Nokia N96. Now there’s a UMPC partner phone!

Posted on 16 September 2008, Last updated on 16 September 2008 by

Continuing my thoughts on smartphones today, I wanted to highlight the Nokia N96 that I checked out in Amsterdam yesterday. Now there’s a phone that, for the first time, has me thinking about upgrading from the N82. Its got a crappy browser, J2ME apps are slow to start up and its got a DVB-H receiver that’s as good as useless in most places due to the lack of any service but it doesn’t matter because it does all the stuff that MIDs don’t do. Its got an amazing camera and software that, on the N82, has allowed me to capture, tag and share stuff that would have been missed or forgotten with a dedicated camera. It’s got a maps and navigation application that I find second-to-none in the smartphone world and its got a much easier to read screen and better keyboard than on the N82. Here’s the best feature though; It also has a fast USB subsystem which means you can really start to use it as a mass storage device. 16GB on-board and SDHC support means that 32GB is possible today; Perfect for plugging/pairing with a MID and using as your only file-store. Better still, use a Windows XP-based ultra mobile PC and the Nokia PC Suite for even more functionality. I also like how Nokia are moving OVI, maps, email and chat forward and am really enjoying the Nokia experience.

n96

Apparently the browser is slightly better than on the N82 but I doubt it’s anything too impressive. Even so, when you’ve got a MID or ultra mobile PC with you as I often do, you tend to reach for that first when it comes to serious Internet activities because at some point, even the best smartphones get annoyingly slow and cumbersome for long-duration Internet work.

If other manufacturers don’t get their cameras, video, storage and mapping up to the standard of Nokia’s N96 soon, I can see myself buying one of them. I’ll just wait for the first Android-based phones first before I make my decision though!

16 Comments For This Post

  1. reverendo says:

    what’s the screen size?

  2. Clipstra says:

    The size of the screen is 2.8″. I think that’s the same as the N95 8GB.

  3. reverendo says:

    thanks for the info
    it’s just too small for me… since I would like to use it as a PDA I’d need sth with a larger screen… I’d be using it with a bluetooth headset anyway so the extra size wouldn’t have to dangle around my ear…
    it seems that only the Glofiish X800 and the Touch HD are the only real candidates in what I’m looking for

  4. steve says:

    QVGA. Very low res.
    S.

  5. reverendo says:

    Thanks for answering, but I was asking about the size, not the resolution…
    any info on that?

  6. chippy says:

    Under 3″ I guess. Looked like the N85 8GB screen.
    Steve

  7. Dukeswharf says:

    The Nokia N85, with its OLED display, and N95 busting features is pound for pound a better device than the N96.

    But the new s60 daddy of them all is the Samsung i8510 with its 8 Megapixel camera, just for openers!

    Nvidia have stated that Tegra APX based phones will be brought to market before the ending of 2008, which promises to be very interesting.

    If Google, and partners, get the Android experience right, well…

  8. Jon Allen says:

    Waiting for OMAP3430 PowerVR SGX handsets, can’t be too long now…

  9. TareX says:

    Chippy, by now you should demand more than S60. I think Android will be the mobile OS for you…. till Windows Mobile 7 arrives on Tegra processors around mid-2009.

  10. chippy says:

    Yeah. Thats why i’m waiting!

  11. jpmatrix says:

    it lacks a touchscreen…
    and perhaps a sliding keyboard ;)

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  13. eblogworld says:

    Good piece.

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  15. Kevin says:

    This is my first GPS and I searched a lot of Garmin and Tom-Tom reviews before making my selection. The best price was on Amazon and I’m very pleased with the unit. Nice not to have to use Mapquest anymore!

  16. James Brent says:

    Hi, cheers for the great read.

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