At a press conference last year Nokia acknowledged that it was working on a hard disk based music phone – and here it is the N91. Probably the most eagerly awaited of all the new Nokia N series handsets, the N91 trounces rival music phones not just in storage (it has a 4 Gigabyte hard disk on board) but also in terms of looks thanks to its elegant chocolate bar style design with music playing buttons that pull down to reveal the numeric keypad.
The N91 boasts MP3 and AAC (though it isn’t compatible with songs downloaded from the iTunes music store) playback, has a remote control in its accompanying earphones and features an FM tuner. Unlike any other phone it sports a 3.5mm headphone jack, so users can team up the handset with some seriously large cans if they fancy. Battery life is reasonable with the phone running for 12.5 hours as a music player, though this way short of the 30 hours offered by the Sony Ericsson W800. It is 7 days standby and 3-4 hours talk time.
The hard disk is also shock proof, Nokia staff have apparently been throwing them around to test this, and the company is saying that users can store up to 3000 tunes on the hard disk.
The N91 will also playback AAC+ files – which are used by European networks as over the air music downloads and also has an audio out so you can hook it up to external speakers etc.
The phone has loads of other facilities including a two mega pixel camera, web browser (made by Norwegians Opera? Nokia isn’t saying), email, and, unusually for a phone of this size, integrated Wi-Fi. It runs the Series 60 interface and is compatible with both 3G and EDGE networks.
From the spec sheet it looks like like Nokia has taken the music phone to the next dimension. Whether people start ditching their iPods and Walkmans in favour of their mobi though remains to be seen.