The Nokia stand at the 3GSM 2007 held in Fira de Barcelona was a nice place where you can have a go at all their most recent mobiles. This week we saw the Nokia E90 Communicator, the Nokia E65 - a smart slider, Nokia E61i - an improved messanger, Nokia N77 - a mobile TV receiver, the Nokia 6110 Navigator - a GPS slider and finally the Nokia 3110 classic - which as the name implies is a plain vanilla S40 mobile phone.
The highlight over at Nokia camp is without a doubt the Nokia E90 Communicator itself. Highly awaited, the Nokia E90 is the Nokia's new shot at communicators - a theme that was left aside for quite some time now. The new Nokia E90 is based on the Symbian 9.1 OS with the 3rd generation of S60 user interface as all recent Nokia smartphones do.
The Nokia E90 features more or less all current connectivity technologies such as quad-band GSM/EDGE/GPRS, UMTS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, miniUSB, Bluetooth 2.0 and Infrared port. The external 16M colors display has a QVGA resolution, while the internal PDA display has a resolution of 800x352 pixels and features 16 million colors as well. In these days imaging is just as important as everything else and the Nokia E90 Communicator doesn't fail to impress with a 3.2 megapixel auto focus camera. The communicator also boasts a FM radio and a microSD memory card slot.
One word can describe it actually - a stylish business tool. Well the words turned out to be three but rest assured the emphasis is on "stylish". The E90 is just impressive… The fine details matter here. We at GSMArena have never been fond of large multifunctional devices that are just begging "c'mon, go buy yourself a laptop" but as it turned out our time alone with the E90 Communicator allowed it to win our hearts.
Despite the fact that it looks rather large, it is actually really comfortable to work with and to carry in your hand. It reacts fast to user input and both the QWERTY keyboard and the alphanumeric keys score high on user-friendliness.
The Nokia E90 would start shipping in Q2 of 2007 but would have wider availability in Q3 2007 and will be sold at an expected price of 750-800EUR.
The Nokia 6110 Navigator is the next Nokia smartphone we had a chance to see. The model designation is somewhat a reminiscence of the highly successful mobile handset in the past - the Nokia 6110. But let us tell you, the two devices have nothing in common whatsoever. It just seems that Nokia are starting to recycle their model numbers. Complete with Nokia Navigator application, 3G and HSDPA support, the Nokia 6110 Navigator is a complete navigation solution which adds a nice variety to the Finnish portfolio. The Nokia 6110 Navigator also boasts a 16M colors TFT display with a QVGA resolution, a 2 megapixel camera and can capture video in QVGA resolution.
The integrated Nokia 6110 Navigator application is developed in cooperation with Route 66 and uses Navteq maps. The Nokia 6110 Navigator is a nice slider and feels comfortable when held in hand. The keypad and the navigation keys are rather user-friendly.
The next highlight from the Nokia portfolio is without a doubt the Nokia E65. A stylish slider, with serious equipment including quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS support, Wi-Fi, 2 megapixel camera and a 16M colors TFT display with a QVGA resolution.
The Nokia E65 managed to surprise us with its slimness because it is a really thin smartphone. It has a rather stiff slide spring. It has a great display and the plastic the body is made of seems of good quality. The back panel is again plastic but is styled so that it imitates leather and it does very well at that. The overall impression is that the Nokia E65 is a really nice and stylish smartphone that would easily find a lot of fans.
Nokia E65 is already available in selected markets but wider availability is expected in the first quarter of 2007 at an estimated retail price of 400EUR.
Nokia also announced an upgraded version of their highly successful QWERTY messenger the Nokia E61. The new Nokia E61i is now camera enhanced - the 2 megapixel lens now crowns the back of the device. Other changes are really minor - the most important being that the memory card slot is now a microSD one instead miniSD. Nokia E61i will hit the shelves in Q2 of 2007 at an estimated price of again 400EUR.
The Nokia N77 focuses on the DVB-H technology which is beginning to gain popularity. Based on the design of Nokia N73, the Nokia N77 has stereo Bluetooth support, microSD memory card slot, a 2 megapixel camera and 3G support with video calls. The centralpiece of the Nokia N77 is without a doubt its large 2.4" 16M colors TFT display. The Nokia N77 will be commercially available in Q2 2007.
The Nokia N77 is comfortable handset and it works really fast. The device really looks like Nokia N73 but it has a different keypad. The N77 tunes to the DVB-H station at easy and it buffers 30 seconds of the streamed content, so if you happen to distract for a second and miss that football goal you can still rewind and enjoy it.
So much for smart devices, many people still look for regular mobiles with classic design and characteristics. Based on the Series 40 user interface, the Nokia 3110 classic is the new lower midrange offer of the manufacturer and again it uses the name of a rather older mobile that is long forgotten - the Nokia 3110. It will feature a 1.3 megapixel camera, a stereo FM radio, Bluetooth, Infrared and tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support.
The Nokia 3110 has a comfortable keypad and a nice form factor so there is a certain chance it would get popular if it's not overpriced as most of the devices that come out under the S40 user interface do.
The next two smartphones are not newly announced but it was our first chance to get a hands-on experience with them. The Nokia N95 slider is a really interesting device - complete with an integrated HSDPA, GPS receiver, Wi-Fi, TV-out port and a 5 megapixel camera it really looks impressive on paper.
Powered by the latest Symbian 9.2 OS, the first impression you get of the N95 is that it looks a lot like the Nokia N80 slider. It's slightly bigger though but that's inevitable. We did got to play with it for a while and we are more than happy with its performance. Unlike the Nokia 6110 Navigator it works with the Nokia Maps application. What it does is that it downloads the map you need interactively during GPS positioning. It also has assisted positioning using the mobile data transfer channels available so it should work faster than competing solutions. The interesting thing about the Nokia Maps application is that you don't buy the maps themselves - they are free to download, but you pay for the routing. The application uses voice-assisted routing for in car use and you have to pay for that service. That is the reason you pay on a time basis - a one week license, a month license, etc. Again, unlike the Nokia 6110 Navigator application, the Nokia Maps uses Tele Atlas maps.
Demonstration of Nokia N95 Maps application
The 5 megapixel camera also performs great in terms of speed and auto focus capability. We cannot judge the picture quality yet since the camera software it uses is not a final version, but we are more than happy to present you with a few quick snaps we took plus an actual official N95 camera sample. Bear in mind though that it's made by a professional photographer in a controlled environment so you cannot judge camera quality based solely on that.
The other Nokia smartphone we got our hands on is the multimedia-oriented Nokia N76 clamshell.It is a 3G-device, equipped with a large 2.4" 16M colors main diplay with a QVGA resolution, a 2 megapixel camera, a 3.5 mm audio jack and external dedicated multimedia keys.
Shinier and bigger than ever we did find the design rather controversial. The design is indeed user-friendly, but it's too "bling-bling" for our taste. The shiny body is a real fingerprint magnet. When it comes to user-friendliness, the N76 manages on a nice level.