Tag Archives: N96


Its time. The winners of the N96 Challenge have been randomly selected with the help of Random.Org’s random number generator. The 5 of you lucky readers will receive a trial of the Nokia N96 courtesy the lovely people at WOM World Nokia. I will be shortly contacting you via email with instructions on how to get your devices.


The following are the winners in each category:



  • Sartaj Gill for not only coming up with the ideas, but also performing them!



  • Steve for his ‘Please deliver me from my tacky Windows Mobile / HTC hell!’

That’s it folks. For those of you who didn’t get lucky – hopefully some other time! Those who did, I will be contacting you on the email address you mentioned while commenting, please reply to the email within 24 hours from now, else I will be forced to conduct the draw once more for that particular category.

Lastly, a HUGE thanks to WOM World for organising this challenge, I simply loved taking part in it, absolutely loved the way the contest unfolded via the scrolls that came in each week. Hopefully we will see many more of such fun things in the future, till then enjoy your N96’s.

Here’s Your Chance To Trial Five Nokia N96 Devices

I have some amazing news for you, dear readers. If you recall I was participating in the Nokia N96 Challenge to win you 5 trials of Nokia N96. I have won! So that means five lucky people out of you will be getting their hands on a N96 soon.

Face The Task - The Symbian Blog Style

At the start of the competition, I had outlined the ways in which you could win the trials:

  • Two N96’s will be raffled away amongst the commenters on any post on the entire blog, starting today. Basically, all comments made today onwards on any post on the site will enter you into the big lucky draw, so make sure you comment to increase your chances – This still stands, you have time till the 27th Feb ’09 11:59PM GMT to get your comments in.
  • I will also be writing about the upcoming challenges and one N96 will be given away to the person who sends in the best idea to help me complete the challenge. Write in via email or the contact form. – The winner of this section has already been decided and I will be contacting you via email. (The name of the person will be officially revealed on Feb. 28,’09).
  • One N96 is reserved for the most creative amongst you, send in your thoughts/reviews/opinions on anything mobile and if we like it, you will get your N96 – This still stands, you have time till the 27th Feb 11:59PM GMT to get your entries in.
  • The last N96 will be a mystery and the way to get it will be revealed if and when I win the challenge – I have decided to keep this simple. For a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post along with the name of your current phone to enter the lucky draw. Next, subscribe to The Symbian Blog via RSS or Email to stay abreast with the latest on this. One lucky commenter on THIS post will win. You have time till the 27th Feb ’09 11:59PM GMT to get your comments in.

The winners will be declared on the Febuary 28,’09. Good Luck!

Lost Her…

26/10/2008 - Share on OviAs part of the N96 Challenge, I had asked all of you to send in your thoughts/reviews/opinions on anything mobile and we here we have someone who has made excellent use of the interpretation of the words – ‘anything mobile’.

Kevin Samuel Paul presents – Lost Her..

She was gone.. All the time she was with me I never let go of her.. But they said love is like a butterfly, hold it too tight and it will crush.. hold it too loose and it will fly away.. That’s what happened.. I held her loosely for a moment and she was no more near me.. I feel so empty without her.. Like, I am isolated from the world.. I never let her alone unless I really had to.. Now, I look at my hand and its empty.. The hand which held her for 2 years.. These 2 years we were there for each other always.. She helped me in more than a few exams to which I hardly learnt a single word and yet scored above average.. And I made sure she was her normal self whenever she had trouble.. Her songs were my sole company in the 4 hour college journey to and fro.. She was a total entertainer.. We had loads of fun racing together.. My friends were real jealous on seeing that she was with me.. Maybe it was their jealousy which separated her from me..

I just want to be left alone. If only I hadn’t lost her. She was my everything. Without her, it feels so void, like the whole world has been separated from me. I loved her so much. If I ever find the guy who stole her from me, I would make sure that he regrets it for a very long time. What am I gonna do now? I don’t feel ready to move on. I can’t forget her. I was so perfect for her.. Though she is in the hands of another man now, I still love her..

Wish I hadn’t lost you.. my N70!

There you go folks. If you feel like sending something in for a chance to trial the Nokia N96, there is still time!

The N96 Challenge Is Complete – My Take On How The N96 Performed

The N96 Challenge Is Complete - My Take On How The N96 Performed

After a few exciting weeks of completing various tasks centered around the N96, like all good things – The N96 Challenge has come to an end. The competition was to win five N96 trials for you, the reader and we shall very soon find out if we have been successful. I can assure you that we tried our level best.

  • The first task was simple, I had to take geo-tagged phone of the Ninja and upload it via NokiaVine. My buddy Sartaj Gill risked all at the edge of a rooftop dressed as the Ninja while I used the N96 to capture his heroics. This was no ‘run of the mill’ snap!
  • The third challenge needed the Ninja to play a video full of fireworks on the TV via the N96’s TV-Out feature. We decided on playing the N-Gage game ‘One’ with some Rocky music as a background, running on the phone’s music player.
  • The fourth and final task was all about Nokia Vine and the N96. I needed to upload a video, photos, and the soundtrack I was listenning to via the vine. That’s done too, albeit not exactly as I planned it.

As you can probably gather, the ultimate motive of the N96 Challenge was not to test how good a performer can I be, but to help demonstrate the functionality of the N96. Throughout this challenge, I used the N96 as a camera, as a camcorder, as a mp3 player and as a tool that documented my life to an extent.

During the initial part, both the N96 and Nokia Vine were in a miserable condition – buggy as hell. I had half a mind to stop trying to make either work. However, since that time the Nokia Vine application has gotten updated thrice, the N96 is upto version 12 firmware and I see loads of promise.

Nokia Vine has gone from being super slow and crash prone to not only usable but enjoyable, however I still cannot say the same about its web interface. But the good part is that the vines are automatically added to your sportstracker profile also, so you can still view them and the media uploaded with ease.

If I were to evaluate the N96’s performance in any of these tasks, I’d have to give it top grades. The camera performs well, the music is excellent. I even had a small party with the N96 acting as the music system with speakers attched via the 3.5mm plug. I have already talked about its gaming capability here and TV out didn’t give me any problems either.

In case you look closely, all of these things are ones you would mostly do while travelling and in the light of its 16GB storage, I’d have to seriously think about NOT taking it along. (Battery permitting).

The N96 Review: Multimedia

The N96 Review: MultimediaMoving on from the hardware aspect of the N96 in the N96 review series, this post focusses on its multimedia capabilities. The review will cover area like the Camera, Music and Video playback amongst other things.

To give you a bit of a background in these areas – the N96 boasts of a 5MP camera with dual LED, a 3.5 mm jack which also doubles as the TV-out slot, stereo speakers on the right hand side of the phone and lastly a kick stand attached to the back which allows the N96 be kept at an incline while watching video.


The N96 gives its music capabilities a serious shot in the arm with the 16GB of internal storage as well as a slot for an additional microSD card, this theoretically means upto 32GB of storage. Not only that, the music output from the phone is also fairly good. The volume via the headphones is decent, the sound deep and this is capable of being enhanced with a pair of quality headphones that you might have.

If I were to compare it to phones currently on the market, I’d have to say that its better than the N82/N95 level and is almost like the N91 when it comes to quality. As far as the loudspeakers go, they are powerful, but not something that would blow you off.


With its 2.8′ screen, the N96 almost screams ‘I was built for on-the-go video’. Out of the box it supports quite a few formats such as MPEG-4, Real Video and WMV, however keep in mind that not all of their variations are supported. It sadly lacks inbuilt support for the Avi files you would normally found on the Internet.

This is where an application like Core Player comes in really handy and with it installed, the N96 can virtually play anything thrown at it. Be it the 700MB movies found on torrents or a .dat file copied off a Video CD. The play on most occasions is flawless and with 16GB on storage you can carry a lot of movies and other videos without thinking twice. The multimedia keys and the volume rocker also work with Core Player, so once you have set it up and running, it also almost feels like a native application. The slight problem you might have while playing unconverted/non mobile optimised video will be when you try and watch video with a lot of action.

The placement of the loudspeakers has also been optimised for video, to give a more balanced audio output in the landscape mode. While a lot of people have loved the kick stand, I personally have not found much use for it. The display although large, is not big enough to keep on a table and enjoyed from the chair and on most other occasions I generally have it in the palm of my hand.


The camera is probably the biggest beneficiary from the new v12 firmware, after the UI speed. From being a pain, it has become far more functional and efficient. Unlike the pre v12 era the phone can now focus well and even shots taken with the close-up mode turn out fine.

From the camera launch (by a long press of the camera key) to focussing and taking a picture, the N96 takes about 6-7 seconds which is reasonable. The fact that it does not have a physical cover for the camera means that you might pick up a scratch or two on the lens, but it shouldn’t affect the camera quality.

As far as the dual LED flash goes, I am not convinced. It marginally improves performance over the single LED of the N95 and I really haven’t seen myself use it much while recording video. The one use I have had of it is when used as a torch. But if you shoot a lot of videos in the dark then it might just be the thing for you, provided your subject(s) is with a few feet of you.

The video is pretty much standard Nseries quality and with the amble storage you can go on and on shooting it, battery permitting! If I were to rate the overall camera performance, I’d have to say that the N95/N82 still perform a tad better than the N96. It however, in my opinion, is better than the camera on the N85 running v11 firmware.


From the above it is clear that the N96 is great for content creation as well as comsumption, but its 950 mAh battery puts a huge caveat on its functionality. If you do too much of any of the above, the N96 will have problems staying alive through the day. Unless of course you decide to put the 1200 mAh inside it!

With Feature Pack 2 the Nokia N96 has true USB 2 speeds, so whatever you decide to put on/take off the phone will be a breeze and a pleasure. I have actually started using it as a mini portable drive to copy stuff from here and there.

All in all, with Core Player installed I’d give the N96 a 4/5. Half a point taken for the lack of Xenon and half for the battery.

N-Gage Faceoff: N96 v/s N85

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

N-Gage has become a very integral part of Nokia’s Nseries range of devices, so much so that they have even positioned the N85 as a gamer’s device by giving it the tagline – ‘Gaming Now Made By Hand’. In this post we put the N96 against the N85 in order to find out if its the best gaming device after all. Aspects such as the screen, keypad and battery amongst other have been covered. Read on to find out which is the better N-Gage device.


N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

The N85 is much smaller than the N96, what this means is that it packs smaller keys and well as a smaller display. The N96 boasts of a 2.8″ screen while the N85 comes in at 2.6″, they both have the same 240×320 resolution though. This alone means that the screen on the N85 will look slightly better, but that’s not all.

The N85 comes with an AMOLED screen that is capable of greater brightness and deeper and sharper colours colours as compared to the already good looking LCD of the N96. The real world impact this has on the display is profound. Have a look for yourself.

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

All in all, it comes down to size v/s quality. The difference of 0.2″ is important for me, however once I see the two side by side – the better display wins me over. However, if I had not gotten used to the N85’s screen, the N96 would have been a definite pick in isolation.


N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

Owing to the difference in size, the gaming keys on the N85 are much smaller than those of the N96. This might become an issue for people with large thumbs, but for the rest of you it will be no problem. The tactile feedback of the buttons on the N85 is also better.

N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi N-Gage - N96 v/s N85 - Share on Ovi

As you can see above, my thumb has a greater resting area on the N96. While I enjoy the extra space on the N96 very much, I can’t say the smaller keys of the N85 have been a problem. Its a question of getting used to them.

As far as the Navi Pad is concerned, its a clear win for the N96. The N85’s Navi Wheel is hard and during the first few hours of gaming it can get downright uncomfortable. With time its impact has lessened, but the thing is that it should have been taken care of in the first place itself.


There are certain other factors that also impact the gameplay on a device. The primary being battery life. What is the point of having a killer gaming machine when its battery runs out super quick or where you need to compromise on other features because gaming drained the battery took much? This is something where the N85 again takes the lead with its 1200 mAh battery as compared to the N96’s 950 mAh.

Next, the N85 comes with 15 titles pre-installed and a code to convert anyone of them to a full version. This is specially convenient when you are new to gaming or downloading titles is a problem for you. The N96 on the other hand comes with a specific free game, it may or may not be one that you like.


Here is a video of the N96 and N85 running a demo of ‘One’ on N-Gage.



Although you may hate it, but I do not think I would be able to decide which device beats the other in terms of gameplay. Each has its advantages, the N96 with the bigger screen, keys and Navi Wheel performance while the N85 with its stunning screen and greater battery life.

Lastly, since most of the times the decision as to which handset to buy isn’t solely based on the gaming capabilities of a phone, the choice will also come down to personal preferences and the size of your hands!