Nokia held an event this evening featuring its latest addition to the lineup, the Nokia Astound on T-Mobile. It is technically a rebranded version of the C7-00, but with a silver color scheme rather than black. The Astound is packed with some great features for an impressive price. We got some hands-on time with the Astound and came away with some rather positive first impressions.
The Astound is a Symbian^3 device, running a slight refresh of the OS (Symbian^3.1?) since the N8 came out. What’s new on the Astound is a portrait QWERTY and new revamped browser. The Astound is also packed with some great features that will be tantalizing to many first-time smartphone users: 8 MP rear camera with a front camera, 720p HD video recording, 3.5″ AMOLED capacitive touch display, 8 GB internal memory with room for a MicroSD card up to 32 GB, FM transmitter, and more.
We did find out that the Astound will not be a 4G HSPA+ device, nor will it offer a mobile hotspot. So if speed is a must-have for you, the Astound will not be the right fit. It still works fine on T-Mobile’s 3G network, however.
I liked the feel of the device in my hand. Its 3.5″ screen keeps the phone large enough to see and use everything perfectly fine, but small enough to fit in your pocket without it feeling like a brick. The touchscreen reacts well to my touches. Here’s the thing about the Astound, though: it’s made for a first-time smartphone user in mind because it’s not a top-end phone by any stretch of the imagination. Heck, the data plan for the Astound will be $10 per month, which is on par with many feature phones out there.
The Astound has a couple neat additions that I like. For instance, Nokia has thrown all of the maps of North America into the Astound without needing to load them; it does take up a good 1.5-2 GB of storage space on the phone, so we’ll recommend that you get a MicroSD to add extra space for other activities. You can even download additional maps of up to 80 countries when you travel and store those maps on the MicroSD card. Also, you can even put your own voice into the GPS Navigation system on the Astound; that way, you can hear your own voice giving out directions. If you do better listening to yourself than others, you’ll love this feature.
Check out the hands-on video and pictures below. The Nokia Astound will be on sale April 6 for $79.99 with contract after $50 mail-in rebate. You should be able to pre-order it today.
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