Nokia has entered a new contender into the touch-screen market at its annual Nokia World show in Barcelona.
The N97 smartphone has a 3.5in screen which can be tilted, and a full slide out Qwerty keyboard. The device forms part of Nokia's flagship Nseries, and aims to provide an "always open" window to users' favourite social networking sites and internet destinations.
"From the desktop to the laptop and now to your pocket, the Nokia N97 is the most powerful multi-sensory mobile computer in existence," said Jonas Geust, Nseries vice president at Nokia.
The N97 also includes what Nokia calls "social location", a feature that uses the phone's integrated Assisted GPS (A-GPS) sensors and electronic compass to determine where it is and offer a range of relevant real-time information.
The device touts a 16:9 ratio widescreen that can be tilted much like the HTC TyTN II. The home screen can be personalised with widgets to provide easy access to the information particular to each user.
The Nokia N97 has a 5-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and boasts 32GB of onboard memory with a microSD slot for up to 16GB of expandable memory.
Nokia said that the handset is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at an estimated retail price of €550 (£469) before taxes or subsidies. It will pack in a 1500mAh battery, which Nokia claims will last up to 16 days on standby, or provide 37 hours of continuous music playback or four and a half hours of video.
Some are already hailing the N97 as a serious contender to the iPhone. " Today's announcement at Nokia's annual event in Barcelona goes to show how serious they are about competing this time round," said Robin Landy of mobile phone comparison web site Omio.
"Despite the handset not launching until well into 2009, revealing such juicy details on the N97 is likely to prevent many Nokia fans from asking for an iPhone in their stocking this Christmas. Clever, very clever."
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