Nokia has unveiled two smartphones featuring an updated version of its Symbian platform, delivering a number of usability enhancements while holding out the promise of further updates in the future.
The new handsets are the business-focused E6 with a Qwerty keyboard, and the X7 aimed more at consumer entertainment with a large 4in display. Both are set to be available sometime in the second quarter of 2011, according to Nokia.
The handsets also debut an update of the Symbian operating system called Symbian Anna, which boasts a new look with fresh icons and usability enhancements such as a split-screen view while keying in text, a faster and easier to use browser and a refreshed version of Nokia's Ovi Maps navigation tool.
Symbian Anna seems to be aimed at keeping interest in Nokia phones alive while the company works at its transition to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform.
The update will also be shipped on other newly-bought Nokia handsets including the N8, E7, C7 and C6, and made available as a download for existing users of those smartphones.
Nokia also said that developers can create applications for the new platform using the Qt SDK 1.1, which is available as a release candidate version from the Forum Nokia web site.
The Nokia E6 follows the design format of Nokia's successful E71 and E72 business phones with a full Qwerty keyboard, but adds a VGA resolution touch-screen display.
Key for business users is integration with Microsoft productivity tools including Mail for Exchange support, Communicator Mobile and SharePoint access. Users can also create, edit and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
The E6 is based on an ARM1176 680MHz processor with a Broadcom BCM2727 GPU, and includes 256MB RAM and 8GB of built-in storage plus a microSD slot allowing for Flash cards up to 32GB. It is expected to cost €345 (£306).
Meanwhile, the Nokia X7 is a pure touch-screen device designed for games and music with a 4in Amoled screen and an 8-megapixel camera for capturing pictures and HD quality video. It comes pre-loaded with Galaxy on Fire HD and Asphalt 5 HD games.
The X7 has similar processor and memory specifications to the E6, and is expected to cost €380 (£338).
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