Hands On With The N96

The N96

I have just had hands on time with both the devices and a meeting with the product managers of both devices. They were kind enough to answer everything we wanted to know about the respective devices. In this post I will go over my initial impressions of both devices while trying to incorporate all that I learnt talking to them. More shots here.

Build

Like I said earlier I quite like the design and the bigger size makes using the music keys near the D pad that much easier. The playback keys on the dual slide are flat but can be used for gaming, finally! The slide is similar to the N81, spring loaded and gives the device a nice solid feel. I don’t think there’ll be rumbling like in the N95’s case again, this time they seem to gave got it right. The device also packs a micro USB and a 3.5 mm jack along with a keypad un/lock switch. Lastly, there is no camera cover.

Music

Although the N96 is essentially a video driven device music still continues to play a major role and I have some great news on this front. I asked the product manager if we could expect the N91 quality on the device and yes said no, it’ll probably we better! The 16GB storage will be well used in that case. Another great improvement is in the data transfer speed via USB, on the N96 it will be at least 5 times faster than what you would get on say a N95. Considering the non removable nature of the flash storage that’s a job well done! On the loudspeaker front, it is comparable to the N95 or may be a shade less, I can’t be sure yet.

Video & DVB-H

This aspect of the device was really the focal point of development and is demonstrated by the inclusion of a DVB-H receiver. While I personally was/am skeptical about it, a lot of people see it as something that will pick up and go mainstream. I also enquired as to where there will be a version without it, there won’t be. The product manager felt that it is something that should be available to people like bluetooth or wifi, should they choose to use it someday/becomes available specially because the world has pretty much come to a consensus as it being a common platform across the globe. The device also supports recording TV if the operator allows it, theoretically that is great news; the 30 second recording cap could be history.

As far as video recording is concerned it will be great, specially with the dual LED being available even while shooting video. The reason the xenon was left out is the form factor, the slide design doesn’t leave enough room to get it in without making the device huge. Here is a short clip demonstrating the LEDs in the video mode:

Battery

Down to the all controversial 950 mAh battery. I was disappointed, still am. The product manager has said that they have really worked hard on software optimisations to squeeze more juice out of it. Also, FP2 that the N96 runs does bring improvements on this front, whether or not it will be enough remains to be seen. On being asked why was this done, he said that it was carried out so as to allow for reasonable dimensions and weight which is very important in today’s time.

Gaming

Well, the N96 is not so much of a N95 we might think, it lacks 3D acceleration. Thats right, surprising but true! That means we can forget the Ngage experience on a higher plane. But since Ngage games are suppossed to be compatible with the N73 as well, they wont’t need such hardware support anyway. The TV out is still the same as N95, the VGA resolution continues to be reserved for the Gallery only.

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122 thoughts on “Hands On With The N96”

  1. How ever Nokia develops its product, it still has 2 major drawbacks. 1. Being it does not show name & number while making or receiving a call and 2.Cannot use flash as a torch in emergency.. Paying extra for a Nokia handset but still no point…

  2. How ever Nokia develops its product, it still has 2 major drawbacks. 1. Being it does not show name & number while making or receiving a call and 2.Cannot use flash as a torch in emergency.. Paying extra for a Nokia handset but still no point…

  3. Jimmy, that may not be entirely true. The caller’s number is shown in the N82 and with FP2 coming in the N96 that option might be available in it too.
    Plus the LEDs can be used as a torch on the N96.

  4. Jimmy, that may not be entirely true. The caller’s number is shown in the N82 and with FP2 coming in the N96 that option might be available in it too.
    Plus the LEDs can be used as a torch on the N96.

  5. Jimmy, that may not be entirely true. The caller’s number is shown in the N82 and with FP2 coming in the N96 that option might be available in it too.
    Plus the LEDs can be used as a torch on the N96.

  6. hi. i just looked up things on forum nokia or somewhere and i found this:

    N95 8GB
    Dual CPU
    CPU Type: ARM 11
    CPU Clock Rate: 332 MHz
    3D Graphics HW Accelerator

    N96
    Dual CPU
    CPU Type: ARM 9
    CPU Clock Rate: 264 MHz

    Why would nokia put a worse processor in this phone? and yeah, the battery bugs me too. Just to see what happens, i tried my n95 8GB with a BL-5F. It lasted just over two hours. Whereas the BL-6F can make nearly a whole day. So.. I dont think this thing is worth the money. I’d rather stick with my n95-8g.. for now anyway 🙂

  7. hi. i just looked up things on forum nokia or somewhere and i found this:

    N95 8GB
    Dual CPU
    CPU Type: ARM 11
    CPU Clock Rate: 332 MHz
    3D Graphics HW Accelerator

    N96
    Dual CPU
    CPU Type: ARM 9
    CPU Clock Rate: 264 MHz

    Why would nokia put a worse processor in this phone? and yeah, the battery bugs me too. Just to see what happens, i tried my n95 8GB with a BL-5F. It lasted just over two hours. Whereas the BL-6F can make nearly a whole day. So.. I dont think this thing is worth the money. I’d rather stick with my n95-8g.. for now anyway 🙂

  8. hi. i just looked up things on forum nokia or somewhere and i found this:

    N95 8GB
    Dual CPU
    CPU Type: ARM 11
    CPU Clock Rate: 332 MHz
    3D Graphics HW Accelerator

    N96
    Dual CPU
    CPU Type: ARM 9
    CPU Clock Rate: 264 MHz

    Why would nokia put a worse processor in this phone? and yeah, the battery bugs me too. Just to see what happens, i tried my n95 8GB with a BL-5F. It lasted just over two hours. Whereas the BL-6F can make nearly a whole day. So.. I dont think this thing is worth the money. I’d rather stick with my n95-8g.. for now anyway 🙂

  9. We’ll know when it comes out, but yes these things are a disappointment. Nokia’s reasoning could be since the 3D accelerator does nothing because we have cripled Ngage to make it compatible with phones such as N73, lets cut back on costs on this front. 😉

  10. We’ll know when it comes out, but yes these things are a disappointment. Nokia’s reasoning could be since the 3D accelerator does nothing because we have cripled Ngage to make it compatible with phones such as N73, lets cut back on costs on this front. 😉

  11. We’ll know when it comes out, but yes these things are a disappointment. Nokia’s reasoning could be since the 3D accelerator does nothing because we have cripled Ngage to make it compatible with phones such as N73, lets cut back on costs on this front. 😉

  12. True. Well anyway my mates will probably buy one and then i can try how slow it is.. It would be quite cool if we really could record from the tv.

    Oh yeah one more question to the guys who make this:
    One feature that they have missed out from the new phones is expandability. Ability to add things to it, that isn’t already there.
    Lets take the good old N80 with a pop-port at the bottom. In nokia shops you can buy external Xenon flash, external cameras, and so many more things that i have had with my n80. just imagine how great this phone would be with the dual led AND a xenon flash. So yes, this is what i would like to ask from the nokia people 🙂 thanks for listening.

  13. True. Well anyway my mates will probably buy one and then i can try how slow it is.. It would be quite cool if we really could record from the tv.

    Oh yeah one more question to the guys who make this:
    One feature that they have missed out from the new phones is expandability. Ability to add things to it, that isn’t already there.
    Lets take the good old N80 with a pop-port at the bottom. In nokia shops you can buy external Xenon flash, external cameras, and so many more things that i have had with my n80. just imagine how great this phone would be with the dual led AND a xenon flash. So yes, this is what i would like to ask from the nokia people 🙂 thanks for listening.

  14. Oh my god i just found out that they have left out the IR port as well.. Big disappointment this thing is…

    But one question to you, Vaibhav Sharma, since you have tried it does it have menu animations like the 6220 or N78? Thanks.

  15. Oh my god i just found out that they have left out the IR port as well.. Big disappointment this thing is…

    But one question to you, Vaibhav Sharma, since you have tried it does it have menu animations like the 6220 or N78? Thanks.

  16. Oh my god i just found out that they have left out the IR port as well.. Big disappointment this thing is…

    But one question to you, Vaibhav Sharma, since you have tried it does it have menu animations like the 6220 or N78? Thanks.

  17. By the way its like my absulute life-time dream to become a so “important” person who can get access to these phones months before they are released to the public. It’s just.. Youre so lucky, Sir! 😀

  18. By the way its like my absulute life-time dream to become a so “important” person who can get access to these phones months before they are released to the public. It’s just.. Youre so lucky, Sir! 😀

  19. Yes, but the 6220 has an exra animation when you enter the camera or the images application. This has been missed out from both the N78 and the N96 as far as i know.. But correct me if i’m wrong 🙂

  20. Yes, but the 6220 has an exra animation when you enter the camera or the images application. This has been missed out from both the N78 and the N96 as far as i know.. But correct me if i’m wrong 🙂

  21. Yes, but the 6220 has an exra animation when you enter the camera or the images application. This has been missed out from both the N78 and the N96 as far as i know.. But correct me if i’m wrong 🙂

  22. its unfair on our part to compare it to n 95 8 gig. Nokia never intended it be an upgrade of 95. Its a device meant to focus on video capabilities. They have got n 82 (i have got it!) for images, 81 for gaming and 95 as a king of sorts incorporating bits of everything. And yes, this definitely is not a flagship device. IMHO, its not wise on n 95 8 gig users to change to this that too at 36k.

  23. its unfair on our part to compare it to n 95 8 gig. Nokia never intended it be an upgrade of 95. Its a device meant to focus on video capabilities. They have got n 82 (i have got it!) for images, 81 for gaming and 95 as a king of sorts incorporating bits of everything. And yes, this definitely is not a flagship device. IMHO, its not wise on n 95 8 gig users to change to this that too at 36k.

  24. its unfair on our part to compare it to n 95 8 gig. Nokia never intended it be an upgrade of 95. Its a device meant to focus on video capabilities. They have got n 82 (i have got it!) for images, 81 for gaming and 95 as a king of sorts incorporating bits of everything. And yes, this definitely is not a flagship device. IMHO, its not wise on n 95 8 gig users to change to this that too at 36k.

  25. ashu!
    This is all true, but i should think nokia gave those phones (n81,n82) a number less than 95, to show that they are not quite as good.(however the n82 is about as good as the n95). But you are right, this isn’t really a descendant of the n95.

    I do hope though that nokia will make a phone which is better in hardware than the n95, AND has all the funcitons as the n96 and prehaps a touch screen as well. But then i may ask too much.

    I know it is hard to make thigs so small, and light, but i’d rather have a bit larger phone with a good battery than a /excuse me for saying this/ small piece of cr_p. We, the buyers have the money and the expectations. I suppose we can only wait now. adios. 🙂

  26. ashu!
    This is all true, but i should think nokia gave those phones (n81,n82) a number less than 95, to show that they are not quite as good.(however the n82 is about as good as the n95). But you are right, this isn’t really a descendant of the n95.

    I do hope though that nokia will make a phone which is better in hardware than the n95, AND has all the funcitons as the n96 and prehaps a touch screen as well. But then i may ask too much.

    I know it is hard to make thigs so small, and light, but i’d rather have a bit larger phone with a good battery than a /excuse me for saying this/ small piece of cr_p. We, the buyers have the money and the expectations. I suppose we can only wait now. adios. 🙂

  27. ashu!
    This is all true, but i should think nokia gave those phones (n81,n82) a number less than 95, to show that they are not quite as good.(however the n82 is about as good as the n95). But you are right, this isn’t really a descendant of the n95.

    I do hope though that nokia will make a phone which is better in hardware than the n95, AND has all the funcitons as the n96 and prehaps a touch screen as well. But then i may ask too much.

    I know it is hard to make thigs so small, and light, but i’d rather have a bit larger phone with a good battery than a /excuse me for saying this/ small piece of cr_p. We, the buyers have the money and the expectations. I suppose we can only wait now. adios. 🙂

  28. ooh, i found two more games which use the 3D accel in the phones. For example there is Global Race (3d accel version). it has stunning graphics and it doesn’t lag a little bit, it runs as smooth as need for speed carbon, on a 512 ati radeon sapphire card. :O i’m not sure the n96 owners can enjoy playing it at 2fps 😀

  29. ooh, i found two more games which use the 3D accel in the phones. For example there is Global Race (3d accel version). it has stunning graphics and it doesn’t lag a little bit, it runs as smooth as need for speed carbon, on a 512 ati radeon sapphire card. :O i’m not sure the n96 owners can enjoy playing it at 2fps 😀

  30. ooh, i found two more games which use the 3D accel in the phones. For example there is Global Race (3d accel version). it has stunning graphics and it doesn’t lag a little bit, it runs as smooth as need for speed carbon, on a 512 ati radeon sapphire card. :O i’m not sure the n96 owners can enjoy playing it at 2fps 😀

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