Nokia Unveils N95 GPS-Enabled Phone

Nokia has started shipping its first phone with built-in GPS (global positioning system) capabilities and a host of other applications.

The Finnish company said the N95 mobile phone, now available in Europe and Asia, is a slider-type device with a 5 megapixel camera for shooting photos and 30 frames-per-second video.

However, the feature that has techies in a tizzy is the built-in GPS, which allows users to find out their location, get directions, and search for nearby hotels, restaurants and other services.

The Big Prize

The device also comes with 150 maps installed for cities around the world. Programs sold separately include city guides and audio tours.

Nokia is one of the first major handset makers to include GPS.

“This is one of those all-in-one products that competes with a number of devices,” Rob Enderle, a principal analyst with the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld. “It competes with the BlackBerry, portable GPS devices and other high-end phones.”

The myriad of functions in the new phone should be able to keep up with its counterparts sold individually, Enderle also noted.

In addition to the key features, the phone has a 2.6 inch TFT (thin film transistor) display with 240 by 320 pixel screen resolution, and a MicroSD memory card slot, according to the company.

In fact, it packs so many extras that Nokia is calling it a “multimedia computer.”

“It easily replaces a number of single purpose devices with a well designed package that is with you and connected,” Juha Putkiranta, senior vice president at Nokia, said.

All the bells and whistles also help ring up a higher price on the phone. At US$732, it is one of the priciest additions to Nokia’s Nseries range.

“There is definitely a market for it,” said Enderle. “There are plenty of products that are in the incredible nosebleed category [in terms of costs] that people are lining up for. This type of premium product should do very well.”

The OS and More

The phone operates on HSDPA (high speed downlink packet access) networks, wireless LANs, EDGE and WCDMA networks, and is based on Nokia’s S60 software and the Symbian OS, according to the company.

Nokia acquired the technology when it bought Gate5 last year.

The handset also includes RealNetworks’ RealPlayer, Nokia’s PC Suite with a calendar and e-mail, and software for posting to blogs and to the Flickr.com photo site.

The device can connect to a PC via Bluetooth, USB 2.0 or a wireless LAN, so users can download music and video to the device to play later.

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