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Nokia intros touchscreen N97 flagship

updated 07:25 am EST, Tue December 2, 2008

Nokia N97

Nokia today used its own Nokia World expo to establish a touchscreen phone as its new leading device and its best chance against the iPhone. The N97 has a full 3.5-inch touch LCD that shares the same Symbian S60 5th Edition platform as the 5800 XpressMusic but also hides a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that locks into a more natural typing angle like the AT&T Tilt. Accordingly, the phone is pitched as a social networking hub and includes a new home screen that optionally shows status update widgets from Facebook, MySpace and Nokia's own Ovi service among others.

The handset is also reportedly Nokia's most media-friendly device. Apart from a 16:9 ratio display suited to videos, the phone is one of the first to carry 32GB of storage built-in and still has room for a microSDHC card slot to add an extra 16GB. A native 3.5mm headphone jack and a large battery that supplies up to 37 hours of music (or six hours of 3G calling) also render it a true media player.

The N97 shares many of the higher-end features of other Nseries phones, including both its HSPA-based 3G, a five-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash, data-assisted GPS and Wi-Fi. Nokia also touts a "real" web browser with embedded Adobe Flash video and a new version of Nokia Maps that supports 3D landmarks, satellite terrain data and a newer pedestrian guidance mode that can create a straight line through parks and other areas.

As with most of the company's phone launches, the N97 is given a broad shipping window and is scheduled to ship sometime during the first half of 2009 in either black or white colors. Nokia is also pricing the phone as its new top end and plans to sell the phone for 550 Euros ($694) before carrier discounts. The device as-is supports GSM and EDGE on North America's 850MHz band but lacks similar support for HSPA in the region.







By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Appleman

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2001

    +3

    Pfff

    Nope, no real contender.

  1. Demonike

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    Sluggish

    The GUI animations themselves seem to force the processor nearly to its knees. Nowadays noticeable lags in data retreival and GUI rendering in flash-based devices is just not acceptable.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    NIce

    What do you mean its not an iphone contender? It trumps the current iPhone in key areas like flash capability and memory capacity. Hilarious. If a competitor came out with a phone that had the capability of a macbook pro, Apple fanboys would still shrug it off.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +3

    nice

    i love my iphone.

    that said, this device is not bad. i am sure it will have its share of minor problems, like any other device, but the design is nice. i like the solid look. they used metal? (might be just my screen.. stupid work pcs). throw android on this baby, and we would have something s***... i mean that in the average girl dresed up way. and not the super hot actress that is wet for you way (thats my iphone).

    oh. and it needs a better name!

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -3

    not a contender?

    What are you? Nuts? In what way does an iphone have an advantage over the N97? The N97 outshines the iphone in every area. And don't say "os". Nokia has been making phones for a long time. They just bought out symbian. This phone is going to blow people away. However, I doubt it will be priced at the iphone level. Which works for me, as I'd rather not have the same phone as my 17 year old nephew and the guy I bought it from...

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002

    -1

    Well...

    It looks nice,but I'll stick with my TMO G1.

  1. Constable Odo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +1

    Hardware-wise...

    Definitely superior to the iPhone. What can't this handset do. If anyone asked for more features on the iPhone, they could just point to this Nokia. And best of all is a LARGE BATTERY which is one of the greatest shortcomings of the iPhone. Most of the iPhones deficiencies could be overlooked if it became a device that could be used all day long without needing a recharge.

    This Nokia is clearly a contender as far as hardware is concerned. 48 GB max makes the iPhone seem downright pathetic. The iPhone is a great device, but let's face reality, it's hardware is lame compared to this Nokia. I'm not saying the Nokia is a better handset, just better featured.

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +3

    And don't say "os"?

    Why NOT say "OS"? It's true, and it does count for a lot more than you can rattle off in a feature list. Palm's been making devices a long time too, and and look at their market share; Windows Mobile's also an oldie and lots of people hate that OS; Apple's been in this space for less than 18 months and already has a sizeable chunk of the biz; so length of years in the biz doesn't exactly cut it.

    I doubt I'd ever give up my iPhone but this looks like the first serious contender to that iPhone mindshare.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +1

    Wait

    This phone looks great but one has to consider how long this will actually take to bring to market. By the time this Nokia is released in the U.S., the iPhone could be available in 32gb with flash support and other improved features. When this phone is actually released--only then will we be able to consider it a true competitor.

  1. csimon2

    Junior Member

    Joined: Aug 2000

    +3

    OS

    The OS most certainly does matter, but thankfully in this case Nokia is using Symbian so its not nearly as bad as WinMo, Palm, or Blackberry. I've been a long time user of Nokia's Symbian smartphones (since 2001), and while I can say unequivocally that I love Symbian, the iPhone's OS is vbery appealing and its definitely trumps Symbian in many areas. But there are areas where the Symbian OS is stronger. It really is a give/take kind of relationship.

    I've used the Nokia 5800 as well, which includes their new "touch" interface, and I can say without doubt that Nokia is the only other company besides Apple to have gotten this thing right. Apple still far outshines Nokia, but of the others such as LG, HTC, Blackberry, and Samsung, the clear leader IMHO is Nokia.

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