labels: Telecom, New products, Mobiles
Nokia launches its widget-ready smart phone N97 news
By Amit Sharma
18 June 2009

Nokia today unveiled N97, its latest in the N series phone and the sequel to N96 that promises a new internet experience with touchscreen display and customisable home screen. The new phone was launched in Mumbai at the Taj President.

Nokia is introducing the new handset in an exclusive marketing deal with Vodafone, which will provide an exclusive free data plan for three months for browsing the internet round the clock using its high speed network.

Nokia N97Vodafone will also provide exclusive access to the widget Groove to its premium subscribers, which carries updates on movies, restaurants, shopping, clubs, sports and other events.

Commenting at the launch, V Ramnath, director, operator channels, Nokia India, said, ''With this initiative we hope to take a step further towards our vision of delivering a highly personalised internet experience to our customers.''

''From the desktop to the laptop and now to your pocket, N97 is the most powerful, multi-sensory mobile device in existence. It is an important step towards our vision of delivering a highly personalised Internet experience,'' said  Nokia India's director, marketing, Vineet Taneja, at the phone's launch in Delhi.

According to Nokia, over 5 million people use mobiles for accessing internet services in India looking for news, entertainment, blogs and other services. Through N97 Nokia is targeting this user base.

The new phone is expected to cost around Rs35,000. Refusing to divulge sales projections for the N97, Ramnath said the company would go as per the demand created for the phone.

The new phone, dubbed by the company as its first smartphone, will feature Nokia's Ovi store, similar to Apple and Blackberry's application stores.

First unveiled in late 2008 globally and this month in India N97 will be competing with other phones in the slider, touch screen, Qwerty category which include the iPhone 3G S and HTC's Touch Pro2. (See: Nokia unveils the new top-of-the-range N97 mobile).

N97 allows the home screen to be personalised to feature people, content and media through widgets. The contents can be dragged and moved with the touch of a finger to suit individual preferences. Widgets are mini applications that run standalone and provide live access to a wide range of information.

The phone comes with a built-in FM transmitter that allows one to play music stored on the phone over a car stereo, or on another close by phone.

The N97 can be pre-booked online through Nokia's website. The company is also running the 'Search for N' contest where five clues are provided to track down hidden phones in 13 countries. The winners will get a chance to be the the first few owners of the N97 phone. The technically inclined can participate in the widget creation contest that gives a free phone to 10 selected winners.

Nokia has also provided a place for third party developers to provide various additional utilities through its Forum Nokia which delivers resources to more than 4 million registered developers for all Nokia supported technologies, many of which are open source.

Earlier this month, the company had released another touch screen phone, the 5530 XpressMusic (See: Nokia 5530 XpressMusic with touchscreen announced)

In the camera-phone category, it has recently launched the N86 model featuring an 8MP camera. (See: Nokia is now shipping N 86)

N97 features at a glance
Designed for internet-savvy users, N97 brings together Nokia's services like OviStore, Nokia Music Store and OviMaps. The customisable touchscreen allows these applications to be added or removed with the touch of a finger. Social networks, Youtube support, RSS feeds, weather updates, and mapping services can be organised on the homepage itself for one touch access.

The tilting 3.5'' touch display on a slide-to-open QWERTY keyboard allows neat and hassle-free user experience.

The Nokia N97 is the first device to ship with Ovi Store, providing a one-stop-shop for thousands of applications, games, videos, podcasts, web and location-based services. Ovi Store will have premium and free content from a range of global and local content providers and developers, including Facebook, Hi5, Paramount Pictures and Qik.

Applications on the Ovi store for India include: Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, Translator for nine language pairs, flight information from a global database, world clock, Blog Spot for searching blogs and publishing posts, Fitness Mirror with a pedometer, location sensitive Zook widget, India Today Rediff Money and NDTV updates, etc.

N97 imaging facility allows sharp, clear images and DVD-quality video clips that can be captured, geotagged and shared instantly on social networking sites like Flickr and Ovi Share or sent via email or MMS.

The map service provides pedestrian and drive navigation to hundreds of local points of interest. Users can download thousands of multimedia city guides including Lonely Planet and Michelin content perfect for exploring and sharing new places.

Technical specifications
Display: 3.5 inch TFT touch screen with 16 million colours, nHD 16:9
Memory: Upto 48GB (Onboard 32GB)
Video: mp4, 3gp, VGA at 30fps
Music: mp3, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+, wma
Lens: Carl Zeiss Tessar
Image: 5 megapixels jpeg/exif with 14x zoom
Video capture: mp4, 3gp, 14x zoom
Flash: Dual LED and video light
Geo tagging: Automatic
Maps and navigation: GPS receiver with A-GPS
Compass: Built in with landscape touchview of maps
Talktime: Upto 320 mins (WCDMA) and 400 mins (GSM)
Music playback: Upto 37 hours
Other features: USB 2.0 with micro USB connector, Bluetooth, Stereo FM, FM transmitter

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Nokia launches its widget-ready smart phone N97