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Nokia N96 review

8/10 AVG.
RATING



8/10
Informr score
The Nokia N96 currently has an Informr score of 8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 6 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.


Operating system
Symbian
Processor
264 MHz
Screen Size
Unknown
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


GSMArena

Maybe Nokia N96 wasn't really intended to take the market by storm and turn the world around. Maybe it was meant to quietly update the top multimedia gadget of the house and continue to cash in.It just seems Nokia won't put all eggs in the same basket. And that makes us wondering. More high-end stuf...

- GSMArena team, GSMArena
Mobile88

That is not the best solution around as far as the price/functionality ration is concerned. N96 is obviously an all-in-one solution, but doesnТt stand up to the level of N95 or N85. Nokia N96 concentrates on a narrow circle of typical tasks: video playback and recording, mobile TV and music. In the...

- Anton Spiridonov, Mobile88
Softpedia

Without impressing too much through its design, Nokia N96 will probably be quickly forgotten in the favor of the new Nokia touchscreen phones. Fortunately, its maker has taken into account this possibility and has announced the new tier 1 device of the Nseries – Nokia N97. I consider the N96 s...

- Cosmin Vasile, Softpedia
MobileBurn

At first I wasn't so keen on the Nokia N96, as the flat keypad leaves a lot to be desired, and the interface could be very slow at times. It seemed like a step backwards from my N95 in terms of usability and speed. However, the more I used it, the more I liked it. With double the storage of the N95...

- Russell Jefferies, MobileBurn
PhoneArena

On the whole we are impressed with the N96. It offers noteworthy upgrades to its forerunner, such as the DVB-H tuner (not usable in the States) and 16GB of internal memory with further expansion, and the design is also greatly refined. Running S60 Feature Pack 3 gives the N96 the flexibility to hand...

- Team, PhoneArena


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Nokia released the N96 on February 11, 2008.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Nokia N96 user manual here.


Nokia backs up the N96 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your N96 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Nokia support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Nokia's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
Unknown

The Nokia N96's screen size is Unknown with 240 x 320 pixels resolution.

Processor
264 MHz

There is a ARM9 264 MHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Symbian v9.3 (S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2) operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
256 MB

Internal memory is 256 MB. An external, MicroSD (up to 16 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
950mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 950 mAh battery. Nokia's performance ratings are 9 days standby time.

Nokia N96 Specs

Overview
Release date February 11, 2008
Regions available Canada
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System Symbian v9.3 (S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2)

Compare Symbian Smartphones

Processor ARM9 264 MHz
Internal Flash Memory 256 MB
RAM 128 MB
ROM No
Digital compass No
Flightmode No
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.78 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 950 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 9 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Slider
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Colors Black with silver accents
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.3 x 5.5 x 1.8 cm (4.1 x 2.2 x 0.7 in)
Weight 125 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size Unknown
3D No
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Standard / 12-key Numeric
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry T9
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, MSN
Push-to-talk (PTT) Yes
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles No
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g
WiFi Encryption Unknown
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 16 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Unknown
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Geotagging, Self-timer, White balance
Video Recording Formats
H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, RealVideo
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC, WMA
Radio Yes
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, RealVideo
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments -
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Nokia N96 Reviews
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Critic Reviews


GSMArena

A great software package that comes in an utterly user-unfriendly shell

Maybe Nokia N96 wasn't really intended to take the market by storm and turn the world around. Maybe it was meant to quietly update the top multimedia gadget of the house and continue to cash in.

It just seems Nokia won't put all eggs in the same basket. And that makes us wondering. More high-end stuff will be available in affordable handsets, Arte will continue to define exquisite splendor, Eseries will go on blending exceptional skill with refined elegance and Touch UI will slowly be conquering the company portfolio. If all those assumptions are true, shall we fear the Nseries packed with features beyond belief but only getting uglier...

More

Maybe Nokia N96 wasn't really intended to take the market by storm and turn the world around. Maybe it was meant to quietly update the top multimedia gadget of the house and continue to cash in.

It just seems Nokia won't put all eggs in the same basket. And that makes us wondering. More high-end stuff will be available in affordable handsets, Arte will continue to define exquisite splendor, Eseries will go on blending exceptional skill with refined elegance and Touch UI will slowly be conquering the company portfolio. If all those assumptions are true, shall we fear the Nseries packed with features beyond belief but only getting uglier?

Tempted though we are to say that failure is looming over Nokia N96, we know better than that. There will be quite a lot of diehard Symbian fans (and even a few individuals that do actually need DVB-H support) that will go against their aesthetic sense and get the N96. And no, we don't think they will be disappointed or eager to agree with most of the things we said in this review.

As for the rest of the potential buyers - Nokia N96 is a great software package that comes in an utterly user-unfriendly shell. The ergonomics of the device are so poor (except for video watching) that operating it is a chore, rather than fun. Not to mention looks that are….oh well, controversial will have to do. It's just that when you dish out a healthy sum it's only fair to expect style and finesse. For all we know, style and finesse may have different meaning in the geek world and that's where the name of Nokia N96 sure rings a special bell.

Read full review

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Mobile88

All-in-one solution

from Mobile88

That is not the best solution around as far as the price/functionality ration is concerned. N96 is obviously an all-in-one solution, but doesnТt stand up to the level of N95 or N85. Nokia N96 concentrates on a narrow circle of typical tasks: video playback and recording, mobile TV and music. In the rest of the aspects, the device isnТt as advanced or balanced as Nokia N85, a fact not to be neglected....

More

That is not the best solution around as far as the price/functionality ration is concerned. N96 is obviously an all-in-one solution, but doesnТt stand up to the level of N95 or N85. Nokia N96 concentrates on a narrow circle of typical tasks: video playback and recording, mobile TV and music. In the rest of the aspects, the device isnТt as advanced or balanced as Nokia N85, a fact not to be neglected.

On the other hand, itТs hard to look up a better solution for performing the tasks that N96 has a focus on. The model has already started selling for 550 euros(RM3,338), and makes a better deal in comparison with N98 8GB (which costs but a bit less). A higher niche is occupied by SamsungТs i8510 INNOV8 flagship. The price gap between i8510 and N96 isnТt big enough to matter for a person with enough money and determination to buy an expensive and maximally functional smartphone. An ultra high quality 8 Mp camera is its only, yet a formidable, advantage making it a benchmark to the future phones. N96 on the other hand offers advanced digital TV capabilities, but we are inclined to view i8510 as a better deal.

Read full review

Less

Softpedia

A bit overpriced high tier product

from Softpedia

Without impressing too much through its design, Nokia N96 will probably be quickly forgotten in the favor of the new Nokia touchscreen phones. Fortunately, its maker has taken into account this possibility and has announced the new tier 1 device of the Nseries – Nokia N97. I consider the N96 slider a downgraded version of the N95 8GB, with a higher (unjustified) price...

More

Without impressing too much through its design, Nokia N96 will probably be quickly forgotten in the favor of the new Nokia touchscreen phones. Fortunately, its maker has taken into account this possibility and has announced the new tier 1 device of the Nseries – Nokia N97. I consider the N96 slider a downgraded version of the N95 8GB, with a higher (unjustified) price.

The Good

The strong points of the device are surely the large amount of storage space, the HSDPA connectivity and large screen that offers a smooth multimedia experience. The latter is even more appealing, as the phone comes with the "Transformers" movie included. Wi-Fi, good GSM signal reception, as well as excellent talking experience make it a worthy opponent to the much older N95.

The Bad

I have been expecting a more stylish look from one of the most expensive Nseries handsets currently on the market. Moreover, the hard-to-use keypad and the camera-dedicated button, as well as the low autonomy of the battery don’t go well with the Nseries logo. I guess Nokia didn't consider it and overpriced the device just because it's a high tier product, but there are other Nokia handsets that can offer better features than the N96, and which are, furthermore, much cheaper.

Read full review

Less

MobileBurn

More memory and a different exterior design

from MobileBurn

At first I wasn't so keen on the Nokia N96, as the flat keypad leaves a lot to be desired, and the interface could be very slow at times. It seemed like a step backwards from my N95 in terms of usability and speed. However, the more I used it, the more I liked it. With double the storage of the N95 8GB and a microSD slot onboard, the N96 can be loaded to the hilt with music, videos, and applications...

More

At first I wasn't so keen on the Nokia N96, as the flat keypad leaves a lot to be desired, and the interface could be very slow at times. It seemed like a step backwards from my N95 in terms of usability and speed. However, the more I used it, the more I liked it. With double the storage of the N95 8GB and a microSD slot onboard, the N96 can be loaded to the hilt with music, videos, and applications.

More thought has also been put into the device's uses as a video player. For example, the speakers have been moved to either end of the device this time, acting as left and right stereo speakers whilst the device is in landscape mode. There's also a rear-mounted stand to hold the device at a better viewing angle when on a flat surface. Only small tweaks, but effective nonetheless.

The BL-5F battery turned out to be a non-issue in the end, with the device lasting longer than expected. This was thanks to revised power settings and a low-power mode that activates when battery nearly drained. Then there's the most notable improvement from the N95 - the build quality. The sliding action of the N96 is much tighter than that of the N95, making the phone feel more solid and of higher quality. I'm sure I'd have been even more impressed if an update was made available during our test period, as the device could be ridiculously slow at times, ruining the experience.

Overall I rate the N96 as "Recommended" as it packs such a huge punch in terms of features and connectivity. However, N95 users should not rush to "upgrade" their phones, because the N96 is hardly a leap in progress. In many ways this is the same device, but with more memory and a different exterior design. Personally I'd have expected to see an 8 megapixel camera here and maybe even a faster processor, too. The N96 therefore lost out on our "Highly Recommended" rating as it seems to be last year's tech, but in a new casing.

Read full review

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PhoneArena

Noteworthy upgrades to its forerunner

from PhoneArena

On the whole we are impressed with the N96. It offers noteworthy upgrades to its forerunner, such as the DVB-H tuner (not usable in the States) and 16GB of internal memory with further expansion, and the design is also greatly refined. Running S60 Feature Pack 3 gives the N96 the flexibility to handle most anything the user throws at it. With an overall capacity of 28GB of memory (and theoretical capacity for 48GB) and a large screen it serves as a worthy PMP replacement. The camera and camcorder on the whole was very good, and would do as an everyday point and shoot...

More

On the whole we are impressed with the N96. It offers noteworthy upgrades to its forerunner, such as the DVB-H tuner (not usable in the States) and 16GB of internal memory with further expansion, and the design is also greatly refined. Running S60 Feature Pack 3 gives the N96 the flexibility to handle most anything the user throws at it. With an overall capacity of 28GB of memory (and theoretical capacity for 48GB) and a large screen it serves as a worthy PMP replacement. The camera and camcorder on the whole was very good, and would do as an everyday point and shoot.

Our real gripe is with the fit and finish of the phone. Though it is improved over the N95, the key layout is still cramped and we’re not a fan of the materials used. The white backlighting seeps out of cracks on the front cluster so much that it resembles a cheap knockoff in the dark. No matter how you spin it the N96 is fat; it’s too wide in our hands and too thick in our pocket and the simple way to remedy this is to remove the slider and keypad.

Nokia is definitely moving in the right design direction and as far as function goes the N96 still on the short list of premium devices, but we’d recommend US users wait until the North American version is released, which will support 3G on this side of the pond. With the likes of Samsung, Apple and HTC nipping at their heels with converged devices that take form just as seriously as function, Nokia seems to have taken more of a lateral step than pushing forward with innovation. Of course, the same could be said of Apple.

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Lordpercy

A worthy alternative to the rather over popular iPhone

from Lordpercy

The N96 is designed for video and as such the screen is a critical bit of kit, so the 2.8" QVGA with 16 millions colours sounded a bit bog standard for a video enabled device, however power on and the experience is much better than the spec sounds. The colours are indeed vivid and as for brightness we even managed to browse some you tube videos in direct sunlight, worth noting we were in Amsterdam at the time hence the access to Sunlight outside the UK. The reason for testing this phone in Amsterdam was the ability to try DVB-H with the N96 and the IBC exhibition is the ideal place to track down a manufacturer with a test signal....

More

The N96 is designed for video and as such the screen is a critical bit of kit, so the 2.8" QVGA with 16 millions colours sounded a bit bog standard for a video enabled device, however power on and the experience is much better than the spec sounds. The colours are indeed vivid and as for brightness we even managed to browse some you tube videos in direct sunlight, worth noting we were in Amsterdam at the time hence the access to Sunlight outside the UK. The reason for testing this phone in Amsterdam was the ability to try DVB-H with the N96 and the IBC exhibition is the ideal place to track down a manufacturer with a test signal.

Overall the Nokia N96 is a quality phone, features are extended and tweaked from the N95 and that combined with the improved build quality and helping of style make the N96 a worthy alternative to the rather over popular iPhone.

Read full review

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