First Looks: Nokia N93i

Same Face, New Look

Same Face, New Look

Most mobile phones in the market today can only be coined as ‘evolutionary’ as manufacturers are merely improving upon existing functions, features, and design to produce a slightly improved version of outgoing models. While the new Nokia N93i seems to look like its predecessor, the N93, there are enough changes underneath its new skin to keep it pegged as the handset of choice for any self-conferred mobile warrior.

Tried and tested

The most obvious change the N93i brings is its new mirror finish and underneath is an OLED display, which remains hidden until either the phone is being used or upon incoming call/message. In fact, the N93i was drawn from scratch and mass produced. The resolution of the external display remains unchanged though, which at a tiny 128 by 36 pixels is still sufficient for conveying information such as time, remaining battery life and name of the person calling. Upon closer inspection, the N93i is actually thinner and lighter than its predecessor, measuring just 25mm thick and weighs 163g. Of course, the whole unit is still quite a handful, certainly not as pocket friendly as some of you might have hoped.

Like the N93, the N93i can be used both as a flip phone and as a video camera much in the same way as Sanyo's Xacti series of portable recording devices. In imaging mode, the N93i operates in exactly the same way as the N93; screen swivels freely of the sensor with optical zoom and auto focus capabilities.

Finally, the N93’s keypad is flat and metallic. Although this gives the N93i an even sleeker look, the keys lack distinction, making it hard for users to compose a text message by touch alone.

In addition, the print on the keypad is quite hard to see under strong light (eg. under the sun), making it even more difficult for quick message composition.

Shooting photos with you

While the N93i is a mobile phone at birth, the main highlight is the 3.2-megapixel image sensor it carries. The lens, housed in its own plastic dwelling and away from the elements, has an optical zoom of up to 3x. Colors through the onboard display were captured fairly accurately, but were less than spectacular in photo printouts. Likewise, noise was apparent in shots taken in dimly lit places. We also noticed images turned out a little overexposed when the maximum optical zoom is used. Despite these minor shortcomings, we are convinced that the photo quality of the N93i is still great compared to other cameraphones. Also, with the N93i’s ability to shoot videos at 30 frames per second at a maximum resolution of up to 640 by 480 pixels, DVD-quality video recording will always be just a few clicks away.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a phone that can practically do it all, then the ‘beefed up’ version of the N93 is for you. The Nokia N93i can be your mobile phone, your camera, your video camera or just about anything you want it to be in one compact unit. It is also lighter and thinner than its older sibling, has a battery life of about 1.5 days, and has wireless connectivity options including Wi-Fi. Just be ready to shell out a lot of money though, as this multimedia wonder will set you back by a proper USD$736 or SGD$1,150.