Nokia N96 is the most expensive and powerful model in the whole Nokia portfolio. It can’t stand up to the level of popularity that N95 once enjoyed, though, but still serves a formidable expansion of the model range upwards. The device looks interesting in terms of the availability of DVB-H digital TV and strikingly high specifications. It comes with an astonishing 16 Gb of onboard and 8 Gb of replaceable flash storage, and has a pronounced focus on the video aspect. Even the form factor and bundled kick-stand suggest this model being a TV-phone, let alone the numerous hardware specifications specially fitted to this cause. The STMicroelectronics chipset offers its video-relevant powers at a cost, though: it doesn’t do as well in the rest of performance tests. We can’t say N96 lags in the menus, yet a certain delay can be felt, it’s a bit slower than N78 and N85. A high audio quality, a large screen and a spacious storage make N96 a perfect multimedia player and a possible replacement for a number of Nokia N96 users. The price is going to be comparable to the starting price of N95 8GB, namely around 550 euros. N95 will slowly phase out of the market, making way for the new flagship (it’s currently out of production). That’s how the company divided the niche originally occupied by N95 8GB in two: one model sticks to the same price bar, the other (N85) sells at a lower price and plays a big part on the mass market, nominally featuring slightly lower specifications.
Nokia N96 is the company’s video flagship. That means that all the optimizations introduced into the model support solely that cause, the accent on mobile TV and video. N85 is more versatile and thus is going to win more popularity, but it can’t beat N96 in terms of video recording and playback, as well as in the musical department. Next comes a DVB-H digital TV module, so we get the best multimedia handset on the whole market which is going to stay so for quite a while on.