Nokia today announced the N97 smartphone, its second challenger to Apple’s iPhone, following the 5800 Xpress Music phone two months ago. But the N97 has a QWERTY keyboard, unlike the 5800, which only has a touchscreen.
The N97 also has a GPS sensor and an electronic compass. Those features are useful for location-based services and for social networks, Nokia officials noted.
Adobe Flash and Bluetooth stereo are included – both are features conspicuously absent from the iPhone – along with 32 GB of RAM, up to 16 GB more through a microSD card, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and USB 2.0.
Sales in the United States are scheduled for the first half of next year. The unsubsidized price is expected to be in the $700 range.
Nokia also said its acquisition of Symbian is complete and that upgrades are now available for the Nokia Maps software. New features include 3D landmarks, high-resolution in aerial images and terrain maps, plus the ability to plan routes on a computer and synchronize them to phones.