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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Nokia N97 vs Nokia N96

Prior to the expected deluge of new devices in the coming trade shows during the first quarter of 2009, let us take a quick look at December’s Nokia N97, and compare it against the preceding N96 device.

Only the Nokia N97 is a touch screen device. The n97 is about a centimetre longer than the N96, and is 25 grams heavier. Other than that, the devices are pretty similar except that the N97 slides open at a different plane to the keypad whereas the N96 simply slides out on the same plane as that of the keypad.

Both devices are quad-band capable, and run fine on the GSM 850/900/1800/1900 bands. The N97 is further capable of working on the WCDMA 900 / 1900 /2100 bands. Both are HSDPA-capable and the N96 also supports UMTS.

The N97 has the larger 3.5 inch screen with a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels, while the N96 has the smaller 2.8 inch screen rated at 240 x 320 pixels. Both screens are 16 million colour TFT screens.


Both the N96 and N97 are Series-60 type Symbian devices. They both support Java and WAP, and come with built-in browsers.

GPS and Nokia Maps are included in both devices. Of course, we already know that the N97 has an internal capacity of 32 GB while the N96 tops out at 16 GBs of internal storage, which by the way, is the same as that of the Apple iPhone 3G.

Both are Bluetooth-capable devices, but only the N96 supports infrared. EDGE, 3G and GPRS are supported and both devices are compatible with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g networks.


Both the Nokia N97 and the N96 come with a 5 megapixel camera that for all intents and purposes, appears to be the same camera except for some differences with the pixel resolution specification. In other words, the height and width are different by just a fraction, but not enough to change the specification.

Both devices come with flash, night-mode and autofocus and both also shoot video at 30 frames per second.


The Nokia N97 is slated to have an 1500 mAh battery while the N96 is specified with a 950 mAh battery.

Current Price

The N96 is retailed at an estimated price of RM 2,500 meanwhile the N97 is sold at an estimated retail price of EUR 550 (around RM 2,600) before taxes or subsidies.

Key Differences

The Nokia N97 has a larger screen and more storage than the Nokia N96. Therefore, the larger battery of the N97 may not translate into more standby time as it serves to reason that the larger screen will consume more power than the smaller one. Of course, there are a variety of other factors but potential buyers are advised not to take the battery ratings at face value.

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