FORTUNE Small Business

Beyond the iPhone: Nokia N95 is smart pick

The Nokia N95 is complex and expensive, but it's an impressive camera/phone/Web multitasker.

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(FORTUNE Small Business) -- While Apple's iPhone is the absolute leader in terms of portable media devices that also happen to have phones built in, it would be foolish to ignore the other smart phone/media devices on the market. In particular, I like what Nokia (NOK) is doing with its N series.

The N95 8 GB, for example, is billed as a multimedia camera phone that comes with a nice - if a bit small by iPhone standards - 2.8-inch screen. I especially like the N95's two-way sliding interface and its surprisingly powerful 5-megapixel camera, fitted with a Zeiss lens.

The combo makes the N95 a fully enabled, quad-band, use-it-anywhere-in-the-world phone and media device that's also a serviceable camera. I love the notion of taking my test N95 unit with me abroad and leaving my camera behind. I could drop in a local phone identity card in most any country, talk it up from La Tour Eiffel, and take excellent pictures to boot.

Now, the N95 is far from perfect. It can be devilishly complex to use, and Nokia has stuffed in too many features. Navigating between using the phone, surfing the Web, and taking a picture took purple-belt gadget jujitsu.

Plus, the N95 is not cheap - $779 (unlocked and without a plan) is a long way to go for any portable device, no matter how fabulous. (If this phone comes discounted as part of a plan, jump on it.) Still, a single media player/smart phone/camera that is world-ready is worth a look.  To top of page

After the iPhone: Apple's hot gadget inspires the competition.

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