It has been a few days since I got back from Barcelona and the N96 product launch and I have been thinking about it more and more. Will it work? Won’t it? What might be the reasons for its failure or success? In this post I will try and give a run down of all of that and compare it to some of the Nseries devices already in the market.
The N96 is expected to be out in Q3 at about 550€ unsubsidised. Now what that means is that the price of the current crop of Nseries will continue to fall till then on launch the N96 will be at least 100€ more expensive than any other Nseries on the market. Does it have enough to get the consumer to spent that little more? Lets have a look:
Vis-a-Vis the N95 8GB
– The first obvious benefit is the 16 GB. I personally will be happy with 8GB itself as I am not much of a storage person, but what the N96 is also bringing is upto 5 times faster data transfer. Thats very tempting.
– Next on the list is DVB-H, at least for the regions where it is available. For the rest of us pretty much useless.
– The jump to the N91 music quality or probably better is huge. If I’m in the market, it’ll be a big factor for me personally.
– While the form factor is similar the placement of the multimedia keys on the D pad in addition to the slide out section is a neat addition. Some people would hate it, but I see no wrong in giving the consumer choices, the more the merrier!
As far as looks are concerned, I quite like it. It is not subtle class but pure flash which will be a good for a change. Hardware wise, the slide is also better.
– Dual LED usable while video recording.
– No 3D Acceleration, but then the current crop of Ngage games arn’t utilising it. But still it would have nice to have it.
– A smaller battery. I have no clue how big the benefits of software optimisations will be, eager to test it out.
Apart from the N95 series, the N82 is the phone to beat.
Vis-a-Vis the N82
– 16GB is not a big factor as micro SD cards that size have been announced and should be available by the time the N96 comes out.
– Having light while video recording is a plus but the xenon flash on the N82 makes up for it while taking images.
– What the N82 cannot match is the screen size (2.8″) and the music quality. Two essentials for me. As much as I would like the flash the screen and music are far more important considerations.
Who will get the N96?
That’s a tough question to answer specially when the device is not even out yet. Perhaps it may even be absurd to even try and characterise its prospective buyers but here’s my prespective nevertheless. The first catagory will be the people who have been waiting to get an Nseries flagship and have given the N95 series a skip. Second would be people owning the N95 claasic but they would face a dilema because of the battery and lack of 3D acceleration. Few N95 8GB owners would want to get the upgrade unless they are hardcore music freaks. If web browsing is important then the N96 will face the heat again as according to the product manager it will only do about 4hrs on wifi!
The bottomline is that the battery has to deliver, otherwise it will be just another handset that came and went.