Nokia N96 £450

1st Jan 2008 | 17:11

Nokia N96

Nokia offers a good-old-fashioned all-rounder

TechRadar rating:

5 stars

Like its predecessor, it's a great multimedia phone, but not necessarily good enough to trade in your N95 for

Like:

5 megapixel camera; A-GPS Sat Nav capability; 16GB memory, microSD slot, FM radio; HSDPA; Wi-Fi; Symbian S60 smartphone capability; High quality video capture and playback; Good music player facilities including 3.5mm headphone jack; Large 16m colour screen; DVB-H mobile TV support

Dislike:

Plasticky bodywork; Not a huge upgrade from the N95; No touchscreen control

With a compact footprint and light weight, the Nokia N96 targets regular consumers, and its 16GB of memory makes it ideal for music playback. The 2.8-inch display is large enough for comfortable use and colours are bright, but the 240 x 320-pixel resolution could be sharper. It's not suited to web browsing, with content having to be reformatted to fit onscreen.

Backing up the 16GB of flash memory, there's a microSD card reader, a headphone jack and a bank of media keys. This makes it a viable replacement for your MP3 player, but battery life can fall to under a day's use as a result.

The Symbian operating system is intuitive, with clear and easy-to-use menus, and hardware buttons that make it simple to navigate. It's starting to look a little dated, however, especially in comparison with its latest touchscreen rivals.

The sliding keypad moves with a reassuring precision and this phone is made to a high standard. The patterned plastic on the rear is attractive and, at 125g, the handset is also light enough to carry with you wherever you go.

The 5-megapixel camera produces impressive photographs, but is not quite so good in poor lighting conditions, where image quality deteriorates. HSDPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also built in.

With a simple and traditional layout, the N96 is an easy-to-use phone and, although it doesn't offer any stand-out features, it's a good all-rounder.

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