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March 27, 2008 / Marco

The New N95 Classic Cell Phone Firmware Release and User Data Preservation

When Nokia released firmware V11.0.117 for the N82 back in January, everyone was happy to see the debut of User Data Preservation (UDP) which meant it was no longer necessary to reinstall everything into the phone memory after updating the firmware. At that time many people, myself included, thought it would become a standard feature of all future firmware releases on FP1 Nseries handsets. Now it’s interesting to find out that the latest N95 Classic firmware release, V21.0.016, doesn’t come with UDP. A friend of mine who just finished updating his N95 also told me that he had to reinstall his applications altogether into the phone memory.

The obvious question is why Nokia hasn’t made UDP a part of this firmware release. Are there any software limitations at work? I don’t think so because the N95 has a lot in common with the N82 as both are FP1 handsets with analogous features. Is a lack of ample time to be blamed for the absence of UDP? Again I don’t think that’s the case because Nokia could have managed this over the 2-month span after the release of the N82 firmware update.

If software technicalities and timing issues are ruled out, we should pinpoint the cause somewhere else. In my opinion, Nokia purposefully distributes new features when it releases firmware updates so as to avoid making a certain handset stand out in the crowd. So, for instance, when it releases a new firmware update for the N95 8GB and enables Flash Lite 3 for that handset, the software engineers do their best to keep it away from the N82’s firmware release. Yes, the Nokia N82 will most likely get Flash Lite 3 support soon, but it could have gained the title of a Flash Lite 3-enabled handset back in January. And, clearly enough, the same strategy can be observed when Nokia manufactures new handsets. The N95 8GB has a better battery compared with the N95 Classic but doesn’t come with a physical camera shutter, the upcoming Nokia N96 has a 950 BL5 battery with its array of features, and the N82 offers a better battery compared with the N95 Classic but doesn’t offer music-dedicated keys.

At the end of the day, will User Data Preservation be bestowed on the N95 Classic? There exists no technical obstacle to prevent it, but that will take some time.

Related Info: Nokia N95 Classic Firmware Update V21.0.016

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10 Comments

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  1. Stephen / Mar 29 2008 2:16 am

    First I will comment on the N95-3. That is a USA phone model and the USA firmwares do not keep up with the rest of the world. So went ever I can; I try to go with a over seas model of phone because the firmware is more up to date.

    Now to the N95 Classic (n95-1). The likely reason that this phone doesn’t have the ability to retain the phones information is because it is a older phone to start with and on top of that; It probably doesn’t have the needed hardware built into the phone to allow the information to be retained.

    he N82 when using YBrowser I noticed that it has a extra drive letter that all other 3rd Edition phones that I have owned do not. This drive letter is drive Y. I do not know if this drives plays a part in the phone having the ability to retain information with a firmware update or not. It would be nice to find out if the 6120 classic has this drive letter or not.

  2. Amir / Mar 29 2008 6:58 am

    @Dani2xll:
    That’s true, however here we’re dealing with Nseries handsets which are being manufactured and updated by a particular Nokia department. If we compare, say, E90 with N95, we can attribute the differences to the origins of two essentially different cell phones, but that doesn’t seem to be valid for two high-end Nseries handsets.

  3. Amir / Mar 29 2008 7:04 am

    @Stephen:
    If the N95 can get demand paging and battery-related enhancements via a single firmware release, I don’t think its hardware components are old enough so as not to accomodate User Data Preservation. What you raise regarding the Y:\ drive is quite interesting, but the N95 could have just used the Z:\ drive to handle UDP-related tasks. Anyway, if the N82 has newer hardware components, I’m glad I own one!

  4. Amir / Mar 29 2008 7:11 am

    @Devin:
    Agreed. As someone who thinks the N82 is a better handset compared with different variations of the N95, however, I believe Nokia holds the opposite opinion for a couple of reasons. UDP aside, the N95 has sold more than any other high-end Nseries handset in the world so Nokia has been logically/frequently releasing firmware updates for it. Moreover, the N95 has received a good deal of media coverage and Nokia seemingly wants to keep it going.

  5. Stephen / Mar 29 2008 4:25 pm

    @Amir

    No this isn’t the case. The Y drive on the N82 is a flash drive and the Z drive is a ROM drive. So what you suggested probably wouldn’t work ware if they used the Y drive; Then they could read and write as needed during the update. So if someone who has a 6120 and a N95* phone could tell us does it have a Y drive or not. I still think it is related to hardware and that is why it hasn’t been done. The N82 is a much newer phone then the N95* regardless of what of the 4 version you look at.

  6. Amir / Mar 29 2008 6:23 pm

    @Steve:
    I’m not sure about the N95 Classic, but the N95 8GB does have this Y:\ drive and hasn’t yet received UDP via its last firmware update — see here:
    http://discussions.nokia.co.uk/discussions/board/message?board.id=smartphones&thread.id=69913
    Apart from the 6120C, it would be interesting to know if handsets like the N95 Classic, the 5700 and the 6290 have this 1.2MB drive.

  7. Stephen / Mar 30 2008 12:40 am

    @Amir
    Well in reading the site that you posted; It looks like people aren’t for sure what the Y drive is for!
    I agree it would be nice to see what other models of Nokia 3rd Edition phones have this Y drive.

  8. Amir / Mar 30 2008 3:21 am

    @Stephen:
    Yeah, that’s why they post to that forum! I was just going to indicate that the Y drive can also be found on the N95 8GB which is still without UDP.

  9. Chris / Mar 31 2008 10:45 am

    I just checked my 6120C (recently updated to v4.21 firmware…UDP most enjoyable!) – there is no ‘Y:\’ drive, only ‘C:\’, ‘D:\’, ‘E:\’ and ‘Z:\’.

  10. Amir / Mar 31 2008 11:31 am

    @Chris:
    What you’ve found proves my conclusion mentioned in the post: Nokia intentionally distributes new features among top Nseries handsets at intervals.

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