Nokia N96

We've been waiting for the N96 for a good while. Have we been waiting too long?

One pleasant surprise application-wise is the bundling of BBC's iPlayer. With a dedicated shortcut button, catching up with your favourite programmes from Aunties' selection in between meetings, while commuting or stuck waiting for a plane is as simple and enjoyable as can be. It did take us a little while to get the device to connect to our Wi-Fi network to launch our requested iPlayer programmes, but it's not so time consuming that it'll put you off using this device or feature. We also really liked the drop down stand around the lens cover that lets you use prop the phone up on a table when you want to watch for extended periods.

Battery life faired well during our review period, but it's worth keeping an eye on power levels if you do use the phone's multimedia capabilities quite a bit.

Given we've all told to get ready for a supposed mobile TV revolution, the fact that the N96 supports DVB-H should be something to get excited about. Unfortunately it's only something to get even mildly hyper about if you live elsewhere in Europe. Despite a few trials in the UK, our mobile TV joy is likely to take its time getting here, with experts suggesting it will make a full-blown appearance around 2012. Naturally, we'll all have moved onwards and upwards from the N96 by then.

For those who like to take pictures when they're out and about in between business meetings or at conferences, the N96 doesn't disappoint, boasting a five megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and the ability to record video at 30 frames per second (fps).

Given the bumper features set on board the N96, its music to our ears that it has expandable storage. The device comes with 16GB as standard and can be beefed up to 24GB through the use of microSD cards.

Verdict

The N96 may look like it has stolen the identity of the N81, Single White Female-stylee, but it’s still a multimedia monolith to be reckoned with and is likely to delight business and consumers users alike.

Frequencies: Quad-band EDGE, GPRS, GSM, HDSPA

Connectivity: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Dimensions (WxDxH): 1.5 x 5.5 x 10.3 cm

OS: S60 3rd Edition

Display: 2.8in 320 x 240 LCD screen

Storage: 256MB flash memory, expandable microSD storage

Camera: 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus -30fps video capture

Multimedia: Mobile TV support through DVB-H, FM Radio, MP3 player

Software: Nokia Maps, Web browser

GPS: A-GPS

Battery life (BL-5F, 950 mAh) 3 hours and 40 mins

Weight: 125g

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