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New Nokias take on the iPhone

Today was Nokia's big day to cast off its mere 'handset maker' clothes and step into some snazzy new 'hardware and content provider' togs – and

Today was Nokia’s big day to cast off its mere ‘handset maker’ clothes and step into some snazzy new ‘hardware and content provider’ togs – and it didn’t disappoint. Five new handsets, a music store, a rebirth for N-Gage and a new mobile portal were all unveiled today, though most of the details were leaked well beforehand.Top of the handset pile is the new N81 (pictured) which gets 8GB of storage for cramming in more games, movies, music tracks and photos than is strictly healthy for a phone its size. It sports the new Nseries interface (think iPhone meets PS3 meets Creative Zen) which makes light work of browsing games, photos and music. It’s no jack of all-trades – the camera’s only 2MP – but for games and music it excels, with landscape gaming controls and seriously loud built-in speakers.The new N95 also gets the 8GB treatment plus a new black coat of paint and a slightly larger 2.8in screen – still well short of the iPhone’s 3.5in behemoth, but getting there.Also unmasked were the XpressMusic 5700, 5610 and 5310. The first is only a rework of the original 5700 but the other two get lush aluminium and textured bodies with dedicated media controls in a 3.2MP candybar and 2MP slider format respectively.Click through for more Nokia news.

But the big news as far as Nokia was concerned was it’s new mobile portal, Ovi – it means ‘door’ in Finnish, or something. It’ll link together services like MySpace, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook with Nokia’s own offerings, which will include the new N-Gage download service and its own music store.N-Gage titles will be six to ten Euros and be playable across the entire Nseries range while music tracks will be dual download for phone and PC. They’ll cost a princely Euro each with albums from €10. An all you can eat subscription service will cost €10 a month.All should be rolled out by the end of the year – unless, of course the networks have something to say about Nokia by-passing their portals. This could get interesting.Essentials Nokia N81, N95 8GB, XpressMusic 5700, 5610 and 5310 Price: £TBA On sale: Q4 2007 Contact: Nokia Related stories: Countdown to Nokia’s mysterious music mobile Nokia gives glimpse of the future? Super-sized 8GB Nokia N95 on the way?