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Nokia N96 16GB smartphone

Heavyweight upgrade packs in a hefty multimedia punch

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The N96's twin slider action reveals a regular numberpad when the body moves in one direction, and a set of media player buttons on the other end. These now use fashionable backlit markings and can become gaming keys when the N96 is in N-Gage mode.

These keys, like those on the number pad, are flush to the body. They're reasonably responsive to tapping and adequately spaced for comfortable quick texting and email writing.

Nokia N96

Watching streamed video over Wi-Fi is mightily impressive

The main controls are centred around the N96’s navpad. Directly surrounding this are more media player controls - unnecessarily belt-and-braces, with that trayful of controls on the top slider - regular call and end keys, a menu button and a silver multimedia button, which extends above the otherwise flush control panel.

On the back of the phone, the camera barely protrudes, though there’s no sliding lens cover to protect the optics. A twin-LED flash sits above the lens - Nokia hasn’t included a more powerful and precise xenon flash on this model.

A neat design touch is a fold out kickstand, built into the lens surround. This lets you to prop the phone up on its side, which is ideal for viewing videos. It’s a bit flimsy, but it's a good idea.

On the top edge of the phone there’s a 3.5mm headphone socket. A spring switch also lets you to lock the keypad. A MicroSD slot on the side can accommodate cards up to 8GB capacity, adding to the hefty 16GB internal storage.

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