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Nokia phone unveiling in Berlin: Chapter two

It's a hard life. Today Crave is in Berlin, where mobile phone giant Nokia launched three new N-Series phones -- the N72, N73 and N93. We particularly liked the N93, which takes impressive digital video footage

This morning Crave was in Berlin to see Nokia unveil three new N-Series phones -- the N72, N73 and N93.

First up was the N73 (pictured lower right), and Crave was very happy to see that the leaked photo we reported yesterday was indeed this model, and featured, as we'd expected, a 3.2-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and autofocus, 3G support, a 61mm (2.4 inch) QVGA screen, infrared, Bluetooth and stereo speakers. It runs on the S60 3rd edition software and Symbian OS version 9.1, has 42MB internal memory and an expandable MiniSD card slot. It also has a new slideshow feature that lets you combine music with your slideshows, similar to the movie maker on Windows.

The phone feels great to hold and is thinner than the N70 by 4mm, but is slightly heavier, weighing in at 116g. The new QVGA screen has a resolution of 240x320 pixels and is a definite improvement on its predecessor, but unfortunately the keypad is still a little squashed. That said, the camera lens cover has been modified and is less cumbersome than the hug-around one used on the N70. Rather than covering the entire back, this cover simply covers the lens, which makes more sense.

Next up was the N72 (pictured above top), which is reminiscent of the Nokia 7610 and has an art deco design, with a metal frame. This handset is much closer to the N70 in terms of design and spec but has now been remodelled with some silver details and comes in black or pink. It features a 2-megapixel camera and runs on S60 software and Symbian OS version 8.1. There are also dedicated buttons to access the multimedia player.

The last phone to be announced, and definitely the most impressive, was the N93 (pictured lower left) -- Nokia's answer to the digital video camera. Like the N73, it features a 3.2-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens, but has a 3x optical zoom and can capture up to 30fps. Nokia claims this is as good as having a stand-alone digital camcorder, and it compared images from the N93 with a Sanyo Xacti model during the launch, claiming that its images were far superior. The N93 has WLAN support as well as Bluetooth and infrared, and it also comes with a TV-out cable so you can connect it to your goggle box and show off your photos to friends.

In a surprise move Nokia is packaging the N93 with Adobe Premier Elements 2.0, and has also done a deal with Flickr so you can send your photos directly to your Flickr account from these N-Series handsets.

According to Nokia, the phones should be commercially available around June this year, but at Crave we don't hold our breath when we hear such things from the company. Apparently the N91 has been shipped worldwide and should be available "this month". Pricing is a tad vague (the company reckons the new handsets will cost between "£200 and £400"), but never fear, Crave will let you know as soon as we get more info. But now it's back to the digital fleshpots of Berlin... -AL

Update: a full review of the Nokia N93 is now live.