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Nokia N97

Just as Nokia’s last-generation flagship phone, the N96, has finished its trans-Atlantic crawl to the United States, the Finnish handset superpower has done and announced a new one. The appropriately named N97 will build upon the legacy of the previous phone, but also add a number of all-new features to help it run against competitors like the iPhone and G1.

For starters, Nokia has scaled the touch screen up to a full 3.5 inches, and given it full 640 x 360 resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio that should make it ideal for movies. While it will receive the same 5.0-megapixel camera as the last version, it will pull new tricks this time, capturing “DVD-quality” video at 30 frames per second.

Nokia N97
Image Courtesy of Nokia

The new phone will also introduce an all-important QWERTY keyboard on an angled slider similar to Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X1, and it will dwarf all current smartphones in storage capacity with 32GB of onboard memory, plus room for another 16GB through a microSD expansion slot. Other specs include the usual Bluetooth, HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, plus A-GPS and even a 3.5mm headphone jack for using it as a media player.

It will be a while, doubtless, until the N97 finds its way to North America, but Europeans will be able to pick the phone up for 550 Euros ($697 USD) in the first half of 2009. More details can be found in Nokia’s press release.