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Nokia N86 imaging-savvy flagship

The announcement of Nokias new imaging-savvy flagship, the N86, was quite a story. When I was about to leave Moscow for Barcelona I was most positive that it was bound to be unleashed in the coming days, however several hours before MWC 2009 opened its doors to all visitors they kept telling me that Nokia decided to hold it back, to keep the main focus on its other phones and OVI Store. And then things took an interesting turn even though Nokia did their best to wipe out all press-releases, somehow they left behind a statement about the collaboration between Carl Zeiss and Nokia, that (sic!) had all the pictures and an explicit mention of the N86s 8 MP camera. But that wasnt all all officials at Nokias booth got terrified every time someone said N86 aloud, as they had no idea whether they were supposed to launch it or not. At the same time, most journalists saw the phone itself back in Singapore (even though they werent allowed to do that); so the most hilarious part of the situation was that everyone knew what was coming, but the vendor himself didnt want to admit that the N86 was a few steps away in Barcelona. Luckily, they put an end to all speculations and rumors earlier today.

The reason why they werent eager to launch it here in the first place is pretty simple its release date is slotted for June (when itll retail for 375 Euro before tax and subsidies), which is quite far-off, so they are going to have a hard time maintaining the hype around it.

So, what kind of phone the Nokia N86 is? In essence, its a copycat of the Nokia N85, featuring the same OLED display and a better build quality (now the metallic frame is mounted on the sides, plus there is less plastic in the N86s casing, so it doesnt squeak as much). Personally, I liked its matter battery cover, although I have no idea whether itll be prone to wear and tear. By the way, while the N86 was in the works it was called Nokia N85 8 MP, but then they decided that itd be much better off with a new index.

Over at Nokia they claim that its the first phone of this class to carry a wide-angle lens onboard. As you already know, the N86 houses an 8 MP camera, and while its sample images from the press release look fabulous, the snaps I made arent as eye-candy (still pretty good, though) but youll see them in a minute.

The Nokia N86 comes equipped with a standard suite of applications and supports OVI (including OVI Store) services, although this department still requires some tweaking. But honestly speaking, I dont think its worth a separate review right now, because, design and 8 Gb of bundled memory aside, it really isnt all that different from the Nokia N85.

Review of GSM/UMTS-handset Nokia N85

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Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Oleg Kononosov (oleg.kononosov@mobile-review.com)

Published — 17 February 2009

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