Nokia World 09: X6 with capacitive touchscreen may be the dark horse

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Nokia World 2009 is taking place today and tomorrow over in Germany and I have been following the reports on Symbian Guru and All About Symbian for the latest news, hands-on, and analysis. OPK gave the keynote this morning and showed off the Booklet 3G, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia N900, new X6, and new X3 devices. In the services department, we see some new beta services for N97 (primarily) owners and even after reading the FAQ I have to admit I am still a bit confused about how a couple of them differentiate themselves without completely confusing the consumer. With the Booklet 3G and N900 being announced last week and the N97 mini revealed several times over the last month I didn’t expect any huge announcements this week and we didn’t see them. The X6 does look sleek and the use of a capacitive display is interesting. The downgraded N97 doesn’t seem very compelling to me, especially since I already have a N97.

The initial press release lays out the devices, services, and accessories that are being shown at Nokia World. Let’s take a further look at what we will be seeing more of as people get some hands-on time.

Nokia N900

This device was already announced and I plan to read my friends’ hands-on experiences to see if it performs as well as the videos show.

Nokia Booklet 3G

Netbooks from ASUS, MSI, HP, Lenovo, and many more generally run in the $250 to $450 range with crazy outliers like Sony priced over $700. Price on the Nokia Booklet 3G was the big question I had and it looks like it is as expensive as I thought it was going to be, coming in at fUS$817 (EUR550) as an unsubsidized device. I am sure those in Europe and outside the US will see it down in the standard netbook range, with a service contract and minimum monthly data plan, but highly doubt we will ever see it in that form here.

The integrated 3G is provided via a hot swappable SIM card so you won’t need two lines to use the wireless capabilities of the device. There will be a variant that supports 3G on AT&T. Here are some other specs:

  • Intel Atom Z530 1.6 GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 120GB 1.8 inch, 4200 RPM hard drive
  • 10.1 inch 1280×720 resolution display
  • 16 cell, 56.8 Wh battery
  • 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1
  • Windows 7

I am sure it will be a very nice netbook and I would love to have one. However, I don’t need one at that price and for a top of the line netbook I expected to see 2GB of RAM and at least a 160GB faster hard drive at this $800+ price point.

Nokia N97 mini

As you know I have written several times about the N97 I purchased the day it was released here in the US and even though I complain at times about the processor and integrated memory, overall I am still quite pleased with the device and plan to keep it and ride out to future firmware updates. That said, I really do not see much appeal to the Nokia N97 mini unless the buyer can save a couple hundred dollars. It has much less memory (8GB vs 32GB), a smaller display and QWERTY keyboard, and a small battery. I don’t think there has been any real evidence that it will support 3G wireless in the US and don’t see it having much impact here in the States.

Nokia X6

The Nokia X6 may be the dark horse of the Nokia World 2009 show with a sleek form factor and the first capacative touch screen display on a Symbian device. It will be interesting to see if the menus and drop down lists have been tweaked to support “fat fingering” the display too.

The US$780 (EUR549) X6 comes with a 3.2 inch display and 32GB of integrated flash storage with a 5 megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics. It is focused as a Comes with Music (CwK) device, which means nothing to us here in the US since that service is not available here and we don’t know when, or if, it ever will be.

Nokia X3

The Nokia X3 is a Series 40 device that comes in a slider form factor with 3.2 megapixel camera and 2.2 inch display. The Ovi Store is included on the X3 and is the first Series 40 device with this support. The price will be US$163 (EUR115) when it goes on sale in the 4th quarter of 2009.

There were also a few accessories announced, the Nokia Mini Speaker MD-9, a pocket-size speaker for big sound, and the Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-505, an ergonomic and lightweight neckband headset for great music and call audio quality also in noisy environments. I may have to get that BH-505 for working out.

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