Nokia's new N96

At GSMA in Barcelona, Nokia gives its N95 smartphone a big brother with the new Nokia N96.

The Nokia N96 makes calls Nokia

It's no surprise that at GSMA we're seeing a lot of cool things. Since the show is geared toward the worldwide market (Europe in particular), the phones on display are a lot more exciting than the usual sort we see at home. But on the other hand, there's no guarantee that any of the devices will come to North America. Drool as we may, we're also green with envy.

Take, for example, the Nokia N96. As a slicker, stronger update to the already powerful Nokia N95, the N96 has just about every feature you could want in a cell phone. Besides making calls (hopefully it does that well), the N96 offers a 5-megapixel camera with a list of offerings that rival a standalone shooter. You'll find a Carl Zeiss lens, a flash, and a VGA camcorder that plays and records clips at 30 frames per second. On the whole it's more powerful than the 5-megapixel Nokia 6220 , which the company also announced in Barcelona. The N96 has an impressive 16GB of internal storage. It also has a microSD slot that can accommodate cards up to 2GB. Nokia promises that you'll be able to watch 40 hours of video using the internal storage alone. Of course, you'll need to charge the battery during your video marathon; video playback is capped at 4 hours of viewing time because of battery life.

And it plays video Nokia

Other features include a digital music player, a 3.5mm headset jack, an FM radio, support for podcasts and Internet radio, e-mail, text and multimedia messaging, USB 2.0, stereo Bluetooth, and a GPS receiver with maps and turn-by-turn voice directions. The N96's design is similar to the N95, but also different. While it retains its predecessor's designated music controls and slider design, its black and silver scheme, and cleaner lines give it an overall sleeker look. That is an accomplishment considering that at 4.05 inches tall by 2.16 inches wide by 0.71 inches thick, and weighing 4.41 ounces, the N96 is actually a bit bigger than the N95. The N96 is quadband (GSM 850/900/1800/1900), and it supports both the 900 and 2100 3G bands. The N96 is set to be released in the third quarter of this year, and will require a serious amount of cash. Without carrier subsidies, buyers can expect to pay 550 euros (about $780).

 

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