Nokia N96 cell phone now shipping, whips iPhone 3G's patootie but good

We have mixed feelings about our iPhones 3G, but generally we're crazy about them even though they crash a lot. A whole lot. Are we insane? Maybe we should wake up and see what a real cell phone is like. Case in point: the long-anticipated Nokia N96, doing things Steve Jobs might be bragging about by about 2012.

What’s so great about this $800 cell phone that's finally shipping? It has a 5-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and video recording, and its pictures are all geotagged by the onboard GPS. There are a couple of LED flash units keeping your snaps well-lit. It of course has 3G connectivity, and also rocks a pair of 3D stereo speakers. And hey, it can play Flash videos. And what’s that? Turn-by-turn GPS directions?

While it does have that excellent two-way slider — giving you a real physical keyboard in one direction and numberpad in the other — missing is that neato iPhone user interface. Still, I’m feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse setting in. I’ll console myself by repeatedly recoiling at the N96’s $800 price tag, compared to $300 for my 16GB iPhone 3G.

Nokia, via CrunchGear