Nokia in a press conference in Amsterdam today debuted the Nokia N91 "true" multimedia mobile phone. Shipped with a whopping 4 GB of memory,it has prompted some to label the device as the new iPod killer. The N91, connectivity options including 3G WCDMA, WLAN, Bluetooth and USB 2.0, will begin shipping in November at a suggested retail price of $905.
My main gripe? Camera not included. Of course, Nokia thought of this too, hence, the Nokia N90. The transformer-like Nokia N90 will include a 2 megapixel digicam with a 20x-zoom auto-focus Tessar lens from Carl Zeiss. Video? Yes. Using MP4, 30 fps at 352x288. According to Christian Lindholm (with samples), "it takes amazing pictures".
In my mind it is not anymore a Camera phone, but an example of an emering dominant design: a Transformer. A Transformer is a device which through user action can be transformed into three or more optimal shapes for different functions. In the case of N90 there are four key optimized shapes:Yes, more things I don't really need but are somehow so appealing.
- Close clamshell for carrying.
- Open clamshell for talking, browsing – big keyboard, big display.
- Turn and twist for photographs.
- Open and twist for video or imaging.
Frankly, I'm partial to the camera phone. Biggest problem? Storage. Unlike the N91, which hauls a massive 4-GB hard drive, the N90 contains a paltry 31 MB internally, and an in-box 64 MB RS-MMC. RS-MMC stands for "reduced-size multimedia card". 512 MB is the current limit -- of course, that isn't bad. Now where are the sample pictures?