2. Nokia Mobile Phones

Nokia N95 mobile phone showing web browser

Nokia have been playing their cards close to their chest, but one thing we can be sure of is the release of the stunning new Nokia N95 SatNav phone (above). This is the first true SatNav phone to be offered by the big 5 mobile phone companies, and together with its 5 megapixel camera and WiFi and HSDPA connectivity, is set to become the technological standard by which all other phones will be judged in 2007 (at least for a month or so anyway!)

Nokia Game Phones

Nokia announced back in March that it will be releasing a new series of Nokia game phones that will be based on the S60 operating system, and which will also feature camera, mobile TV and media playback features.

The company also announced a new consumer interface, which will give you quick access to new games and information, making it easy to buy and manage your games, and share game accomplishments with your friends.

Expected to be released early in 2007, the new game phones will feature high-end 3D graphics, and have shown a video of what we can expect when they’re released. They also announced a partnership with EA, who will be releasing new games for the new phones in mid-2007.

New Nokia user interface

Nokia mobile phone user interface
Nokia also seem to be working on a fantastic new user interface, unlike any available at the moment. The videos of this new Nokia interface have to be seen to be believed, and if Nokia are able to release a phone that features it, it’ll transform the mobile phone as we know it.

The interface bears some resemblance to that of the forthcoming Nokia N95, so it’s not unreasonable that we’ll see it in an actual N-Series phone later in the year. Nokia have been far better at keeping their new phones under wraps than other manufacturers, so speculation on new N-Series devices, for example, has remained remarkably low-key. If they do ship a new N-Series phone with the new interface, however, it’ll give real meaning to Nokia’s insistence on calling its phones “multimedia computers”.

Nokia Trends

Like the other manufacturers, Nokia will also be upping the specs of its phones. Already it’s announced the Nokia N91 music phone will have an increased storage capacity of 8GB, while the N95 is the first Nokia phone to come with a 5 megapixel camera. Expect its other models to average a 3.2 megapixel camera, and storage to average 1GB.

3. Samsung Mobile Phones

Samsung release so many phones each year, it’s difficult to keep with their current releases, let alone predict their future ones. And with with their “wow-phones” coming in the shape of 10 megapixel technological marvels, they’re quite capable of amazing us all. Predicting Samsung’s new line-up, therefore, really is a case of pure speculation.

We can do better than speculate, however, as we already knwo some of the phones Samsung has in store for us.

Samsung SGH-P930 and P940 mobile TV phones

Samsung already has more mobile TV phones in its range than I’ve owned TVs, and it won’t stop churning them out in 2007. The Samsung SGH-P930 and P940, for example, are simply successors to the SGH-P900 and P910, but with mobile TV functionality bolted on.

Samsung Ultra Range

Samsung Ultra Video  F500 mobile phone
Samsung have also announced a new range of phones called the Ultra range, which includes the Samsung F500 Ultra Video (left) and Samsung F300 Ultra Music. Fairly obvious what each of these phones focuses on, but Samsung have upped their quality, ensuring the video and music playing capabilities of each phone competes well with its direct competitors. Better still, each phone looks great, with the F500 in particular featuring a nifty twisting design, while the F300 looks more like an MP3 player than a phone.
Samsung Joy mobile phone
Also announced as part of the Ultra range is the Samsung Joy (above), which at only 13.5mm, features a 3 megapixel camera and ‘vivid’ video recording.

Samsung trends

No rumours yet on Samsung “wow phones”, but expect a few surpirse announcements in the seasonal trade and electronic shows that kick off in January with CES 2007. If its new Ultra range is anything to go by, Samsung are making a big push into multimedia on its phones, aiming to compete directly with Nokia’s N-Series.

As they already have 10 megapixel camera phones on sale, though, my guess is they’ll focus more on quality this year, rather than amazing features for the sake of a higher spec than the competition.

Also, given that it’s Samsung, expect a raft of “world’s first…” and “world’s slimmest…” announcements from the company as it strives for technological leadership in the mobile phone market.

Samsung will also be upping the features across all of its phones, with 3.2 megapixel cameras being the norm, and the size of its mobile phones pared down to the bone.
Samsung X828 - World's thinnest phone
Samsung already make the world’s thinnest phone, the Samsung X828 (just 6.9mm thin – see pic above), and has announced a series of technological innovations in areas such as display technologies and antennae that should help it retain that title, along with making its other phones even slimmer (and certainly slimmer than its competitors’ phones).

The company has also announced new super-fast flash memory called OneNAND, which not only claims the industry’s fastest read/write speed (17MB/s write speed), it can also support guaranteed continuously-streaming air downloads beyond the HSDPA specification. Expect to see seriously-speedy 3G and HSDPA phones from the company in 2007.
Samsung SCH-V960 optical joystick phone
Finally, Samsung is also innovating in user interfaces, with the newly-announced SCH-V960 phone (above) coming with an ‘optical joystick’. This is basically an optical touch pad that responds to tiny finger movements, enabling the user to move a mouse around the mobile phone screen to access menu items, rather than having to push buttons.

2006 also saw Samsung release patents that virtualised the user interface and screen, as well as an interesting flip phone design that could see its way into new phones in 2007.