2011 is starting to look like the year when low-end, affordable smartphones finally start becoming widely available. The next of the bunch is the Nokia Astound, Nokia’s latest Symbian smartphone, coming exclusively to T-Mobile USA (it’s unclear when AT&T, which recently acquired T-Mobile USA, will have access to it). For a discount smartphone, the Astound doesn’t skimp on the goods, though; the host of offerings here is pretty worthwhile.
The Astound’s 8 megapixel camera is a nice surprise, especially considering it also enables 720p HD video recording, as well. There’s also full access to Nokia’s lesser known Ovi Store, which is a robust enough app store for most looking for a deal on their next smartphone. Favorites like Fruit Ninja, Slacker Radio, and (most importantly) Angry Birds are all waiting to be downloaded. The first two actually come preloaded on the Astound, as an extra bonus.
The Symbian OS on the Astound offers three customizable home screens, providing quick access to email, web browsing, and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Ovi Maps is also preloaded, which is actually nothing to sneeze at. It’s an all-in-one program offering voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation that supports dozens of countries, automotive grade maps for North America, 3D landmarks, and a host of travel aids. There’s even a check-in feature, and you can monitor real-time traffic and public transportation routes.
The Nokia Astound will be available as of April 6th, only from T-Mobile for $129.99, further discounted to $79.99 by a $50 mail-in rebate. For something being marketed as a low-end smartphone, the Astound’s laundry list of features is nothing to bat an eye at. If you’re doing the 21st century on a budget, it’s worth looking into.