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Nokia guns for PDA, home surveillance rivals

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Reviving its tradition of finally putting a sensible keyboard onto a phone - once all the alternatives have been exhausted - Nokia launched its 6670 model today. It's a cross between the 7610 consumer camera phone and the 6600/6630 business line, although it owes much more to the former. The asymmetric teardrop case is preferred over the stubby, barrel-chested design of Nokia's flagship business phone.

In terms of features, there are no great surprises: the 6670 boasts tri-band GPRS, a megapixel camera, and (alas) only a 64MB reduced-size MMS. Clearly, it's too early to expect the fruits of Nokia's recent conversion of SD cards to bear fruit. Stateside users might be disappointed that it doesn't support EDGE, and the battery life is creeping downwards. Nokia now quotes a range, rather than a single figure; but the 6600 was advertised as being capable of four hours and the 7610 three. With the 6670, expect "two to four".

The most significant point is that it supports Nokia's wireless Bluetooth keyboard. The inclusion of a VPN and a decent file viewer also points to this being pitched as a PDA replacement.

But PalmOne, Toshiba and HP aren't the only companies in Nokia's sights. So is the reviled home surveillance outfit X.10, notorious for its popups. Nokia has launched a megapixel camera with a GSM card slot. It sends back audio or pictures, via MMS, of what it sees. The Nokia Remote Camera, as it's creatively called, can also send back pictures over Bluetooth. More expensive and less portable than commonplace baby-monitors, its success will probably depend on whether resellers can bundle cut-price airtime, or a special deal on MMS rates. At a retail price €450, the only kids who'll be able to gurgle back to Mom and Pop will be called "Beckham". ®

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