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Nokia N86 8Mp cameraphone

The serious snapper's smartphone?

Nokia N86 8MP

Review While many mobile makers in the smartphone game have been concentrating their designer firepower on touchscreen devices, the Nokia N86 8MP rolls in as a successor to Nokia’s previous generation of Symbian S60 3E-packing heavyweights rather than as another touchphone contender.

Nokia N86 8MP

Nokia's N86 8MP: the N-series ancestry is immediately apparent

Making its mark as Nokia’s first 8Mp cameraphone - and its first with a mechanical shutter - the N86 8MP combines design and functionality elements from both the N85 and N96, two of Nokia’s most fully featured S60 devices. Imaging may be its focal point, but the N86 8MP also offers Wi-Fi to complement its HSDPA 3G data connectivity, A-GPS satellite navigation, 8GB of on-board storage, an FM transmitter plus a full spread of multimedia features and support for Nokia’s suite of online Ovi services.

There’s no mistaking that N-series family connection in the bodywork and front panel layout. The N86 8MP’s two-way slider design, which incorporates a numberpad and a media player control set as first seen on the N95, is chunky, measuring 103.4 x 51.4 x 16.5-18.5mm. It weighs a pocket-sagging 149g and feels very substantial in the hand.

Scratch-resistant hardened glass covers the front panel and the display, a 2.6in, 16.7m-colour 320 x 240 OLED screen that’s strikingly bright and clear.

Decked out in black or white with chrome detailing, the N86 8MP’s face appears uncluttered thanks to the tiny sliver-thin controls keys, which are arranged around a conventional central navpad. These rice-grain shaped keys are oddly proportioned for such a bulky handset. Larger-fingered users may not like them and find them fiddly, but they do their job. A slightly larger unmarked menu takes you to the main menu.

The navpad is a single five-way key, and we felt the directional controls weren’t particularly well separated from the central select button. We found that our thumbs could select up, down, left or right options when attempting to select something.

Nokia N86 8MP

The keys are good for fast texting

The numberpad, however, has a no-nonsense feel that we liked. The number keys are large and well separated, and the texting action suitably responsive for pacey messaging.

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