The Nokia N96 is now official - the new Flagship

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Nokia has announced the N96, its new flagship in the Nseries, with quad band reception, DVB-H (digital TV), 16GB of internal flash memory and microSD expansion. It runs S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2. Plus all the top end specs from the existing N95 8GB. For thoughts, photos and specs, read on.

N96 showing slide extended to left and gaming 'keys' lit up

Looking much like a bigger brother to the N81 than to the N95 8GB, the N96 still has the specs to go straight in at the top of Nokia's Nseries line-up. The inclusion of DVB-H, a full 16GB of flash memory and a microSD slot take it significantly above the N95 8GB, with all other specs (including GPS, Wi-Fi, 5mp camera, 2.8" screen, etc.) the same.

Having used the N81 for a while, I have a few concerns over build materials and screen contrast in bright light, hopefully we can report more on this in the next few days. Note that the dual slide arrangement has been tweaked slightly since the N95, with music controls now 'light up' functions rather than hard coded keys, and with game control functions coming to the fore when playing N-Gage games.

The inclusion of S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 was a given, of course, one of the first devices to have the tweaked S60 interface with more obvious multi-tasking. Flash Lite 3 (with Flash video) is here from the outset of course, just as in the latest N95 8GB firmware.

As some bloggers have noted, the presence of a smallish 950mAh battery is also a concern, let's hope there are significant optimisations under the hood to ensure that the problems experienced with the original N95 don't recur...

Hands-on comments from Rafe will follow in due course. On with the specs:


Supported networks

  • UMTS networks (WCDMA 2100/850; HSDPA)
  • Quad-band operation in GSM 850/900/1800/1900 networks (EDGE)
  • Automatic frequency band and mode switching
  • DVB-H, class C, 470-750 MHz


  • Volume: 92 cc
  • Weight: 125 g
  • Length: 103 mm
  • Width: 55 mm
  • Depth: 20 mm


  • 16GB of internal flash memory, memory expansion via hot-swappable microSD memory cards
  • Approximate storage capacity is 16GB disk space:
  • – Video: 40 hours
  • – Music: 12,000 songs
  • 128Mb of RAM, 256Mb of system memory (operating system plus dynamic memory for user data)

Operating Hours

  • Battery: Nokia Battery BL-5F, 950 mAh
  • Talk time: GSM: up to 220 min; UMTS: Up to 150 min
  • Stand-by Time: GSM: Up to 220 hours; UMTS up to 200 hours
  • Video playback: Up to 5 hours (in offline mode)
  • Music playback: Up to 14 hours (in offline mode)
  • TV Play: Up to 4 hours (DVB-H)

Display and user interface

  • QVGA TFT display with a 2.8" screen and 16.7 million colours at a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels
  • User interface: S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2
  • Active standby mode, multimedia menu

N96 in landscape mode

Video Center

  • Video Center: Central application for video experiences
  • Access to the recent play videos and simple continuation of play
  • My Videos: collection of videos stored in the device
  • Access to Internet video, compatible with news feeds and video podcasts, updates and downloads directly over the cellular network
  • Catalog for new Internet video

Video codecs and formats

  • MPEG-4 Part 2 (H.263/SP), up to VGA at 30 frames / s codec with hardware acceleration, max. QVGA on the screen of the device, max. SDTV on TV Output
  • MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264/SP), up to VGA at 30 frames / s codec with hardware acceleration, max. QVGA on the screen of the device, max. SDTV on TV Output
  • Windows Media Video (WMV9), up to CIF / QVGA at 30 frames / s codec with hardware acceleration, max. QVGA on the screen of the device, max. SDTV on TV Output
  • Real Video (QCIF) with 30 frames / s
  • Support for Flash movies in Internet Browser
  • Digital rights management: OMA DRM 1, OMA DRM 2, WM DRM (Windows Media DRM)

Live TV

  • DVB-H-based mobile TV with integrated antenna
  • DVB-H, class C, 470-750 MHz
  • Access to videos on the browser
  • Downloading, streaming and playback during download
  • Support for Flash movies

N96 includes TV stand


  • Digital music player - support for MP3, AAC, eAAC +, WMA and album cover
  • Editing and sharing playlists
  • Equalizer and visualization of sounds
  • Online search and purchase music tracks in Nokia Music Store - with support for WM DRM-protected files (Windows Media DRM)


  • FM stereo radio (87,5-108 MHz) with support for RDS; possibility for the use of the VHF radios in offline mode
  • Nokia Internet Radio

Main Camera

  • Up to 5 megapixels (2,592 x 1,944 pixels)
  • Optics by Carl Zeiss
  • Autofocus, automatic exposure control
  • Aperture: F2.8
  • Focal Length: 5.2 mm
  • Focus range: 10 cm to infinity
  • Two flashlights (LED), video light, lighting-support autofocus and recording progress indicator

Second Camera

  • VGA (640 x 480 pixels)

Video recording function

  • Video recording in MPEG-4 format, with up to VGA 30 frames / s
  • Digital video stabilization
  • Video clip length: Depends on available space
  • Video File Format: MP4 (standard), 3GPP (for MMS messages)
  • Program settings for automatic, a video light, white balance and color mood


  • Photo Resolution: Up to 5 megapixels (2,592 x 1,944 pixels)
  • Format for photographs: JPEG / EXIF
  • Details on the recording location: Automatic recording of information on location in the image file
  • Program settings for automatic, flash, serial shots, self-timer, color humor, white balance, contrast, exposure correction, help


  • Digital maps and navigation
  • Integrated GPS module with support for A-GPS (Assisted GPS)
  • Nokia Maps application
  • Free downloadable maps for more than 150 countries, millions of locations, location details and satellite images **
  • To purchase upgrades available multimedia travel guides and navigation services for the car navigation Sprachgestützte
  • For pedestrians: Special optimized for pedestrian navigation with Directions

E-mail and Messaging

  • Easy-to-use e-mail client with support for attachments (photos, videos, music files, and text documents)
  • Support for e-mail protocols SMTP, IMAP4 and POP3, as well as for MMS and SMS messages Common SMS-/MMS-Editor
  • Compatible with Nokia Wireless Keyboard SU-8W (optional)

Mobile Internet Access

  • Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map function, visual history display, support for HTML and JavaScript, Flash Lite 3.0, and for Flash videos
  • Support for news feeds (RSS)

Connection options

  • WLAN (IEEE802.11 g / b) with support for UPnP (Universal Plug and Play)
  • USB 2.0 micro-USB port (Type B)
  • 3.5-mm jack for connecting a standard headphone and TV output for connecting a TV for playback of photos and videos (PAL / NTSC)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with support for stereo audio transmission (Bluetooth profile “Advanced Audio Distribution (A2DP), and EDR (Enhanced Data Rates)
  • Use of Nokia PC Suite for Nseries devices (PC software), in conjunction with Bluetooth wireless connections or cable connections to the USB port compatible PCs

Standard package

  • Nokia N96
  • Nokia battery BL-5F
  • Nokia data cable CA-101
  • Nokia video output cable, CA-75U
  • Nokia Stereo Headset-HS-45, with remote AD-54
  • Nokia cigarette lighter charger cable DC-4
  • Nokia compact AC-5E


N96 in phone mode