Nokia Unveils Three New Smartphones

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Nokia launched three new smartphones Tuesday at a time when the beleaguered company is fighting to remain the top smartphone maker worldwide. Nokia's new devices include the business-focused Nokia E7, the consumer-oriented C7 and a revised version of the Nokia C6. All three devices feature Symbian^3 OS, the latest iteration of Nokia's smartphone OS first introduced this year on the Nokia N8.

Despite claiming 24 percent of worldwide smartphone sales between April and June, Nokia has not kept pace "with the overall growth of the smartphone market," according to market research firm IDC (IDC and PC World are both owned by International Data Group). Competitors such as Apple's iPhone, and devices from HTC and Samsung largely using Google's Android OS have steadily chipped away at Nokia's once dominant lead.

Add to that Nokia's recent management troubles -- including a departing CEO, the loss of its vice president and general manager for mobile solutions, and rumors that Nokia's board chairman may also step down -- and it's no wonder many are predicting dark days ahead for the company.

Can Nokia's new crop of smartphones keep the device maker on top and stave off its own smartphone doom? Let's take a look.

Nokia E7

The Nokia E7 features a 4-inch widescreen AMOLED 640-by-360 resolution capacitive touch display, and a slideout keyboard. The E7 also comes with 16GB onboard memory; 256MB RAM; an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p high-definition video capture; Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity; HDMI out and a micro USB 2.0 port. Nokia claims the device will provide nine hours of talk time over GSM networks, and five hours over WCDMA. The E7 will come in dark gray, silver white, green, blue and orange. A U.S. release date was not announced, but the E7's European suggested retail price is about $637.

Nokia C7

The social-networking focused C7 comes with Facebook, Twitter and Webmail integration on the device's home screen. The C7's display is a 3.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with a 640-by-360 resolution. The device also has a thin profile at 0.41 inches, slightly larger than the iPhone 4's 0.37-inch profile.

Just like the E7, the C7 features an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p video capture; five to nine hours of talk time; and Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and 802.11b/g/n connectivity. Onboard storage for the C7 is 8GB with a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB for a maximum 40GB total storage.

The C7 also features a 3.5mm A/V connector to display content on an external monitor or television, as well as a stereo FM radio and FM transmitter. The C7 comes in charcoal black, frosty metal and mahogany brown. No U.S. launch date has been announced, but the C7 will sell for about $430 in Europe.

Nokia C6

The smallest of the bunch, the Nokia C6 features a 3.2-inch AMOLED capacitive touch widescreen with a 640-by-360 resolution. The C6 is also sporting a front-facing camera for video calling, and a rear-facing camera with 8 megapixels, dual LED flash, 720p video capture and 2X digital zoom. The smartphone has a miniscule 340 MB internal storage, but includes microSD card support for another 32GB. Other features include GPS, 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity; FM stereo radio; and a 3.5mm A/V connector. Nokia claims the C6 has 11.5 hours of talk time over GSM networks. The C6 comes in black and silver grey, and will sell for about $335 in Europe. No U.S. launch date has been announced.

In addition to new phones, Nokia launched new third-party developer tools that the company hopes will lure more programmers to create apps for its Ovi Store.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).

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