By Sarah Falson

SYDNEY: Nokia today launched the Nokia N95 – an all-in-one multimedia computer with a pioneering two-way slide design, integrated GPS navigation functionality, a five megapixel camera and support for the high-speed, HSDPA mobile network.

In a radical departure from its previously-released range of mobile phones, Nokia’s N95 is a complete internet-enabled device, called a ‘multimedia computer’.

Nokia claims the N95 is the world’s first internet-enabled device to include Wireless LAN, GPS navigation technology and high-speed download access.

“Nokia is moving away from selling its handsets in traditional phone outlets,” said Nokia director of sales and APAC multimedia, David Watkins.

The Nokia N95 includes the full gamut of GPS navigational features, including voice directions, on-screen turn-by-turn mapping, and the ability to plan routes and store new points-of-interest including favourite restaurants, service stations and parking lots.

Imaging technology is present, too, with a Carl Zeiss optical lens and a five megapixel digital camera, which is able to capture high-quality photos and DVD-like video clips, according to Nokia. There is also a TV-out feature which allows users to watch their videos and create slide-shows of their photographs on an external display.

Support for WLAN, EDGE and WCDMA internet networks gives the Nokia N95 excellent coverage wherever it is used, and internet-browsing, reading email, streaming video and downloading large files are possible. A floating toolbar and password manager system make using the N95 as close as possible to using a full-blown PC.

The display is a 2.6-inch, 16 million-colour QVGA screen with 3D graphics, and the chassis features a 3mm audio jack that can be hooked up to either a set of headphones or a larger audio system, but the phone also includes built-in stereo speakers.

In August this year, Nokia announced that it would trial its new camera phones – the N93 and N73, both also marketed as ‘multimedia computers’ – through Camera House stores in Melbourne in a move which was to eventually broaden the distribution of high-end multimedia phones into mainstream consumer electronics retailers.

The N95, which will be available mid-2007, could enjoy a similar retail-niche of its own, Watkins told

When asked if Nokia hoped to keep the N95 multimedia computer’s new retail classification exclusive, Watkins replied: “No. You don’t create a category to be the only person in it.”

The Nokia N95 is expected to retail for around $A1300 – $A1400.