updated 07:45 am EDT, Tue September 14, 2010
Nokia C6 and C7 use Symbian3, ClearBlack displays
Nokia World kicked off on Tuesday with the launch of Symbian^3-based smartphones that may be crucial to the company's turnaround. The C7 becomes a more affordable alternative to the soon-to-ship N8 and has a smaller 3.5-inch AMOLED display with the use of newly developed ClearBlack Display technology; like Samsung's Super AMOLED, it's claimed to provide better visibility in bright sunlight where most OLEDs wash out. The design is also consciously framed as upscale with a stainless steel shell to go with its glass.
While not as ambitious as the N8, it has an eight-megapixel camera and can capture 720p video.
Symbian^3, as before, tries to modernize the long-serving mobile OS with multi-touch, multiple home screens with widgets and unified contacts that support simultaneous updating of social networks. An updated WebKit browser, an easier to use Ovi Store and overall simplified settings also help modernize the platform.
The C7 should be available before the end of 2010 at an unsubsidized price of 335 euros ($430).
A step slightly below it is the C6-01. The second Symbian^3 device has less RAM and a smaller 3.2-inch AMOLED display in a less exotic frame. Nokia still gives this phone an eight-megapixel camera and 720p video as well, but its pre-discount price drops to 260 euros ($334) for its own end-of-year launch.
While both will be preceded by the N8, the pair are Nokia's first truly modern mid-range smartphones and may help the Finnish company regain some of its stature in the smartphone world. The phone maker has had to watch as it has continuously lost share to iPhones and Android over the past three years. Most have blamed the drop both on Symbian's earlier inability to keep up in features as well as Nokia's conservatism in design, which saw it wait 1.5 years after the iPhone before shipping a mainstream touchscreen phone and more than two years to get a high-end touchscreen device, the N97. Some of its devices have also taken half a year or more to ship after first unveiling, leading competitors to catch up and often surpass what it could offer.
The upset has led to a crisis in management in the company that, in less than a week, has seen both the departure of its CEO with the hiring of a rare non-Finnish replacement and the advance resignation of its smartphone leader just a day before Nokia World began.