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Nokia launches mass market smartphone

Not just for skateboarders, poseurs any more?

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Nokia describes the new 6600, launched in Helsinki today, as its most important smartphone to date - a device that unlike its predecessors, is priced to appeal to the mid-market. It's a Series 60 device that's slightly smaller, and at 122g, a little lighter, than last year's 7650.

Both screen and camera have been significantly improved, and the sprawling software bundle has been tidied up too.

Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's executive vice president for phones, told The Register that this had been both the result of Moore's Law and a conscious effort to incorporate feedback from its predecessor.

Gone are features such as the haptic sensor and slide down keyboard.

"These were gimmicky and didn't add anything," he told us. "Flips, flaps, slides and folds increase the size. This is a very robust device."

Series 60 users will notice that the software looks tidier. A new "Media Gallery" aggregates sound files, images and videos. Nokia has incorporated two popular third party utilities - skinning and a file manager - into the basic software suite. A number of small improvements are apparent too: the awful, blocky menu font is replaced by something much more elegant.

Nokia was pushing enterprise features such as over the air synchronization hard at the launch. Vanjoki said he believed that the robust design would appeal to business users. To date, Nokia's cameraphones have been pitched at the affluent end of the leisure business.

The triband phone should be available in the last quarter of this year. Full specifications can be found here. ®

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