Of all the phones announced during the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, few caused as much excitement as the Nokia N96, the successor to the immensely popular N95. The N96 boasts a large 2.8ins screen, a colossal 16 gigabytes of internal memory and support for high-quality videos in a wide range of formats. Like the N95, it's a dual slider with a five-megapixel camera, but there's a far greater emphasis on video.
According to Nokia, accessing home and internet videos with the N96 is quick and simple. The Nokia N96 supports common video formats including MPEG-4, Windows Media Video and Flash Video, making favourite videos easy to view. Transferring and accessing videos is rapid with the high-speed USB 2.0 connection and WLAN and HSDPA support.
There's also an integrated DVB-H receiver, enabling live broadcast TV with an automatically updating program guide in the markets with DVB-H coverage (we don't yet have it in the UK).
The massive memory can store up to 40 hours of video content. The storage capacity of the Nokia N96 can even be further expanded with an optional microSD card, such as the new Nokia 8GB microSDHC Card MU-43 which increases the available memory of the Nokia N96 to a total 24GB. For added convenience, the Nokia N96 features a 'kickstand' on the back cover that allows for hands-free viewing.
The Nokia Video Center lets you access a variety of mobile content ranging from movie trailers and comedy to news from the likes of YouTube, Reuters, and Sony Pictures. The catalogue of internet video feeds is continually expanded with more regional and country specific content.
For music, the Nokia N96 features media keys, a 3.5 mm headphone connector and built-in 3D stereo speakers. The Nokia Maps application offers richer maps with urban details and satellite views and has upgrade options such as City Guides, turn-by-turn pedestrian mode and voice-guided car navigation.
Last but not least, the Nokia N96 boasts a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, flash and video light. It allows DVD-like quality video capture at 30 frames per second. Further, with the integrated A-GPS, consumers can now 'geotag' their pictures with location data and share them with their online communities.
The Nokia N96 is expected to start to shipping in Q3 2008 for around £400, before subsidiaries and taxes.
Display:2.8-inches QVGA, 240x320 pixels
Camera features: Carl Zeiss optics, flash and video light
Stereo Bluetooth: Yes
Connectivity: Bluetooth, HSDPA
Expandable memory: microSD card slot
Video calling/streaming: Yes/yes
Talktime:Up to 150 mins (3G), 220 mins (GSM)
Standby time: Up to 200 hours (3G), 220 hours (GSM)
Video playback: Up to 5 hours (offline mode)
Music playback: Up to 14 hours (offline mode)
TV playback: Up to 4 hours