Nokia N96 heading to American shores… for 895 clams


Nokia96If you can hold out until the fourth quarter of the year, you’ll see the Nokia N96 arrive with HSDPA support here in North America. While the handset was shown off at the Global World Congress earlier this year, Nokia officially announced NAM version today. That’s good because we’ll all need time to save up for this puppy: Nokia says the estimated price is $895. Far too rich for my blood, even though it’s not just a GSM phone, but a "handheld, multimedia computer" with these features:

  • 2.8-inch display with QVGA (320 x 240 resolution)
  • S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2
  • 5-megapixel camera, Carl Zeiss optics
  • Integrated WiFi, assisted GPS, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, FM radio
  • Nokia Maps 2.0 with a 3-month free trial
  • 16 GB of internal memory, microSD slot for expansion
  • Support for media playback: MP3, AAC, eAAC+, WMA, album art, DRM-protected Windows Media
  • N-Gage and Ovi support
  • Kickstand for supporting the device

Without any types of subsidies, I don’t think Nokia is going to move too many of these units at nearly $900. At that price, the display should be a larger and have a higher resolution in my opinion… and that’s just for starters. I’d also suspect, but have no confirmation, that the device will be geared for AT&T’s high-speed wireless network, not T-Mobile’s which is slowly rolling out and is very limited geographically by comparison. I think for $900, I’d opt for a far less expensive phone, a netbook and a 3G card. Then again, I don’t mind carrying a few items with me. Folks that want a nearly all-in-one device might be compelled by the N96, but I think you’ll still be limited from a productivity standpoint.



People in America are used to seeing cheap phones subsidized by the carrier. In Hong Kong, though, we save a lot on the plans – iirc its about $60 for unlimited data and 1000 minutes of talk time. As long as Nokia doesn’t fit in the American model – or the American model doesn’t change – high-end Nokias will look ridiculously expensive. In fact all nice Nokias will, since basic Nokias are all US carriers will pick up.

For reference, an unsubsidized Tytn II is about $700 and a Diamond < $800.

That said, the iPhone 3G has done a lot to move smartphone prices down, and Nokia does have its easy on the wallet E71 at $500 unsubsidized. The N96 is quite the piece of extravagance, no matter what.


I’ll hold off until next year. The fact that VoIP capabilities have been removed irks me…Hopefully the “famed” flagship device debuting next year will be worth the wait.


I recetnly bought the N95 8gb and love it. I knew this was coming out but did not see that the improvements warranted waiting and any extra money. The additional memory and card slot appear to be the only major differences to the 8gb. If the 8gb comes down in price when this is released I would recommened people stick with it instead of this version. Actually its a bit disappointing that they didnt make any majore changes.

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