Two pictures of what seems to be a scaled down version of Nokia's popular N97 have surfaced prompting some to say that it was either an elaborate hoax or the real thing.
Technology blog Engadget was the first to get hold of the images and it looks as though rumours about a N97 mini that appeared on a Vodafone forum in Ireland were indeed true. (ed: appears to be a Vodafone exclusive at least at launch).
The N97 mini will differentiate from the main model on a number of features. The screen appears to be a 3-inch model rather than the N97 3.5-inch one. There's no D-pad although the key sizes are still the same. Gone is the camera cover as well as the back which has adopted a shiny silver cover as well.
Our educated guess point to a smaller mass storage (8GB via a microSD card), a 3.2-megapixel camera although the S60 platform is set to stay. Nokia could sneakily have decided to bring on some tricks it learnt while developing the 5800 XpressMusic. The N97 mini is expected to debut in September at Nokia World 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany.
You can purchase the N97 new from as little as £35 per month on a 24 month contract from the number of suppliers, including Vodafone and Orange with unlimited texts, internet and as many as 1200 minutes. Now, when the N97 Mini is introduced, chances are that network operators will need to drop the price to under £25 per month.
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Back in June, we said that "the Nokia N97 Mini is likely to have a smaller screen, much less memory and a smaller keyboard. That would put it in direct competition with the T-Mobile G1 Android and many other keyboard-based smartphones."
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