A closer look over N86 exteriors and hardware


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You must say that I am late to the party to take a trial of Nokia N86, but being with this beast for just a few days, sure make me realized that it was a sin to be lost in amazing world of Nokia N82 only. Its nothing to offend Nokia N82 and its Xenon flash, but sure N86 seems to be a worthy successor for Nokia N82 and amazingly on each ground. Thanks WomWorld/Nokia, I really wanted to get in touch of advanced camera feature before Nokia N8 arrives itself.

Even since the rumors, the focus has been on wide lenses and high megapixels though a closer look over Nokia N86 features really makes you thrilled that how much thoughts were given over the making of Nokia N86.

Nokia N86 was always compared to Nokia N82, even when it was close of being a proper successor of Nokia N95 (dual slider with GPS and 5MP, which once broken new grounds for Nokia and been a longtime success story). It was beautiful to watch how Nokia was learning from experiments like Nokia N96 and Nokia N85 to put itself back on the charge of camera phone fight again, a journey to beat itself for the first spot.


Since I own Nokia N82, so it was more relevant for me to compare it with and to understand that what it got more …

Size and shape: Like Rafe from AAS said, I also would agree that Nokia N86 got just a very different world than the one, which made Nokia N95 form factor a huge success once. After Apple and Google, the market was being dominated with slimmer and touch oriented devices and when there were less of physical buttons, people were asking for slimmer and slimmer devices. Sure, the heavy shape was not that much welcome than it would have been then.

Though it looks opposite, but it was thinner and shorter device than Nokia N82 except extra width to incorporate 2.6” screen.

Nokia N86 dimensions: 103.4 x 51.4 x 16.5 mm, 69 cc
Nokia N82 dimensions: 112 x 50.2 x 17.3 mm, 90 cc

There were many other exterior changes for good like dedicated unlock key, removal of kind of extra gallery key (not needed actually), card slot was pushed under the battery cover and with metal piece covering the body, we got a tiny charging light as well… ye!!!!!!

And who could forget that kickstand that was wonderful when one wanted to enjoy the movie play.

Not only that it was also possible to define some app to be fired when you open kickstand, probably due to the small ‘click’ under the kickstand as shown

Screen: Nokia N86 was probably the second device from Nokia to feature an AMOLED screen (N85 first), when Nokia N82 had only a TFT screen, not only that but it was a 2.6” screen than earlier 2.4” screen of Nokia N82.

Lovely were those brighter colors and even if there were words of poor performance in direct sunlight, for me, it was sure much much better than my Nokia N82 screen. But sure, it wasn’t something comfortably usable under direct sunlight thing.

Keypad: The keypad of Nokia N82 was something unique about that device, I really don’t remember any other with similar keypad. Even if smaller and of more height buttons were annoying to some of people, they were proven to add blind typing much better than anything else in the smart phone world.

In comparison of that, Nokia N86 keys were also a much better improvement from flat keys of Nokia N95, Nokia N96 or Nokia N85. Very very good tactile feedback and amazingly spaced, Nokia N86 were sure a dream for even normal candy bar shaped non-slider devices and it was impressive that how slider was working even after leaving almost no visible spacing.

Speakers and music keys: Specs says the same about both, but I found Nokia N86 seriously louder. Someone asked me that if its louder than Nokia 5800 or Nokia N73 and I said it is. The incoming calls or SMS seriously surprises people with a loud tone, when you are with a Nokia N86.

Though its not the same with the loudspeakers. I tried to took some calls on loudspeakers and it was sure not that louder than even cheaper Nokia phones might have been. Music is enough loud, but not sure if that is reaching as high as people told me about Nokia N95, but for me, its louder than Nokia N82 for super sure.

Scratch resistant: The word was attractive to me, but I got disappointed when seen the scratches on my trial Nokia N86 on very first day. Hold your breaths, its not against the claims, but actually was the lamination on the screen that got the scratch, not the screen itself nor the other parts (lower parts around navigation keys, call, end call buttons also have a the same scratch glass surface as screen). Sure a must thing for any mobile you going to purchase.

I am not removing the lamination as its a trial device, but sure could assure that its pretty strong thing when it comes to resist scratches.

Internal build and back cover: I must say, I am hugely disappointed with the back covers that take much scary physical pressure to open them. I mean its plastic and you place a mechanism that need pressure and nails? It will break, may be not today, not in few months, but its always susceptible for the same and its not a good thing.

Though what’s likeable  is the camera cover that is sure a good improvement than Nokia N82. A metal slider (plastic beneath) that slides over a glass surface, smooth, light and protective. Something like people even wishing in Nokia N8.

When we dig more deeper then there are two things, one that I like and one I hate. What is like is battery is loose and easy to remove and what I don’t like is SIM slot is something like those Blackberry models that needs you to slide in the SIM card, sure prone to scratches and ultimately destroying the SIM, if you have habit of changing the SIM frequently.

But there is something that I am still wondering about what that might be. May be readers will suggest something. There are two metal points just in side of SIM slot that seems to be pushed by the back cover, may be some way to tell the phone that battery cover is open or close. But the question is where this thing is being utilized in software?

Processor, RAM, Internal Memory and Card: This must have been one of the fastest processor in non-touch, when it was released. An ARM 11 343 Mhz processor, which was same with Nokia N97 and N97 mini, sure does an impressive job, specially with the camera itself.

RAM is on the same point with 128 MB, which has been considered adequate since long until touch screen and whole new world of heavy apps arrived.

Interesting was to see that even if it has 8 GB internal memory, the C: drive or the phone memory itself seems to be going lower than Nokia N82 (last snapshot). Strange!! Isn’t it? Though one could not expect every device to have application memory as high as 1 GB, but still less than N82? I must say Nokia N82 showing an impressive 81 MB free, while just 54 MB in case of Nokia N86. Haven’t seen any performance issue or memory full till now but …

The biggest missing thing been 3D Graphics HW Accelerator that Nokia forgotten after Nokia N82. Really Nokia was some extra generous, when making Nokia N82. Has the same guy sacked out from Nokia?

GPS Unit: You would be surprised that Nokia N86 is probably one the very few lucky ones (in fact the last one) among S60 3rd version to receive life time free ovi map navigation (Ovi Maps 3.03 here). Not sure why, but I find the GPS performing lesser than Nokia E52 in low signal areas, while in open both perform similar. I found it similar to GPS of N97 Mini or Nokia E72 as it was locking in half a second when I was trying tweets from Gravity from a cold start and that too over edge connection, not over 3G connection.

FM Transmitter: A thing that I came to know about only when was with Nokia N900 and still wonder that why Nokia doesn’t implement a way that you might enjoy the music while transmitting it … Use cases are infinite. I was happy to feel it again with Nokia N86, think you are in hostel and could broadcast your channel on daily basis or exciting things like that.

Camera: I am talking in last, making it short, but it doesn’t mean that camera is one of the features of Nokia N86, its the whole N86. Superbly quick camera and turnaround time, inbuilt geo-tagging, fine tuned and more intuitive panorama mode now, macro shots now more closer and sharper and not to forget variable aperture that’s changing the entire game about colors and low light performance.

Is it hard for you to spot the differences between the four pics above? Two are from Nokia N82 with Xenon Flash and two with Nokia N86 with dual leds. No prizes for guessing…

Though front camera is crap like always.. just VGA. Hope Nokia will read someday that Facetime and video calling like things might need a better camera at par with the growing data speeds on Smart phones now days.


Well! I was thinking to finish it in one shot, covering camera and software details, but its sure a big task to cover the tiny details and will be also boring for readers if the post goes around 5-6 pages. So though to take a break here. Will be back with the words over Nokia N86 camera and improvements it got from Nokia N82 (Sure the most exciting part as it was not easy to win a Nokia N82 fan) and then finally the software tweaks like new home screen (people might not notice the change initially).

So, keep tuned in, if wanna know more about Nokia N86 and sure send the suggestions in my way that what you wish to see in my posts more.

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Author: Nitish Kumar

I love to write and raising voice, sharing thought and heated debate is a kind of passion for me. Jobwise I am just another Computer professional handling Infra and designing solutions for a big Indian Media house but I love to write, sketch, photography and a lot more.

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