Nokia N96 set for North American debut


Europe might have gotten the N96 earlier than their friends across the Atlantic, but better late than never, I say. It is now the latter’s turn to welcome the arrival of the Nokia N96 – the designated successor to the N95 which was the flagship N Series model for some time already (available in two variants – the vanilla N95 and the 8GB model). I must admit that the Nokia N95 was a highly desirable smartphone due to the hardware capability and specifications it comes with, but one major gripe I have against it would be the form factor which was rather unwieldy. Let’s take a look at how the N96 fares this time round.

For starters, it already comes with 16GB of internal memory – yes, as much as what the iPhone 3G has. All that space ought to be sufficient to get you started, be it taking photos and videos or storing large amounts of audio and video on the N96. In addition to that, you will also be able to expand upon the whopping 16GB thanks to a microSDHC memory card slot. Of course, being able to hold larger amounts of video would mean this will be your portable media player whenever you aren’t chatting on it, so Nokia has thoughtfully included an integrated kick stand to support it at an optimal viewing angle without burdening your hands. Try holding an iPod for long periods of time – you’ll notice that your hands get restless after a while.

It will still have a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, retaining other features that made its predecessor so multi-purpose such as built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and A-GPS navigation. Of course, this time round you will be able to enjoy N-Gage games support for on-the-go gaming with friends and strangers around the world. I wouldn’t throw away that DS Lite or PSP just yet though since cell phones aren’t exactly perfect platforms for gaming just yet, but the industry sure is moving in the right direction. Each purchase of the Nokia N96 will come with three months of navigation service for Nokia Maps 2.0, which enables the Nokia N96 to deliver detailed turn-by-turn directions for both automotive and pedestrian navigation. How much do you think you have to fork out for this stunning 3G handset? Well, how does $895 sound to you?

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