Months ahead of its release, the folks over at Mobile-Review.com have taken the upcoming N96 mobile phone for a spin in a heck of a lot of detail.
(Yep, sorry for the huge shot but well worth it!)
The reception quality provided by the N96 is up to Nokia's standard, nothing to worry about here. The vibro alert is moderate strength-wise. The N96's two loudspeakers are pretty average as far as their volume is concerned, in fact on this front it is in line with the Nokia N81.
Basically, with the prototypes we got our hands on, it is impossible to judge the N96's real build quality or UI speed and reliability, so we can either wait for new updates to hardware and software or just sit idle until we get a chance to play around with a commercial edition of the handset.
The N96 is set to arrive in August - September 2008 and will retail for around 550 Euro in Europe (whereas in Russia its price tag will float around the level of 1000 USD, especially during its first months on the market). This phone is heavy both on video and television, that's why its feats won't be particularly craved here, in Russia. And given that there are other offerings to come that will offer similar specs under their hoods (USB speed, memory structure), there is no point in paying a premium for the Nokia N96 and getting a bunch of pretty much useless abilities for good measure. On top of that, the N96 is rather a stand-alone device in Nokia's range; it by no means aims to appeal to each and everyone as the top-of-the-line solution in spite of its index.
On a more interesting note - the Nokia N95 8Gb, upon its release, went for 570 Euro, which is in line with the Nokia N96's reported price tag and even a tad above it. But there are no far-reaching conclusions to be made here, except for one thing - 16 Gb storage will become par for the course starting late 2008, as a couple of affordable (relatively, though) N81-esque models will come out sporting this much memory onboard.
Read the full review over here.