Three retailers have announced that users can now pre-order the Nokia N97 mobile phone, and should receive the handset  in March.

nokia_n97The successor to Nokia's successful N96 handset is available from Play, Clove Technology and Expansys, priced between £479 and £571 for a SIM-free version of the handset. The device was initially listed on Play as a pre-order but now reads 'coming soon'.

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The smartphone, which was launched in December, is being touted as a rival to Apple's iPhone and features a 3.5in widescreen 640x360 touchscreen display, alongside a 5Mp camera with Carl Zeiss lens, 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports a further 16GB of memory.

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The N97 also benefits from a slide-out qwerty keyboard, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HSDPA connectivity as well as A-GPS, which combined with an electronic compass, can tell users exactly where they are.

Nokia hasn't released any details about tariffs on which the handset will be available.

See also: Price of Nokia 'Comes with Music' phone slashed