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Nokia N95: Bigger, badder and made for the USA

No. 1 cell phone maker announces the U.S. version of the its N95, as well as an 8-gigabyte version of the smart phone.

Nokia N95
Nokia N95, 8GB version Nokia

Man, does it feel like Christmas in August or what? Yeah, you know what I'm talking 'bout. In addition to several other product and service announcements today, Nokia introduced two new models of the coveted Nokia N95 smart phone: an 8GB version and a North America edition.

Starting with the latter, the U.S. version of the N95 looks much like the current model from the outside, but there's been some work done under the hood to make the mobile a little more powerful. It comes with twice as much RAM and will also ship with a 2GB microSD card. The camera lens cover has also been removed--why is this a good thing? Well, because it makes room for a larger capacity battery (1,200mAh versus 950 mAh) that promises 30 percent longer battery life. As we reported earlier, the North American version has been given the FCC's blessing for 3G support, specifically the 850/1900MHz HSDPA bands. There were no carrier announcements given today, but if a U.S. service provider does pick it up, you can pretty much bet it'll be AT&T. For now, you'll be able to purchase an unlocked version of the U.S. Nokia N95, available in tan or black, starting in mid-September for $699--anyone else feel like they just got punched in the gut? Other highlights include a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, assisted GPS with Nokia Maps, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and integrated Bluetooth 2.0 and Wi-Fi.

Nokia N95
N-Gage on the Nokia N95 Nokia

And for the memory hogs, say hello to the 8GB Nokia N95. The all-black mini storage machine features a larger 2.8-inch QVGA non-touch screen (compared to the old N95's 2.6-incher) and also comes sans camera lens cover to make way for a larger battery. Expected U.S. availability for the 8GB N95 is Q4--for an even more gut-wrenching $749. Rest assured that we're working to get review units of all of Nokia's new cell phones and smart phones, so check back soon for full reviews.