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Nokia N96 16GB smartphone

Heavyweight upgrade packs in a hefty multimedia punch

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High performance access to file storage

With all this multimedia and satnav jiggery-pokery, battery performance might be an issue for some users. Nokia has chosen to include the same capacity battery as on the original N95 rather than the upgraded, higher capacity battery used on the N95 8GB, which is a shame.

Nokia N96

Gaming with a handheld console feel

Nokia’s battery life figures suggest this dual-band WCDMA/quad-band GSM device can run on standby for up to 200 hours on 3G networks or 230 hours in standard GSM coverage. Talktime is estimated at 160 minutes or 230 minutes, respectively. Alternatively, it can be used to play music offline for up to 14 hours or video for up to five hours.

Although individual usage will ultimately determine how much battery life you squeeze out, these figures suggest a power performance below that of the N95 8GB. Expect to charge the N96 on a daily basis.

However, we had no problems at all with voice communications, which came across loud and clear.

Verdict

This phone can be slow during multi-app activity, and its battery life isn’t that impressive. But the N96 is undoubtedly a multimedia powerhouse with an exceptional spread of high-end functionality. While there are enhancements to the specifications, notably the storage capacity and video capabilities - and that not-working-in-the-UK DVB-H receiver - this is more an evolutionary step up from the N95 8GB than a game-changer. But it's still one of the best equipped heavyweight handsets around.

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High performance access to file storage

85%

Nokia N96 16GB smartphone

A heavyweight upgrade to the N95 8GB packs in even more multimedia punch.
Price: Contract: Free-£400. Pre-pay: £510. Handset only: £490 RRP

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