Nokia has announced a new flagship model to its Nseries on Tuesday with the launch of the N97.

Claiming the power of a desktop PC, the new handset will offer a tactile touchscreen display, a QWERTY keyboard and personalised home screen.

Sporting a 3.5-inch, 16 million colour, 640 pixel wide 16:9 widescreen display, the Nokia N97 supports up to 48GB of storage, including 32 GB of on-board memory, expandable with a 16GB microSD card.

Clearly attacking Apple and RIM, a Nokia spokesman at the announcement in Nokia World said: "It has not just got a toy camera somewhere in the product, but a real camera".

It has a 5-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, A-GPS, an accelerometer that will boast DVD-quality video capture and HSDPA and WLAN connectivity.

The phone offers an "always open" window to favourite social networking sites and Internet destinations.

Nokia claims its new flagship Nseries device introduces leading technology - including multiple sensors, memory, processing power and connection speeds - "for people to create a personal Internet and share their 'social location'".

On the social location side - cringingly dubbed "so-lo" by Nokia - the phone has that aforementioned integrated A-GPS and an electronic compass.

Battery life is not detailed, although the company says that continuous playback time of up to 1.5 days for music is offered.

The Nokia N97 is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at an estimated retail price of 550 euros before taxes or subsidies.

We will be bringing you live pictures and a hands on shortly.