Thinking of a Nokia Astound? Visit your local T-Mobile store

I was chatting with Dieter and told him I was quite pleased with the short time I spent with the Nokia Astound and that I was thinking of picking one up for the site. He gave me the thumbs up and was going to get one for me to use, but I decided to just visit a local store to see what I could work out with the expectation I would pay the full $299.99 (before 9.5% tax) no contract price. I went to my local T-Mobile store in Federal Way and was shocked by what happened next.

I went into the store and there were six employees standing around with only one other customer being helped. Richard asked me kindly what I would like and I told him I wanted to buy a Nokia Astound off contract. He told me they had them in stock and he would see what he could do for me. He said he thought he could work out something in the system because there were some special offers on accessories. After logging into the system and trying some different things, he worked out a deal where he was able to give me the following gear and still cut my total price out the door to $255.08 that included the 9.5% sales tax.

Thinking of a Nokia Astound? Visit your local T-Mobile store

  • Nokia Astound (shown as only $99.99 on the receipt)
  • Jabra Stone 2 Bluetooth headset ($129.99 down to $90.99)
  • MicroUSB car charger ($29.99 down to $20.99)
  • Nokia Astound 2-pack screen protector ($14.99 down to $10.49)
  • Nokia Astound black gel skin case ($14.99 down to $10.49)

I was amazed by what he was able to get for me while still saving me just over $73. My account stayed the same, my excellent family plan remained untouched, and I ended up saving money and walking out with some great accessories. If my head wasn’t lost in the clouds as he was handing me all this gear I would have asked for a 32GB microSD card instead of the Bluetooth headset since I need those more than headsets.

If you are considering the Nokia Astound, you may want to visit your local store and see if they have any special offers for you as well. Richard mentioned that the future AT&T purchase had something to do with his ability to offer me all of these accessories and knock a couple hundred off of the phone price too.

I put my SIM card into my new Nokia Astound and plan to use it as my primary device for a while and create a Guide page for the site. I already like that I can use Swype in portrait orientation and the email client is MUCH better!

Nokia Oro: For those living the life of the rich and famous

I enjoyed using the Nokia Astound and am seriously considering picking one up so I can put together some featured articles here on Nokia Experts. I find it to be more functional than my Nokia N8, primarily due to the upgraded OS with a much better email client and other features. If you want a C7 with Nokia Anna loaded onto it and a device that has real gold plating then take a look at this video below. I have to admit the Nokia Oro is one sexy device. Maybe Dieter will purchase one for me to put together a Guide here on Nokia Experts ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nokia Oro

Unfortunately, it won’t be available until Q3 and the price is upwards of EUR800!

Nokia Care US video contest voting polls are open, win a N8 for yourself

Last week I posted about the Nokia Care US contest and let you know I entered with a video showing how to get Amazon Video On Demand movies and Zune Pass music on your Nokia device. Voting opened up today and runs through 24 May. If you like my video and would like to see more coverage of the Nokia Astound here on Nokia Experts please vote for my video.

To vote for my video, post this from your Twitter account:

@NokiaCareUS Amazon Video & Zune Pass on Nokia N8 #NokiaCareUSContest

You can check out all the video contest entries on the Nokia Care US YouTube site. If you don’t like my video, but like another, then please vote for it too since a vote gets you entered into a drawing for a Nokia N8 (available only to US residents).

Here is a look at my video entry again too:

Thanks everyone and best of luck to all entrants, many of them are my friends so whoever wins deserves it as there are some great tips in there.

Nokia is closing the door on Ovi branding

Nokia is closing the door on Ovi brandingI noticed some Nokia people referring to Ovi Maps as Nokia Maps a couple of months ago and today Nokia announced that Ovi services will be rebranded as Nokia services starting with new Nokia devices coming in July and August. There is no planned disruption or discontinuation of services, simply a rebranding of them. I don’t think the Ovi branding ever really caught on in the U.S. and this rebranding may have something to do with the eventual Windows Phone 7 adoption.

Nokiaโ€™s EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Jerri DeVard explains the shift:

We have made the decision to change our service branding from Ovi to Nokia. By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture while continuing to deliver compellingopportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike.

This transition in branding and singular focus sounds like a good idea to me and will reduce the number of questions I get from people about Ovi. I wonder if the Ovi Store will be rebranded as the Nokia Store.

Deal alert: Nokia Astound on T-Mobile for free until 3 am Pacific, 16 May

Deal alert: Nokia Astound on T-Mobile for free until 3 am Pacific, 16 MayI just saw the official T-Mobile Twitter account post that they have several phones available for the next six hours for FREE with new account or eligible upgrade. Visit this page to see the deals that include the Nokia Astound. I would love to pick up one of these, but I already have five lines on T-Mobile and none are currently eligible for an upgrade.

I wish that carriers would offer some kind of discount to existing customers who are still within their contract because that would give us incentive to continue signing up for future contracts knowing we could get the latest and greatest phones rather than having to wait every two years for any kind of discount.

Nimbuzz updates client, states 9 reasons you should be excited

One developer that has been very supportive of the Symbian platform and continues to actively develop and improve its product is Nimbuzz. They just announced version 3.01 and posted the following 9 reasons you should be excited about the update:

Nimbuzz updates client, states 9 reasons you should be excited

  1. Improved call quality thanks to peer to peer call connectivity.
  2. More space for your chats for full screen chatting experience.
  3. Chat bubbles bring an iPhone like chat experience to your (Nokia) Symbian phone.
  4. Custom wallpapers in the chat screen choose a color or an image from your gallery to display as background for your chats.
  5. Custom color for the text font in your chat screen
  6. Call Quality Indicator so you can check the expected call quality before you make a call.
  7. Free Avatars choose new and exciting avatars for your profile picture from N-World
  8. Last Seen Online – shows you the last time your friend was seen on Nimbuzz.
  9. Fast group selection straight from your contact list.

Make sure to read their full blog entry that offers more details for these 9 reasons.

I like the looks of the new chat screen and ability to enlarge the viewable area. I downloaded the update to my Nokia N8 and look forward to testing it out.

Enter the Nokia US support video contest by 16 May

Enter the Nokia US support video contest by 16 MayNokia has been running a lot of contests and Nokia Experts readers seem to have pretty good luck at winning so I wanted to share a US-based contest going on now that has five days left to enter. The Nokia Care US contest is accepting videos that show different “How-tos” for Nokia devices in just three minutes. The contest deadline is 16 May, next Monday.

I entered the video embedded below (it was tough to cut it to 3 minutes and get all the steps in there) that shows how to enjoy Amazon Video On Demand movies and Zune Pass music on your Nokia device. I thought it was timely given that Windows Phone 7 will eventually be on Nokia hardware so using the method I described you can get a glimpse of the Zune Pass functionality on your Nokia device. My video is now in the contest playlist and next week they will Tweet out the voting start with directions on how to vote.

Voting starts 17 May and goes through 24 May so I will post again when it starts so you can all vote for my video if you think it is worthy. Voters also have a chance to win a Nokia N8 so it is in your best interest to vote as well. Remember, you can only vote once during the voting period so make it count ๐Ÿ˜‰

The grand prize is a Nokia E7 and if I win I will post a review of the device here since I have yet to get a loaner eval unit and have only seen it at Nokia World last year. The runner-up prize is a Nokia Astound, which I would also love to win and would follow up here with more articles on that device.

SugarSync for Symbian review posted on Ovi Daily App

SugarSync for Symbian review posted on Ovi Daily AppI previously mentioned that Nokia asked me to work with them on five reviews for the Ovi Daily Apps site and I wanted to let you all know they posted my review of SugarSync for Symbian this morning. This is a review I have been meaning to write here for quite some time because I have checked out most every cloud sync/storage solution and found SugarSync to be the best, especially for multi-platform guys like myself.

As you can read in my review, SugarSync is available for S60 3rd Edition, 5th Edition, and Symbian^3 devices. You get a whopping 5GB for free with other storage capacities available at reasonable rates. I hope they eventually add streaming capability of music like they do on other platforms, but just having access to files and the ability to get to them from my Nokia N8 is valuable to me. You can’t go wrong giving it a try for free.

Is your N8 clock too bright to sleep, get Nokia Sleeping Screen

Is your N8 clock too bright to sleep, get Nokia Sleeping ScreenOne thing about Nokia devices that appeals to me is the way they include the little things that just work to make your life better. For example, the always on standby clock on the Nokia N8, and other new Symbian^3 phones, is awesome. On other phones I am often tapping a button or flipping a switch to see the time and date since I rarely wear a watch and with the clock screensaver (on by default) you get this information with very little impact on battery life.

The one issue I do have with this clock screensaver is that at night when my Nokia N8 is next to my bed the clock can be a bit bright. Nokia provides a fix for this though with the Nokia Sleeping Screen utility available now on the Nokia Beta Labs site. By installing this utility you get nine new clock screensavers to choose from, with color, and the automatic capability that turns it off when your device is covered (such as when in your pocket or a bag). You set the range of time when the screensaver will turn off so you can sleep at night.

After installation you go then go to Settings >> Themes >> Screen saver to choose your clock and set the time period for night clock mode. There is no application icon or anything on your device after you install this utility so you must go to this settings area.

Have you found any other cool utilities or apps in the Nokia Beta Labs that you enjoy?

Where has Matt been? New ferry project captured with the N8

I wanted to first start out by saying I am sorry to all of you loyal Nokia Experts readers who continue to read the site. I think you all know, but I am a ship designer/naval architect in my “day job” and have been extremely busy over the last six months or so with a lot of time spent in Ketchikan, Alaska, checking over the shipyard construction of a new vehicle/passenger ferry. That ferry is just about ready to get on the run so my time is starting to get more manageable. I captured quite a few images with my Nokia N8 and included a gallery of them below so you can see what I have been up to.

I also served as the technical editor for one book, wrote another (Facebook Companion), and just started writing yet another (BlackBerry PlayBook Companion) so I am one busy guy. That said, I am making it a point to get back into writing here on Nokia Experts and getting back into the groove again. Thanks for your patience and I look forward to hearing from you all again.

Nokia N8 Guide

Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide