Alright, ready for this? It's real. We can say this with some degree of confidence, seeing how there's one resting comfortably in our hands right now. We'll skip right past the bulk of the details here -- the handset remains largely unchanged from its European cousin, after all, which we've already seen -- and concentrate on the juicy bits that have changed to make the handset not just more palatable for an American audience, but in general, to make it a better N95. Read on!
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Hands-on with the US Nokia N95
First up, let's just clear the air: it's got HSDPA on the 850MHz and 1900MHz bands. See that little "3G" symbol up there? We've seen it burn rubber via an AT&T SIM, and it is good. On a handful of speed tests we averaged about 690kbps down; we might have expected a smidge better, but we're cutting the prerelease hardware and software some slack.
At a glance, the S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1 load seemed more or less identical to the previous N95 we'd used. Though we suspect this new one will be compatible with Nokia's N-Gage offerings, our particular build didn't have an N-Gage demo app installed like our N81 did. Also missing was any sign of the Nokia Music Store.
Physically, changes are as expected: the dedicated music controls are now dimpled to make them easier to feel out, the protective lens cover has disappeared, the lens itself is recessed into the case, and the back of the phone is black (a safer choice than the original lavender and sand, we'd venture). Our phone was equipped with an old-style 950mAh battery, though we're not confident that means the shipping units will be without the rumored 1200mAh pieces. Note that the US N95 doesn't share the new N95 8GB's physical changes -- they're different beasts, and overall, the US N95 more closely resembles the original.
What more can we say? The N95's good; the N95 with 3G we can use is better. For Nokia enthusiasts in the US, we think this one's going to be a no-brainer, more or less.