Nokia has three new smartphones for the U.S. market, including the U.S. release of its flagship video handset, the N96. All three will be sold unlocked through Nokia’s flagship stores, retail outlets or online, so none of the three will be subsidized by a carrier.
Besides the N96, Nokia unveiled the N85 and the N79. All three use the Symbian S60 version 3 operating system., have support for HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, come with integrated access to Nokia’s Ovi services platform, including Nokia Maps, and N-Gage games. All three also have 5 megapixel cameras, FM radios and assisted GPS.
The N96 has a 2.8-inch display and can store up to 40 hours of video on its 16 MB of memory. It also has a microSD card slot. The handset, announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, also has stereo speakers, a kickstand for video viewing and quad band GSM as well as HSDPA in U.S. frequencies.
The N85 has a 2.6-inch OLED screen, is a dual slider form factor, has multimedia keys for gaming and other functions and will support TV-out so video shot on the phone can be viewed on a larger screen.
The N79 is a candy-bar style with changeable covers, support for geotagging of photos that are captured and shared on Ovi and on the Internet. Changing the handset cover also changes the color themes on the handset screen.
All three handsets are expected to launch in October in the U.S. although Nokia officially has said they will be available sometime in the fourth quarter. The N96 is expected to sell for $750-800, the N85 for $600-650 and the N798 for $500-550.
A Nokia spokesperson said the company decided to launch the phones through direct sales initially because it wanted to get the handsets to consumers faster than by going through carriers.