Nokia N97 gets launch date, decent Facebook app

The Nokia N97, one of the hottest phones coming out this year, is set to touch down worldwide this month

The Nokia N97, one of the hottest phones coming out this summer, is set to touch down worldwide this month. After months of waiting and speculation, Nokia is finally ready to start shipping its flagship model, dubbed as a "multimedia computer".

The N97 will ease your pockets of $699 before subsidies (simfree) but Nokia did not confirm an official launch date for the U.S. However, in the U.K. the phone will be available on June 19 at the company's flagship stores, so it is safe to assume that the New York and Chicago Nokia stores will carry the phone around the same time.

On June 26 the Nokia N97 is expected to hit the wireless carriers (at least in the U.K.), but in the U.S. it has not been confirmed which operators will offer the phone. Meanwhile, you can pre-order an N97 as of today from Nokia's website, in either black or white.

Nokia's latest flagship device features a 5-megapixel camera, 32GB of on-board storage (expandable with up to 16GB via microSD), GPS, and a full QWERTY keyboard. The N97 is set to battle-it-out this summer with the Palm Pre (coming on June 6) and Apple's new iPhone (to be announced June 8). To see a head-to-head feature comparison of this summer's hottest phones, check out the latest Smartphone Smackdown.

In preparation for the launch of the N97, an official Facebook app is out now, which is also compatible with the company's 5800 touchscreen phone. By now, Nokia touchscreen devices users had to use the less-capable Facebook mobile web interface to sort their social networking dealings.

The Nokia Facebook app (now downloadable from the Ovi Store) looks very similar to its iPhone counterpart, but lacks the chat feature. On the good side, the app takes advantage of the phone's accelerometer and can be used in landscape mode as well. However, early reports say that the app can get quite slow and unresponsive at times.

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