pixels and video at 352 x 288 pixels. Disappointingly, there's no dedicated camera button; you have to access it from a submenu.

The N91 features standard Symbian smart phone applications like Contacts, Calendar, and To-Do lists, but this mobile's claim to fame is its music capabilities. The 4GB micro hard drive can store 3,000 songs. The N91 supports album art and many popular audio and video formats, but DRM-protected songs that were purchased from Napster didn't play on the N91. Nokia promises an update that will enable compatibility with DRM-protected audio files.

The N91 also packs in an FM radio and a recorder. The included stereo earbuds are hard and unforgiving. Fortunately, the N91 has a 3.5mm jack that allows you to easily sub in a pair of your favorite headphones.

The N91 boasts a variety of connectivity options. While connected to a laptop by USB, Windows XP recognized the N91 as an external hard drive for dragging and dropping files. An included CD contains Nokia PC Suite, which rips and transfers songs, and converts AAC files. You can also send and receive photos and video clips with Bluetooth and pair the N91 with wireless headsets. However, the lack of stereo Bluetooth support is disappointing, especially when consumers can purchase a phone for under $200 that supports the technology.

Getting on the Web with Wi-Fi—a unique feature for non-QWERTY smart phones—was a painless endeavor, thanks to a helpful onscreen guide that assists users to establish a connection. Navigation simply requires typing in the URL once you're in the Web menu, which can be accessed through the menu or active standby. Our favorite sites loaded at a decent clip.

The N91 delivered average voice quality with the occasional drop using a Cingular SIM card. We clocked close to four hours of talk time and about ten hours of music time before needing a recharge. However, those who plan on heavy Web browsing will experience shorter battery life.

Overall, the Nokia N91 is a decent music phone that is showing its age after such a long delay coming to market. While the music and imaging features are quite good, the abysmal boot time, weak multitasking abilities, weight, and astronomical price keep it from achieving superstar status.

Nokia N91 Specification:

Brand / Type
Brand Nokia
Type N91 8GB
Form factor Slide
Color Black
Phone Network EDGE, GPRS, GSM, UMTS (3G)
Service 900, 1800, 1900
Bluetooth v1.2
Infrared No
Wi-Fi (WLAN) Yes
USB 2.0
Fax / Data No
Main display Color TFT
Color display 262.144 colors
Dimensions 1.4x1.6 in.
Resolution 176x208 pixels
External display No
Internal memory 8GB
External memory No
Memory slots No
Storage types No
Battery Lithium Ion 900 mAh (BL-5C)
Standby time 190 hours
Talk time 4 hours
Vibrate alert Yes
Photo ID No
Ringtones Monofone, MP3, Polyfone, Realtone / Truetone
Camera Yes
Megapixels 2.0 megapixels
Maximum photo resolution 1600x1200 pixels
Digital zoom No
Optical zoom No
Auto focus No
Flash Yes
Recording video Yes
Second (front) camera No
T9 text function Yes
E-mail Yes
Internet browsing Yes
FM radio Yes
Java Yes
Audio player AAC, MP3
Video player MPEG4
Add ringtones Yes
Organiser Calculator, Calendar, Reminders, Document viewer
Video call No
Other features Built in hands free, Voice dial, Voice memo
Weight 5.8 oz.
Dimensions (H x W x D) 4.5x2.2x0.9 in.


Post a Comment