And, lo, the Finnish mobile phone god said: “Yee shall have music on ye newfangled handsets and yay they shalt have flipping loads of space!” How much space? Four whole gigabytes to be precise. Apple be warned: Nokia’s coming after your minis!
So how does four gigabytes translate into songs? According to Nokia about 4,000, but if you want any kind of quality at all (ie 128kbps) a truer number is 1,000. You know, it annoys me when companies do this, it’s like an estate agent saying a property is large enough for five people then a viewer seeing just two bedrooms and being told: “Well technically sir, we were talking about five midgets: one couple and a trio of polygamists." (thanks for the info Dave)
Still, minor fibs aside, the N91 (for that is its name) does look rather enticing. Its silver and black stainless steel design will appeal to the young and trendy from Landsend to Johnograts, as will the industry standard 3.5mm headset jack and the claimed 12 hours 30 minutes of battery life (a cheeky half hour more than the iPod the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted).
Music format support is limited to MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA (come on people, OGG is great!), though connectivity options are almost limitless with WCDMA, WLAN and Bluetooth all included as standard. Imagine the potential for musical swapsies?
Of course, the success or otherwise of the N91 will come down to its interface and while details of this are still sketchy, the Finns tell us functionality will be good with the ability to shuffle songs and create playlists directly from the phone. Synching to a PC (there is no mention of Mac support) is handled via USB2.0.
In addition, being a handset of the modern era means it also has to come with a camera and the two megapixel capability quoted will do nicely. Naturally enough, there is also video recording, email, and a full web browser.
Without a contract the N91 is expected to cost £450 and could make the perfect Christmas present as it is expected to debut before the end of the year.
Alongside the show stopping N91, Nokia has also pushed out two other models: the N70 and the N90 (above). Neither of these cut the same mustard as the N91. The N70 is a 3G camera phone with a two megapixel camera, Bluetooth, FM tuner with music playback (it doesn’t go into details so we suspect its the usual Flash memory stick fare) due in Q3. The N90 is a tri-band, two megapixel cameraphone with Carl Zeiss lens and clamshell design with swivel display set for Q2. Pricing for both has yet to be revealed.