Nokia has announced a new 'hero product' for the N-series, the N95 (pictured right, click for a larger image). Following on from the camera-centric N90, the music-oriented N91 and the camcorder-ish N93, the N95 swaggers on to the stage doing everything they already do, and more. It's a tick-the-boxes, line-up-the-bullet-points, count-the-features-on-your-fingers kind of phone, although Nokia would prefer you to call it an "all-in-one multimedia computer". Perhaps the marketing department thinks you'll find it hard to stomach paying £350-400 (SIM-free) for a phone.
Pretentiousness aside, the N95 offers an impressive range of features:
• Despite being a relative newcomer in the slider-phone market, Nokia has come up with a new trick: two-way sliding. Push the screen up and you get a numeric keypad, as usual; push it down and a set of media keys appears at the top. These are designed to be used with the phone in landscape mode.
• There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back, with a Carl Zeiss lens, auto focus and (unlike the similar-looking N80) a lens cover. You can view your photos and video clips on a compatible television using the TV-out feature.
• Music lovers get FM radio, an MP3 player, expandable storage using microSD memory cards, stereo speakers, a standard 3.5mm audio jack, support for A2DP (stereo Bluetooth) and a mini-USB port for easy file transfers.
• The N95 is the first N-series phone with integrated GPS. It comes with maps for over 100 countries and details of over 15 million points of interest, so you can use your phone (sorry, multimedia computer) to find your way around.
• On the connectivity front, it supports everything from high-tech HSDPA and Wi-Fi for high-speed Internet access to humble infrared for communicating with old-school handhelds and laptops.
Nokia says the N95 should go on sale in the first quarter of 2007. If you can't wait until then, it has also announced upgrades to three of the existing N-series phones. The N70 Music Edition is a black version of the N70 with up to 1GB of memory; the N73 Music Edition is a black N73 with up to 2GB of memory; and the N91 8GB is a black N91 with an 8GB hard drive. The first two should go on sale in October, and the upgraded N91 by the end of the year. For more pics of the N95, check out our photo story. -ML