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Nokia N91
Mobile Phones | First Looks
Wed 28 Jun 2006

Music Will Do You Good 


Big media buttons for fast control

2.0-megapixel camera at the rear

As you can see, the keys are indeed small

As technology progresses, so too is the demand of consumers. Nowadays, it is all about a device that can provide all the functions they ever need: a portable MP3 player, a mobile phone with all the latest hardware and software, and a hard drive that can be used to store massive amounts of data. Nokia had been listening and the new N91 (GSM and WCDMA version) is all ready to plug the void by giving users an ultimate mobile experience.

N91 on a Silver Platter

The Nokia N91's exterior is unique, in the sense that it is one of the few phones on the market with an all-out stainless steel finish. This type of construction gives it a tough yet refined and elegant facade. The N91 provides a 176 x 208 pixel color display with an automatic brightness control for the display and keypad. The familiar configurable soft keys, send & end buttons, and 5-way navigation key guarantee ease of use. Occupying the sides are the volume and menu keys.

Music intentions of the N91 are evident by a set of dedicated buttons for music; play/pause, forward, back, and stop keys. These allow easy access to the music player and enables fast switching between applications at just a touch of a button. A 2.0-megapixel camera is also present for pictures and videos. Finally, at the crown of the phone lie the power button, a device lock switch, and a 3.5mm audio jack for users to jack in their favorite headphones/earphones.

Sliding down the dedicated music buttons reveals the grain-sized number/text keypad. The buttons looks very similar to the 8800 series in that they are compact and small, which unfortunately for users, means fast composition of messages is no breezy affair. However, by compromising and mastering the art of using only your fingertips for input, the N91 can still be an ergonomic phone to use.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

There are actually two versions of the N91: a GSM version and a WCDMA version. With regard to its features, both are the same, with the exception of the WCDMA equipped with WLAN (wireless LAN).

Installed with S60 software on Symbian OS, the N91 comes with standard applications like contacts, calendars, to-do lists, and e-mail and web browsing capabilities to fulfill basic office functions. But despite all of the good software that comes with the N91, the feature really worth highlighting is really just the N91's designed purpose of being a music phone.

The music player is very easy to use; you can search for a song by its artist, album name, or genre without much time wasting. With 4GB of storage, the handset promises room for around 3,000 songs, enough to keep music fanatics happy for days. With Windows Media Player 10 present in the N91, transferring music from the computer to your Nokia N91 is as easy as dragging and dropping your songs to the device for synchronization. And should listening to loaded tracks ever become boring, there is always the integrated FM radio with Visual Radio support to fallback on for a continuous and fresh music experience.

At the data end of things, the N91 packs 3G capabilities for faster and more responsive downloads, and a WLAN 802.11b/g that's perfect for sharing photos, browsing for information and chatting on the Interweb. Native peripheral connections are managed by a USB 2.0 connection that primarily serves to cater to large file transfers and mass storage while Bluetooth 1.2 is onboard for wireless sending and receiving of photos, audio files, video clips, business cards, and pairing with other Bluetooth devices.

Final Thoughts

Although not enough to sway people to dump their iPods and Zens in favor of the all-encompassing N91, users should still find ample quality to appreciate the music aspect of the phone to leave their audio players at home from time to time.

Honestly, save perhaps for its size, weight and small keys, there's not a lot about the N91 for us to gripe. Granted it has a large internal storage, first-rate sound quality and build quality, and is really loaded with features, those wanting to have the best blend of both music and phone functions will find it hard to resist the N91.

Product Specifications
  • Tri-band GSM, WCDMA
  • Symbian OS 9.1, Series 60 platform
  • Display: 262K-color 176 x 208 TFT
  • GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0
  • Multimedia: Digital music player (MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, Real, WAV, WMA, M4A, AMR-WB, True Tones, AMR-NB), FM radio, video player, Java support
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Battery: 850mAh Lithium Ion
  • Dimensions: 131 x 55 x 22mm (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 164g