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     Volume 5 Issue 115 | October 6, 2006 |

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Fresh Blood in Nokia's Arsenal
Nokia launches their new range of mobile phones in the Philippines

Imran H. Khan (Back from the Philippines)

As technology takes us further into the future, mobile phones of today always seem to be a step ahead. Today's phones enable us to reach new frontiers, be it to access the Internet to check our emails, to watch television, to take high-quality photographs, to listen to music or even to do our shopping, mobile phones are becoming an important device that connects it all. On September 26, 2006, Nokia launched their latest line of Nseries mobile phones in the Philippines market in a two-day media event. The first of the gala events was entitled “Nokia Open Studio - Explore Your Passions” where Nokia launched their N70 Music Edition, N73 Music Edition, N80 Internet Edition, N91 8GB and the much-awaited Nokia N95. The Nokia Nseries is a range of high performance multimedia computers (in the form of a mobile phone) that provides the end users to access almost anything from their palmtop. This combined with stylish design and ease of use, makes the Nseries Nokia's most innovative range so far. With the Nseries, the user can do anything from checking emails, to snapping high-quality pictures, to browsing the Internet, watching television, listening and much more.

The Nokia N95 features a double slide design which has a multimedia control on the top end and a keypad on opposite end of the phone. This set is Nokia's first High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) device but it also has Wi-Fi, WCDMA, quad-band GSM, bluetooth, infrared and USB 2.0 connectivity. The phone contains 160MB of internal memory but perhaps the most dominating raison d'etre is the size: it is really compact. HSPDA is the next generation in mobile cellular connectivity and this makes the N95 up to 10 times faster than WCDMA (3G). This is, of course, subject to the support of the network service provider.

“Nokia Nseries multimedia computers represent the next leap forward in personal computing,” said Jose-Luis Martinez, Vice President of Multimedia, Asia Pacific, in a press release. He particularly praised the N95 boasting it to be one of the most powerful communications device in Nokia's arsenal. The phone also features the best the modern multimedia world has to offer, one key feature being the 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss Optics camera with autofocus and digital zoom. Located on the body of the phone, there are camera-dedicated buttons that helps to quickly move from the mobile mode to the camera mode. The video capture is excellent at near DVD quality but that will consume a large chunk of memory. The normal video mode is also quite impressive. After taking pictures and videos, one can use Flickr, an online photo / video management and sharing service. The Nseries users can now edit, organise and upload photos online, with ease and flexibility, and they can be instantly viewed by family and loved ones. If that wasn't enough, there is also a GPS inside the N95, accurate to the nearest 10 metre. An application called Maps will be built into the mobile, which has global overview maps. Detailed maps will later be available to be downloaded.

The N93 is best known for its camera and camcorder functionality. Even though the mobile is also colossal, the 3.2 megapixels camera with a 3x optical zoom more than makes up for it. This ensures that zooming on subjects do not split the resolution of the picture. Things seem to come alive in the 2.4” display come alive on the display. The mobile can also be connected to a TV screen with a TV out cable connection. There is also a great movie editing software with which one can make great family movies.

The Nokia N91 8GB termed 'Jukebox in your pocket' currently offers the best music experience for the Nseries users. Even though it may be a little bulky, there are dedicated music keys on the body of the phone, premium inbox music-optimised headset with remote control, bluetooth stereo connectivity support and much more. And to top it all off, the black body is surely an object of desire. Standard PDA applications included in the mobile, such as alarm, calculator, currency converter, alarm, etc. are all present as part of the Calendar suite.

Nokia N90 is most popular because it can be transformed into the shape of a regular camcorder with its unique 'twist & shoot' design. Equipped with the Carl Zeiss optics camera, one can avail the powerful auto-focus features of the equipment without much difficulty. The end results are quite sharp. Flip up the screen and you can switch to 'handheld' mode, which is useful for taking videos.

The N80 and the N80 Internet edition are perhaps the smallest Nseries handsets available in the market in terms of their dimensions. One can browse HTML sites, enjoy the web or use the device for Internet calling. There are applications for viewing Adobe PDF files as well as applications to attach files to your emails. Search, surf and buy online using Wi-Fi connectivity.

The second day of the festivities kicked off with Nokia launching two more phones in the "Nokia Music Connects" media event, their line of 3250 XpressMusic and the 5300 XpressMusic. The event took place at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Manila. This new line adds more choice and colour to Nokia's portfolio of mobile device catering to the music lovers. Alex Lambeek, Vice President of Sales and Market Operations, Asia Pacific, made the opening announcements. These two particular phones offer to the users "features of their mobile phones and their music player in a single, stylish device," he said. The Nokia 3250 XpressMusic boasts an innovative design with which the user and switch from a mobile phone to a camera to a music player with just a simple twist. There are multimedia keys situated right on top of the phone alongside the number keys to enable easy and immediate access to music. Once the numeric keypad is hidden, the 3250 resemble a standalone music device, elegant and quite user friendly. Its bright orange colour adds to it a stylish zing. Other features include a 2 megapixel camera, built in MP3 music player, am FM radio, blue tooth and more.

The 5300 XpressMusic comes with a 1.3 megapixel camera, a built in MP3 player and both these mobiles have the capability to send information wirelessly. Hence, users can now enjoy high-quality music from wireless earphones or even portable speakers without the mobile phone even connected. There are also exciting messaging functions and new music and videos. These devices also have the capacity to hold almost 1500 tracks on a 2 GB microSD card. The 5300 XpressMusic is somewhat lighter than the new 3250 series but it packs pretty much the same power except the camera. This sliding phone is also in a bright orange and has its own dedicated music keys on the body of the mobile phone making it quite user friendly.

The Nseries has a design language of its own. "The Nseries target segment is the technology leaders," said Jawahar Kanjilal, Director, Multimedia Experiences, Asia Pacific during a press interview. He is currently responsible for the Entertainment products and solutions portfolio for Nokia Multimedia in Asia Pacific. He also leads Nokia's initiatives in Music and Games including sale of music, games and TV optimised mobile devices and the sales & deployment of end-to-end solutions for Mobile TV, Visual Radio, Music and Mobile Gaming services. He strongly feels that the idea of this new range of phones is to "achieve as much as possible with as little as possible". This year alone, close to 10 million Nokia Nseries have been sold. It really is "your window to the world", concluded Kanjilal.

In another interview session, Matt Rothschild, Director, Product and Portfolio Management, Sales and Market Operations spoke about the evolution of the Personal Computers (PCs) into the Multimedia Computers (MCs). He feels that Nokia has managed to come this far because of its ease of use. “These mobile phones have multimedia button right on the device itself so there is no hassle of going through numerous menus and options,” said Rothschild. Only one click will take the user to the music options and back. He is in charge of the Nokia 3250 XpressMusic and the Nokia 5300 XpressMusic series.

With the Nseries and the XpressMusic series, one can avail Nokia's latest ideas for the music world the 'Music Recommenders' from key connoisseur music stores from around the world: Reckless Records in Chicago, Fat Beats in NYC and others will recommend new music in 12 genres or music. “When we talk of music we have to start somewhere. Say Latin music or Cuban music.” With the help of Music Recommenders, one can get to know about various places from someone who is sitting right in those places. The new music 'godfather' for the music recommendations is David Bowie. He will lead a team of forty leading independent music stores from around the globe to bring together the best music across continents. The Music Recommenders will update the subscribers about what's new and hip in different places and which of them are the diamonds in the rough. The human touch is without a doubt the ultimate aphrodisiac. This idea will surely take music lovers deeper into the heart of music. Whatever the taste, the diversity of music shops and the music will have something in store (no pun intended) for everyone.

As more and more people are getting hooked into mobile telecommunications and wireless multimedia, the quest to captivate the human senses is on, with Nokia leading the way in the field of mobile communications.




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