Nokia ships first units of N96

Nokia is shipping its N96 smartphone, the Finnish phone giant said Wednesday.

The Nokia N96 smartphone has started shipping, the Finnish phone giant said Wednesday.

It is available for an estimated retail price of US$792 before taxes and subsidies, according to Nokia, which isn't specifying which countries will get their hand on the first units.

The phone is an incremental upgrade of the existing N95. It has a display that measures 2.8 inches, a 5-megapixel camera and support for navigation using A-GPS (Assisted Global Positioning System).

Data is stored on a 16G-byte internal memory or and on a microSD card, and users can surf the Web using either Wi-Fi or HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) at 3.6M bps (bits per second).

Nokia is also hyping the phone's video capabilities -- it supports the most common video formats including MPEG-4, Windows Media Video and Flash Video.

All these specifications looked pretty good when the phone was announced back in February, but they have now been surpassed by the competition. The recently announced Samsung INNOV8 has an 8-megapixel camera and HSDPA at 7.2M bps.

"I think Nokia needs something more distinctive going forward, truly new products rather than devices that look like a refresh of previous products on a slightly different form factor," Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner said in a recent interview.

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