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Nokia takes wraps off N96 NAM, N85, and N79

Nokia officially announces the Q4 availability of the Nokia N96 North American Edition, Nokia N85, and Nokia N79 smartphones.

Nokia scored a hat-trick today with the announcement of three new Nokia N series models: the Nokia N96 (North American Edition), the Nokia N85, and the Nokia N79. Keeping with the family, the trio of Symbian smartphones offer high-end multimedia features, such as a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and work with Nokia's Ovi Internet services, which include the N-Gage gaming platform, photo sharing, and Nokia Maps. All handsets are expected to ship in Q4 and will be sold as unlocked phones (you know what that means--save your pennies now because they won't be cheap). Now, let's get to know each of these smartphones a little more intimately, shall we?

Nokia N96
Nokia N96 Nokia

Nokia N96 (North American Edition): Highly anticipated since it was announced at GSMA 2008, the Nokia N96 is finally arriving on U.S. shores and like the Nokia N95, the company is offering a North American version to support our 850/1900 HSDPA bands. The mobile has a whopping 16GB of internal memory, in addition to a microSD expansion slot, which should come in handy for all the photos and videos you might take with the device. The N96 is equipped with a 5-megapixel camera and dual-LED flash and can record video at up to 30 frames per second. There's an integrated music player as well as a stereo FM radio with RDS and 3.5mm headphone jack.

While the N96 keeps the dual-slider design of its predecessor but there are some slight tweaks to give it a sleeker look and feel. And let's not forget the kickstand on the back. Other highlights of the smartphone include integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and A-GPS. The Nokia N96 will cost between $750 to $800. Ouch.

Nokia N85 Nokia

Nokia N85: Similar to the Nokia N81 in looks, the N85 offers a slider design but comes with a 2.6-inch OLED display instead of a QVGA screen. It's great for viewing videos, and the handset is also optimized for gaming and comes preloaded with 10 N-Gage games and one free game activation voucher. Some other highlights include the ability to geotag photos, using the combination of integrated GPS and the 5-megapixel camera; three months of complimentary turn-by-turn guidance (available on the N96 and N79 as well); Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 2.0; and 3G. The Nokia N85 will have a price tag of around $600 to $650.

Nokia N79 Nokia

Nokia N79: Last but not least, there's the N79. This model offers an interesting design twist as it comes packaged with a total of three interchangeable Xpress-on smart covers: red, white, and espresso brown. On the back of these covers, there is a sensor that will automatically change the wallpaper theme on your home screen once you attach the plate. Sure, a little gimmicky but still cool. The N79 also has an orientation sensor that will automatically change the display from portrait to landscape mode. The multimedia features are similar to the Nokia N85 and N96, but the N79 is a tri-band (GSM 850/1800/1900; HSDPA 900/2100) phone and comes with about 50MB of internal memory. The Nokia N79 will go for around $500 to $550.