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On Tuesday we brought you news of the leak of the Omnia 2. This time the leak concerns Samsung’s possible N97 botherer, the Louvre B7610. Samsung just can’t seem to keep their developments secret – anyone would think that they were leaking them on purpose…
On first glance the Louvre has a similar demeanour as the N97 or the G1, with the flip down keyboard – although I actually think the Louvre’s keyboard looks better. It’s got a slight ZX Spectrum look to it, with the red bits on the keys, and I’m all for that.
The reported specs are as follows:
Quadband (850/900/1800/1900 Mhz), GPRS, EDGE and HSDPA (3G+) to 7.2 Mbps
GPS receiver (A-GPS)
AMOLED Touch Screen size 3.5 inches with 800 x 480 pixels (WVGA) and 16 million colours
5-megapixel digital camera
1 GB built in memory – expendable to 32GB using MicroSD.
500 mAh Lithium-Ion 1 battery
Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional – Possibly upgradable to 6.5
Dimensions: 11.2 x 5.8 x 1.6 cm
The phone should retail in Europe from between €250 and €500.
Until we’ve got the phone in our hands, however, it’s difficult to really judge whether or not this phone is really a threat to the N97. What is clear is that if it wants to compete, it has got its work cut out.
Two months is all you have to wait for the N97. Nokia’s flagship handset is coming to Vodafone from the beginning of July and if you can’t keep sit on your hands until then, you can always register for updates and maybe even pre-order over here.
Just in case you’ve been living in a cave, the handset comes with 48GB of onboard mem, expandable by a further 32GB SDHC if Sandisk gets their act together, a 5-megapixel camera and eveything else you would expect with no silly video recording or Bluetooth omissions.
The space bar looks a little odd on the side like that but I’ll hold my judgement until I’ve held it in my hands. So the question is, which handset are you most looking forward to this summer? Answer now fool!
The word on The Street is that Nokia is getting serious about touchscreen mobiles since RIM took a bite out of their market share last year and, apparently, we’re to see three new models in the next 12 months.
One is 4.2″ tablet type handheld with a “hidden slide-out QWERTY” due to hit the shelves before Christmas. A second is known for now as “Nautilus” and has the kind of talk around it that makes it sound like something from the year 2116. It’s supposed to be a much finer form and with an ultra-thin QWERTY that slides out by means of a sensor with keys that raise for easier typing.
Sounds slightly farcical but I’m happy to run with it until I hear otherwise. Funnily enough, Nautilus isn’t expected for a year. The third touchscreen handset is thought to be with us within four months, though.
No word on the on the OS of the handsets but I wouldn’t presume S60 to be the natural choice. I have it on good authority that the next big handset from Nokia after the N97 will run Linux.
Nokia seems to have decided that music is where it wants to be. The Finnish handset-maker has announced three new handsets today – the 5730 XpressMusic, the 5330 XpressMusic, and the 5030 – which doesn’t have an XpressMusic suffix, but does have an XpressRadio one.
The handsets range from budget to high-end. Starting at the bottom, the 5030 XpressRadio is a candybar with a built-in FM radio antenna, not the internet radio that Nokia’s been pushing to date. It’s very cheap, at just €40 before contracts come into play. Budget-tastic. It’ll be available in Q2.
Then there’s the 5330 XpressMusic, which has a different design to many Nokia handsets. More square. It’s a slider, and it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, 24 hours of listening time battery life, and some sort of crazy light thing going on. If you have any idea what that’s about, then free free to comment. Unfortunately, the 5330 won’t be running S60 – just the cut-down S40 version. It’ll cost €184 before taxes or contracts get involved. It’ll be available in Q3 2009.
Then, at the top of the range is the 5730 XpressMusic which comes in black/red, black/grey, grey/blue and black/pink. It’s got both a numeric keypad and a slide-out QWERTY, which shrinks the screen down a little, but it’s the only phone of the three to be running S60.
Specs-wise, the 5730 has got Wi-Fi, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 3.2-megapixel camera, HSDPA, and GPS. You can also access your media from the home screen, which will be handy for those who want easier access to their content on the go. It’ll cost €280, and will be available in Q3 2009.
The phones were announced with a webchat this morning, and as part of that chat, the Nokia team also answered a few random questions from the audience. Here’s a few interesting tidbits that they came out with.
Firstly, when asked about the N97, Product Manager for Music Solutions, Steven Stewart, said the handset is “like sex in your hand”(!). The device hasn’t been announced as a Comes with Music device, but Stewart said it would be “perfect for getting unlimited free music downloads”, which sounds like a hint to me.
The inevitable question about Spotify was asked – Nokia responded: “Yes, the music team is aware of most all types of music services and devices. Spotify is one of many interesting new services. Social Music is an important part of the music experience which our teams are busy as beavers working on!”. Given Spotify’s now-officially-announcedmobile ambitions, a tie-in could be very powerful.
Discussing Apple and competition, Stewart said: “Nokia is doing many exciting things with music that apple is not. Nokia has a large range of devices for most every taste, style, and use. Nokia also has a subscription model for unlimited free music that users keep even AFTER the membership ends. But we do look at ALL of the competitive intelligence to make sure we are developing music experiences that consumers want.”.
Lastly, with regards to Comes with Music, the service will shortly be announced in Italy, Sweden, and Mexico. There are no current plans to unbundle the service from handsets, so that it’ll be usable with any device. I suspect that’s because, like Apple, Nokia wants to carefully control the ecosystem and not have to deal with supporting other manufacturer’s handsets.
The DRM on the service is “a requirement of the labels and publishers at this point”, says Stewart. “Nokia Music team is looking for the best experiences for Music Lovers. Getting DRM free music is one of the things which we are in discussions with the labels and publishers about.”
A row has erupted between Nokia and network operators Orange and O2 over Nokia’s plans to pre-load the Skype VoIP service onto the N97.
The N97, Nokia’s flagship touchscreen phone due in June, is eagerly anticipated around here, but networks fear that including Skype on the device could cause them to lose voice revenue, with customers opting for cheap unlimited data plans over plenty of free voice minutes.
It’s prompted “high-level discussions” between the companies, which is code for “someone up top is very angry”. O2’s official comment says “We are currently working with Nokia to understand their Skype service and the business model around it.”
It’s interesting that the major operators have such a problem with the service, especially given the runaway success that Three has seen with its Skypephone and followup Skypephone S2, and the awards that the Facebook-and-Skype-integrated INQ has recieved. I’m sure Three will happily take O2 and Orange’s customers for the N97.