Nokia gets a lot of attention for its boundary-pushing smartphones and the N series, but it’s still doing the business at the meat-and-two-veg end of things.This is the new 6125, a full featured quad band flip phone with a 1.3 megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom, FM radio and MP3 player, Bluetooth and USB, and a MicroSD memory card slot. It will also be one of the first mid-range phones to ship with a preinstalled Macromedia Flash player.
Mio Technology thinks its new A201 “sets new standard for satnav PDAs”. It’s a Windows Mobile 5.0 device with a GPS receiver that folds up from the back of the device and can also swivel to allow the unit to be used in landscape mode. RRP is £239 (including VAT but without mapping software).
T-Mobile and RIM are launching the new BlackBerry 8700g in the UK. It comes with faster web browsing and an improved high resolution LCD screen in a new, lightweight design. Users can view common attachments such as Excel, Powerpoint and Word.
The W900i is Sony Ericsson’s second Walkman mobile, available exclusively via Vodafone for the first couple of months but now on other networks too. The W800i is the pace-setter for music playing phones; this one adds 3G and stretches the audio envelope a bit as well. There’s a whopping 470Mb internal memory on board, plus a slot for Sony’s Memory Stick Duo port memory card. There’s a small VGA camera as well as a good 2 megapixel main camera with autofocus and ultra-bright LED flash. The camera shoots video at up to 30fps, double the speed of most conventional imaging phones and the playback quality threshold for television.
But it’s as a music player that the W900i really stands out. Direct music buttons get the user swiftly into the Walkman player, where it is possible to scroll through playlists, artists or individual songs. On an incoming call, the phone’s ringtone cuts into the audio and pauses the track whilst the call is taken.
The W900 is a bit bulkier than the W800i and there’s no 3.5mm jack for standard stereo headphones. But the addition of 3G to a very strong feature set derived from the Sony Ericsson W550 and W800 make this a good multimedia phone.
And still they come: the latest packaging of the RAZR is called Cosmic Blue. Motorola says it “brings a new dimension to the ultimate in stylish communication”. It is being exclusively distributed by 20:20.
Motorola has introduced its second music-optimised phone, the ROKR E2, and the differences between this and the not-much-liked ROKR E1 are instructive.
It looks like a much more saleable product, for a start – based on a Linux operating system to enhance speed and flexibility, featuring one-touch switching between phone calls and music playlists, incorporating a good-looking MP3 player which can handle a variety of different audio formats (Motorola has dumped the iTunes software that should have been the E1’s USP but wasn’t).
The 100-song restriction which Apple imposed has gone in favour of a more competitive 500 limit, you get an SD memory card slot, there’s a decent 1.3 megapixel camera on board, and the cool-looking backlit audio controls on the side of the phone are a real plus.
No word yet on availability other than “first half of 2006”.
Nokia goes for mobile TV
Nokia is in a good vein of product announcements just at the moment. Now comes a clutch of new N series multimedia phones for the consumer. Says Nokia: “With these new devices consumers can wirelessly watch mobile TV, stream music, share photos and send emails with attachments …”
The Nokia N92 is technically the most exciting because it’s the world’s first mobile device with a built-in DVB-H receiver – which means it makes it possible for the user to watch (and record) live TV. That big 2.8in anti-glare screen supports 16m colours.
The N71 is the music phone in this group, with a stereo FM radio and support for digital music and videos. It also features the new Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map; this allows a semi-transparent, zoomed-out view of a web page, so that users can quickly orientate themselves on a handset screen.
And Nokia’s N80 is a WLAN-plus-3G handset that claims another world first – it features UPnP technology for plug ‘n’ play. This allows it to be used as a remote control for wirelessly swapping content between compatible PCs, audio equipment and TVs. Images and video stored on the Nokia N80 or on a compatible PC can be viewed on a TV, for instance, while music stored on the device can be played through an audio system.
The bad news is that there’s no definite availability date. Given the delays in getting the N71 and N72 on to the streets, we won’t be holding our breath for these.