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Nokia launches multimedia smart phones

Nseries comes with a high-quality camera, big memory, 3G capability and more

Nokia has launched three new Nseries mobile handsets, hoping users will be seduced by the smart phones' built-in multimedia gadgets.

The phones can take print-quality pictures, read email, play music, browse websites and display mobile TV.

Nokia has also touted the series’ new features, such as 3G (third-generation) technology, multigigabyte memory, VHS-resolution video and WLAN (wireless LAN) capabilities.

A major selling point is the integration of a high-quality camera into each model; in fact, one model boasts a lens from German optics maker Carl Zeiss.

The Nseries line employs Nokia's Series 60 software platform for smart phones, and each model sports a stainless steel finish and black-pearl-and-silver colour scheme.

The new handsets are the N90, N91, and N70. According to Nokia's schedule, the first of the new phones to hit the market – sometime before the end of June – will be the N90. It is being marketed as Nokia's premier mobile photography handset, though Nokia declined to specify a precise launch date.

The suggested retail price for the N90 is about €703 (£477), but a Nokia spokeswoman stressed that prices will depend on local markets and retailers.

The N90's 2Mp camera has a multihinge twist-and-shoot design; it offers autofocus, 20x digital zoom, the Zeiss lens and integrated flash. The phone has two screens: a 352x416 pixel main display, and a 352x416 pixel second screen with 262,144 colours that can serve as a viewfinder for shooting video in MP4 format, Nokia said.

The N70 is a 3G smart phone with a 2Mp camera, video-calling capabilities, stereo FM radio, a digital music player and new 3D games all contained in a compact package measuring 4.2x2.0x0.6in. This phone will be available sometime in the third quarter of 2005 for just over €500 (339).

The N91, which can store up to 3000 songs on its integrated 4GB hard disk and play music for 12.5 hours at a stretch, will begin shipping in November at a suggested retail price of about €700 (£475).

All of the Nseries phones are initially being pitched at European markets, with pricing in euros. Eventually, however, the tri-band handsets will be sold worldwide.

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