The Nokia 7650 Imaging Phone
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has just started shipping, in Europe, its first mobile phone with a digital camera onboard, unleashing on the unsuspecting continent a device with roughly the same mischief-making potential as the office photocopier – but in a package you can take to the bar on a Friday night.
Yes, yes, we know, the marketeers tell us that photo-phones and multimedia messaging (MMS) will unleash a treacly wave of wireless good feeling – from beaming snapshots of little Ronny to the proud grandparents, to tender digital declarations of LURVE (sigh).
But make no mistake, in the wrong hands (or the wrong office) the Nokia 7650 imaging phone will become the ultimate weapon of shame and mortification, on hand to record and send moments that were probably best forgotten to your boss/friends/lover/spouse...
Unstrung has spent several years conducting intensive research in and around London's Soho Square (a nasty business, but we are dauntless in pursuit of truth), and we know what people get up to in the pubs of a weekend. Once a few friends have photo-phones, you can expect an endless parade of bleary out-of-focus shots of people you barely know [ed. note: bit like your photo on the site then, Dan?] and random body parts to arrive on your handset (or PC) when Friday comes.
Technically speaking, the 7650 is business as usual for Nokia. The phone supports GPRS and upgraded GSM high-speed circuit switched data connections. It runs the EPOC operating system and supports mobile Java (J2ME) applications as well as Bluetooth and infrared (for what these are, see A Wireless Taxonomy).
Nokia has stuck with its classic (if somewhat long in the tooth) design for this color phone, adding a sliding front for access to the camera lens and keypad. No question about it, the Finns are going to see very fierce competition in this wireless imaging space from manufacturers like Samsung Electronics as the market hots up.
The 7650 has a 640x480 pixels digital camera onboard. That is not the highest-resolution digital camera you can get these days, but it's plenty sharp enough to ensure that the whole office will know that was you, when Friday's pictures are blown up and pinned on the notice board on Monday morning.
As per usual, there is no indication of when this phone will arrive in the U.S.
— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung