Nokia N96: Details by the Product Manager

Here are some intersting answers from Nokia N96 product manager:

What is the reason for including only a 950 mAh battery?

Answer: Instead of putting in a bigger battery than the N95, we optimized power usage of key functions, in particular those related to multimedia and entertainment. For example, video playback time is up to 5 hours and music playback time is up to 14 hours, which we achieved through hardware accelerators and other optimizations.

How much of N95 & N95 8GB user feedback has been taken into consideration when developing the N96?

Answer: When we develop new products, we base our decisions on a lot of research, focus groups and feedback from users of earlier products. We also test design alternatives with users and get their input. We started development of the N96 when the some of the earlier products had just come to market. So we followed the acceptance of those very closely and tried as much as possible to take learnings from those into account.

Will the kickstand be a one-off novelty, or is this something that is planned to be incorporated in future handsets?

Answer: we feel that the kickstand or some similar stand design is excellent for handsfree viewing (such as watching video) and similar usage. I cannot comment on future products, but there are already some other Nokia products (e.g. N) which have it, so I would not be surprised to see this again in future products.

Why was the decision made to put 2 sets of media keys on the device, especially around an error prone area like the directional pad?

Answer: There is actually only one set of media keys available at any time. As the device transforms itself into the different modes… landscape for e.g. video, portrait for e.g. music, with the numeric keypad extended for e.g. messaging, landscape for camera or “upside down” for gaming, the media keys can have different functions and illumination.

The reason there is a set of media control keys around the Navi wheel (the directional pad) is that it allows you to control your music or other media in the background, for example while you are in a chat session.

By the way, this was an example of user centric design, and a decision we made after testing several options for placing the media keys.

Some questions about Navi wheel: yes it will be there, and it will be available in media applications such as music player and video center, as well as in applications with long lists like contacts. Not everywhere in the OS, at least not in the PR1.

Some questions about the accelerometer: yes it is there. The functionality to change the display orientation based on the accelerometer will be also be there, although it might be part of some PR1.x release.

Compass: no integrated compass.

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