Nokia unveiled its thinnest smartphone yet, the E55, and another slim smartphone with a sliding QWERTY keyboard, the E75, a replacement for the old Communicator model also known as "the brick." It also unveiled the 6710 Navigator and 6720 Classic phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.
The E series phones have traditionally been seen as enterprise devices, but the E now stands for efficiency, said Nokia: they are all about doing more with less — more work with less phone, less money and less time, said Kai Öistämö, executive vice president at Nokia, said Monday.
The secret to the E55's thinness is in its keys, he said. It's Nokia's first compact QWERTY device, he said, and has half as many keys as the company's previous thinnest smartphone, the E71. It will also have the longest battery life of any of Nokia's smartphones, with up to a month of standby time, he said.
The E55 runs Nokia's S60 software and has an AGPS (Assisted Global Positioning System) receiver, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a 2.4-inch, 320x240 pixel screen and a 3.2 megapixel camera. It's not all about work: there's also a 3.5mm headphone socket for listening to the digital music player or the built in FM radio and support for Nokia's Ngage game platform. The phone will ship in the second quarter for around EUR265 (US$340) before tax and operator subsidies.
The other new phone is the E75, the successor to the 9000 series Communicators. It has a QWERTY keyboard that slides out from behind the 2.4-inch, 320x240 pixel display, and a regular dialling keypad just below the display. Like the E55 it has a 3.2 megapixel camera, AGPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a FM radio and music player, but the key feature is its support for e-mail. It simplifies connection to Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, POP3 and IMAP e-mail services, or Web mail services such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail, said Öistämö.
"There's no need for middleware and no need for the BlackBerry tax," he said, referring to the additional BlackBerry Enterprise Server license fee that businesses must pay if they want employees to access corporate mail via BlackBerry handsets.
The E75 will ship in March for EUR375 before subsidies and taxes.
It will be the first device to provide access to corporate e-mail through the Nokia Messaging service at no extra cost. Nokia has wider ambitions for this service: it plans to make it available across all Eseries models and 40 other devices, extending push e-mail to over 100 million Nokia users.
"We are now spreading it further than just smartphones," he said.
The E55 and E75 will work with other services from Nokia available through its Ovi online portal, including an online store that Nokia also announced Monday. That store helps users find useful applications by recommending those popular with their friends, relevant to the city they are in, and that are sure to work with their phone.
Also on show were the 6710 Navigator and 6720 Classic smartphones.
The 6710 Navigator has an AGPS receiver and Nokia Maps software featuring navigation tools for pedestrians. The navigation options still work even when the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) necessary to activate the phone functions is not present. The device also has a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and support for push e-mail. It will ship in the third quarter for around EUR300 before tax and subsidies.
The 6720 Classic includes a new active noise cancellation system, AGPS and a 5 megapixel camera, but no Wi-Fi, and will ship in the second quarter for around EUR245 before tax and subsidies.