Nokia Phones Get Better Camera, Faster Internet Access

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Nokia has launched three new mid- and low-tier phones, continuing to push more advanced features down the price curve.

The 6303 Classic and 6700 Classic both follow in the foot steps of the 6300 Classic, according to Nokia.

The 6700 Classic has a 5-megapixel camera with an LED (Light Emitting Diode) flash, AGPS (Assisted Global Positioning System) navigation with Nokia Maps software, and a MicroSD memory card slot. It can also download data at 10Mbps or upload it at 2Mbps using HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) on compatible 3G (third generation) mobile networks, according to specifications supplied by Nokia. It will cost €235 (US$310) before tax and operator subsidy. Its predecessor the 6300 Classic -- which cost €250 at the time of its launch in November 2006 -- lacked 3G support and its camera had a resolution of 2 megapixels.

The 6303 Classic is a cheaper alternative with fewer improvements. It will cost €135 before tax and subsidies and has a MicroSD memory card slot, a 3.5mm audio jack and a 3.2-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, but there is no support for fast Internet access or GPS.

One thing that hasn't changed is the display resolution: It's still 320 x 240 pixels for all three phones, although the display has grown by 0.2 inches.

The cheapest of the newcomers is the Nokia 2700 Classic, which will cost €65 before tax and subsidies. It has a 2-megapixel camera and support for GPRS . It too has a 3.5mm audio jack and the ability to store up to 2GB of data via its memory card slot.

Nokia has no plans to sell the three phones in the U.S., but said they will ship in most other parts of the world during the second quarter.

These may not be headline-grabbing phones but they are important, and Nokia will sell millions and millions of them, according to Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight.

Phones like these are Nokia's bread and butter, and they show how it can use its scale to produce phones with specifications and price that the competition will have a hard time matching, he said.

However, they don't change the fact that Nokia still need to improve its high-end portfolio, he said. The mobile phone market is becoming increasingly polarized around cheap entry-level phones and high-end smartphones, so Nokia needs to maintain its market-leading position in the first space -- which, for example, the 2700 Classic will help it do -- but at the same time improve its high-end portfolio, according to Blaber.

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