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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nokia's Hot New- against iphone

PB : Md Moshiur Rahman sponsored by
Spurred on by, no doubt, by the iPhone's imminent European release, Nokia yesterday unveiled its latest set of multimedia-ready handsets, including a version of the high-end N95 optimized for the high-speed 3G networks of the U.S. We got an early hands-on look, and were, for the most part, impressed. Here's the gist of ' the announcements:

Nokia N81: This is a sleek and slim music and media phone (pictured) that many people are calling Nokia's answer to the iPhone (probably because it shares the iPhone's onboard memory size of 8GB). Compared to the iPhone, though, it's considerably smaller (like a small candy bar) and more powerful, in our opinion, but then again so are most phones, considering the iPhone's lack of picture- and video-messaging or camcorder ability (among other features standard on even entry-level phones these days). Like other N-series phones, the N81 is feature-packed, with built-in push e-mail, support for most types of music formats and podcasts, Bluetooth stereo capability, and Wi-Fi that not only lets you surf the Internet, but also play the media on your phone on any wireless-enabled TV, stereo, or PC. Sound quality is excellent -- it goes up to 11, and like most Nokia phones we've tried, the dedicated music buttons and navi wheel were responsive to the touch. The N81 will also be compatible with Nokia's new N-Gage gaming service. The N81 is small, but the otherwise traditional slider design is greatly enhanced by a glossy black body with lit-up keys. Our only beef -- it's only got a measly 2-megapixel camera (surprising, considering everything else is relatively state-of-the-art). The N81 -- which comes out in a 4-gigabyte (GB) removable memory-card version and an 8-gigabyte (GB) built-in memory version -- will be out by the end of this year in Europe and in unlocked form directly from (which means it'll work with T-Mobile and AT&T in the States). [For more pictures of the N81, check out the gallery on Engadget.]

Nokia N95 (U.S. HSDPA Version and 8GB Version): Two new versions of Nokia's high-end N95 phone were also unveiled. The new U.S.-optimized version of the N95 is compatible with AT&T's high-speed, 3G HSDPA network, which translates into faster browsing and download speeds when uploading or downloading video or surfing the Net (the current N95 is only compatible with the slower EDGE network). It's also got a longer battery life and twice the internal operational RAM, which means programs will run more smoothly and load up faster (also a sometime problem on the current N95). Also announced, the 8GB N95, which has a bigger screen (about 2-centimeters bigger) than the current model and a scratch-free lens (versus the lens cap that opens easily on the current model). The body is all black, glossy plastic, versus the metal on the current model. It also has assisted-GPS, which means that the mapping software should work a little faster since it'll be getting some help from the cell phone network. Both new iterations of the N95 will be available in unlocked form on Nokia's Web site by the end of the year.

Nokia 5310 Xpress Music: The latest addition to Nokia's Mondrian-esque, two-toned music phones is the slimmest so far (just 9.9-millimeters), yet still has a 2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth capability, a camcorder, and a big 2-inch QVGA screen for watching videos. Music playback battery time is about 18 hours. This is a sleek and slim phone, but it's likely to be pricey when it becomes available in unlocked form on Nokia's Web site. If you're going to be spending the likely $400 plus for this model, you might as well go for one of the higher-end phones above (the N81 or N95, that is).

Nokia 5610 XPress Music: This higher-end entry in the Xpress Music series is a a thicker, slider version of the 5310, but with a better 3.2 megapixel camera (with 8x zoom) and 3G capability (but only in Europe!). It's also got a big 2.2-inch screen for watching all those high-resolution H.265 and MPEG 4 videos you'll be downloading. Again, it will be available directly from Nokia by the end of this year. We only got to play around with these for a few minutes, but Engadget Mobile actually has a couple of these XPress Music phones, so check back there for more up-close-and-personal info.

All in all, an impressive lineup. Our favorite here is probably the N81, just because it's so small, yet pretty feature-packed (too bad about that 2-megapixel camera, though). That said, the N95 in our experience is probably one of the most advanced and powerful cell phones on the market (with built-in GPS and a 5-megapixel camera), and the new 3G capability means it'll finally go head-to-head with the other high-speed phones out there. Either way, without carrier subsidies, these phones are all likely to cost anywhere from $350-$800, so start saving now.

There's no doubt that Nokia's phones, with their powerful Symbian operating system and features, can do a lot more than the iPhone. The question is, will American consumers have the inclination to actually learn how to use all of the state-of-the-art features that Nokia offers? The rest of the world seems sold, but then again, the rest of the world likes Rowan Atkinson (of 'Mr. Bean's Holiday') and soccer, two global phenomenons that haven't managed to catch on Stateside.

Nokia announces launch, games, and fresh details for the brand new N-Gage service.

August 29, 2007 - The N-Gage is reborn. No longer a specific physical device but an online service, the new N-Gage is set to launch worldwide in November. Users with compatible N-series devices can download the N-Gage application directly to their handsets while all future N-series handsets coming out of assembly will have the service already onboard.The new N-Gage, revealed at E3 in 2006, is something of a smart hub, a destination where gamers and community members log in to check out games, download applications, and participate in events like challenges and contests. The service can be likened somewhat to Xbox Live, giving users a central place to download games and demos, engage other players, and check out community features.The new N-Gage is actually part of a new mobile strategy from Nokia called Ovi (Finnish for "door"). The Ovia mantle not only contains N-Gage, but also a new music store and a map service. Nokia Music Store and Nokia Maps are just the second batch of applications announced for the Ovi service beyond N-Gage. Nokia will add additional functionality to Ovi over time.
Nokia has announced several high-profile partnerships for the new N-Gage in recent months, such as Capcom, Digital Chocolate, and I-play. At a London event today, Nokia showed off a spate of new games, including Snakes Subsonic. Games are currently priced in the $8-$15 range.The N-Gage service is compatible with the N73, N81, N95 series, N93 series. Additional devices will be announced in the future.

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