Nokia pitches two new image-conscious phones

Nokia introduced two new mobile phones Monday, one aimed at digital imaging with a built-in camera and the ability to capture and play video recordings, and the other targeting style-conscious gamers, with a large, color screen and a gaming-geared keypad.

The Nokia 6600 is a tri-band GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phone boasting secure e-mail access, a browser, personal information management applications and an integrated VGA (video graphics array) camera for video recording and still image capture.

Imaging is the hallmark of this handset, and in addition to sending and receiving images and video clips, and being able to stream video, 6600 users can also create multimedia messages, with images, sounds and text messages sent in a predetermined order, Nokia said.

The 6600 weighs 122 grams, has a talk time of four hours and standby of up to 10 days. It's due out in the fourth-quarter of 2003 in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific markets.

While the 6600 is aimed at image-happy business users, the 3100 has a real gamer-focus, offering a 128-by-128 high-resolution color screen, preloaded Java game titles such as Snake EX2, and a four-way rocker on the keypad. This tri-band GSM phone also comes with MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) functionality, weighs 85 grams and is due out in the third quarter of this year in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Talk time and standby statistics for the 3100 were not immediately available Monday.

Nokia is also offering an add-on camera for the 3100, the stand-alone VGA Nokia Fun Camera, which comes with its own viewfinder, flash and power supply and stores up to 50 images. The camera also attaches to any Nokia phone with a Pop-Port connector.

The two new phones were introduced as part of the company's annual press update in Helsinki and underscore the emphasis the handset maker is placing on imaging technologies. In fact, the press day coincided with an "Image Is Power" event Nokia held in Singapore Monday, where it showed off its new image-conscious phones.

Prices for the two new phones were not yet available, according to a Nokia representative.

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Scarlet Pruitt

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