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Nokia N92

 Nokia N92 Expected Q2/Q3 2006
2nd November 2005
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The Nokia N92 is 3G phone with a built-in digital TV receiver, a 2 megapixel digital camera, a large 2.8" 240x320 pixel display and expandable memory.

This isn't the first time that Nokia have brought TV to one of their devices, they also have an accessory that can be fitted onto the Nokia 7710 (see here) which does something similar, but the N92 nicely integrates everything.

The TV transmission technology on the N92 uses DVB-H (H is for Handheld), a variation of the DVB-T (T is for Terrestrial) technology found on most digital TV sets in Europe and Asia. Freeview in the UK, the TNT system in France and by many other operators outside of North America and Japan. DVB-H can be broadcast using the same infrastructure as DVB-T which should help with its rollout. The main difference between DVB-H and -T is that the -H variant has a lower resolution signal and is broadcast in "bursts" to make it more energy efficient from handheld's perspective.

The N92 also supports IP datacasting that can be used in conjunction with the DVB-H function to further expand the system. Combined with the N92's 3G and GPRS data, it's possible to use the handset as an interactive television. As the N92 is a Symbian Series 60 Smartphone, it's possible to add more software to the handset to take advantage of new developments. And of course as it's a 3G phone, users can also download streaming multimedia through their carrier's network. You can read more about the technology behind this here.

 Nokia N92 with TV showing It's worth noting that as far as we know, there are no functioning DVB-H broadcasters, except for a few trial areas in major cities, including Berlin, Paris, Helsinki and Oxford. So, take up of the N92 is going to be dependent on operators playing ball. Nokia expect to release the N92 in mid 2006 into markets with DVB-H support.

In order to accommodate this, the N92 has a novel two-way hinge and keypad that reminds us a little of the Motorola MPx. Used one way, the N92 acts like a conventional (though very large) clamshell. Opened the other way, it's a little bit like a portable gaming console. The keys are printed two ways round to take this in to account.

It's a big, heavy device at 107x58x25mm and 191 grams, slightly heavier than the Nokia 7710, and 18 grams more than even the N90. Only the Nokia 9500 is a heavier current device in Nokia's range at 230 grams.

 Nokia N92 keypad Clearly the inbuilt TV receiver is the headline feature with the Nokia N92, but it also comes with a 2 megapixel digital camera, Bluetooth,  3G and EDGE, expandable memory using a variety of SD and MMC formats (with 90Mb of internal memory), a multimedia player (with built-in stereo speakers) and FM radio. The camera on the N92 is roughly similar to the N90 in that it forms part of the hinge function.

So, it's not just a phone-with-a-TV, the Nokia N92 is pretty much crammed with features. One thing that's lacking is WiFi, as it would probably be useful in a device like this. It even has WiFi (OK, we missed that first time around!) As for looks.. well, it's a chunky looking phone, but it looks quite impressive, especially with the two-way hinge. It certainly has a big "wow factor".

Nokia are saying that the N92 will cost about 600 before tax and subsidies, which in our view offers very good value for money considering how many features it has. Consumer take-up will of course depend on DVB-H broadcasts being available, and quite how many people actually want to watch TV on their phones is an unknown quantity. Still, the N92 and the technology behind it is extremely impressive - we can only hope that it will be successful too.

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Nokia N92 at a glance

Available:

Q2/Q3 2006

Network:

GSM 900/1800/1900 + UMTS (3G)

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + WiFi

Screen:

320x240 pixels, 16 million colours

Camera:

2.0 megapixels

Size:

Large clamshell
107x58x25mm / 191 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Infra-red:

Yes

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

4 hours talk / 14 days standby

 

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