Sep 25, 2008

Tech - Face-off;N96 Vs iPhone 3G

No clear winner emerges in a comparison between the Nokia N96 and Apple iPhone 3G. If N96 fails in terms of an impressive interface, the iPhone stumbles on security and storage.

The two phones compete ferociously on a host of applications available or bundled.Looks and

Interface: Right away, it’s the iPhone. Nokia N96, though a smart slider phone, shows off none of its power stashed away beneath its boring ‘black’ looks. There’s scarcely any design innovation on Nokia’s part.Multimedia and Applications: Nokia N96 screen (diagonally) is 2.8 inches; the iPhone’s is a comfortable 3.5. Being a video-oriented phone, the N96 adds support for more video formats, including H.264, Flash video, ensuring you can watch YouTube clips on the phone, and Windows Media Video version 9. The N96 includes dedicated DSPs and video acceleration chips.

On the iPhone, the picture quality seems good too and one can watch in either vertical or horizontal mode.The iPhone has a 2 megapixel built-in camera, but it takes adequate photos in daylight. Compared with N96’s 5 megapixels camera (with flash support) it seems inadequate. Nokia has included three great games to begin with, but the iPhone offers more variety in games.

Nokia has taken a lot of pains to make the GPS simpler and detailed, even adding a pedestrian mode. Apple’s newly-added assisted GPS offers pinpoint locations with the help of Google maps, but is nowhere close to Nokia’s accuracy.

Internet and Mail: BlackBerry users are most likely going to be put off by the email options on the iPhone, as there is no push option with consumer email. Mail can be configured to ‘fetch’ (iPhone term) mail every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, hourly, or manually. N96’s symbian OS is a familiar one, with web security and remote lock features weaved in.

Storage: Nokia N96 packs in attention-grabbing features like inclusion of DVB-H digital TV (available in select cities and locations at present) and strikingly high specifications. It comes with 16 GB of onboard and 8 GB of replaceable flash storage, and has a pronounced focus on video and music.Even the form factor and bundled kick-stand suggest this model is a TV-phone, let alone the numerous hardware specifications like the STMicroelectronics chipset that make it video-relevant.

Battery life: Nokia has invested a lot in making the battery life longer and one can happily dismiss the fear that the low-capacity battery used in Nokia N96 (950 mAh) won’t be enough for comfortable operation. N96 averages a solid 6 hours while iPhone battery fizzled out in about 5 hours.

Price: The Nokia N96 (16 GB) is now available for 34,999 while Apple iPhone (16 GB) retails at Rs 36,100 and the 8GB iPhone for Rs 31,000 with Airtel and Vodafone. Nokia’s phone is operator independent.

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