Nokia Astound ReviewNokia C7 8
Nothing to boast about, but the 680MHz ARM 11 processor and 256MB of RAM enables the Astound to run smoothly with most basic functions, such as scrolling, but there is still some wait required in loading certain apps. Still, it doesn’t necessarily take away from the exceptionally fluid movements when navigating its homescreens – which are a total of three. Adding some level of customization, the Symbian^3 experience is no different from other handsets running this platform seeing that we’re able to beautify it with a variety of rectangular widgets. Of course, you can always select a specific theme to drastically replace its design aesthetics to tastefully complement your style.
Being the smartphone it is, the amount of total contacts stored on the handset is dependent on the amount of free memory. Much like most things, there is an abundant set of information that you can associate with each person in your address book.
Differentiating itself from the C7 just a bit, we find the Swype keyboard presented to us – sadly, it’s only available in landscape. Without question, it’s by far the ideal choice for inputting text because the portrait option is extremely cramped. Regardless, the Astound’s responsive nature allows us to type at a decent rate, but we still can’t get over the limited confines with its keyboards.
The email experience is acceptable since it offers most of the basic functions that you’d find with any email client, however, it still pales in comparison to something like Android’s Gmail experience. Setup for the most part is a painless process which generally requires your email address and password. However, with certain accounts, it may require additional pieces of information to properly set up – such as server addresses and ports.
Thanks to Nokia’s social networking service, we’re able to get both our Facebook and Twitter accounts loaded. On the surface, they essentially accomplish the functions you’d expect, like aggregating content, but you’re also presented with tertiary functions like uploading photos to your accounts. All in all, the social networking aspects are nice with the Astound – especially when the social networking widget on the homescreen allows you to quickly peek at the most recent news.
Strangely, there is no instant messenger client preloaded with the Nokia Astound, but of course, you can always download third party solutions through the Ovi Store.
1. box (unregistered)
Strange that it doesn't have Swype in portrait mode; my Nuron has it, though I have to select the "Mini QWERTY" option to enable it. Whatever the case, I'm getting it as soon as it's out
2. YuriGagarinNL (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)
I would say there is a chance Nokia will update it for swype in portrait mode, I can't imagine they won't.
3. bluechrism (unregistered)
propbably will update that to include swype on the quesrty, but bear in mind, the other Symbian 3 devices are only just now getting a protrait querty at all. Maybe it will be a part of summer's UI update.
11. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
Yes, portrait qwerty is part of the planned update. But IMO, the 360x640 dimensions have always meant the portrait qwerty will remain cramped. This is why Swype portrait is a good choice for those that can work with this new means of input. [you can still use Swype keyboard while toggling off Swype input method, too]
The 360x640 dimension has tradeoffs. It feels more "phone-like" in the hand...but portrait is more cramped. HD videos in widescreen format look great.
4. gregory (unregistered)
beautiful peace of hardware. Its a pity that only nokia and apple are able to produce rally good made phones.The rest of the market is a peace of s.. with high tech components.
5. troy (unregistered)
I want this so bad but because I have the t-zones 2.99 plan they wont let me upgrade to another smartphone unless I sign up for a new data plan.
6. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
Finally a real phone in the U.S. market. Im tired of using Android and IOS, hopefully Symbian is as good or even better than my personal fave Blackberry. (I own a G2 currently...i dont care for the Android apps or customization, its too much crap. Symbian ^3 looks nice and descent)
7. Deaconclgi (unregistered)
8 out of 10! Fantastic!
Only thing that I don't recall reading in this review is that the Astound has the same Broadcom GPU as the other Symbian^3 devices such as the N8 and E7, enabling it to play the latest and greatest 3D and HD games. That is a big sell to people who love gaming but don't want to pay the high price for an Android device with a strong enough GPU for gaming. The GPU in this phone is more powerful than most and definately more powerful than other devices in this price range.
Great review. I am glad that phone arena did a fair review. I hope that TMo customers go and try the phone out with an open mind.
One last thing, Nokia should have included Need For Speed Shift HD in the firmware as it is free (for my N8) and is a great showpiece for the GPU.
Enjoy the phone and all that it brings.
8. Redsea (unregistered)
The one thing you didn't mention that, NONE of the other phones CANT do is.......
*Ovi Maps with free car and pedestrian navigation ANYWHERE in the WORLD!!! And you can also add your own voice.....if you like listening to yourself! ;)
12. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
Yes...a great point. I travel internationally, so OVI maps is my primary navigation tool. With the new OS on Astound, you can download via Wifi, PC...or 3G (be careful, maps are data heavy). The slick customizable voice app also makes turn by turn more enjoyable. The maps are available globally and can be downloaded for FREE. This also means you do not need a network in order to get basic turn by turn navigation from the phone. However, the network will enhance your GPS speed (A-GPS) and with OVI maps, will allow you to get up to date traffic and other location based information (hotels in area with vacancies, restaurant bookings, theater showtimes, trains, etc.).
You can also use Google maps (free). But if you are out of network, OVI maps will not let you down.
9. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
The Astound/C7 has an EDoF (Extended Depth of Field) camera, which is NOT fixed focus. More accurately, it's called FULL Focus. It basically uses the latest generation of variable symmetry lenses which are used to create multiple images in a compact camera housing. The images are fused in an initial process to produce a single shot, which is further processed. The advantages of FULL focus are best shown in good lighting conditions and with subjects beyond 2 feet from the lens. All elements in the picture will appear IN FOCUS beyond this distance. For HD video in a good lighting situation, the EDoF is hard to beat, especially when subjects are in motion. AF cameras have to maintain focus during video, which leads to intermittent out of focus shots. Not so with EDoF. The downsides. FULL Focus will not do macro. It will also produce over processed/poorer images in low light.
EDoF is a good all around camera for mid range phones. But it will not do macro, so business card/document scanning is off the table.
10. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
Although S^3 is planned to get a major UI update which will also bring a more competitive native browser, customizable widget geometry, and new e-mail client...IMO you need to download some third party apps to improve the User Experience at this juncture. 1) Opera Mobile 11 (fantastic browser, free), 2) Gravity (3rd party social client aggregator & RSS reader).
Plenty of other 3rd party apps to choose from on OVI...my favorites...Tunewiki, Skype, Bloomberg, Pixelpipe, Qik, Vlingo Plus.
14. Nouman (unregistered)
most of things you did not mention here ... likehttp://www.mobile-phone.pk/nokia_astound-3202/ here i can see lots of other features of this mobile..
15. Amey (unregistered)
You forgot to mention NFC in the handset. This ones going to be the next thing in the US market....google has Nexus S with NFC and thats about it for NFC for now....
And yes the Broadcom GPU is really good.
16. Nina20021 (unregistered)
my phone has swype in both landscape and portrait...and BTW I AM IN LOVE with swype texting is so much easier because this phone isn't easy to txt on otherwise. I so have a issue tho...my phone dims in low light and brightens in bright light...and for the life of me I can't figure out how to fix this.