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Nokia takes wraps off N Series phones including its 'iPod killer'

Nokia N91Nokia today launched its first new series of phones in years. Aimed squarely the top-end gadget-loving/business user market, all handsets in the new N Series will sport music playing facilities, feature at least a two mega pixel camera and come with web browsing facilities, quite possibly from ace Norwegian company Opera.

They will all be 3G compatible and run using the Series 60 Symbian-based interface. If the first three phones, the N70, N90 and N91 (pictured), are anything to go by they will also combine traditional Nokia designs with rather classy components. Next year N Series phones will almost certainly also be kited out with digital TV tuners.

First to market is the N90, a classy 3G camera phone, which is slated for a summer launch. It will be followed later in the year by the N70 and N91. Read more about the phones on their individual posts.

Nokia N70 3G phone

Nokia N70It might be the least exciting of the trio of phones Nokia has unveiled today but that's only because the other two boast such innovative features. The N70 is in fact a good all round 3G/Edge handset in a small fairly smart upright style.

It boast all the N Series core features, so is kitted out with music playing facilities, a two mega pixel camera with a 20x digital zoom and web browsing facilities. Running on Nokia's Series 60 platform it supports email, can open many file types and comes with an FM radio on board. It has two cameras so it can deliver 3G video calling, features an integrated speaker and has Bluetooth connectivity.

The only fly in the ointment is that it uses the rather pesky cut down MMC card, which the last time we looked was only available up to a pathetic 64MB.

Nokia N90 - camera phone with Carl Zeiss optics

Nokia N90After seeing rivals Sony and Ericsson and Sharp steal a march in the camera phone market the N90 is Nokia's attempt to grab the high-end back. Its headline facility has to be its integrated two mega pixel camera which features apparently Carl Zeiss optics - a first for a Nokia phone.

The handset itself is clamshell style with a rotating head like other Nokia and Sharp phones. Nokia has stacked the phone out with many photographic features so the N90 boasts a macro option, an autofocus, flash and a 20x digital zoom. The phone also grabs video too in MPEG4 and 3GP formats and has an 8x digital zoom. There's a second camera too so the phone can be used for person to person video calling.

The 3G/Edge handset also features MP3 and AAC music players and has good quality speakers. It runs on Nokia's Series 60 platform and boasts a whole host of 'prosumer' facilities including email with attachments and a full HTML web browser. Battery life is up to 10 days in standby and 4.5hours talk time. It goes on sale in the summer.

Nokia's N91 four gig hard disk music phone

Nokia N91At a press conference last year Nokia acknowledged that it was working on a hard disk based music phone and here it is - the N91. Probably the most eagerly awaited of all the new Nokia N series handsets, the N91 trounces rival music phones not just in storage (it has a 4 Gigabyte hard disk on board) but also in terms of looks thanks to its elegant chocolate bar style design with music playing buttons that pull down to reveal the numeric keypad.

The N91 boasts MP3 and AAC (though it isn't compatible with songs downloaded from the iTunes music store) playback, has a remote control in its accompanying earphones and features an FM tuner. Unlike any other phone it sports a 3.5mm headphone jack, so users can team up the handset with some seriously large cans if they fancy. Battery life is reasonable with the phone running for 12.5 hours as a music player, though this way short of the 30 hours offered by the Sony Ericsson W800. It is 7 hours standby and 3-4 hours talk time.

The hard disk is also shock proof, Nokia staff have apparently been throwing them around to test this, and the company is saying that users can store up to 3000 tunes on the hard disk. The N91 will also play back AAC Plus files, which are used by European networks as over the air music downloads, and also has an audio out so you can hook it up to external speakers etc.

The phone has loads of other facilities including a two mega pixel camera, web browser (made by Norwegians Opera? Nokia isn't saying), email, and, unusually for a phone of this size, integrated Wi-Fi. It runs the Series 60 interface and is compatible with both 3G and EDGE networks.

From the spec sheet it looks like like Nokia has taken the music phone to the next dimension. Whether people start ditching their iPods and Walkmans in favour of their mobile though remains to be seen.

Loads more of this stuff at Tech Digest and Shiny Shiny.

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