Nokia Shrinks N97 Smartphone, Launches New Music Phones

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Nokia's N97 smartphone got a minor face-lift, or tummy-tuck, if you will, as the Finnish device maker on Wednesday unveiled the N97 mini, a scaled-down version of the popular smartphone, at Nokia World 09.

The Nokia N97 mini features new home-screen widgets and a host of other updates. The compact N97 packs in 8 GB of storage, a 3.2-inch touch-screen display (compared to the N97's 3.5-inch display), and a full QWERTY keyboard in a 113 x 52.5 x 14.2 mm frame (compared to the standard N97's 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm). The shrunken N97 is also about 12 grams lighter than its bulkier brethren.

The unveiling of the Nokia N97 mini comes as the Nokia N97 is being praised as one of the hottest smartphones so far for 2009.

Nokia said the miniature N97 is also the first Nokia device to feature Lifecasting with Ovi, a new pairing with popular social networking site Facebook that lets users update their Facebook status directly from the N97 mini's home screen and also lets location information be updated for social sharing.

Like its slightly larger counterpart, the Nokia N97 mini features the same tilt display design.

Other additions include flick scrolling and new home-screen widget functionality. The N97 mini from Nokia also works seamlessly with Nokia's Ovi Store, where users can buy new applications, widgets, ringtones and other content for their device. It also offers Ovi Maps and comes with integrated A-GPS and compass with voice navigation for driving or walking.

The device offers up to 12 days standby time and up to 28 hours of music playback. It also ties in a 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and video light, with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens. The 8 GB of on-board memory can be expanded to 24 GB with the addition of a 16 GB microSD card.

According to Nokia, the Nokia N97 mini will be available next month for about $640 (450 euro).

Along with revealing a trimmer Nokia N97 mini, at Nokia World 09 on Wednesday Nokia unveiled a pair of music phones in the X6 and X3.

Nokia's new flagship music phone, the X6, comes bundled with Nokia's Comes With Music feature. The X6 is based on Nokia's Symbian S60 operating system and features a 3.2-inch wide-screen display, a 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 32 GB of built-in memory. It also features A-GPS, Wi-Fi and HSDPA connectivity.

The X3 clocks in a hair smaller than the X6. Based on the S40 operating system, the smaller music phone features a built-in FM radio and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The X3 can store up to 16 GB of data on a microSD card.

Both the X6 and X3 feature a 3.5mm headphone jack and are expected to be available in the fourth quarter.

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