Nokia Ships 550 Euro (Pre-Tax) N96

That's one big RRP.

Here’s an interesting conundrum…

Just 24 hours after O2 confirmed it will be releasing PAYG 8GB and 16GB editions of the iPhone 3G for £349 and £399 respectively with 12 months free data and WiFi hotspot access, Nokia has hit back with the long awaited N95 successor, the N96.

Shipping immediately, the N96 will carry a rather terrifying €550 (£447) sticker price ”before tax” but it will be unlocked. On the other hand subsidised deals will also be on the way though details of specific network partners were not released.

Key selling points for the handset are its HSDPA, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, integrated GPS, 5MP camera with autofocus, DVB-H for mobile TV broadcasts and 16GB of native memory with the bonus of a microSD slot. Very nice indeed.

On the downside the 2.8in screen remains still carries a standard QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) resolution while the phone is one chunky number at 103 x 55 x 18-20mm and battery life isn’t the greatest managing just 14 hours music playback or five hours continuous video playback (with WiFi and 3G disabled) while mobile TV lasts a meagre four hours. The N96 also didn’t fair particularly well when we published a first look preview in July.

That said, Nokia has had a little more time to apply some spit and polish to its flagship model and those enamoured with their N95 and N95 8GB handsets are sure to find more they will like here.

Let the (the latest) battle begin…

”’Update:”’ We’re getting word the handset will actually be £535 (or a spectacular €673). Hard sell Nokia – hard sell.

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