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117 posts

Master Geek

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Topic # 27003 9-Oct-2008 20:52
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Evidently, the N96 is now available in Australia and this review does little to motivate an upgrade from the N95:
 
http://www.zdnet.com.au/reviews/hardware/mobiles_pdas/soa/Nokia-N96/0,2000065782,339292545,00.htm?feed=rss

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  Reply # 170290 9-Oct-2008 20:57
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They have been available in NZ for about 3 weeks now.

Can't imagine the stores in Auckland selling them for ~$1900 are selling too many though - that is a lot of $$ for a phone!



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  Reply # 170291 9-Oct-2008 21:01
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Whoops. Sorry, didn't realise were here already. That price is insane, especially for the very few extras you get.

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  Reply # 170299 9-Oct-2008 21:52
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I still like the classic N95 though I would class UMTS/HSDPA/WCDMA-900/850 is mandatory in a device now as Vodafone are pushing through with 900MHz umts rollout and there are of course the yet to be annouced Telecom and NZcomms networks.

I want to know if n96 has retained the SIP client.


The most alarming thing I spotted on the Specifications...

    * N96(RM-297, PR China)* - EGSM900, GSM850/1800/1900 MHz (EGPRS)

* RM-297 variant (PR China only) does not have WCDMA, WLAN or DVB-H, and features based on WLAN or WCDMA


Forget getting one "cheap" on Trademe, you'll likely get a rather nice looking 2G phone!

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  Reply # 170300 9-Oct-2008 22:19
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Yeah, the N96 is a very disappointing device, I wouldn't upgrade from an N95 thats for sure. The N85 is a little more appealing, with its AMOLED screen, FM transmitter, nicer form factor, and better battery. Still, for my money the Xenon flash on the N82 still puts it in front of the N-Series pack, and that includes the new devices.




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  Reply # 170302 9-Oct-2008 22:31
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Yep, I would agree with NZtechfreak.

I am waiting eagerly for the N85 with an OLED screen which saves battery life and shows better colours.  Also, it has a lens protector, which is badly missing in the N96.


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  Reply # 170616 11-Oct-2008 15:02
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The N96 is far from disappointing. It is a fantastic phone, and I love mine.

Part of the problem is that people are seeing it as an 'upgrade' from the N95, which it isn't. Its more of a slight progression, much in the same way the N95 8GB was. It's the same formula, with some changes.

It's certainly not worth buying if you've already got an N95, but if you're like me, and had an N70 (Which kicked the bucket shortly after it found out that you were eyeing up another phone!), then yea, its great. I was looking at getting an N95 8GB, but never got round to it. Personally, I like the look of the N96 over the N95.
It's very nice to use. You look at the keypad, and feel around it and think "How will I use this without looking at it?" but the keys just feel in the perfect space and I've hardly ever hit a wrong key.

The CPU in it is slower than the N95's, but that's a bid to save power, being that they were rather power hungry devices. The phone does include a car charger though, which is very nice. I haven't actually had it go totally flat on my during a normal day yet, as I charge it in my car on the way to and from work.

I think the N-Gage application is great, although the lacking CPU power can be felt in one particular game, Asphalt 3. The other games are pretty smooth though. Its a really good concept, as you can download new games, even play people online (Which of course, you'll be doing through your Wifi in this country, and NOT Vodafones network!). I think it has a good future, just needs some better hardware :)

The duel LED actually works surprisingly well for both pics and video in the dark. Distance pictures tend to not work as well as a xenon would though.

Oh, and as gimicky as it is, I didn't think I'd use the little stand on the back, but I do... Haha. It's ok, but would be better if it had multiple positions.

A disappointing thing is the GPS Navigation. If it were an outright purchase, I'd get it. I think its great. But being that its a monthly subscription thing, I think I'll be looking for alternative software to buy.

One last thing that I can think of for now is the keypad lock slider switch on the top. I LOVE this. It's great because you can slide to lock the keypad when the phone is 'closed', and then if you slide either the number keys or media keys out, it unlocks. You slide it back and it locks again. Great when I've got my phone in my pocket, listening to music. I just slide the media keys up, change track or whatever, then slide it back.

So yea, if you've got an N95, the N96 should in no way be looked at as an upgrade. If you've got a phone you've had for years and are looking to get something new, I'd recommend it. 

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  Reply # 175655 4-Nov-2008 11:37
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I'm afraid I can't agree. If I were recommending a phone for someone in the situation you describe I would still go for the N85 as opposed the N96 - its basically a better phone at a cheaper price point.

Don't get me wrong, the N96 is still a nice phone - no doubt about it. Its just that ther N85 has really marginalised its position in the portfolio.




Twitter: @nztechfreak
Blogs: HeadphoNZ.org


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Reply # 175664 4-Nov-2008 11:56
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Try Garmin XT navigation, It's much more like the standalone GPS devices, I have a real adversion to products with recurring  subscriptions or complex "online" licencing.

The display on the N96 phone scratches very easily as they are very soft plastic, That would be the one reason swinging my decision back to the N95, The lack of 900/850 UMTS however might steer me straight towards N96.
"https://flickr.com/search/?q=n96 scratch" is a good example.

The processor being slower is interesting! I wonder how much of a performance hit it would be in the real world though, possibly not noticeable.

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  Reply # 175672 4-Nov-2008 12:29
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NZtechfreak: I'm afraid I can't agree. I would still go for the N85 as opposed the N96 - its basically a better phone at a cheaper price point.

Nor do I agree with that statement, but it is a matter of personal opinion...

The N96 includes all the features of the N85 (short of the screen), but also include built-in 16GB and DVB-H (although not available here in NZ yet)

The question is (as you have rightly pointed out), are those extra worth the substantial extra cost?
Considering DVB-H is not yet available to consumers here in NZ...the answer should really be no.

I was seriously considering getting one for myself, but having read many reviews, I admit I have actually been put off by their write-ups, in particular about the quality of the build, the cheap plastic look (I hate plastic, it looks, feels, and IS cheap)

So I am waiting, until I see it in a shop here in Wellington to get a feel for it, before I make that decision, otherwise I may end up going with something different.




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

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  Reply # 175684 4-Nov-2008 13:09
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Not quite right - the N85 packs an FM Transmitter whereas the N96 doesn't. But thats neither here nor there really.

The N85 has a better battery, from which is also gets better battery life due to its superior AMOLED screen. Its keypad by all accounts is better. It has a lens cover (significant). It has better build quality and a nicer (smaller) form-factor.  Its internal processor is superior (although how much that actually translates to performance is up in the air).

The only thing the N96 has to offer over the N85 is 16GB internal memory and a card slot, which equates to more potential storage. If you had to have 32GB on your phone right now then there is little option (apart from the Samsung i8510, which is straight up superior to the N96 for around the same price).

The battery life, build quality, lens cover, superior screen, form factor and keypad are pretty big advantages though in terms of usability. By my count those factors make it a better phone, but of course you're right - its only a matter of opinion.



Oh, and +1 to Garmin - excellent GPS software.




Twitter: @nztechfreak
Blogs: HeadphoNZ.org


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  Reply # 176000 5-Nov-2008 08:41
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So have those who are complaining about the N96 actually used a production model for any period of time exceeding 5 minutes?

I've had one for the last week and I must say even though I had my reservations after reading all the reports online I'm and very much sold on it.

I've found no lags even with multiple programs running, build quality is solid, the slide on the N96 is brilliant and feels a LOT more solid than the N95. Battery life is easily on par with N95 8GB with latest FW. The fact it has USB 2.0 means I'm not waiting forever for my plethora of music and videos to transfer over.

I use the phone for the usual text/calling/email but also heavily for video and music an to have 32GB right on my phone is a godsend.

Sure N85 looks great but I prefer having the extra screen real estate TBH.


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  Reply # 176150 5-Nov-2008 16:38
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I'm in two minds about the screen size. I did enjoy my N95 8GB screen size when I had it (same size and resolution), but when I went to the N82 I realised how poor the pixel density is on the 8GB - the N82 was actually better for browsing etc because of this. 2.4 inches (the size of the N82) is ideal for QVGA, so even the N85 will be stretching that resolution too far as far as I'm concerned. Very much a matter of taste, but I can see the appeal.




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  Reply # 177759 13-Nov-2008 11:49
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the only thing that appeals to me from the n96 is the kick stand and FP2 ofc.
thats just my 2 cents on things :p

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  Reply # 182140 4-Dec-2008 21:43
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The N85 never appealed to me on an asthetic point of view. To me, it looks like a childs toy almost. People say that the N96 looks cheap, but I think the N85 looks even cheaper :/
But thats what I think, doesn't mean everyone thinks that.

Being like a month and a half or something like that on, I still love the phone, and yes, it has its bugs and is laggy in places. A V12 firmware is due out. Someone on Symbian Freak said that its out now, but I just checked and it isn't for mine :(
However, this firmware is said to make a significant difference to the overall speed of the phone. A couple of users on the SF forums have got their hands on the pre-release and tested it and reported that.
I hope that it increases the stability of the phone as well. A number of times, I've had to remove the battery from it locking up.
I do have to say though, that these problems are things that can be fixed with firmware updates, so its just time really.

Oh, and Mail for Exchange is an awesome application. Blackberry like service without licensing, Vodafone BES plan and BES server!

And as for scratching, mine is still in new condition, apart from a scratch on the back cover (Dropped in the car park. Yikes!)
I do take care with it though. It owns my right pocket and lives alone. My keys have had to go flatting with my wallet in my left pocket.

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