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Nokia’s N96 Smartphone Available July 31st

While most smartphone enthusiasts would agree that Nokia’s N95 is already a few steps ahead of the competition, the N96 will blow them away – for good reasons and bad. The N96 was originally announced at Mobile Congress 2008, but more details have since come forth. The good: the N96 will have 16GB of solid-state storage inside, as well as a 2.8-inch screen, DVB TV tuner, a viewing kickstand, and a special browsing user interface for navigating your video library. The back of the device also has a specially-designed grippy texture, and gaming-specific backlit buttons. Camera-wise, the N96 packs a 5MP camera with dual LED flashes; it will also include quad band GSM and WDCMA network support. Like its predecessor, it will have a dual-sliding keyboard.

Now for the bad news: the pre-order price is a killer $1,200, as listed on Play.com, with regular MSRP set at a lofty (but more bearable) $800. It’s also worth noting that the TV tuner will only work on European-frequency 3G networks. The device is slated to ship July 31st.

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