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Nokia Launch N78 and N96: Was it worth the wait?

| February 11, 2008 | 22 Replies

Well, im sure your all aware of Nokias recent announcements this morning. If you have been living under a rock and missed it all then they released 2 new Nseries phones, the new flagship N96, and the N73 successor, the N78. 

N96

N78

Personally, I cant wait to get the N96 in my hands. It looks very similar to the N81 which ive recently had from WOM which I thought was a really nice handset. Hopefully, the N96 will be well built like the N81. The N96 has a 5MP camera with 2 LED lights, a 950mAh battery, GPS and DVB-H.
My main concern is the lack of Xenon flash, which is one of the primary reasons I own a N82. The flash is so useful on it I use it as my main digital camera now. I personally feel that not putting a Xenon flash in it is a bit of a step backwards rather then forwards. In the discussion with the N96 product manager which took part earlier today, the question was raised about the Xenon flash. This was the reply:

It has a dual-LED flash and video light, with auto-focus assist beam.
While the Xenon-flash can output more light over shorter period of time, we felt that the video light for video recording is the better feature for this device.

Now personally, I feel that isn’t good enough. It feels like they are compromising a little when you compare it to other manufacturers, for example Sony Ericsson. When you take the K850, they have managed to put 3 LED lights in for video recording, as well as a Xenon flash, as well as keeping the phone reasonably small. Nokia have seemed to compromise in one or the other, which there is no need to do. They take up such a small space in the phone, there is no need to.

N96

Another thing that i’m slightly disappointed about is the design. I was hoping for something breathtaking, unique and original. When I first saw the leaked pictures of it, I was very disappointed. I was kind of hoping they had been faked. Ok fair enough its a very nice design, but it seems like Nokia couldn’t be bothered and just got the same team of designers who designed the N81, and they just made it a bit more rounded. Its a nice design, its just that now, since the N81 has been out for a fair while, I associate the look of the N81/N96 with a lower end device, not their flagship phone. If you think in the past Nokia have been very creative with their designs. The N95 with the duel slide, the N90/N93 with its twist screen. It just seems like they have got the N95, tweaked a few things, and stuck a new cover with a new name on it. Heck, it could even be called the N95-16gb, because essentially thats what it is!

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N96

His reply when asked about the low power battery was:
Instead of putting in a bigger battery than the N95, we optimized power usage of key functions, in particular those related to multimedia and entertainment. For example, video playback time is up to 5 hours and music playback time is up to 14 hours, which we achieved through hardware accelerators and other optimizations.

Now I guess thats a little better, but it will be very hard to judge until we actually get out hands on the N96, but will be interesting to actually compare the difference in battery life between the N95 and N96, and also the N95-8gb. Again, it seems like a step backwards after bringing out an updated N95, and then the successor to the N95 goes back to the poor battery everyone moaned about!

N78

As for the N78, again, it seems like the N73 with a new cover on, however this one was a little more unexpected. I mean its got a similar camera, still no 30 fps video, . It seems like its a N73 with a new cover and HSDPA/wifi/GPS built in. Although it seems more of an improvement then the N96 does against the N95, in my else, I would have liked to see a better camera and at least 30 fps video. One thing that worries me about it is the keypad. It looks awfully fiddly and, well, small and cheap. Havent said that I thought the same with the N82, but I love that.

N78

Having had a small moan about both handsets, the story will hopefully change once I get one in my hands. Its always the same when your just looking at a picture of one and reading specs off the screen, however with the N95, I knew it would be my next handset, but with the N96, it just doesnt feel the same. I cant wait to hold one and see how it feels in my hand and get a chance to use it, but for now, to say the least, im pretty disappointed. Chaslam 

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Category: News, Nokia, Rant

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