Nokia N96 - Reality or Fantasy?

By: Darren Evans

When the Nokia N95 was released, many people wondered where the N-series would go from then onwards. The answer to that was of course the 8GB update, but since then the next model in the N-series has long been rumoured with no concrete information coming to light.

The rumour with some credibility currently doing the rounds at the moment is that of the Nokia N96 mobile phone. At the moment there are two differing versions with various images being shown over the web. One predominantly white device with a bizarre dual-sliding action is likely to be a fake. The one I'll be taking a closer look at is a smaller device with reputed dual-sliding action similar in design and colour scheme to the N81.

Obviously the specs listed here are only rumoured and if it is confirmed a more in-depth preview or review will be posted. The Nokia N96 is reputed to have Bluetooth; 3G; Wi-Fi; a 5 Mega Pixel Carl Zeiss Optics camera; and (depending where you read) 8GB internal memory or 10GB. It's also supposed to have Optical Zoom which the rumour mill spouts will be somewhere between 3X and a ludicrous 20X. The likelihood is that if Optical Zoom is included at all, it would only go to a maximum of 5, though 3X is probably more likely as it will put it in direct competition with the Samsung G800 and the more advanced Nokia optics should put it ahead of the game.

My suspicion as to the 'realism' of the N96's existence comes from the shots currently doing the rounds. It all looks too similar to the N81 or even the N-Gage. The only clear difference is in the dual-sliding action that's present (similar to the dual-sliding action on the N95) but aside from this, it does look remarkably similar. My personal suspicion is that this is either a decent photo-shop effort or someone has decimated there N81 or N-Gage to make it look like a new model, though there is always the chance that the rumours may be truthful, but I'll believe it when I see it. The forthcoming 3GSM show in Barcelona in February of 2008 would be a good place to look out for any official announcement.

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