On the physical side, the N85 is noticeably more compact than the N96, the N96’s slider feels more solid. Although the screen is larger on the N96, the quality wins it over, for me, and I really love the life-like experience of the OLED on the N85. The N85 also has a camera lens cover, which should protect the lens from dirt and smudges.
The most frequent word I heard when the N96 was being introduced was “video”. It’s a handset geared towards video, be it through TV-out or on the handset with the kickstand, be it recorded or live TV. And although the N96 packs just about everything, the main advantages are the 16GB expandable memory and the huge 2.8″ screen that play an essential role in video viewing.
The N85? Well, even though it will be able to accomplish almost all of that, it won’t do it with the same superior experience than that of the N96. But it still has a few aces up its sleeves that won’t let it be dismissed easily. The OLED screen is one of them, and probably the most important one. As for market strategy, like I stated earlier in the N85’s hands-on, the N85 is being introduced the same way the N81 was, by concentrating on its gaming and music capabilities.
Overall, some people will ditch the better battery for the bigger screen, some will prefer the 2.6″ OLED over the 2.8″ LCD screen, some will go for bigger internal memory, but the majority of people will either pick these for the way they look or for the “flagship” title written on the N96’s forehead. In other words, Nokia’s goal is to leave everyone else aside and compete with itself: a fight to death, but in both cases the Finnish manufacturer wins, so where’s the harm?
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