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Holidaying with the Nokia N95

Guest writer Nick Raets (raets.nl -usual character here- gmail.com) was tremendously impressed by his new Nokia N95 while on holiday recently. Sensing a kindred spirit, I asked him to list some of the uses he put the N95 to. We hope you find them of interest!

Over to you, Nick:

Marking your car park spot

Marking your car parking spot!

Car park notingThe new Maps 1.1 (linked here, as the official download appears to have vanished temporarily) with firmware 12.0.013 is perfect. It is so fast (with the Assisted GPS system) that you can mark the place where you park your car, without your family getting annoyed by the delay.

Every day I saved the parking spot as the "date.x" (as you can see I was near the Belgium coast (in Knokke the entire beach has wifi which can be used for VoipingCheap).

Taking great photos

Returning home, I have a lot of pictures. Nicer ones than on my standalone camera because these photos capture the right moments, because the N95 is always around when I need it. Back in my hotel I used the TV-out cable to show off the photos and videos from each day on the hotel room television.

Photo 1

No laptop needed!

I also used the TV-out facility for a better screen for keeping in touch with the world. With hotel Wi-Fi and the Nokia Wireless Keyboard I was able to surf the Web and respond to my emails just as if I was at home.

TV out on the Nokia N95 - who needs a laptop?

Beach music

On the beach, I listened to music (with the BH-501 Bluetooth headset). Nokia really knows what people want. I now 'get' the funny movie about other equipment attacking. I have now ordered the 4GB memory card and think this will be sufficient for me.

Battery life

I didn't have any major issues with this, but for 'power jobs' you should definitely stay 'cord-on'. While navigating in the car I always use a 12V car power lead, and for surfing on the web in my hotel room, I also plugged the charger in. With these precautions, I had no problems each day.

Overall, during the week I made over 300 photos and filmed for more than an hour. I also had push-mail (Seven AOMIE) on all the time and used VoIP (VoipCheap) whenever I could find a free Wi-Fi router (often near internet- bars or where MGMaps indicated a Fonero).

The battery of the N95 is, even with the new gadgets, much better than the battery of the N80 ever was (even on firmware 4.0x etc.)

VideosVideo watching

We tried to watch a movie using the N95 in the hotel room when nothing was on the television. Unfortunately, the beta DivX player had too many sound sync issues (it kept getting behind). Maybe I should try SmartMovie or the Nokia Video Manager for my next holidays.

However, my wife did enjoy Steve's Smartphones Show programmes 38 and 39, which I grabbed via Wi-Fi. The Smartphones Show can be viewed perfectly on the N95, but it's even better when watching on a TV screen (with friends) using the TV out cable.

Photo reminders

I did take pictures of flyers (not for 'ScanR-purposes', but as a reminder) and of the odd menu (a great way of taking a menu back to the beach to read to other family members).

Reading RS feeds in OperaStaying up to date with RSS

After using Widsets for a while, I changed to Opera, mainly because the RSS feeds are sorted on time and make nicer (and more versatile) reading. Keeping up to date with feeds is great if you have to wait (while shopping with your wife).

VoIP and Skype

Fring is nice on holidays for checking who is still in the office and for texting them (Fring "skyping" is no option for me, because both ICVM and ACM use the APS 2.02- server instead of the 2.31-version Fring uses (you can still text though and see who is online (and call them with the built-in VOIP of the N95). Install Fring (loose the APS 2.31) and install ACM again, done.

[editorial disclaimer from Steve - I have absolutely no idea what much of the last para meant - just ignore it if you don't recognise the acronyms either!]

Where did we travel?

I also used Nokia's free Sports Tracker (from Download!) to see how far some journeys really were (instead of the mileage mentioned in the walking/cycling journey-guides). We were able to view our walks and bicycle-rides on Google-Earth when we got home.

Karaoke galore!

Finally, even the built in Music-Player and LCG-Jukebox (again playing through a nearby tv-screen/speaker) were used for an evening of Karaoke with (new) friends and family.

Photo 2

Thanks, Nick. And to think I thought I was a power user! What a great N95 tale and quite thought-provoking!

All text (C) Steve Litchfield, Nick Raets, 2006, 2007