Nokia Debuts N79, N85 Smartphones

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The world’s largest mobile handset maker, Nokia, has started revising its phone line in anticipation of the end-of-year buying season, starting out with the high-margin high-end bit of its product line. The new N79 and N85 (what happened to your promise to start naming handsets, Nokia?) each offer 5 megapixel cameras, pre-loaded games, and the ability to tap into Nokia’s broad range of mobile content and service offerings.

First, the N79 offers high-speed 3.5G HSPDA and integrated Wi-Fi to make data-fetching and net-surfing easier. It also offers an FM transmitter to pump music to, say, an in-vehicle auto system, microSd storage, integrated GPS, and WidSets plans to offer a Friendster Widget for the N79 letting folks keep up with their friends (both real and virtual). The N79 can of course tap into Nokia’s online services and content offerings (like NGage—10 games pre-loaded!—Nokia Maps—three-month subscription free!—and the Ovi photo sharing service. The N79 will be available in four colors (sea blue, olive green, espresso brown, and coral red) for €350 before taxes and subsidies this October.

Also available in October, the Nokia N85 offers a similar feature set to the N79 with a slant more towards mobile entertainment, shipping with an 8 GB microSD card and offering a “dazzling” OLED display. The N85 will carry a €450 price tag.

Unfortunately, don’t expect to see either of these handsets in the North American market anytime soon: Nokia might account for about 40 percent of the global mobile phone market, but the company has so far failed to make much of a dent in the high end of the U.S. phone market, and has lately been offering it’s upper range of handsets directly to customers without any carrier partners, leaving it to Nokia fans to figure out how to get service…and, of course, pay for it all themselves, sans subsidies.

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