updated 12:05 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2007
Nokia 6500 and 8600
Nokia today made a surprising mid-day announcement of three new phones bolstered by 3G Internet access. The 6500 series is completely new and offers a choice of styles while providing the extra speed of an HSDPA modem: the 6500 classic (pictured) is a traditional bar phone and one of the company's thinnest to date at 9.5mm (0.37 inches). It also holds some of the most storage of any phone in its range with 1GB of built-in flash to store AAC/MP3 songs as well as photos and videos captured with a 2-megapixel camera. The classic further marks the use of a relatively new micro-USB format, Nokia says: a single cable can now deliver audio, data, and power, allowing the phone to charge while it syncs with a PC or stream audio in a dock.
Although similar in name, the 6500 slide is very different, Nokia points out. The change to a thicker slider form is met by an increase in camera quality to 3.2 megapixels; storage is handled exclusively through microSD cards, including the 256MB card included in the box. A front QCIF-resolution camera is also included for basic video calls over 3G networks. Other minor extras also built-in are an FM radio and a TV output for displaying images on a larger screen.
Both 6500 models are set to launch in the summer at prices equal to $429 for the classic and $497 for the slide before factorin in carrier plans and discounts. Though regional launches haven't been listed, both include the necessary 850MHz GSM and HSDPA radios needed to deliver phone and 3G service in North America through providers such as AT&T and Rogers.
Also unveiled today was the 8600 Luna. The Finnish handset maker confirmed the details of the phone already listed by Britain's Carphone Warehouse, including its unique smoked glass sliding shell and the keypad illumination that inspires its namesake. The 8600 shares the micro-USB port of the 6500 line and has a 2-megapixel camera, 128MB of internal flash with a microSD slot, and FM tuning. Nokia was unclear on pricing but suggested a premium price of 700 Euros ($939) before discounts, but may change pricing should its 850MHz support bring it to North America.