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At 103.4 x 51.4 x 16.5 mm, totaling a volume of 69 cc the Nokia N86 8MP is a medium-sized handset considering its features. The dual-slide design that Nokia seems so keen on certainly adds a few millimeters.
The weight of 149 grams though is a whole other story, making the Nokia N86 8MP the heaviest 8MP handset to date. The solid feel that this kind of weight gives was much appreciated in our team but some users will think differently and will probably have every right to do so - it's heavy, there are no two opinions on that.
Placing the Nokia N86 8MP and the N81 side-by-side reveals striking resemblance. However the devil is in the details and in this case the whole difference in the world lays in the different materials used. While we are still not particularly happy about the shiny fingerprint-gathering front, the plastic on the back panel feels really nice and looks just the same as Nokia N97.
We also have to admit that the fingerprints on the front panel aren't as easily visible as with some other phones, except fort the metallic frame which can easily be turned into a smudgy mess - the front frame is practically the same as Nokia N97 as well.
The Nokia N86 8MP front panel is mostly taken by the 2.6" 16M-color AMOLED display of QVGA resolution. It seems identical to the one found on the Nokia N85 once again pointing out the fact that the N86 8MP was meant more as an update of N86 than a totally new phone.
AMOLED technology is still exciting enough with all its benefits, but the QVGA resolution is starting to seem outdated. In times where LG and Samsung are introducing feature phones with WVGA screens, having a flagship of any kind with less than a quarter of their pixel count is hardly a commendable achievement.
The keys below the display are easily operated and seem to work just fine in most of the cases.
At least the D-pad with its sloped sides is much more comfortable than it looks. While it's a bit on the smaller side, hitting the confirmation center is about as easy as the directions, although at first glance you may guess the opposite.
The alphanumeric keypad is a mixed bag - the keys seem sufficiently spaced, but they could have been even larger (there's quite a bit of wasted space) and their press feedback is a bit insufficient for proper use.
When you slide the Nokia N86 8MP the other way around, the four multimedia keys get revealed. You use them to control the music player or the gallery. The middle pair can also be used for gaming and is quite handy with some of the N-gage titles.
The left side of Nokia N86 8MP hosts a tiny lock/unlock slider, which as the name implies, toggles the keypad locking.
We can't really understand why Nokia chose to incorporate the thing anyways - sliders rarely need dedicate lock/unlock keys, as the locking feature is easily toggled by the slider mechanism itself.
Sliding the camera cover automatically unlocks the phone as well, so this little slider seems quite redundant to us no matter what Nokia focus groups have to say about that.
But it's already there anyway, and if it doesn't help much, at least it doesn't get in the way, so we don't really mind its presence.
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