By February 21, 2009

Nokia N97 coming May 2009 – Going head to head with …Nokia N86


Nokia have announced the much anticipated N97 is to be released in May of 2009. They have also announced the 8mp camera behemoth that is the N86 to hit shops around the same time. A bit of an oddity from a marketing point of view. Read on for the blurb on both of these phones.

The N97:

With the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic serving as proof that Nokia are more than capable of producing a world class touchscreen phone, people are now looking towards the future and Nokia’s next take on the touchscreen market; the Nokia N97. With a spec list to die for, the Nokia N97 is hardly short of admirers. An all new touch based Symbian operating system, 32GB on board memory (plus expandable), 5.0 Megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, HSDPA, Wi-Fi and GPS SatNav; if this list of features doesn’t impress, nothing will. The problem we have had with top of the range Nokia phones in the past is that Nokia whet our appetite with the next big thing and then take an age to actually launch it (see Nokia N96 for proof!).

So it’s with much excitement (and a hint of scepticism) that we greet the news that Nokia have pencilled the N97 in for a May launch! Which, in case you hadn’t noticed, is only two and a bit months away! Whilst teasing us once again with the all singing all dancing touchscreen phone, this time at the Mobile World Congress event currently running in Barcelona, Nokia hinted at a late May launch. The N97 is dressed to impress with a 3.5 inch touchscreen display featuring all sorts of niceties such as an Accelerometer, Handwriting recognition and a proximity sensor. And for those not wanting to abandon buttons completely, slide the phone and you’ll find a full QWERTY keyboard and navigation keypad which slides out in a similar fashion to the Sony Ericsson Xperia.

Touchscreen and keyboard aside, the spec that’s got people scouring the net for a launch date is the 32GB internal memory. You read that right; 32GB. and if that’s not enough, stick a 16GB MicroSD card inside and you’ve got 48GB of storage in your phone. Well now you can stop reading blogs with a fine tooth comb as it seems that Nokia have earmarked May as judgment day for the N97.

Regarding the N86:

With the UK’s first 8.0 Megapixel camera phone launching nearly six months ago, the conspicuous absentee from the 8.0 Megapixel range has undoubtedly been Nokia. Nokia have been uncharacteristically slow in launching their own 8 Megapixel camera phone but it seems it will have been well worth the weight with the announcement of the Nokia N86 8MP at this weeks Mobile World Congress event currently running in Barcelona. The N86 8MP makes no mistake as to what camera is lurking within but it’s more than just Megapixels that makes this a camera phone to be reckoned with.

Featuring, as was to be expected, a Carl Zeiss lens, the N86 is the first (and currently only) camera phone to feature variable aperture values and a 28mm wide angle lens. The Aperture on a digital camera determines the amount of light let in to hit the sensor. So in low light, switch to a lower aperture value and the N86 will compensate for the lack of light by letting more in. This alone puts the N86 in the same league as stand alone point and shoot digital cameras. The N86 also features a third generation dual LED flash which, Nokia claim, should offer effective light at distances of up to 3.5m. While no sample shots from the N86 camera have yet been released, hopes are high that Nokia will be able to stake a late claim for the 8.0 Megapixel camera crown.

To look at, the phone takes the best bits of the N85 and N96 with a design that is definitely more evolution than revolution. The N86 features a dual slide design with the music/multimedia buttons taking on a larger, raised form factor making them much easier to use. The keypad benefits from a similar overhaul; each button is a separate physical section rather than one flat panel (as seen on the N96) which makes texting and navigation error free. In terms of size, the dimensions of the N86 8MP are nearly identical to that of the N85 (though the N86 comes in slightly chunkier at 149g to the N85’s 128g) which makes for one of the most pocketable 8.0 Megapixel phones out there. Best of all, the excellent kickstand found on the N96 (and the upcoming Sony Ericsson W995) makes a welcome return.

Aside from the design, it’s pretty much business as usual as for any high end Nseries phone; HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity offer high speed internet and downloads, GPS with Nokia Maps offers the perfect SatNav solution and 8GB of internal memory will give you somewhere to store all your files. The N86 also features an MP3 player, 3.5mm audio jack, video player, TV out and full N-Gage support turning the phone into a powerful portable multimedia phone. And the feature I’m most excited about (apart from the camera of course)? Well, the N86 8MP marks the return of the FM Transmitter meaning you can play music from your phone through an FM radio. The feather in the Nokia N78’s cap, it’s great to see the feature resurrected in this latest addition to the Nseries.

[Via UK Mobile Phone Blog]

Posted in: Phones

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Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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