Amid all the iPhone/Palm Pre hoopla it is easy to forget that there are other major players in the smart phone market, and while less hyped, many of their releases are equally anticipated. Market leader RIM will be releasing the Blackberry Storm 2 in September. A sequel to Google’s G1 Android phone is also expected to drop later this year.
And then there are the Windows Mobile and Symbian smart phones. Two soon to be released models leaked last week, which are likely to be among the top sellers in each of these respective markets.
First up is the Nokia E72, which appears to be running on Symbian S60 Feature Pack 2 (v3.2). The sequel to the moderately successful E71, the E72 features a number of minor and major hardware tweaks. Video of the E72 in action was "accidentally" posted by Nokia and deleted hours later. First up, the phone's direction pad is now surrounded by a touchpad-like scrolling mechanism. Also included is an upgraded headphone jack, with a 3.5 mm jack sitting on top of the handset.
Inside the phone is a digital compass and support for faster 10.2 Mbps connections over HSDPA. The camera receives a healthy bump from 3.2 MP to 5 MP, leaving the iPhone's 3 MP camera behind. Rounding off the hardware/aesthetic improvements are new colors -- the phone will be available (in some regions at least) in black, grey/silver, and gold.
In the software realm the phone supports Nokia Messaging. It also adds new support for Ovi Contacts -- an IM and presence-enabled address book -- and the Ovi Store. Mail for Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes Traveler are also supported. The phone looks to be one of, if not the hottest Symbian phone on the market.
Next up is the Samsung 'B7610 Lourve', reportedly to be renamed the "Omnia Pro". The phone may unseat the HTC Touch Pro 2 as the best Windows Mobile 6.5 smart phone on the market. Pictures and specs of the new Samsung handset leaked last week.
The phone showcases a gorgeous 3.5" WVGA AMOLED touchscreen display (resistive as WinMo 6.5 doesn't support capacitive displays -- wait for that in WinMo 7). Like the E72, it offers HSDPA/HSUPA, Wi-Fi, digital GPS, a 5.1MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
However, the Omnia Pro ups the ante with a FM tuner, native support for DivX, WMV and H.264 video playback, TV-out, 1GB of internal memory with a 32GB compatible microSD expansion slot, hearty 1500mAh battery and a roaring 800MHz CPU. The phone also features a wide slide out keyboard, perfect for those who despise touch keyboards.
While some may choose to wait for Windows Mobile 7 phones, or to snag a Pre, iPhone 3GS, or Storm 2, the E72 and Omnia Pro look to provide solid Symbian and WinMo 6.5 alternatives. They may not hog the spotlight, but they do pack some nice features. Look for them to be released in the next few months.