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Nokia World 2009: N97 Mini, X6, X3 Handsets Intro'd

Today at Nokia World, the largest handset maker kicked things off with a bang by announcing three new multimedia handsets. The N97 Mini takes the N97 down a notch, the X6 kicks things touch-screen style, and the X3 will slide its way into your heart.
Today at Nokia World, the largest handset maker kicked things off with a bang by announcing three new multimedia handsets. The N97 Mini takes the N97 down a notch, the X6 kicks things touch-screen style, and the X3 will slide its way into your heart.This trio of handsets was introduced this morning during the keynote address at Nokia World, being held in Stuttgart, Germany. All three have noteworthy features, but manage to lack any real "instant success" status.

N97 Mini

This re-design of the N97 drops a few features -- and a few centimeters. On the hardware side of things, the biggest change is the lack of a D-pad on the internal QWERTY keyboard. It won't be missed. With the touch screen, it was a redundant feature to begin with. By removing this feature, Nokia's engineers were able to squish the entire phone down a bit. Trust me when I say: That's a good thing. The original N97 was a honking big piece of hardware. The N97 Mini is sized much better.

Many other features remain the same. It has a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, flash and video capture. It also has GPS, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth and 8GB of internal memory (expandable up to 24GB).

Nokia announced a version of the N97 with support for European 3G networks, but didn't specify if there will be a version to support North American 3G networks. It will cost a still-hefty $640.

X6

For my money, this is the best device announced at Nokia World. It is thin, sleek and elegant, and features a large touch screen display. According to a Nokia spokesperson, the X6 features a capacitive touch screen, which would be a first for Nokia. It will come with baked-in support for Nokia's Ovi services, the Ovi Store, and new video and photo editing features. It also still manages to squeeze in a 5 megapxiel camera with autofocus flash and video capture; Wi-Fi; GPS; Bluetooth; and support for North American 3G networks. It comes with a full HTML browser and support for Flash Lite. Expect to see it in the fourth quarter.

X3

This is probably the most interesting of the phones announced today for one reason. It runs Nokia's Series 40 operating platform, not S60. Series 40 is Nokia's mass market platform (i.e., for less expensive phones). Despite this lower-end platform, Nokia still endowed it with access to the Ovi Store and other Ovi services that were heretofore reserved only for S60 phones.

Other features include a sliding design, a 3.2 megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth and stereo speakers, a built-in FM antenna, dedicated music controls and support for Nokia's Comes With Music service.