ORLANDO, Fla. — I always take a minute at CTIA shows to catch up with the fine folks at Symbian, the London-based company that this morning released a new version of its mobile phone operating system.
Nokia, part owner of the company, uses the operating system liberally. So, during my meeting with David Wood, Symbian’s executive vice president of research, and Jerry Panagrossi, vice president, U.S. operations, I previewed preview the new line of Nokia phones.
The Nokia E90 is a work horse. The best way to describe it is as a horizontal clam shell. When closed, it looks like a large candy-bar phone, but when you flip it open, it is like a miniature laptop computer. It comes with “everything,” Panagrossi said. That includes Wi-Fi, camera, GPS and HSDPA, the fastest speed network in the GSM family. No word on a commercial release date or how much it will cost.
The Nokia E65 was a little handheld slider where the keyboard slides out. It was red and had the texture of alligator skin (a fitting analogy I thought because I’m in Florida, not that I’ve felt alligator skin before).
Symbian CEO Nigel Clifford, whom I caught up with briefly in the hall, showed me two more phones, which I did not get pics of.
He showed me a very impressive MotoRizr Z8 (that’s pronounced “rise-er”), which uses the Symbian operating system. The name is fitting because the slider comes out of the bottom and curves up to your face’s countour. The flashy neon green highlights also catch your eye, as does the 2 megapixel camera. The phone also plays DVD-quality video at 30 frames a second.
I also caught a glimpse of the Nokia N95, which is a dual slider, meaning it has a keyboard at the bottom and a set of music player keys sliding from the top. It has a 5 (yes, 5!!) megapixel camera and super nice-looking screen.