White Plains (NY) – Nokia today announced the N91, the first cellphone on the U.S. market that uses a mini hard drive to store data. 4 GB are enough room to store about 1000 music tracks or more than 10,000 mega-pixel digital images.
The first somewhat MP3-focused cellphone in the U.S., Motorola’s Ipod phone “Rokr,” was less than impressive and disappointed not only Apple fans but music enthusiasts who had hoped for a new generation of converged devices. And with the appearance of Nokia’s new flagship phone N91, some may wonder if this device should have been the first device referred to as – sort of – Ipod phone.
Instead of a 512 MB Flash memory chip, the N91 uses a 0.85″ 4 GB hard drive to store multimedia data. In addition to a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, the phone integrates many features that are expected from higher-end phones these days, including support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, an integrated 2-Megapixel (1600×1200) camera, a radio receiver, a 262-color LCD, PC-synchronization and a decent headset. Of course, these features do not come cheap, as the N91’s $600 price tag (without carrier contract) exceeds even the price range of your typical business smartphone.
However, compared to the competition Nokia, offers some extra value, such as stylish stainless steel casing, dedicated music keys as well as pre-loaded music (from last year’s Live 8 concert.) It will be up to the consumer to decide, if the N91 is up to the task and if the features justify a price tag at least three times as much as most other MP3-capable phones, which however, typically come with a new carrier contract.
Nokia said that it will sell the phone initially only online online at http://www.nokiausa.com.