With Wi-Fi, HSDPA, N-gage for gaming, integrated A-GPS and support for BBC iPlayer, the Nokia N96 is probably one of the best equipped phones around, and thanks to a pedigree Carl Zeiss lens and five-megapixel sensor it’s a perfectly passable camera phone too. So why just the three stars? Well, as Peter Parker found out, and the Nokia N96 subsequently, with great power comes great awkwardness.
The Nokia N96 is certainly a good-looking slider, with a 2.9-inch display and 16GB of internal memory for file storage (as well as a microSD card slot). But we can’t figure out why Nokia didn’t give this a touchscreen. It’s crying out for one and it might have helped with the overall sluggishness of the phone when changing modes. Even the camera feels a bit spongy and slow in use.
It’s a shame, because we’ve come to expect a lot from Nokia’s Nseries. And while the N96 continues the trend in the looks department, it does feel a bit bulky and plasticky – a bit like Mickey Rourke you might say. Yes, it’s packed with features, but the screen could be sharper, the HSDPA web-browsing isn’t as fast as it should be and the 220 minute battery life, well, that’s hardly going to break any longevity records.
Don’t get us wrong, the Nokia N96 is a fine convergence device, and that built-in iPlayer app for streaming and downloading shows is a nice touch, but the overall sluggish nature and lack of a touchscreen left us feeling cheated.