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Nokia Open Studio Fall 2006

N75 N95 5300 Comments  30  

Sep 27, 2006, 9:28 AM   by Rich Brome

Hands-on with the new Nokia N75, N95, and 5300.

At a large event in New York City today, Nokia revealed the latest additions to its Nseries line of high-end flagship phones. The N95 is Nokia's first HSDPA phone, and also packs in just about every feature imaginable. The N75 isn't as ambitious, but still holds its own quite well, and - most importantly - should have the honor of being the first Nokia WCDMA phone offered by a major US carrier. It should also be the first Nseries phone with a major carrier.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The N75 marks Nokia's third attempt at bringing a WCDMA phone to a major US carrier. The first was the N80, followed by the 6282. We're hoping that the third time is a charm for Nokia.

To be fair, there's every reason to believe that the N75 will launch as planned. For one, it was designed from the ground-up for the U.S. market, instead of a spin-off of a European model as with past attempts. Hence the clamshell form factor favored by Americans, and more importantly the inclusion of WCDMA 850 for full compatibility with Cingular's 3G network. Nokia also took the unusual step of waiting until just a couple of months before launch to announce it; Nokia often announces major new phones further in advance of launch. It seems like they waited until they were really certain it would launch as planned.

Although Nokia can't officially discuss the carrier that will offer the N75, Cingular is the only one with a fully compatible 3G network, so they're pretty much the only possibility.

At first glance, the N75 seems like a cross between the N71 (an older clamshell Nseries phone) and 6133. The features are nearly the same as the N71, while the form factor is slimmer and sleeker, like the 6133. Technology-wise, the N75 doesn't add many features on top of the N71. Most notably, it lacks stereo Bluetooth and HSDPA. When asked, a Nokia spokesperson said the lack of both features was a time-to-market issue.

Nokia was quick to point out the more advanced external display interface and accompanying front and side control keys. It's easy to dismiss these as simply a larger display and media keys, but it's actually much more.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

While it's not quite the full Series 40 interface that Nokia puts on the outside of phones like the 9300, the interface is surprisingly rich and sophisticated. It's made possible by a 128 x 160 color display (the same resolution found on the main display of cheaper mass-market phones) and media keys that double as soft keys, plus useful side keys for navigation.

A full music player interface is provided; not just previous / next track, etc. The functionality you can access without opening the phone rivals most standalone music players.

Pressing the camera button brings up a full camera interface on the outer display, so you can hold the phone like a normal camera, an unusual feature for a clamshell-style phone.

We also happened upon a calendar interface, and got the feeling the outer display could do even more if we had time to really delve into it.

Unlike many other color external displays, this one is extremely easy to see and read the time and date in idle mode when the backlight is off.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The N75 isn't quite as thin as a RAZR, but it's still relatively thin, and does have an overall thin and light feel to it, while still feeling very solid.

Look for the N75 to hit shelves around the middle of the fourth quarter. That should mean November, just in time for the holiday shopping season. As always, release dates are very subject to change. The price will be $399 unsubsidized, meaning it should be much lower with a new or renewed contract, rebates, etc.

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Subject Author Date
N95 Bands Phairoh Sep 27, 2006, 2:02 PM
3G?? HSDPA?? ghettoknight92 Oct 6, 2006, 10:22 PM
"version for the US", har har. Invader J Oct 2, 2006, 10:10 PM
New size-comparison photos Rich Brome Oct 12, 2006, 6:42 PM
what megapixel jsmith9147 Oct 10, 2006, 4:27 PM
when does N95 launch? temptemp Oct 5, 2006, 9:31 AM
5300?? Etix Sep 30, 2006, 8:16 AM
N95 traffic and weather for navigation? mmc4009 Sep 29, 2006, 12:18 AM
Confused about WCMDA / HSDPA capabilities in N75 Sam K Sep 28, 2006, 12:21 PM
N95 rocks! tribalb Sep 28, 2006, 10:24 AM
End of the PopPort? themightylife Sep 27, 2006, 10:05 AM
Complete Roundup of N-Series Coverage ajpprc Sep 28, 2006, 12:05 AM
 
 
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