Nokia introduced two X series smartphones, encouraging a theme of hipness and squareness, at its Nokia Connection event in Singapore June 14.
The Nokia X5 is a "unique square slider" phone geared toward teens - that may nonetheless remind some of the new, square Motorola Flipout, which similarly comes in a variety of loud colors. (In the case of the X5: Yellow, green, purple, pink, azure and black.)
Unlike the Android-running Flipout, however, the X5 runs Nokia's S60 platform, 3rd Edition, which it pairs with a 2.36-inch QVGA display and a slide-out qwerty keyboard. From the homescreen, users can send emails, access their favorite social-networking site and reach out to their favored contacts. Multiple email and instant messaging accounts are supported, there's GPRS, EGPRS, WLAN and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, and a 5-megapixel camera with 4-times zoom and LED flash.
The X5's claims to fame, however, pair the physical with the technical. To switch to a random next track, just give the phone a spin. To reveal the number of unread messages in the inbox, give the phone a shake.
The music player on the X5, said to feature "excellent sound quality and loud speakers," also takes top billing. Users can store up to 1,000 songs with the included 2GB memory card - or replace it with a 32GB card for a hard-to-beat collection. In select markets, the X5 will come with Nokia's Comes With Music feature. Either way, though, the phone, which has a dedicated music key, supports multiple music formats and includes an FM radio. Plus, one full charge offers 24 hours of music playback time or 16 days of standby.
Also introduced at the Singapore event was the Nokia X6, which, measuring 4.4 by 2 by 0.5 inches, is honestly more "hip to have sharp edges" than it is square. Slicker and icier than the X5, it will come in azure, black and amethyst.
A 3.2-inch, 16:9 touch display dominates the X6, which offers a full Web browser, e-mail, messaging and social networks support, a video center, online sharing, TV out support, a 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and a Carl Xeiss lens, video recording and playback and an image and video editor.
There's 8GB of internal memory, A-GPS, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, Ovi Maps with free navigation and access to Ovi Share, the Ovi Store and other Ovi applications. The X6 runs the Symbian OS, S60 5.0.
"We are living in an era of unprecedented change, and the mobile industry is overhauling itself for the future - one that revolves around the Internet, content and services as well as constant connectivity," Chris Charr, Nokia's vice president of sales in Southeast Asia, said in a statement. "It is this that is driving the need to deliver greater value and relevance to consumers.
Charr added that by combining Ovi services with a wide portfolio of devices, Nokia is offering "greater consumer value" than its competitors. Whether this will translate to sales remains to be seen.
For the first time, Nokia also showed off its flagship N8 smartphone, its first to run Symbian 3. The N8 features a 3.5-inch capacitive touch display, a 12-megapixel camera with HD video recording, Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound and an HDMI connection for connecting it to a television.
Its multiple homescreens can be personalized, there's a second camera for video messaging and its 2D and 3D graphics architecture reportedly make the N8 super-quick to respond. Free navigation is on board, along with 16GB of memory and a microSD slot for more.
All three smartphones will begin shipping in third quarter of 2010 - the X5 for about $202, the X6 for about $275, and the N8 for $492. Immediate U.S. distribution seems unlikely.
"Whether it's in Australia, Singapore or in an emerging economy like Bangladesh, our commitment is to bring real value and relevance in all of the markets where Nokia is present," said Carr. "This remains the goal and the promise of the Nokia brand - to connect people in newer and better ways."