Thursday, December 11, 2008
Nokia continues to put more into its N-series smartphones and a real hit is Nokia N96 which has improved a lot from its predecessor – N95.
Nokia N96 is made as a dual slider, as most of the current most successful phones.
N96 is available in black - front and backside. Sides of it are silver. The lid opens easily.
Screen has a QVGA resolution of 240×320 pixels, with 16 million colors and the diagonal is quite impressive - 2.8 inches. It is easily readable in any lighting conditions, though oddly enough colors tend to wash out in direct sunlight.
Above the screen, next to the main speaker is the VGA-camera for videocalling. On the right side surface, on top and bottom two additional speakers are placed, and keys for quick activation of camera and volume control. On the left side - a slot for microSD-cards.
Top side has a jack for a headset, the lock key, and on/off switch. Bottom side has jacks for microphone, USB-connector and plug for the charger.
5 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera is prominently displayed, and is ringed in silver housing that flips out to act as a stand for the phone while viewing video.. If you open a multimedia keyboard, the device turns into multimedia player. In doing so, the image automatically turns clockwise by 90 degrees. To restore it back, you must open the digital keyboard. Nokia N96 folded keeps the screen orientation, which was before closing.
Navigation keys are not too convenient, too narrow bezel, it must draw a bead. And the area around the keypad is nothing more than another multimedia keyboard.
The main keypad is flush not mounted even a little. Backlight of the keys is white, very well visible almost in all conditions. Clicking on the keys is convenient. Any pressing is clearly accepted by the device.
Actually, with Nokia N96 we miss only touch sensitive screen especially after the iPhone and touch screen smartphones based on Windows Mobile.
The capacity of the battery is 950 mAh. As stated by the manufacturer, this is enough to view up to 4 hours of television (DVB-H), up to 5 hours - video or listen to 14 hours of music (video and music online Offline). In the intensive use of Nokia N96 (calls, camera, a bit of video, Internet), we used it for two days after full charging. If you use only phone’s calling functions, the charge is just enough for three days.
Embedded memory of the smartphone is divided into two parts - Phone memory and Mass memory. File manager sees them as two different discs. There are no any specific differences when you work with them. First - 256 Mb disc is to store a typical telephone personal information. Second - 16 GB you can use for everything else. If you have a microSD card inserted, then you’ve got the third disc.
USB 2.0 is included to connect to a computer. Four modes of connection is possible - as an external drive, using Nokia PC Suite, photos and synchronization with Windows Media Player.
Internet surfing can be done via mobile operators, with Wi-Fi version of 802.11 g/b which supports UPnP. When you try to open a web page in the browser Nokia N96 asks what connection to use. In addition to access to the internet, Wi-Fi can be used to transfer media files from smartphone to home devices.
N96 is equipped with a digital television receiver - DVB-H Class C. Besides, supported are downloading and sending video with streaming mode, as well as progressive downloading of files. Video playback has gotten special attention. N96 has received a hardware decoder H.263. Supported formats: MPEG-4 Part 2 (H.263/SP), MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264/AVC), Windows Media Video (WMV9), RealVideo QCIF. The maximum allowed resolution for the player is QVGA, for video output – SDTV, Frequency - 30 frames per second.
In addition, the Internet browser of Nokia N96 supports Flash-video. The quality of video playback on its own display will satisfy almost any user.
Images from the 5 megapix camera leave a dual impression. Pictures taken in the streets out in a day and did not raise any criticism, but those that are taken in a room seem blurry.
Built-in flash does not always save the situation, but leaves us with the quality of 5 megapixel camera.
Nokia N96 picture - street.
The music player is typical for Nokia. The sound corresponds top models. If the music in your phone is not sufficient, FM-radio will come to help you.
Nokia N96 has a GPS-receiver, which is working fast enough. The company offers free downloadable maps of 150 countries around the world. Honestly, I would like to see maps installed or in the sales package in such a device of high class and for this price.
What about applications in Nokia N96. For example, the existing Office is incomplete. It allows opening and reading text files, spreadsheet and presentation only. To create new or edit an existing document, will have to buy a license.
Full technical specifications of Nokia N96 are:
WCDMA2100/900 (HSDPA) / EGSM900, GSM850/1800/1900 MHz (EGPRS) connectivity
DVB-H Class C, 470-750 MHz
S60 3rd edition, FP2 UI
2.8” QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) LCD TFT display with up to 16 million colors
5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and auto-exposure
Dual-LED camera flash, video light, recording indicator, auto-focus assist light
Secondary VGA (640 x 480 px) camera for video calls
Video capture in MPEG-4 up to VGA at 30 fps
Digital Video Stabilization
WLAN - IEEE802.11 g/b
Stereo FM radio (87.5-108MHz, 76-90MHz) with RDS
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 with Micro USB type B interface
3.5mm stereo headset plug , TV-out support (PAL/NTSC)
Bluetooth 2.0 A2DP stereo/EDR
950 mAh battery with up to 220 min talk, 220 hrs standby time, 5 hrs video, 14 hrs music or 4 hrs TV playback
Dimensions: 103×55×18 mm
Weight: 125 g