Nokia announces smaller version of N97, music touch phone

The N97 mini will ship in October

Nokia has announced the N97 mini, a slightly smaller version of the existing N97, it said on Wednesday. The company also announced the X6, a new flagship music phone, which comes with a touch-screen and a 32GB built-in memory.

The N97 mini measures 113 millimeters x 52.5 mm x 14.2 mm, compared to the N97's 117.2 millimeters x 55.3mm x 15.9 mm. The mini will also be 12 grams lighter, according to Nokia.

But the smaller size comes at a price: The mini will have a shorter battery life than its big brother, and a smaller memory: only 8GB instead of 32GB. The display is also smaller, 3.2 inches instead of 3.5 inches, but the resolution is still 640x360 pixels. The N97 mini will ship in October, although Nokia hasn't yet said where. It will cost €450 before taxes and subsidies.

The N97 mini features new software which will come as a free update for the standard N97 in October.

Nokia has been widely criticized for its smartphone portfolio, but the company is now on the attack, Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President at Nokia said during his keynote at its World conference in Stuttgart, Germany.

But no everyone is convinced that it has solved all its problems with today's announcement. The N97 isn't as exciting as it should be, and announcing a mini version doesn't necessarily solve that problem, according to Nick Jones, vice president at market research company Gartner.

Users who buy the phone get Nokia's Comes With Music, a bundle of downloadable music, whether they like it or not, which adds to the cost. Nokia also announced two new music phones: the X6 and the X3.

The X6 will be Nokia's new flagship music phone when it ships during the fourth quarter. It will also cost €450 before taxes and subsidies. Users who buy the phone get a bundle of free downloadable music Nokia's Comes With Music whether they like it or not, which adds to the cost. With other phones, Nokia charges for the music bundle as an optional extra.

The Symbian S60-based device has a widescreen shaped 3.2-inch display and 5-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash. Its 32GB built-in memory is the only way to store data since it lacks a card slot for external memory.

Like most Nokia devices it comes equipped with A-GPS (Assisted-GPS). It can access the Internet using Wi-Fi or HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access). It also has a standard 3.5 millimeter stereo headphone jack, according to a Nokia spokeswoman.

Its new smaller brother is the X3, which will cost €115 before taxes and subsidies. The S40-based device has a built-in FM radio, a standard 3.5 millimeter stereo headphone jack and a 3.2-megapixel camera.

The phone can store up to 16GB of data on a MicroSD card. It will also start shipping during the fourth quarter.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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