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Nokia N86 Review


Nokia’s first phone with an 8-megapixel camera is a neat, effective smart phone. It’s particularly good-looking in white with its matt back, but there’s a black version if you prefer.

What we like
Nokia’s camera phones have been consistently good, with class-leading performance (minimal shutter lag, decent resolution). So an 8-megapixel camera is a good thing in such safe hands. The wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens, decent dual LED flash, panorama effect and scene modes all contribute to snaps good enough to leave a dedicated compact at home. It’s also easy to share your images with a Flickr album, though not other social networks.

The phone is quick and responsive and it’s nice to see a 3.5mm headphone jack. The number keypad is simple and easy to use and a slide switch on the side locked the phone effectively. The 2.6-inch screen is bright and colourful, using Advanced Matrix OLED technology. The phone isn’t light, but has a solid style to it, and sits comfortably in the hand. Like lots of smart phones, there’s GPS on board here, which worked well. Battery life was above average, too.

What we don’t like
Since the camera is a major feature here, it’s surprising that a press on the camera shutter button doesn’t launch it. Instead you have to go to the menu, then applications and then camera. Like pretty much all camera phones, there’s no optical zoom – though at least the image resolution is high enough to mean you can use the digital zoom without ruining shots.

The direction pad below the screen is not quite as easy to use as it might be – it’s easy to press up or down when you’re trying to push inwards to confirm an action. As mentioned above, the lack of easy uploading of images to Facebook and Twitter was a disappointment. The accelerometer spins the display a little sluggishly, though this is a minor irritation.

Nokia’s gift with camera phones is shown off here with great photographic results from a neat, if not tiny, 8-megapixel model. It’s mostly very satisfying to use, has decent battery life and lots of features like GPS and one-button access to YouTube, but it’s the camera that really stands out.




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