Give me an E
Nokia's annual gathering may not have been the right time and place for the new MeeGo operating system, but it did give the Finnish phone maker a chance to show off a range of new Symbian^3 devices.
The big announcement of Nokia World 2010 was the upcoming Nokia E7, an N97 cum N8 hybrid for the business minded. You can say what you will about the Symbian platform, but it's hard to criticise Nokia's outstanding industrial design.
Is that a netbook in your pocket?
From our quick hands on, we walked away impressed with the E7's well-spaced QWERTY keyboard.
It all hinges on this
With the tapered edges, and especially in metallic green, the E7 really does look like the N8 but with a keyboard.
A business-sized shooter
While the N8 will wow with its 12-megapixel camera, the E7 has a slightly more modest 8-megapixel module.
Symbian^3 isn't much of a departure aesthetically from previous Symbian releases, but Nokia insists there are major changes under the hood.
One of these significant differences will be its smooth 60 frames per second animations in areas like this visual music gallery.
If the E7's 4-inch display still seems a bit teensy for some tasks, the handset features HDMI out for watching your various media content on the big screen.
In case you were wondering, yes, the HDMI-out feature can be used to play your Ovi Store games on your plasma or LCD TV.
The slightly more sombre C7
While unveiling the E7, Nokia also took the wraps off two new mid-range devices, the C6 and C7. This is our grubby paws on the latter; a 3.5-inch display running Symbian^3.
The C7 comes in at a super-slim 10.5mm, which is hard to see with the enormous security tag hanging off the back of this unit.
The not-exy X3
Do you like the look of the N8 and E7, but aren't willing to spend big this year? The "touch and type" Nokia X3 is the one for you then. At an estimated cost of €120, the X3 is super cheap for a touchscreen phone with world-roaming 3G.
The big surprise for us was just how responsive this little fella was. Running on Series 40, the X3's capacitive touchscreen is as snappy to use as, dare we say it, Apple's iPhone.
If you thought the C7 looked thin, then prepare to be floored. This is Nokia's thinnest phone ever, coming in at a shockingly petite 9.6mm thick.
All the small things
It's nice to see some attractive design at the low end of the smartphone market.
Nokia also had its new MD-11 speakers on show. These units are completely modular; you can connect just one to a phone via a 3.5mm socket, or connect a second unit for stereo sound.
As well as a decent showing of upcoming phones, Nokia also had a few nifty bits of code on show. This is a future version of Nokia Maps with interactive 3D objects built into a Street View-like perspective. Using Navteq mapping vehicles, 3D data is collected and cities are mapped as full 3D models, with the street-level photography overlaid as model textures. This means all the buildings and landmarks are selectable objects on the map, so you can click on one of these skyscrapers to see who works inside, their phone numbers and any extra data available, like reviews.
Another nifty concept on display is what Nokia is currently calling Plug and Touch. This software uses the camera on a smartphone to turn any TV or monitor into a touchscreen.