Latest XpressMusic

Hands on with the T-Mobile Nokia Nuron, a very nice inexpensive smartphone

I was happy to see Nokia and T-Mobile USA announce the Nokia Nuron since we rarely see an official carrier S60 smartphone here in the US. As I wrote last week, Engadget was one of the first sites to get a chance to try the device and they were not overly impressed. I was sent an evaluation unit a couple of days ago and honestly have to say I am quite impressed with the device and think it is actually a very good choice for people looking for a lower end smartphone. You can buy one for just $69.99 with an Even More plan and only $179.99 with an Even More Plus (non-subsidized) plan. $180 for a S60 5th Edition device with full Ovi Maps navigation and maps of the world for free seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

Specifications

Let’s start off my first impressions post here with a look at the specs of the Nokia 5230 Nuron:

  • 3.2 inch 640×360 pixel resolution touchscreen display with support for 16 million colors
  • T-Mobile 7.2 Mbps 3.5G data network support
  • Quad-band World GSM radios
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support
  • FM radio
  • GPS receiver with free for life Nokia Ovi Maps
  • Symbian S60 5th Edition software
  • microSD card slot
  • 2 megapixel camera

Honestly, the only lower end specs we see here are the rather limited camera resolution and the lack of WiFi. I highly doubt many new smartphone owners even use WiFi (I actually rarely use it on my 3G phones) so that may not be a big concern. I would have like to have seen a 3.2 megapixel camera though.

One other difference between this device and the Nokia 5800 XM is that there is no stylus on the Nuron. It still has the excellent slider lock switch, XpressMusic button (I love this functionality), physical camera button, and externally accessible microSD card slot. There is also only one speaker, compared with two on the 5800 XM.

First impressions

I opened the fairly standard T-Mobile packaging and saw a white Nokia device in the compartment that looked an awful lot like my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic device. I really like that device and have to say this one looks better to me with the silver frame, red and green bottom buttons, slick pearl back. The display looks fantastic with the high resolution and smaller size.

Interestingly there is a myFaves icon on there, which is funny since T-Mobile no longer offers this service to new customers. I still have a grandfathered myFaves account because it works well for my family’s needs and am happy to see it still supported on the Nokia Nuron.

I tested out Ovi Maps navigation and it was excellent on the Nokia Nuron. You will also find that TeleNav has their application loaded on the device for navigation. This services costs $10/month and honestly I see no need for it with Ovi Maps on board.

Software

Taking a look through the software I was very disappointed that Nokia Messaging was not preinstalled on the device. This should be on every S60 device and Nokia needs to do a better job of making sure that happens since the older email client is pretty bad. I tried visiting the Nokia Messaging site to download the application and it seemed to work.

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Nokia blows away Google Maps Navigation and PNDs with FREE Ovi Maps

NYusa(08)In the past I have used Ovi Maps (then called Nokia Maps) on Nokia smartphone without a SIM card as my navigation solution in foreign countries. Today, Nokia took a huge step forward in making Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) even more unnecessary with their free Ovi Maps walk and drive navigation offering. These advanced/premium navigation services used to have subscription fees (that were actually quite reasonable) and lately we have been seeing Nokia launch devices with free lifetime navigation (like the Nokia 5800 Navigation). Starting today, selected S60 device owners can download and install a new version of Ovi Maps that gives you all essential car and pedestrian navigation features, such as turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries in 46 languages, and traffic information for over 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for over 180 countries for FREE. There are NO longer any costs associated with using Ovi Maps (includes traffic, city guides, etc.) on supported devices and there is no degradation of quality or loss of features.

As clearly stated by Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia:

We want to make using your mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture. We believe that making the best maps with voice guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this. Why have a mobile phone and a separate car navigation system that works in only one country or region? Put the two together, make it free, make it global and you have something that is truly useful and can help you get round almost any city in the world whether you’re on foot or driving.

The big news before this announcement was the Google Maps Navigation beta that is on the latest Google Nexus One and available for Android 1.6 devices. I have used this free service and it is quite good, but it does require a data connection since maps and voice navigation is streamed to your phone and there is no offline capability.

IMHO, this new offering of Ovi Maps from Nokia takes what Google offers to the next level with global coverage (over 180 countries), offline navigation support, and unique hybrid technology. One of my favorite features, rolling out on other platforms as well, is the

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Deal Alert: Nokia Flagship Store Semi-Annual and Nokia USA online sales

I was given a heads up that the Nokia Flagship Store’s are holding their Semi Annual sales this weekend (10-11 October). All devices not on clearance will be 20% off with some, like Nokia E75 being $100 off. That means Nokia E75 is $335, Nokia 5730 is $249 and Nokia N86 8MP is $399 . Some devices are hitting AMAZING prices – like the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will be priced at $252, Nokia E63 is less than 185$ and Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is less than $220. Additionally, all accessories are reduced by 20%, except the new BH-905 which will be 50$ off.

If you are like me and don’t live in Chicago or New York, then you may be interested in the Nokia USA online Fall Sale where there are significant savings on most all devices from now until 10 October (Saturday) at 7pm CST.

Sine examples of device sales, include:

  • Nokia N97 for $529, instead of $699
  • Nokia N86 8MP for $399, instead of $499
  • Nokia E75 for $299, instead of $483
  • Nokia 5800 XM for $269, instead of $349

Anyone planning to pick up a new device this weekend?

Review: Nokia 5530 XpressMusic device

You may recall a few months ago when I posted on the Nokia Conversations Pass the Parcel promotion and I was getting pretty excited when Nokia Experts ended up still eligible to win the prize towards the end. Most people speculated that the device was a Nokia N97, but it turns out it was a Nokia 5530 XpressMusic device. I never gave the device much thought after that and was kind of ho-hum on the device. Nokia then sent me one to try for 30 days and I have to say it is much more impressive than I had imagined. The 5530 has a beautiful display that at first I thought was AMOLED it was so bright with such black colors, but it turns out it is a standard Nokia display with lots of pixels packed into a smaller size than seen on some other devices.

The 5530 XM looks to be a lower cost alternative to the Nokia 5800 XM with some more modern design features like the flush display and more compact form factor. A couple of wireless technologies are missing from the 5530 XM, as detailed below in the specifications section.

In the box

The brightly colored box that was sent to me was HUGE and completely different than any recent Nokia device that was packed in a very small box. I have no idea why Nokia used such a large box and hope this isn’t what we actually see from the retail package shipping from Nokia USA. There was on a charger and small USB cable in the review box, but listed on the Nokia USA site you should find the following in the retail package:

  • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
  • Nokia Battery BL-4U
  • Nokia Travel Charger AC-8U
  • Nokia Short Connectivity Cable CA-101
  • Nokia Stereo Headset WH-205
  • Nokia 4GB microSD memory card MU-41
  • MiniDVD
  • User Guide

When you first pull the 5530 out of the box, I think you will be as

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UPDATE! Deal Alert: Nokia 5530 XM North American model for $249.99 at Costco

nokia5530xm_sale2

I am getting ready to post my review of the Nokia 5530 that I was sent to evaluate for 30 days and then just received a flyer from Costco with the device on the 2nd page. You can now pick up the Nokia 5530 for $249.99, after the $50 instant rebate from the coupon in the coupon book. I really did not expect to see this device here in the US so soon.  The version listed on Costco also shows WCDMA 850/1900 MHz frequency support so you can get up to 384 kbps data with AT&T so it will be a bit faster than EDGE you see on T-Mobile and with the European unlocked model. After looking through the specs on the Costco website I started to think there was something fishy going on with US 3G, GPS, 30 fps video capture, etc. and it turns out they just copied the Nokia 5800 XM spec list and put it under the 5530.

Tnokia5530xm_sale1he Costco package also includes an 4 GB microSD card (further down the package list states it is an 8GB card so it could be bigger) and plectrum stylus. The stats also show the device has an integrated GPS receiver while the one I am testing has no GPS receiver. Another bonus is that the battery is 1320 mAh (BL-5J) rather than the 1000 mAh (BL-4U) found on the European version. Finally, you get these 20 titles loaded on the device:

  • Abracadaball
  • American Idol
  • Asphalt 4
  • Bejeweled
  • Brain Challenge 2
  • Bubble Bash 2
  • Guitar Rock Tour 2
  • Midnight Pool 2
  • Monopoly Deal
  • Monopoly Here & Now
  • Need For Speed: Undercover
  • New York Nights 2
  • Platinum Solitaire
  • Pro Golf 2010
  • Sims 2: Castaway
  • Sims 3
  • Spore
  • Tetris
  • Texas Hold’em Poker
  • Trivial Pursuit

It looks to me like this NAM version is a nice deal for Nokia fans and if I didn’t already have a Nokia N97 I would consider this device.

Looking at the Nokia USA site, we see the Nokia 5530 available for pre-order for $289.99 with a free MD-8 speaker ($39.95 value) so this Costco deal doesn’t look so good anymore.

New Nokia Series 40 phones launched with AT&T and T-Mobile

What’s up with the Nokia Mural?

A post containing the YouTube video embedded below came across my feeds from the Nokia Conversations site, but I am a bit confused since I just read over on Engadget Mobile yesterday that the Mural was pulled from AT&T shelves because it was having trouble connecting to their 3G network. I contacted some folks at Nokia to try to get the full story to see if this device is working or if there are some updates being made to it.

The Nokia Mural 6750 looks like a sleek device and it is good to see carriers in the US launching Nokia branded devices.

Nokia 5310 XpressMusic

T-Mobile also just launched another Nokia Series 40 phone, the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic, that is available now for free and comes in orange, red, silver, white aqua, and white silver with a heavy focus on the music experience.

Nokia 5530 XpressMusic in the house

Nokia 5530 XM in the houseDo you all remember that Pass the Parcel promotion from back in June when we were down in the final count to get the package? The package ended up being the Nokia 5530 XpressMusic device and not the N97 that many thought it would be. I didn’t think too much of the 5530 XM, but Nokia sent one to all of us who did not win the contest to evaluate for 30 days. After playing with it for a couple of hours I have to say it is one slick device and a nice lower cost alternative to the Nokia 5800 XM. I will be working on a first impressions article to post here in a day or two, but so far I like it much better than I thought I would.

The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic smartphone is a touchscreen S60 5th Edition device similar to the 5800 XM, but is a sleeker form factor that is very caressable. The specs are very similar to the 5800, but the display is slightly smaller and there is no 3G radio or GPS receiver present.

Possible 5800 XM update to add kinetic scrolling and more

Possible 5800XM update to add kinetic scrolling and moreBefore I purchased my Nokia N97, I was really enjoying the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic device. I have to say that both of these devices are the type that you really need to use for a week or two to find out if it works for you or not and after this couple of weeks with each I have come to enjoy both of them. I just read over on Cell Addict Blog that some very cool updates may be coming to the 5800 XM in possible future firmware update. It seems there was some kind of meet and greet where Nokia said some things about what was being worked on.

The rumored updates and features in the 5800 XM are:

  • Kinetic scrolling
  • Enhanced home screen
  • Improved camera performance
  • Improved response time

Keep in mind this is just a rumored update and has not been officially confirmed yet.

Pass The Parcel ends with PhoneDog.com getting a Nokia 5530 XM

I guess I wasn’t clear on how the promotion was working as I thought the last blog drawn was going to win the prize, but it turns out it was the blog that hosted the video where the product was actually revealed. I guess I should have been praying to get selected today instead of hoping to be the last blog standing :) I was wrong about the product that was going to be revealed as the Nokia XpressMusic 5530 was inside the package.Pass The Parcel ends with PhoneDog.com getting a Nokia 5530 XM

The 5530 looks like a pretty cool device, similar to the Nokia 5800 XM that I thoroughly enjoy. I particularly like the Media Bar drop-down and would have LOVED to have seen this on my Nokia N97 since there isn’t a real easy way to get to your media on the N97.

Symbian Guru has all the details on this new Nokia XpressMusic device and it looks quite nice at a fairly low price (US$277).

Shazam now available in Ovi Store, it is not free though

Shazam now available in Ovi Store, it is not free thoughOne of my favorite applications on my T-Mobile G1 and iPhone is Shazam. This application lets you use your phone to identify music that is playing so you can see who the artist and album are so you can order the song or find it later to listen to again. Today, Shazam announced that the application is available in the Nokia Ovi Store for $4.99. Unlike AT&T’s monthly subscription service for this, labeled MusicID on the E71x, this is a one time fee. It is interesting that this is $5 on the Ovi Store since it is free for the iPhone and Google Android platform. There is also a free limited version for BlackBerry owners.

Shazam has a database of over eight million songs to help identify just about every song you may listen to. I found it on my Nokia 5800 after browsing around since it did not come up in any searches. It is available now for S60 5th Edition devices and is scheduled to launch on S60 3rd Edition devices within two weeks. It is available now in the UK, US, Australia, and Singapore with other Western European countries to follow in September.

I haven’t purchased it yet since I have it on a couple other devices for free, but may try it out soon and post a review here for you all.

I am encouraged a bit by seeing it come to the S60 platform though since this is one of those applications that tend to appear on software application stores when they launch. Other applications like this are Facebook (we just received that yesterday too), Google Maps (we have that), and weather apps (we have some like Weatherbug).


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