Nokia N97: Nokia's New Multimedia Phone

Nokia released its new flagship smartphone, the N97, Tuesday at the Nokia World 2008 conference. With a full QWERTY keyboard and a tilting 3.5-inch touch screen, this phone targets "internet-savvy consumers."

The N97 mixes the best of the old with some interesting new additions. The built in Web browser allows easy access to multiple social-networking sites, as well as streaming of Flash video.  This "phone" also features both a music and video player, a 5 megapixel camera, and a relatively large 32GB of on-board memory, that is further expandable with microSD cards.


With this phone, Nokia has introduced a new feature called "social location." By using the capabilities of A-GPS sensors as well as an electronic compass built in to the phone, the user's social networks are automatically updated to let them share their location with the photos or videos they take--i.e. geotagging. The Home screen can be customized using widgets for links to your favorite web and social-networking sites. It's also compatible with
Nokia's Ovi Internet services such as the Nokia Music Store, Nokia Maps, and the N-Gage gaming platform.

As a world phone, the handset is quad band HSDPA-capable, however it does not operate on T-mobile or AT&T bands.  Along with its cellular capability, there is also integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The Nokia N97 is expected to being shipping in Europe in the first half of 2009 with an estimated price of $695. Will this phone appear any time soon in the US? Considering the previous Nokia N96 still hasn't arrived, it probably won't anytime soon.

Nokia's new device puts it in direct competition with the
Apple iPhone, T-mobile G1, and the Blackberry Storm. While it probably won't be met by the same crowds as the iPhone, it certainly has enough pizzazz to be poised for a strong entry into the market. For those of you in the states, if an unlocked version were to appear, could it tempt you away from the more well-known iPhones or Blackberries?