Nokia debuts cheap smartphones to compete with low-cost handsets

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Line up of the newly unveiled smartphones set to target the low-end market.

Nokia is set to launch three new smartphones, Nokia 700, Nokia 701 and Nokia 600 powered by Symbian operating system.

“After bringing exciting new features to the Symbian user experience only two months ago with Symbian Anna, we are now driving the platform even further with our most competitive Symbian user experience ever,” Ilari Nurmi, Vice President at Nokia, said in a press conference.

The operating system includes single-tapNFC technology sharing and pairing.NFC allows content to be shared between devices, and also allows any of the three new smartphones to pair with NFC-enabled mobile accessories such as speakers or Bluetooth headphones and headsets.

Nokia will also be releasing the Nokia Essence Bluetooth Stereo Headset that can be paired with any NFC-enabled smartphone simply by tapping the two devices together.

Each of the phones have features that will compliment what users see as must have features in a smartphone. The Nokia 700, is the most compact monobloc phone in the world with a touchscreen. The Nokia 701 has the worlds brightest mobile display, while the Nokia 600 is the loudest entertainment smartphone.

Nick McQuire of IDC, a global market intelligence provider, said in a statement that the announcement by Nokia has made it clear that Symbian will continue to play an important role in its product portfolio along side Windows Phone 7.

THE LOUDEST

TheNokia 600 would be attractive to those who would like to use their phones mainly for music. It has a built-in FM radio antenna for listening to radio without headphones and FM transmitter that makes it possible to broadcast music from your phone to any FM radio. The phone has 60 hours of music playback time and an extremely powerful internal loudspeaker. It can also stream music wirelessly to NFC-enabled accessories. It is also lower in price than the next two models, and also includes a 1 GHz processor; 5MP full focus camera with LED flash and HD video capture, and 2GB of internal memory with capability to increase through a microSD card.

The volume of Nokia 700 is just 50 cubic centimeters. The compact device includes single-tap NFC sharing and paring capabilities, a 1 Ghz processor, 3.2 inch AMOLED screen, Clear Black display, 2 GB internal memory (with the option of using a 32 GB microSD card), HD video capture and 5 megapixel full focus camera with LED flash. Additionally the phone has a long battery life with an extensive use of eco-friendly material and features to minimize battery consumption.

THE BRIGHTEST

The Nokia 701 is a sleek phone based on a 3.5 inch ClearBlack display. Its sound quality is top-notch as it includes active noise cancellation. Its NFC features are like the other new releases. The phone is based on the popular Nokia C7 design and includes a 1GHz processor, 8MP full focus camera with dual LED flash and 2x digital zoom, a front-facing camera and HD video capture. The internal memory is 8GB.

SYMBIAN

Symbian Belle allows users to have 6 homescreens on display. Live widgets in five different sizes make the home screens come alive and give users more flexibility to personalize the user experience. It also includes a pull down menu and taskbar to access notifications.

Single-tap NFC sharing and pairing capability of Symbain Belle gives users the ability to share data with other NFC-enabled devices and smartphones. For the gamers, the NFC handset gives users the ability to unlock additional levels in Angry Birds or find a hidden blade in Fruit Ninja just by touching two NFC-enabled devices together. Friends can also compete against each other on the same race track in the Nokia 701 smartphone, which comes preloaded with Asphalt 5 game.

MARKET PERFORMANCE

The Finnish company has been facing stiff competition from Apple Inc. and smartphones that run Googles Android operating system. It aims to focus on the launch of mid-tier phones in the Asia-Pacific region.

Nokia has been struggling in the world’s biggest mobile phone market with its shares down by 15.2 % in the second quarter. However the dip is small compared to last year’s 38.1% in the same quarter. The company hopes to sell 150 million Symbian handsets.

“Symbian Belle and the three new handsets we are launching today show our commitment to continue delivering Symbian products that allow people to choose what is most important to them in terms of user experience, design, functionality and price. These will not be last products or updates we will deliver on Symbian, the Finnish VP reiterated while speaking to reporters.

Sources: Reuters, Wall Street Journal

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