Nokia N96 Unbeatable

Posted by Neo | 8:56 PM | | 0 comments »

This geek was recently invited to take a close look at the Nokia N79 (launching 4th quarter), N96 (launched and shipping soon), and the N85 (launching 4th quarter). Since both the N79 and N85 are not really launched yet, Now that I've tried both, I'll try to give my 2 cents on the N96 compared to the INNOV8, the focus being on the N96 instead of the latter.

The N96 was built as an all-rounder with a good emphasis on the video entertainment. It even comes with a stand at the back of the phone which can prop up the device for you to watch videos on.

The quality of video is good and, although it comes with a built-in TV tuner, you'd need your local operator's support.

The N96 also comes with a jack for TV output. You can watch everything on your mobile phone on TV! In this aspect, N96 is clearly better than the Samsung INNOV8 because the latter doesn't have as big a screen and wasn't designed to watch videos in an almost dedicated fashion like this. Having said that, the big screen can be quite a fingerprint magnet. Well, you can't have the best of everything!

Nokia music store seems to be one of the most underrated features the company as. For a start, there are 2 million songs available. The store also allows you to download the same song five times compared with other online music stores.

Add in the stereo speakers and the N96 is a good choice for replacing your MP3 player.

(You can purchase an optional stereo headset, too.)

OK, the buttons on the N96 are much better placed than the Samsung INNOV8. I love how the slide-out buttons have dual functions depending on which mode you are in. One minute they are music playback buttons, the next minute they change lights and turn into gaming buttons for N-Gage games!

(Notice how the buttons on the right have changed for gaming?)

However, on the prototype set I was trying, one of the buttons seemed designed a little too flimsy for my liking. Let's see how the actual unit comes out. I would say the user experience on the N96 should be slightly better than the INNOV8.

OK, I have to be honest here. Nokia maps seriously impress me. Not only that, you get 200+ maps free, although only three of them have turn-by-turn capabilities. It's using assisted GPS. These have also integrated with Makansutra so you can see where all the best food places are in Singapore. *rubs tummy*

INNOV8 comes with Google Maps and Route 66. But I believe only Google Maps is free. The rest you have to pay for. I didn't really try the mapping feature on the INNOV8 much, so there's no comparison here. But I'm definitely impressed with Nokia maps.

Both cameras come with decent flash and obviously the INNOV8 is the first 8-megapixel phone camera, so I'd say it wins in this area. In fact, this is probably one area where the INNOV8 really shines above all the other camera-phones out there! The INNOV8 also comes with a camera lens cover which the N96 doesn't have.

Having said all that, we're not focusing on the INNOV8 here. We're talking about the N96 which has a really decent 5-megapixel camera and takes shots pretty fast, i.e. not much lag when taking pictures. And the double LED flash is blindingly bright!

Nokia comes with an interesting set of software as usual. But I must say its pre-installed software is getting increasingly proprietary, such as the Ovi (its own version of Flickr), Nokia maps, Nokia music store, N-Gage, etc. This, as compared with Innov8's software which is not proprietary to Samsung, such as Fring (VoIP-like Skype), Shozu (connecting to social networks like Facebook), Google Maps, Route66, Google Mail, Yahoo Go, etc.

So there you have it, my lowdown on the Nokia N96, with some comparisons to the Samsung INNOV8.

Before I sign off, a little blurb on the N79 and N85

I really love how the N79 looks so simple. Almost deceptively simple because it's packed with tons of features under that hood. And it comes with color packs which change the color of your phone desktop background when snapped onto the phone!

I also played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the N85, which is just as feature-packed as the N96 and N79, but sports the best and brightest screen of the lot for a whole lot of mobile gaming action!

N96 is sooo awesome looks so sleek.makes my n95 phone looks sucky.

N96’s specification :

Source: Stefan, Intomobile: German Nokia webmasters leak N96 specifications

Supported networks

  • UMTS networks (WCDMA 2100/850; HSDPA)
  • Quad-band operation in GSM 850/900/1800/1900 networks (EDGE)
  • Automatic frequency band and mode switching
  • DVB-H, class C, 470-750 MHz


  • Volume: 92 cm 3
  • Weight: 125 g
  • Length: 103 mm
  • Width: 55 mm
  • Depth: 18 mm (places to 20 mm)


  • 16 GB of internal flash memory, memory expansion via hot-swappable microSD memory cards
  • Approximate storage capacity is 16 GB disk space:
  • – Video: 40 hours
  • – Music: 12,000 songs
  • 128 Mbytes of RAM, 256 Mbytes of system memory (operating system plus dynamic memory for user data)

Operating Hours

  • Battery: Nokia Battery BL-5F, 950 mAh
  • Talk time: GSM: up to 220 min; UMTS: Up to 150 min
  • Stand-by Time: GSM: Up to 220 hours; UMTS up to 200 hours
  • Video playback: Up to 5 hours (in offline mode)
  • Music playback: Up to 14 hours (in offline mode)
  • TV Play: Up to 4 hours (DVB-H)

Display and user interface

  • QVGA TFT display with a 6.1 inch diagonal display (2.8 inches) and 16.7 million colours at a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels
  • User interface: S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2
  • Active standby mode, multimedia menu

Data transfer

  • In UMTS networks (WCDMA 2100/850) are both voice and data connections possible (packet switched connections to max. 3.6 Mbit / s (download) or 384 kbps (upload), circuit connections to max. 64 Kbps -
  • Dual Transfer Mode (DTM) for the simultaneous use of voice and packet data connections in GSM / EDGE networks. Class A, multi-slot Class 11, max. Data transmission speed to Herunter-/Hochladen: 177.6 / 118.4 kbps
  • EGPRS Class B, multi-slot Class 32, max. Data transmission speed to Herunter-/Hochladen: 296/177, 6 kbps
  • GPRS Class B, multi-slot Class 32, max. Data transmission speed to Herunter-/Hochladen: 107/64, 2 kbit / s

Video Center

  • Video Center: Central application for video experiences
  • Access to the recent play videos and simple continuation of play
  • My Videos: collection of videos stored in the device
  • Access to Internet video, compatible with news feeds and video podcasts, updates and downloads directly over the cellular network
  • Catalog for new Internet video

Video codecs and formats

  • MPEG-4 Part 2 (H.263/SP), up to VGA at 30 frames / s codec with hardware acceleration, max. QVGA on the screen of the device, max. SDTV on TV Output
  • MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264/SP), up to VGA at 30 frames / s codec with hardware acceleration, max. QVGA on the screen of the device, max. SDTV on TV Output
  • Windows Media Video (WMV9), up to CIF / QVGA at 30 frames / s codec with hardware acceleration, max. QVGA on the screen of the device, max. SDTV on TV Output
  • Real Video (QCIF) with 30 frames / s
  • Support for Flash movies in Internet Browser
  • Digital rights management: OMA DRM 1, OMA DRM 2, WM DRM (Windows Media DRM)

Live TV

  • DVB-H-based mobile TV with integrated antenna
  • DVB-H, class C, 470-750 MHz
  • Access to videos on the browser
  • Downloading, streaming and playback during download
  • Support for Flash movies


  • Digital music player - support for MP3, AAC, eAAC +, WMA and album cover
  • Editing and sharing playlists
  • Equalizer and visualization of sounds
  • Online search and purchase music tracks in Nokia Music Store - with support for WM DRM-protected files (Windows Media DRM)


  • FM stereo radio (87,5-108 MHz) with support for RDS; possibility for the use of the VHF radios in offline mode
  • Nokia Internet Radio

Main Camera

  • Up to 5 megapixels (2,592 x 1,944 pixels)
  • Optics by Carl Zeiss
  • Autofocus, automatic exposure control
  • Aperture: F2.8
  • Focal Length: 5.2 mm
  • Focus range: 10 cm to infinity
  • Two flashlights (LED), video light, lighting-support autofocus and recording progress indicator

Second Camera

  • VGA (640 x 480 pixels)

Video recording function

  • Video recording in MPEG-4 format, with up to VGA 30 frames / s
  • Digital video stabilization
  • Video clip length: Depends on available space
  • Video File Format: MP4 (standard), 3GPP (for MMS messages)
  • Program settings for automatic, a video light, white balance and color mood


  • Photo Resolution: Up to 5 megapixels (2,592 x 1,944 pixels)
  • Format for photographs: JPEG / EXIF
  • Details on the recording location: Automatic recording of information on location in the image file
  • Program settings for automatic, flash, serial shots, self-timer, color humor, white balance, contrast, exposure correction, help


  • Digital maps and navigation
  • Integrated GPS module with support for A-GPS (Assisted GPS)
  • Nokia Maps application
  • Free downloadable maps for more than 150 countries, millions of locations, location details and satellite images **
  • To purchase upgrades available multimedia travel guides and navigation services for the car navigation Sprachgestützte
  • For pedestrians: Special optimized for pedestrian navigation with Directions

E-mail and Messaging

  • Easy-to-use e-mail client with support for attachments (photos, videos, music files, and text documents)
  • Support for e-mail protocols SMTP, IMAP4 and POP3, as well as for MMS and SMS messages Common SMS-/MMS-Editor
  • Compatible with Nokia Wireless Keyboard SU-8W (optional)

Mobile Internet Access

  • Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map function, visual history display, support for HTML and JavaScript, Flash Lite 3.0, and for Flash videos
  • Support for news feeds (RSS)

Connection options

  • WLAN (IEEE802.11 g / b) with support for UPnP (Universal Plug and Play)
  • USB 2.0 micro-USB port (Type B)
  • 3.5-mm jack for connecting a standard headphone and TV output for connecting a TV for playback of photos and videos (PAL / NTSC)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with support for stereo audio transmission (Bluetooth profile “Advanced Audio Distribution (A2DP), and EDR (Enhanced Data Rates)
  • Use of Nokia PC Suite for Nseries devices (PC software), in conjunction with Bluetooth wireless connections or cable connections to the USB port compatible PCs

Standard package

  • Nokia N96
  • Nokia battery BL-5F
  • Nokia data cable CA-101
  • Nokia video output cable, CA-75U
  • Nokia Stereo Headset-HS-45, with remote AD-54
  • Nokia cigarette lighter charger cable DC-4
  • Nokia compact AC-5E