Nokia unveils successor to the N95

Nokia launches N82 smartphone with GPS and a 5 megapixel camera with Xenon flash

Nokia has unveiled a new high-end mobile phone with a 5 megapixel camera and a built-in GPS navigation system.

The N82is the successor to Nokia's N95 phone and comes with similar features, but they are packed into a candy-bar shape that makes the device feel a bit less bulky than the N95, which used a slider design.

Nokia said the N82, announced Wednesday, is shipping now in parts of Europe for a recommended price of US$650 before subsidies, which is less than the N95 when it went on sale about six months ago.

Nokia is relying on its feature-rich phones to offset a decline in the average selling price of its standard models, and is bundling GPS (Global Positioning System) features in a wider range of devices to help distinguish it from competitors.

Like the N95, the new phone has a 5 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and can capture MPEG-4 VGA video at 30 frames per second. A new addition is a full Xenon flash, compared to the lower-quality LED-type flash in the N95. Sony Ericsson put a similar flash in its new K850i Cyber-shot phone.

"Nokia seems to be building up its camera credentials," said John Devlin, a research director with IMS Research in the U.K. "The N82 looks like a camera phone with other added capabilities, whereas the N95 is a more of an all-rounder."

The N82 is a "very good, impressive" product, he said, one that could tempt buyers who weren't attracted to the N95. "One of the complaints about the N95 was that it's a bit bulky," he said.

Switching to the candy-bar design made the phone a bit longer than the N95, at 11.2 centimeters compared to 9.9 cm, but the N82 is a bit thinner and weighs 10 grams less. The newer phone uses a 2.4-inch QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) color display, compared to a 2.6-inch QVGA display on the N95.

The N82 connects to GSM and high-speed HSDPA networks, and has built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It comes with a full Web browser and various e-mail and calendaring applications. Nokia has bundled some maps with the device for use with the GPS, and more can be downloaded for just the price of the data transfer, Nokia said.

Nokia described the N95 as the N82's "predecessor," but it wasn't clear if that means the N95 will be phased out. The N95 has been popular, Devlin said, and the fact that Nokia put the new phone in its "N8x" series could mean that the N95 will be around a while longer.

Computerworld is awaiting confirmation from Nokia on the N82's availability in Australia.

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James Niccolai

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