day and age where feature-packed, touch-screen smartphones dominate the multimedia phone market, you can't help but feel Nokia's N86 8MP looks a little out of place.
The Nokia N86 is comfortable to use, and has a sturdy slider and a well-designed keypad. However, its basic design differs little from previous N-Series phones' — the N95 8GB, N96 and N85. There is nothing to really get excited about, and the overall look and feel evokes the past, rather than the future.
Though it doesn't look impressive, it is certainly functional. The 2.6-inch AMOLED screen is bright and clear and possesses excellent viewing angles when compared to traditional LCD screens. The five-way navigational pad is comfortable and responsive. The two selection keys, answer and end call buttons and dedicated menu and back buttons are a little small and flat, but they are well spaced and positioned intelligently. The Nokia N86 8MP is a dual slider, so sliding down reveals handy multimedia keys.
First off, the 8MP with a Carl Zeiss lens as its flagship feature helps take decent photos. We were impressed with the color reproduction, but the N86 8MP's camera is susceptible to the problems that plague nearly all camera phones — photos captured in low light are full of noise and the dual LED flash doesn't do enough to compensate for the lack of light. The Nokia N86 8MP runs the Symbian Series 60 interface and it's improved since the original N95; we didn't experience any glitches, lag or bugs. If you've used Nokia phones before, you'll be right at home. Thankfully, the overall experience is snappy and fast.
The Nokia N86 8MP is a decent multimedia handset, thanks mainly to the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. The music and video players are relatively standard fare for the Symbian S60 platform, though we were impressed by the zippy performance again. The phone also has an FM radio, an FM transmitter and 8GB of internal memory. The flip out stand is excellent for watching videos on a table or desk. Battery life is quite reasonable — it managed to last more than two days with fairly heavy use, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and push e-mail use.
The Nokia N86 does not have anything new apart from a camera with more megapixels. It is a multimedia phone that performs effortlessly but is priced a bit steeply considering the non-revolutionary feature it carried.