Why the N95 was my smartest buy
Because it pays to be prudent in tightened times
The first smartphone I ever got was a Nokia N95 in mid-2007. It was a contract deal, the handset was free if I stayed for 18 months, and it made a very expensive phone (around £400 I think) affordable.
I looked carefully at the specs and reckoned this had staying power: 5MP camera, expandable memory, MP3, email, WiFi, 3G, proper web browser, video recording/editing, playback through the TV with wide support for different video codecs, maps and GPS and the thing that swung it for me, a standard headphone minijack.
I was hooked. It was a ‘media’ phone. I created media on it, I watched and listened to stuff too. I went everywhere with that phone.
And looking back, that was a damn good choice still. It outlasted the contract and I didn’t have to replace it for 2 years until the screen started to get flickery. I looked around for another model which would last equally well.
When I compared prices and features I was disappointed. Phones hadn’t moved on much. True, Apple was in the market now and all my friends were turning to iPhones, although apart from a great interface and a touchscreen, the little N95 was still technically a better phone. Even two years later.
So I made my decision. I bought another N95.
This was mid-2009, phone companies were offering other models and they were proving hard to find. You could still buy them new, no-contract, but even though I liked the device, I didn’t think it was worth paying full price for a 2 year old phone.
So I looked around on Ebay to find someone locally who was upgrading. I bought an unlocked N95 8GB (Nokia’s updated version) in very good condition for about £170 (it also came with a copy of Spiderman, which I watched on a plane).
This is the phone I still have. Nokia gave the 8GB model a software update, added a larger capacity battery, and doubled the internal memory. My keypad’s starting to wear off with use, I still think it’s a great phone because it does everything I need and I use most of the features at least a couple of times a week.
However, the N95 models are now 3 and a half years old. There’s nothing wrong with my handset, but with iPhone 4 and the N8 now out, thoughts turned to a new model.
And then I had another thought: In these tightened times, would it make sense to ‘sweat my asset’ just a little bit more?
Drowned out by Apple marketing, Nokia has released many updates over the last couple of years, the biggest being the Ovi app system. The N95 is still supported and can be upgraded. Can I use these updates to revitalise my phone? Will it get a new breath of life? Can I prove again that the N95 was my smartest buy so far?
That’s the subject of the next post. Stay tuned.