Nokia N96 hands-on from Mobile World Congress 2008 – Pictures and hands-on video

Here’s the hands-on gallery for the Nokia N96. I’m sure this bad-boy doesn’t need any introduction, but for the sake of completeness, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect.

  • Quadband EDGE
  • Dualband HSDPA (850/2100 MHz)
  • DVB-H Class C
  • 125g
  • 103 x 55 x 18 mm
  • 16 GB internal memory AND a microSD slot
  • 950 mAh battery
  • 2.8 inch 320×240 display with 16 million colors
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g)
  • A-GPS
  • 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics
    VGA video recording at 30 FPS
    Dual LED flash
  • S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 (Flash Lite 3 enabled web browser included)
  • microUSB

Nokia N96 in hand from Mobile World Congress 2008 Barcelona

The glossy-black finish hides buttons that illuminate from below…so cool. The sliding mechanism is much improved over the N95 – springy and snappy at the same time, it’s incredibly satisfying. The music controls illuminate upon sliding the N96 down. A kickstand pops out from the rear, making video and TV viewing convenient. Oh yea, and the TV (DVB-H) is smooth and crisp.

Overall, the Nokia N96 is slightly (emphasis on slightly) longer than the N95, with about the same width and thickness, but feels lighter and more solid. And, speaking of solid, did I mention that much improved sliding mechanism?

If you just bought a Nokia N95, I’m sorry to say that the Nokia N96 is the new hotness. The Nokia N95 is still the cat’s meow, but the N96 gets the lion’s share of the glory. That glossy-black finish might not be your cup of tea, but damn if I didn’t love it.

  • PlayerKill

    Will, I love your coverage of the MWC/3GSM (I prefer 3GSM too). Keep it up!

  • laurel

    ‘If you just bought a Nokia N95, I’m sorry to say that the Nokia N96 is the new hotness’

    What a ridiculous comment imo. It does not even have 3D HW acceleration. It’s mainly Nokia’s Mobile TV/Video phone and not a N95 successor by any means. I’ll be sticking to my N95 8GB thanks.

  • Topy

    Well if both would be available now i would take n96 any day that fp2 is already enough for me. Thought as i have N95 8GB theres no need for this and i agree N96 is more of a N95’s sister product than new flagship.

  • Loreto

    Will my sympathies to Laurel, i can understand how you are feeling right now after spending so much on the N95 8GB and now everybody says the N96 is the hot thingy..But i cannot agree with your statement about the 3D HW accelerator that the N95 has, cause tell me one great benefit of having such hardware..
    frankly speaking i cannot think of one real big advantage the N95 has over the N96..To me the N95 has always been an all specs device which also manages very good performance but has a horrendous looks like a dummy piece of plastic I can buy for $5 ..I especially loathe the crome finish of the keys around the D-pad look so cheap.. The N96 looks great..
    Nokia’s good designs: 6120classic. 6500 classic & slide, N70, N81
    Horrible deisgns: N95, N82

  • laurel

    Loreto, play Quake GL on the N95 8GB, then compare it to the ‘garbage’ on the N81 N-Gage demos (or N96 for that matter) – there is a world of difference I’m afraid. The latest we hear is that the N96 is ARM-9 based, you have gotta be kidding me. N95 (7 million units so far) and N82 will be the big sellers for Nokia whilst N81 and N96 are going nowhere saleswise.
    It’s not just games where the 3D HW acceleration offers a a better experience: better UI, better navigation etc etc. Why do you think Apple IPhone uses it ?
    Anyway, no offence intended, good luck with the N96.

  • Kay

    N96 doesn’t lessen the coolness of N95 8GB in any way. I’m going to buy the latter in a few days because it does everything I need my mobile phone to do. I don’t want a TV or more than 8 GB storage space in my mobile.

  • Jeff

    Waoh N96 look to be one awsome good phone.

  • Jeff

    By the way Kay ,N95 and N95 8GB allready have TV-out

  • Richrd


    is the camera capture button a two position button? I can it be pressed half way to focus and then completely down to take the picture?

  • Micheal

    😀 AWESOME looking phone. I think it is another quality product from Nokia

  • Kay

    @Jeff: Yep, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m buying it.

  • PlayerKill

    To the argument about this flagship thing…

    I do think that the N96 is the new flagship. The thing is, there isn’t much improvements to justify upgrading from the N96. On the other hand, there is not many reasons to choose the N95 instead of the N96 (well, EXCEPT THE BATTERY!!!).

    I think, though, the N96 is meant to be music+video focused like the N81, seeing how they resemble each other so much. So, it’ll probably have N81 sound quality. It’ll be a device that can do everything just like the N95, but do even better in music and videos.

    Maybe there’ll be a model following as an N95 + better cameras. Or you could say that it’s the N82.

  • Loreto

    Coming back to the argument about the N96. Well as i said b4 i neva doubted the abilties of the N95 8GB as i mentioned in the previous post. It was only about the design. why do you thing Ferrari makes their cars look fabulous, for me performance has to be coupled with decent design if not excellent.
    The N96 & N82 are horrible designs. But yes they are doing pretty good in the sales department becuase Nokia at the moment have no competition. Imagine i want a real fast car and there is only only ugly looking thing in the whole world, well i would buy it. This is all hoping that Nokia in future combines performance with acceptable design. I do agree that the absence of a 3D chip on the N96 baffles me, but then this is not something new from Nokia..I have to thank SE for announcing the Xperia, hope this makes Nokia pull their pants up and deliver more complete packages 🙂

  • stepper666

    So I am very suprised by the choice to only use a 950mah battery. I fear that the n96 will suffer the same fate as the original n95, i.e. i wont be able to bring my phone home alive at the end of the day. Im sticking with my n95 8gb.

  • gemmasangels

    I was just going to upgrade to the N95 silver on T-Mobile and really want the N95 Black just a hug waiting game now….. when is T-Mobile actually going to get the N95 Black also how long till the N96 of course its even better!

  • Hirak Dipta Sarma

    The lack of 3d hardware accelaration does disappoint me a bit, but the dedicated audio chip (read great audio quality >= n91) more than make up for me.

  • Yousef

    I bought a Nokia N96-3 (from U.S) and it says it is Made in China, it has GPS and Wi-Fi with actual 16 GB memory. Do I have a genuine phone or do I have to worry about that?

    Thank you.

Back to top ▴