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Author I was so sure about the W960i. until the 8GB N95 announcement.
borisisinvin
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Posted: 2007-09-09 07:38
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Ok, first off, let me just say that I've mostly only owned Sony Ericsson cells and never a Nokia. I've loved my Sony Ericsson cell phones, though admittedly I've never owned a Sony Ericsson smart phone as well. I've always admired Sony Ericsson's designs, and thought Nokia's were a bit on the ugly side (What?!?... Looks matter! I got to a prominent design school in Southern California and appreciate good design when I see it!). Ok, with all of that said I think it's quite obvious that I like Sony Ericsson's phones and will undoubtedly buy another Sony Ericsson cell sometime in the immediate future. Also, I would also just like to say that I would never go out and blindly buy whatever any manufacturers next offering is irregardless of what a very respected and reputable reviewer said out of some kind of blind allegiance, like I feel some other posters on this forum would...

I own and primarily use a Mac (again because of school) for both work and fun. I just recently sold my 2nd gen 8GB Nano after buying a Sony Ericsson W850i with a 4GB Memory Stick Duo, which I now use primarily as my MP3 player. I will soon be transitioning from student to working professional and now also need a phone that I can use to keep my life in order. I want a phone that keeps me entertained while also doing it "all" in one device; saving me the trouble of carrying a MP3 player (The most important function aside from basic phone functions for me), camera, and computer. I would have bought an iphone if I was with Cingular, unfortunately I'm with Tmobile and very very very happy with my $40 a month 1000 minute plan, so an iphone is pretty much out of the question as far as I'm concerned for the immediate future. Since I use a Mac at home, a Windows based smart phone is also pretty much out of the question, leaving me with only a Symbian OS based phone as my next choice. The way I figure it, it's either going to be a W960i or the newly announced 8GB N95.

Below, I've taken the time to compile the main differences between the two phones in a series of categories. Most of the distinctions I've made (and I feel are pretty objective) are my own opinion and based on my understanding of the two devices from the information available to the public from the various internet outlets, so take them with a grain of salt. I'm stuck on which one to buy and was hoping that maybe some people out their could shed some light on the two handsets throwing in their own 2 cents, in the process helping me decide which phone to buy when they come out. I would prefer it if people with ACTUAL OBJECTIONABLE ADVICE that have either owned either a N95 or W950i could shed some light on the two phones while also giving me their honest opinions on the two perspective evolutionary handsets in question. Add to, or give me your noted differences along with which one you'll be buying and why. Disagree with me? Then tell me why...

Design:
I give the edge to the W960i (though the N95 looks really really good in black!). Personally, I tend to like monolith designs over slider from factors. I feel like the Nokia with it's slider design will have more problems in the future, don't those tend to wear out over time, having problems specifically with the wires that connect them to the screen and such? Also, I've read in reviews of the original N95 that the slider squeaks (some called it "cheap"). Is that still true? Has it been corrected on the new model? Also, I've read that the N95 is a brick! Is it pocketable? Would I be able to take it to the gym or running with me in my pocket without having to worry about it pulling my shorts down? This may sound trivial, but I also like the fact that the W960i has a lanyard loop. Does anyone know if the N95 has/will have a lanyard loop for phone "bling"?

Controls:
I have to give this to the N95. Almost all of the reviews I've read of the P1 have lamented the need for a D-pad! Plus, I Really like mobile gaming and hate the idea of having to play all of my collected mobile games on just a number pad! With the N95 (and some games) you can turn it on it's side to play games like I currently do on my W850i (which I love!)! Does anyone know if you can use the media buttons on the new N95 to play games like the upcoming N81?... Well, whatever the case, from what I've read all of the buttons on the N95 are awesome; well thought out; and improved for the new version to boot too!

OS and Interface:
It sounds like the edge belongs to the N95. Almost all of the reviewers for the original N95's OS have praised it, with some even calling it fully a "matured" OS. The P1i's OS with the UIQ 3 on the other hand... to put it plainly, I've read it seriously pales in comparison and has serious flaws (seriously, how much could/would they change it from the P1i for the W960i? Logic reasons that the OS will be essentially the same as the P1i's but with the walkman player tacked on? True? Not true? Any W950i owners out there that can tell me different, or more about their experience with the original handset? Plus, what about the P990i, M600 and W950i fiasco? Is the OS stable yet? I've read some horror stories about those handsets and Sony's customer service. Is the P1i's OS better than the P990i or M600? P1i users? This makes me really hesitant to buy a Sony Ericsson smart phone...) Though I do have to admit that hand writing recognition sounds really cool and tempting (I've always hated typing on a number pad for email or text messages).

Connectivity:
The N95 wins hands down. No question in my mind. The N95 is a Quad-band phone (with the 850 frequency! What's up Sony?!?), Edge, and Wifi G (in addition to B, which is all the W960i has! I hear that the download speed with Wifi for the P1 is pretty slow? True P1 owners?)! Since I'm on Tmobile's US network, 3G is pretty much out of the question with either phone since Tmobile seems to be dragging it's feet acquiring a 3G frequency here (and rumor has it it'll be 1700?!? WTF Tmobile?!? Another frequency exclusive only to the US?...). I guess what I'm saying is that I'm used to GPRS speeds, sooo Edge is a welcome addition in a phone for me! I know that the W960i supports USB 2 with USB charging. Is the same true for the N95? Will it show up on my Mac's desktop as a mass storage drive btw (I use my W850i as a portable drive all of the time for work and school! This is a must!)? An essential feature if I'm going to use it as an MP3 player in conjunction with itunes and my Mac! I also understand that the N95 uses a Micro USB connection? Why not Mini?... Also the N95 is capable of connecting to a TV! I also think that the N95 has a IR port (not that I'd use it)?... Oh, and before I forget, the N95 has a GPS receiver! I've never had one, and the idea of having one in a phone is very tempting! I'm really into Yahoo Go for mobiles at the moment and it's map function, using it all of the time. I can only imagine the possibilities of a live mapping application with GPS functionality!

Battery Life:
I'm going to give this one to the W960i. Hands down there is no question in my mind after owning both the k800i and the w850i, which I use daily on a day to basis all day to listen to music! It rocks, and ultimately this will be the deal breaker for me (I once owned a Samsung that needed to be charged twice a day! ANNOYING AND USELESS! I'll never own a Samsung again because of this!). I've read countless reviews for Nokia N series phones, specifically the original N95, and know all to well what battery hogs they are! I guess you have to pay for all of that good stuff somewhere. Still, they did give the new N95 a new larger battery (in addition to more RAM, matching the p1i and W960i, so in this respect they pretty much match up though it's of note that the N95 does have a faster processor than the W960i...). Will it last all day if I'm listening to music all day? I'll never have the 3G radio on too hmmm.... I guess I'll have to wait for the reviews on the 8GB N95 for the answer to this one.

Multimedia:
I have to give this one to the W960i. I think the Walkman player alone puts it up on top of the N95 in my opinion. Still the N95 has that new feature pack? What's that all about? Anyone? Does that mean that the music player is new and improved? Up to par with Sony's walkman line? Or, is it just tacked on? The original MP3 player on the N95 sounded pretty weak according to some of the reviews. Still the N95 has a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and stereo speakers! What gives Sony? Get with it already! Both support stereo bluetooth profile (thank god!) though! Oh, and who can forget about Ovi and the new Ngage platform (can you hear Sony running around trying to get it's new upcoming PSP phone ready in time?)? They sound really exciting, but will they work in the States?... I'll also have to wait for the review of the new N95 too see what all of the fuss is about and if it's worth the hype. The screen is a little bigger (yet they both have the same resolution) on the new N95, still how's this going to affect battery life? I do like the idea of being able to connect the phone to a tv to play games and what not too, still I don't see myself using that function very much...

Imaging:
The N95 wins hands down. Both phones have LED's for flashes. Does anyone know if either can be used as flash lights like I can on my W850i?... I just recently found an imaging problem with the P1i's imaging online on a different Esato forum too... Green pictures? No thanks! I imagine the camera on the W960i will be the same as the one on the P1i, right? The N95 has a 5MP sensor and Carl Zeis optics! Plus the N95 records video at DVD quality and at 30 fps! What gives Sony?..... Other than that the basic imaging fundamentals sound pretty much the same including the lack of a lens cover! What gives Sony and Nokia?!?

Online:
Nokia wins. Nokia's proprietary browser was the bench mark until Safari on the iphone came along, as I understand it, plus Nokia's got a special deal with YouTube for special access to there site direct from the phone like the iphone....

All in all, I'm leaning a little more towards the W960i over the 8GB N95 at this very moment. The W960i's garanteed to have a killer MP3 player and great battery life all in a smaller (hopefully that means pocketable!) monolith form factor that I love! Still, if the MP3 player and battery prove to be worthy, then Nokia will be worthy of my money for the first time! In the meantime, I'm going to have to figure out how to get my Sony Ericsson fm transmitter and speaker working on a Nokia... Let me know your thoughts. Agree? Disagree? What's you're opinion? Should I still get the Sony Ericsson W960i or the forthcoming 8GB N95?...
Gunnut
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Posted: 2007-09-09 09:22
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Is money a factor as well? Take that in to consideration too. I believe the N95 will cost a lot more than the W960i, so that would be 1 thing.

Another is the the touch screen interface. Do you actually like that over the N95. Despite its offerings, I think the N95 loses in the interface because of its lack of a touch screen. Again, this is an opinion, so please don't flame me on it. I just feel that a touch screen walkman beats the N95.

With the P1i, there's been an addition in RAM and its lost a lot of the problems that plagued the M600 / W950. Again, its not perfect, but its gone a long way to becoming a lot more usable.

Maybe you should just head down to each companies' flagship stores and take a look? Asking on this forum is kind of...biased, because in the end this is a SE dominated forum
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Dinan
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Posted: 2007-09-09 09:22
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I say if you're used to the non-touch screen non-UIQ setup then you should stick to it. I've been using Nokia's for a while now and have just got a P1i as my work phone a few days ago. Right now my N95 isn't getting used because I'm still playing around with the P1i but I have to give it to Nokia... they're got a much more refined Symbian OS (S60 v3 FP1) than SE's UIQ3. Also, the N95's OS speed is much faster, almost as fast as non smart phones, probably due to the faster processor. I'm still setting up my P1i but I'm very impressed with it so far despite the lack of EDGE and wifi G. I like being able to use the touch screen rather than my 1 thumb for navigating (N95 made my thumbs sore).

The N95 and the W960 will probably be around the same weight... the N95 being narrower and shorter, but thicker. For pocketability, I like my P1i a bit better since it's slimmer and slides in easier without worrying about any moving parts opening (frequently happened with N95). The N95 8GB will be a tad bigger than the old N95 because of the larger screen taking up more space (the top slide part was slightly redesigned).

As for the camera... the W960 will likely share the same problem as the P1i - the green tint in pics on the right side of them. Very annoying... N95 camera is the best I've used on a phone, and I've heard the camera app has been sped up tremendously because of the added RAM in the new N95 8gb.

For battery life the W960 will most likely win because SE seems to be more efficient and there's also less things sucking power (no GPS, 850mhz band, wifi G, smaller screen, etc). Also, the current N95's battery kinda sucks... which is why I like my P1i so much. It feels great not having to worry about the phone not making it through the day. At best, I could only get 5 hours of music from the N95 before it would die. The new N95 8GB has a slightly larger battery, but something tells me it won't improve playback time that much since there's a bigger screen, more ram (yes, this sucks battery too), and an internal 8GB flash drive.

For sound quality I believe the W960 will destroy the N95 because it's a walkman phone. The P1i is about the same quality as my N95 but without the hissing. I think the max volume is higher on the N95 though. The reason for the N95 hissing (from what I gathered) is the 3.5mm jack also acts as the TV out jack, which creates some extra noise. If you use A2DP bluetooth headphones, the hissing disappears.

Lack of 850mhz will suck for NA users but T-mobile uses 1900mhz for everything so you should be fine. I'm using my P1i on T-mobile and it's just as good as my N95. The only thing that's worse is the lack of EDGE so my data connection is slower. I was getting about 150-180 kbps (about 15 kb/s) on my N95 over T-mobile's EDGE, and now I get about 60-80 kbps (about 5-6kb/s) on my P1i which kind of sucks but it's not so bad if you use Opera Mini 4 beta as the browser.
mib1800
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Posted: 2007-09-09 09:52
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w960 will be as expensive as N95 8G. That's makes it not worthwhile unless you are crazy about a touch screen.

Major pluses of N95 8GB over W960

1. 5Mpx camera
2. VGA @30fps video record
3. GPS
4. Faster 330Mhz with graphics accelerator => gaming platform
5. TV-out
6. Standard 3.5mm jack and mini-USB port.
7. Bigger screen at 2.8inch

ahmed-sama
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Posted: 2007-09-09 10:02
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Seriously I would go for an N95 as well, the W960 specs are over a year old, and besides, its not bundled like the N95.
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Tsepz_GP
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Posted: 2007-09-09 11:14
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Hi,im in the same situation, and i have decided on getting the W960 simply because of Walkman3.0 ,Battery life and because id like a Touchscreen phone. After trying out the N95 i realised i dont need GPS, HSDPA, YOUTUBE, 5MP cam and i hardly ever play Cellphone games, i mainly use my current N80 for Internet Browsing, Listening to music A Lot, taking the odd pic or vid, Texting A LOT, watching movies and music videos and uploading and downloading files which the W960 can do, 3G is great for me and my Data Bundle, so all in all W960 suits me best, i dont need all those other batt sucking features the N95 has, W960 screen is big enough for me, and dont mind Wifi 802.11b
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aaarkhipov
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Posted: 2007-09-09 13:32
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I own original N95 and P1i, so take these comments cautiously.

Battery terrible life of N95 has been already mentioned - the phone cannot last more than a day and often less. And it cannot be charged over USB (P1i can).

Touchscreen and qwerty keyboard of P1i is really nice. Requires some time to accept it but it's nice. Not for some games, though. The jog-dial cannot replace control pad in some games.

Design of P1i is a way better than that of N95. N95 is too thick despite the weight is quite similar.

OS of N95 is a pure joke - applications crash regularly (not enough memory) and the OS itself likes to crash when you divert from "standard" way of doing things. My P1i crashed just once or twice where N95 some fifteen times (it easily crashes 3-4 times in a row). And P1i has all applications running where N95 cannot handle more than 3.

As for 3d-party applications, I was able to find most for SE as well as for Nokia probably I have to look for more sophisticated stuff.

In terms of connectivity I see no difference in Europe. Do not know about US. Lack of .11g? Who cares - the speed is the same to load web-page of 1Mb application.

5MP camera is good to have but it's so slow you cannot rely on it. It seems to be common problem for Symbian - camera on K750 worked like a charm comparing to these.
mib1800
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Posted: 2007-09-09 13:53
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...N95 some fifteen times (it easily crashes 3-4 times in a row)


can I ask you what you were doing with N95 to make it crash like this. My N95 never crash. It just close the background apps if RAM is not enough. (Hope you are not refering to this as crashing). With N95 8Gb larger RAM most multitasking issue is solved.

btw: From what I know P1i camera is lousy with green tint and also very slow to start. Its wifi-b also has a lot of compatibility issues and takes an expert to get it setup.

[ This Message was edited by: mib1800 on 2007-09-09 12:56 ]
bavlondon2
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Posted: 2007-09-09 14:44
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Ive had both the N95 and the P1. Both are good and very capable phones and the pros anc cons of each are well documented. Its a tough one really, the n95 has s60 browser which imo is the best one from Safari on the iphone. Battery has been mentioned.

I think if it comes down to the 8 gb version then thats the way to go. I will be getting that as soon as its out.
aaarkhipov
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Posted: 2007-09-09 15:41
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On 2007-09-09 13:53:42, mib1800 wrote:
...N95 some fifteen times (it easily crashes 3-4 times in a row)


can I ask you what you were doing with N95 to make it crash like this. My N95 never crash.



I do not refer to low memory as a crash. I say about real crash when the system reboots . The recent one was when I listen to the music via bluetooth, had to switch manually to another network, made a call and the system hung.
Restarted through power off/on - bluetooth headset did not connected automatically, power off/on headset, started music player sliding phone and using its buttons. The system has rebooted in some 30 seconds. Repeated similar sequence a couple of times.

Finally, turned off headset and the phone. Turn on the phone, wait a bit and turn on headset.

Not nice, though for so-called "smart"-phone.
QVGA
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Posted: 2007-09-09 16:25
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On 2007-09-09 15:41:46, aaarkhipov wrote:

On 2007-09-09 13:53:42, mib1800 wrote:
...N95 some fifteen times (it easily crashes 3-4 times in a row)


can I ask you what you were doing with N95 to make it crash like this. My N95 never crash.



I do not refer to low memory as a crash. I say about real crash when the system reboots . The recent one was when I listen to the music via bluetooth, had to switch manually to another network, made a call and the system hung.
Restarted through power off/on - bluetooth headset did not connected automatically, power off/on headset, started music player sliding phone and using its buttons. The system has rebooted in some 30 seconds. Repeated similar sequence a couple of times.

Finally, turned off headset and the phone. Turn on the phone, wait a bit and turn on headset.

Not nice, though for so-called "smart"-phone.

Ofbviously your N95 is screwed up, anyone phone can be screwed up.
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Posted: 2007-09-09 16:30
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I've always maintained that the N95 is feature packed but is let down by some issues. For me personally I wouldn't buy it even with 8GB of hard drive memory. The built quality is shocking to saw the least, that sliding mechanism is also a problem. They've probably addressed some of the issues but I doubt they have addressed all of them. The n81 8GB looks classy and the built quality and slider seem fine. Now that's the phone to buy.
bavlondon2
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Posted: 2007-09-09 19:27
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On 2007-09-09 16:30:00, EMS06 wrote:
I've always maintained that the N95 is feature packed but is let down by some issues. For me personally I wouldn't buy it even with 8GB of hard drive memory. The built quality is shocking to saw the least, that sliding mechanism is also a problem. They've probably addressed some of the issues but I doubt they have addressed all of them. The n81 8GB looks classy and the built quality and slider seem fine. Now that's the phone to buy.


I think the main issues were build quality, battery and ram. Here are some questions from the announcment.

Oh and this one comes with a 1200mah battery.

Are there any software improvements on the N95 8GB, compared to the regular N95?
A: in addition to those HW changes we've updated quite a bit on SW side. new multimedia menus are the first step to new contend driven UIs, new Maps sw, faster camera + other improvements here and there

Q: Aside from the battery effect, the internal 8GB memory will have, what other improvements have been done (e.g. the brower)? Is there more memory available (RAM) to the user. This is the main disadvantage of the N95. The browser is really RAM hungry.
A: Yep, memory has been one of the comments we've got and now it is doubled and it shoud be way better use experience with browser and multiple apps running background

Q: Is the build quality improved? This was one of the main downside of N95. Does it feel solid ? No more sckueking, cracking slider space...etc??
A: regarding the build quality.. I guess you'll get objective comments soon from the blogger guys here at the London but what I heard from them was positive: handfeel, weight balance, slider, improved key cluster, all had gone further.

Also apart from that ive spoken to a few other forum members that were at that virtual event and had the chance to play with it and lord behold they said it was slid as a rock. Not only that but the LCD screen is not housed under glass likea normal phone not exposed as in the original n95.

So I think it looks like Nokia have sorted the N95 out big time.
Supa_Fly
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Posted: 2007-09-09 19:52
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Id also like to post that the NEW N95 8GB / US version BOTH have double the RAM (running apps) than the original released in February this year.

upon bootup you should have average 85MB of FREE RAM for all your multitasking needs.

How can one prefer the "OS" of the W960i and state that the N95's "OS" is crap? I call todstool fool to whomever said that because other than greater security and stability enhancements in Symbian OS 9.2; they are BOTH the SAME OS! Its the GUI - Graphical USER Interface that is different between the two (S60 vs UIQ3). The GUI that hooks into the OS is VERY VERY different; however HOW the OS interprets the core commands, library's although different its EXECUTION of any command or runtime routine is the SAME! Thats why S60 apps - for the most part CAN be ported OVER to the UIQ platform. Will coders do this? Not in huge support I'm afraid.

Either way "MULTIMEDIA" is a very BROAD term that needs to be defined before interpreted. I'd like to say that the following goes into multimedia.

Entertainment:
Music - Listening - Playlists/etc - Sharing (ftp/bittorent) - Purchasing
Photos - Slideshows - Phototaking - Blogging - Editing
Videos - Recording - Previewing/watching saved - Bloggin - Editing (Ltd) -
Gaming - Playing locally - Playing Ad-Hoc (BT or WiFi) - Playing Online
(medium agnostic: EDGE/3G/HSDPA/WLAN)
TV-OUT - put here because its universal but mostly for Gaming/Pics/Video.

These are what I define as Multimedia .... anything that can increase anyone's entertainment level.

IM - I don't class as Multimedia due to its a Messaging function and thus although VERY FUN/Enjoyable - its still a form of communication at its core, regardless of emoticons used.
GPS - a form of navigation, at its core. Even with LBS (location based services its still navigation) - its still FIND THIS or FIND THAT. However as this function GROWS we'll see more & more functionality enhancing IM, Gaming, Video, Music and thus it'll evolve. Once it becomes more of a FIND ME, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (hmm maybe a "who done it murder mystery game" that is INTERRACTIVE - that Nokia contest evolved. A player in a national or provincial/state tourney ... 1st player is the assassin, others are normal seekers or just passers by which DON'T know until the game unfolds. Actions by EACH player leaves clues for others. Until most games hook into GPS API's then its still a Utility.

^ This i'd like to see more of.

seunlock-uk
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Posted: 2007-09-09 20:35
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I am going to give you the only piece of information that you require in this choice.

P1/P990/W950 returns - ~17%

N95 Returns - ~48%

This is people returning them, NOT handset returns. We have had people return multiple N95's, however these stats count them ONCE. This means that approximately HALF of the N95's we have sold have come back to be replaced or refunded due to MAJOR MAJOR issues. Including inability to make and receive calls, which is the main purpose of a phone. The microphone fails regularly, the internal ciruitry packs in even more regularly.

Sorry but the N95 is an AWEFUL handset, as you have to get at least 2 or 3 sometime A LOT more merely to get one that works.

The P1 and W960 are by no means perfect, however they are almost as well spec'd but eminantly more reliable. This is not opinion I have the sales figures to prove it. We deal in large numbers of these handsets and by far an away the most returned handset i have ever dealt with is the N95.

you couldn't pay me to take one, here is the opinion part, I would PERSONALLY MUCH prefer to sacrifice, 1.8Megapixels of camera etc. to have a phone I amn't going to have to have replaced 4 or 5 times, and the screen quality on the W960 is crisper and sharper and better for watching movies on. hands down the W960 is the way to go.

nokia have some SERIOUS wprk to do with their symbian offerings, before the are even considerable.
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