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Unlocked Cellphones Due From Nokia, SonyEricsson

New York — SonyEricsson and Nokia are getting ready for the U.S. launch of a pair of high-end unlocked cellphones equipped with Wi-Fi and 3G HSDPA cellular technology.

Through Sony Electronics, SonyEricsson plans July 6 availability of the 3G W995a multimedia phone, due at

about $600 with 8.1-megapixel camera and Walkman music-player features.

Consumers can pre-order


For its part, Nokia confirmed a $699 suggested retail on its previously announced flagship N97, which is still due in the U.S. shortly after its debut this month in 75 countries.

The SonyEricsson W995 can be held horizontally so that the screen acts as the viewfinder. Camera features include dedicated camera buttons, auto focus, photo flash, image stabilization, 16x digital zoom, face detection, Sony’s BestPic technology, auto image rotation, geo-tagging and pre-installed Google Maps, which lets users view the location where photos were taken.

The media player uses Walkman 3.0 software, enabling playback of audio books and podcasts transferred from a compatible computer. Sony’s Media Go software, also available with the PlayStation Portable (PSP), lets users drag and drop videos, tracks and photos from a PC to the phone and includes transcoding of video and music files to offer the best possible quality on the W995a.

Other W995a features include FM radio with presets, stereo Bluetooth and included 8GB Memory Stick Micro.

At Nokia, the N97 will be the company’s first N-series device equipped with both a touchscreen and hard QWERTY keyboard. It will be compatible in the U.S. with Nokia’s newly launched Ovi application store, Nokia Maps navigation service, and N-Gage game downloads. Nokia’s Music Store music-download service is not yet available in the U.S.

The N97 features 3.5-inch 16:9 touchscreen with virtual dialing keypad. With the phone in landscape orientation, users slide the display up at an angle to reveal a hard QWERTY keyboard. The screen’s 35-degree viewing angle makes it easier to view and reduces glare, the company said.

The N97 also features 32GB embedded memory, 16GB MicroSD card slot, 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, video capture in 16:9 DVD quality, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Microsoft Exchange support, and customizable home screen with preloaded and downloadable widgets that can be dragged and dropped to different positions. Select widgets display frequently updated information from Web services and social networking sites.

Other N97 features include assisted GPS and electronic compass, Web browser, Flash video streaming and compatibility with Nokia’s navigation service and Nokia’s N-Gage downloadable games.