Nokia is no stranger to the high-end smartphone market, but in the United States its most capable devices have never been a success compared to the mobile platforms like the BlackBerry, the iPhone, and even Windows Mobile devices…in part because the Finnish maker has often decided to bring its most sophisticated handsets to the U.S. market without a carrier partner, meaning they carry significant sticker shock compared to subsidized offerings on other platforms. Now, Nokia is bringing its N86 smartphone to the United States, hoping the 8 megapixel camera, adjustable aperture, and Carl Zeiss optics will appeal to folks who want both a smartphone and a competent digital camera…but will the price tag keep them away?
The aperture on the N86’s camera adjusted automatically, making the phone’s camera mechanism much more akin to a “real” point and shoot camera rather than the image capture capabilities of a typical phone—when Nokia introduced the N86 back in February, it was the first time a variable aperature had been incorporated into a cameraphone. The N86 also features a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, 8 GB of onboard storage, and microSD-based removable storage. The N86 also features a 2.6-inch OLED display with a scratch-resistant cover, dual LED flash, and autofocus capabilities.
Of course, the N86 is also a Symbian 60 smartphone, with 3G connectivity, integrated Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities (users can geotag their photos); users can also surf the Web, send instant messages, access email, add applications from Nokia’s Ovi Store, and wirelessly upload images and videos directly to sharing sites like Facebook and Flickr.
The N86 is available now unlocked for $588; users won’t have to sign up for a service contract when buying the device, but they’ll need to arrange for some sort of connectivity through AT&T or T-Mobile to get the phone up and running.