Category: Nokia

Updating the firmware on a Nokia N95

According to Nokia, the latest version of firmware (the phone’s operating system) for the N95 is 20.0.015. This was released in November 2007. According to AllAboutSymbian, this was a significant update which included:

demand paging (!), so 30MB plus free RAM after booting, faster operation, N-Gage game store previews and portal stub, new camera software, integrated Search, new Welcome apps and more

You can check your firmware version by entering *#0000# on your phone and you can update using the Nokia Software Updater .

However, sometimes even if you do have the most recent firmware, the software updater can’t update the phone. This is usually because there is a version of the firmware on your phone specifically for your mobile operator. This typically has some aspect of the phone’s functionality disabled (i.e. the SIP stack).

To get around this you can download an application called Nemesis Service Suite (NSS). This is an application which allows you to change the product code of the firmware version on your phone.

Nemesis Service Suite

I found the following list of product codes for generic (non-mobile operator altered) firmware on Nokia-N95.net along with more detailed instructions on changing the product code:
0534841 EURO1 – Sand
0534842 FRANCE
0534843 ALPS
0534844 EURO2
0534845 TURKEY
0534847 SCANDINAVIA
0534848 BALTIAN
0534849 RUSSIAN
0534850 UKRAINE
0534851 CIS, Bulgaria
0534852 EURO3
0534853 BALKANS
0534854 GREECE, CYPROS
0534857 ISRAEL
0536058 BELARUS/MOLDOVA
0534833 SINGAPORE

0536062 EURO1 – Plum
0536063 FRANCE
0536064 ALPS
0536065 EURO2
0536066 TURKEY
0536068 SCANDINAVIA
0536069 BALTIAN
0536070 RUSSIAN
0536071 UKRAINE
0536072 CIS, Bulgaria
0536073 BELARUS/MOLDOVA
0536074 EURO3
0536075 BALKANS
0536076 GREECE, CYPROS
0536079 ISRAEL

Once youhave edited the firmware’s product code, you can now run the Nokia Software Updater once more and this time it will update the firmware on your phone.

Be aware with all these hacks that there is always the possibility of bricking your phone and always back up all your info before updating your phone.

Is the iPod Touch the ultimate Internet tablet?

I recorded a video on Seesmic yesterday on why I think the iPod Touch is a spectacular Internet Tablet. It has an amazing screen, great UI, and tiny form factor.

Seesmic now includes the ability to embed videos you record there, so rather than go over it again I thought I’d embed the video here. The quality of Seesmic videos is poor, sorry about that!

http://seesmic.com/Standalone.swf?video=jlX9kFp6tI

A lot of the functionality I’m referring to in the iPod Touch is new and was announced at MacWorld 2008 earlier this week.

Nokia N95 vs E65

Well, I handed back my review model Nokia N95 yesterday and already I miss it. Paul Giltinan from Choice Communications was good enough to lend it to me to try out for a number of weeks. Now though I am back to my trusty E65. Sniff!

Here are a few quick thoughts on the N95 and how it compares to the E65

Likes

  • The screen
  • The 5mp camera
  • The built-in Wifi

Dislikes

  • The keypad
  • The battery
  • The GPS

Slightly more detail:

The screen on the N95 is fantastic. It is big and can display in either landscape or portrait. The E65’s screen has the same resolution but is much smaller so it doesn’t look nearly as impressive.

The camera in the E65 is appalling, as I have already noted and while the N95 camera is slow (press the button, count to 10, *click*), the quality of the photos and video from it are impressive.

The built-in wifi is great in both the E65 and the N95. The screen on the N95 is big enough that you can actually browse web pages on it. The E65’s screen is a bit too small for that. Both phones are great for VOIP client software and where I live in Cobh, the call quality over wifi is significantly better than the expensive GSM alternative!

The Keypad on the N95 has a tacky, plasticky cheap feel to it that took some getting used to and was unexpected in a phone of its cost. The E65’s keyboard is more crisp and reassuring.

The battery life on the N95 has been panned but I didn’t find it too bad. It will quite easily go a full day on a charge so I used to simply charge it overnight and I rarely had problems. The times I did have problems were when I installed and used Fring on the phone. It completley sucked the life out of the battery (esp on 3g). If you have an N95, don’t install Fring, unless you have spare batteries or plan to keep it plugged into a power source at all times.

I never got the GPS software on the phone to see a satellite (or satellites) so I can’t comment on how this would work. Having said that, the fact that I couldn’t get it to see a satellite at all should be comment enough!

As a quick aside, I also tried installing the Jaiku mobile client on the N95 but for some reason it wouldn’t connect over wifi and wanted to connect over 3G. At the data prices in this country, I don’t think so. Uninstalled.

So would I, given the choice, put my money down for an N95? If cost were no object yes, but given that I already have the E65 and there is little between them in turns of functionality, there is no way I could justify buying one now.

Interestingly, the part of the phone which appeals to me most is the big screen and this is the feature of the iPhone which people seem to love too.

Nokia N95 initial impressions

Courtesy of Paul Giltinan of Choice Communications, I have a loan of a Nokia N95 to try out for the next couple of weeks – excellent!

The first thing which strikes you when you pick up the N95 is how light it is. It is quite bulky (99 x 53 x 21 mm), so you expect it to be heavier than its 120g.

The next thing which hits you is the quality of the 2.6″ screen. At 240 x 320 pixels and up to 16 million colours it is the same resolution as my E65 but because of the larger size, it just looks way better!

A lot has been written about the poor battery life of the N95 but I haven’t found that to be the case. That may be because the N95 and the E65 use the same battery and I am used to its short life (!) but I suspect it has more to do with my not having the Wireless Scanning enabled.

The one time the battery levels did drop sharply was when I was following my Twitter Stream over 3G (instead of the usual WLAN at home).

The GPS application which ships with the phone is of limited use as it can never seem to find the satellites!

I tried a Fring call using the Skype client on the phone today to Conn O’Muinechain but the call quality was appalling and we had to revert to a normal call. This is more likely a problem with Fring, or Fring’s Skype implementation than the N95.

The camera in the phone takes very high quality pics (see photo below) and video but be aware that the 160 onboard memory will run out quickly. You will need to supplement it with a Micro SD memory card (it supports up to 2gb).

The bi-directional slider and the way the screen flips from portrait to landscape automatically is very impressive.

Overall, the N95 is a lovely phone and if I could afford it…

N95 test pic