Nokia took the wraps off its first phone with an integrated digital TV decoder today at its annual Mobility Conference in Barcelona.
Set to launch in Q2 2006, the N92, which runs using Nokia's Series 60 interface, features a DVB-H TV tuner that in the future will be able to receive as many as fifty TV channels. DVB-H is a variant of the digital TV standard as used in the UK by Freeview, which has been optimised for mobile devices. It is set to launch in Italy in time for the 2006 World Cup with other European countries following later in the year. There's no official UK launch for the service, but it could theoretically arrive as early as 2007. Nokia, along with O2 and NTL, recently conducted a DVB-H trial in the Oxford area.
Similar to other N Series phones, the N92 runs using Nokia's Series 60 interface and features a suite of high-end facilities. The clamshell-style device includes integrated Wi-Fi, web browsing and music playback. Its 2.8-inch 16 million-colour screen can be flipped round so that it looks like a tiny DVD player making it ideal for TV viewing on the go. The handset can also record TV programmes on to an SD card and deliver an on-screen electronic programme guide. Some innovative interactive facilities are also in the pipelines, allowing you to cast votes on live TV shows, for example.
In Barcelona Nokia also unveiled two other N series phones. Also set to launch in Q2, the N71 features the N series signature facilities of 3G connectivity, web browsing and PDA-style applications. Its headline feature is a unique web browser that Nokia calls minimap. This delivers two screens on the device, the main close-up screen and a second transparent navigation screen that provides a snapshot of the entire page the user is seeing. This lets you quickly access and scroll around various parts of the page. The browser is also compatible RSS and XML feeds and has up to two Gigabytes of storage via a miniSD card.
Completing the line up is the Nokia N80, a slider handset and the first mobile phone to feature Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) so that it can network wirelessly with any device in the home. For example, users will be able to stream MP3 tracks wirelessly from the handset to a hi-fi system. The phone is also the first quad band phone with dual band 3G.
Nokia's CEO Jorma Ollia also predicted an explosion in sales of convergence phones during 2006, forecasting that over 100 million devices would be sold.