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Nokia N96 Explored

This page contains information on the powerful Nokia N96 handset, including answers to common questions, and some help and advice.

Nokia N96

The Nokia N96 is a combined quad-band, 3G mobile phone, with a 5 megapixel digital camera and wi-fi connectivity. It also has built-in GPS for satellite navigation.

The N96 uses the Nokia Series 60 platform (powered by Symbian OS v9.3 - Third Edition Feature Pack 2).

  • Dimensions: 103 x 55 x 20 mm (125 grams)
  • Screen: Colour, 240 x 320 pixels
  • Memory: 16 Gig memory. Supports microSD cards
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth, GSM, WCDMA, HSDPA and WLAN wi-fi


  • GPS - Onboard satellite receiver for satellite navigation.
  • 5 megapixel camera, with Carl Zeiss optics and VGA video capture
  • Supports live TV DVB-H technology

Discuss the N96 in our Nokia Series 60 handset forum

A hugely powerful and long-anticipated successor to the Nokia N95, the N96 smartphone from Nokia is about as powerful a phone as you can get for the money.

The N96 has GPS and sat nav using Nokia Maps, a 5 megapixel camera with decent camcorder functionality, 16 gig of onboard memory, DVB-H technology for TV, plus support for the BBC iPlayer. It's also an MP3 player and has FM radio with RDS, Internet Radio and Visual Radio.

UK Availability: Now (Available from end of September 2008)

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Your questions on the N96.

How do I connect my N96 to my PC?

The N96 can connect to a PC using Nokia's connectivity software supplied on CD, or for download from Here is a summary of how to connect your N96 to your PC.

  • USB cable. The N96 is supplied with a USB cable that connects from the PC to the handset. When connected, you have to option to use the Nokia PC Suite to interact with the phone, or make a direct connection and access the filing system using Windows 'My Computer'.

  • Belkin Bluetooth adapter Bluetooth connection. From the N96, go to Tools > Bluetooth. Turn Bluetooth 'On', then move to the second tab by moving the joystick to the right. This should show you all Bluetooth devices in range. If your PC isn't shown, select 'Options > New paired device' and let the N96 search for the PC connection. When the phone and PC are paired, use the Nokia Connectivity package to select the file you want to send to the N96.
    If your PC doesn't support Bluetooth, then you can add it cheaply and easily using a USB Bluetooth adapter. We recommend the Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter available for around £15 from
    For details of Bluetooth, see our Bluetooth page, and for help connecting, see our PC connectivity page
  • Memory card drive Memory card reader. Another option is to make use of the microSD card slot in the N96. Get hold of a Memory card reader for around £20 and copy files onto a microSD card plugged into your PC. Find out more on our Memory card page.

Files beamed to the N96 can be found in the Messaging application, in the Inbox folder


There's a wide range of accessories, including spare batteries, cases, chargers, in-car kits, hands-free units, data cables and fascias, available at Carphone Warehouse and MobileShop.


More power Our top accessory for the Nokia N96 is PowerChimp, a portable, rechargeable power supply with bunch of connectors, including the required mini-Nokia.
As reviewed in Show 32 of our UK Tech podcast. More details, see our PowerChimp review.

Email from your N96 If you're looking to use your N96 for sending and receiving e-mail, see our Series 60 Connect page.
How do I install software?

SIS File iconSoftware for Symbian OS phones is normally supplied using a Symbian installation file (with a .sis extension). This is a single file that contains the components needed to get a piece of software installed and ready to run. A SIS file can be run on a Symbian phone (e.g. from the Inbox or via the File Manager. It can also be run via the PC connectivity solution that was supplied on the CD with the Nokia N96. Assuming you have a SIS file on your PC/Mac (either downloaded from the Internet or on a CD), the ways to install a SIS file onto your handset are as follows:

  • Beaming - Beam the file to your handset from your PC using Bluetooth. See our Series 60 PC connectivity page for more.
  • Install via PC - Assuming you've installed the PC connectivity suite that was supplied with your phone, look for the "Install software" option. You'll need to have the handset connected to the PC via USB or Bluetooth for this to work. - See our Series 60 PC connectivity page for more.
  • By email - The alternative, is to email the file that you're trying to install, typically a SIS (Symbian installation file) to your own email account, and then use your phone to logon to your email (details) and download the SIS file as an attachment into your phone's Messaging Inbox.
  • Memory card readerVia memory card - The N96 has a microSD memory card slot, so you can transfer a SIS file to the handset via this card slot if you have access to a PC microSD memory card writer. To do this, copy the SIS file onto a microSD card via the writer connected to your PC, and then insert the microSD card into your handset. Then, use the N96 File Manager (Tools > File mgr.) to browse to the location of the SIS file you've copied. Highlight and run the SIS file, and the installation process should start. Once installed, you can delete the SIS file from the microSD card if required.

If you've downloaded an application and find you can't install it - make sure the file you're trying to install is a SIS (Symbian Installation) file. Many files are distributed in a compressed form (using the ZIP file format). If the file has a .ZIP extension, you'll need to unzip it first. You can do this with a PC application such as WinZip, or on the phone itself using the ZIP application in the Office folder.

For help with installing Java applications and games, see our Java on Series 60 FAQ.

Print out your photos

Polaroid PoGo PrinterIf you've taken some pictures of your chums with your phone's camera - here's a good way to share - Get the Polaroid PoGo - No messy ink cartridges, use your phone's Bluetooth to get instant prints with this portable, rechargeable Bluetooth printer.

See our Polaroid PoGo Review for more.

Extra memory for N96

microSD card The Nokia N96 supports microSD cards for memory expansion. Nokia can sell you their own microSD cards, but their prices for Nokia-branded cards are higher than for standard cards. We've not heard of any incompatibility with non-Nokia cards, so it's worth shopping around to get a third-party card. Here are a few online options:

  • Amazon - Always a good choice for reliable delivery at good prices
  • bid for new cards at low prices!

For more details, see our Memory Card page

Can I use the N96 in the States? Yes. The N96 is a quad-band phone operating on EGSM900/1800 (Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific), and EGSM 850/GSM1900 (USA, Canada, South America). There should be no problem using the N96 with network operators in these countries. Roaming restrictions from your network operator may prevent use of some services in other countries.
Receive faxes on your mobile Looking to get faxes on your Series 60 phone? See our answer in the Series 60 FAQ
What's my N96's serial number? Enter '*#06#' as if it were a phone number, to get your handset's serial number (known as the IMEI) - useful to keep a note of in case your phone is stolen. You may also need this number when registering certain types of software.
Recycle your mobile

Recycle your mobile phoneIf you've got an old mobile phone handset that you're no longer using... do your bit for the environment, and recycle it safely. You'll also make some money when you send your old handset back.

Don't leave it in the back of a drawer - see if it can find a new lease of life, and pocket you some cash.

For a summary of the best deals on making cash from your old handset, try the comparison search tool at

How do I format or hard reset a N96?

We accept no responsibility for use of this code. It is undocumented, not supported by Nokia and should be used at your own risk.

The soft-format code for Series 60 phones is *#7370# . You enter this code as you would enter a phone number in the Phone application. It performs a format of the Internal drive - All data will be lost if you use this feature.

Series 60 reset

The method of performing a hard-format, i.e resetting it completely to factory defaults and removing all data, is as follows:

  1. Switch off the phone.
  2. Hold down the following three buttons: Green (call answer) button, * button, and '3' button
  3. While holding these buttons, press the power button and switch on the phone
  4. When the message 'Formatting' appears on the screen, release all of the buttons

Note that you shouldn't switch the phone off or remove the battery when performing either of these operations, and it's advised that the handset has a reasonable amount of battery charge before performing a format/reset.

Copy to memory card For details of how to copy files to/from an installed memory card, see the answer in our Series 60 FAQ.
Data conversion For help with information on converting your Contacts, Calendar and documents for viewing on your phone, see our Conversion page for some general guidance.
Anti-virus Viruses for Series 60 handsets are fairly rare, but they are around - mostly distributed via dodgy SIS files. Common Symbian viruses include Cabir, Skulls and Lasco. If you think you may have been affected, or are worried about security - try getting an anti-virus package for your Series 60 phone. Options include F-Secure, SimWorks and SMobile VirusGuard, and these are all available for download from
Various N96 passcodes: Below is a list of the various code types you'll find on the N96:

Lock code
  • Length: 5 digits
  • Detail: Prevents access to certain functions on the phone
  • Set from: Tools > Settings > Security > Phone & SIM
  • Default: The default lock code for Nokia Series 60 devices is 12345.
  • Lost? - If you've changed this code and forgotten it - you will need to visit a Nokia authorised service centre, who will be able to reset the lock code for you.
PIN code
  • Length: 4 digits
  • Detail: This is an optional 4 digit code to protect your SIM
  • Set from: Tools > Settings > Security > Phone & SIM
  • Lost? - If you keep trying, you'll eventually get locked out and need to contact your network operator for a PUK code (see below)
PUK code
  • Length: 8 digits
  • Detail: You'll be asked for this 8 digit code if you've entered the wrong SIM code more than the allowed number of times. You'll need to contact your network operator to get this lock lifted. PUK code help.
Network locking code
  • If your phone was fixed to work on a specific network (for example, Orange), this lock may prevent you from using another SIM in the handset. You may see "SIM card rejected" or "SIM card unaccepted". This lock can be lifted for you by contacting the network operator in question (there may be a fee for this).

Memory Card lock code

  • Our forum often gets messages from people that are seeing "Memory card locked". This means that your microSD card has had a password set on it. If you know the password, and want to remove it, go to Tools > Memory.
  • Lost? - Sorry, but we don't know of a way to remove this code. The advice we've seen via our forum suggests that you may want to format your memory card either from the Tools > Memory > Options > Format mem. card, or using a PC Memory Card Reader. If you know of a better solution, please pass this on via our forum to help others that have managed to lock themselves out of their cards!

We have the answer to lots more Series 60 questions on our Series 60 FAQ

Other links


Want to talk about the Nokia N96? Please use our forum, or leave a message on our Podcast Podline, 0208 133 4567

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