Nokia Announces N97 Mini, Facebook Deal at Nokia World

Nokia unveils two music-centric phones, the X6 and the X3, as well as a slimmed-down version of the N97, the Mini, and a partnership with social networking giant Facebook called "Lifecasting with Ovi."

Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia kicked off its 2009 Nokia World event in Stuttgart, Germany, Sept. 2 with the announcement of the N97 Mini, a smaller version of the handset announced this summer, as well as two digital-music focused phones, the X6 and the X3, the first Series 40 devices to come Ovi Store (Nokia's app store) enabled.

In addition, the company announced a feature called "lifecasting," which gives users the ability to publish their location and status updates directly to their Facebook account from the home screen of an enabled Nokia phone.

The N97 Mini, priced at $640, offers updated home screen widgets, 8GB of storage, a 3.2-inch touch-screen and a full QWERTY keyboard. It is also the first Nokia device to sport the Facebook-Nokia service "Lifecasting with Ovi." The N97 Mini is based on the same tilt display design of its N97 big brother, but built into a smaller body with revised design touches.

Other features include Ovi Maps and an integrated A-GPS and compass along with voice navigation for driving or walking. The phone's battery provides up to 12 days of standby time and up to 28 hours of music playback (in offline mode). The 5-megapixel camera comes with dual LED flash and video light, along with a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens. The 8GB of on-board memory can be expanded to 24GB with the addition of a 16GB microSD card.

The 3.2-inch touch-screen X6, aimed at music lovers and retailing for $650 when it ships in fourth-quarter 2009, provides 35 hours of music playback and is optimized for photos and videos. Features include a 5-megapixel camera and Carl Zeiss optics, dual LED flash, TV-out, video editing, online sharing, Nokia Music store, full Web browser and Flash Lite support. Nokia is positioning this handset as a "Comes with Music" device, part of an initiative giving users unlimited access to the Nokia Music Store.

Joining the X6 is the X3, sharing some of the X6's design cues. The X3 slider sports a 3.2-megapixel camera, a thin frame wrapping a 2.2-inch screen, stereo speakers, dedicated music keys and support for up to 16GB of storage via microSD card. The X3 also offers an active home screen where users will be able to see contacts, friends and current music playing. The handset is expected to go on sale in the fourth-quarter 2009 and retail for $163.

Bluetooth 2.1 is supported with stereo audio profiles for wireless musical connectivity. Wire fans will be able to use standard headphones via the 3.5mm headphone jack. Full-speed USB 2.0 makes music transfer quick and easy, and music can be managed via the Ovi Player PC client and Windows Media Player 11. Messaging is also supported: Alongside a common in-box for SMS and MMS in conversational view, Nokia Xpress Audio Messaging is supported and Nokia Messaging 2.0 brings users' existing e-mail and IM accounts to the device.