Nokia Astound Review
The 8-megapixel sensor on the backside might impress people, but the Astound’s lack of auto-focus completely limits its capacity in taking astounding shots. In fact, details are rather fuzzy looking with most close-ups, fittingly of course, but scenery shots are acceptable in terms of clarity. Additionally, color production is regretfully on the dull side of things – which doesn’t aid in any way. Moreover, there is a little bit of digital noise evident in low lighting shots, but the dual-LED does an okay job in illuminating the picture correctly.
High-definition 720p video recording is available, not surprisingly, but we’re not too thrilled either with its output. Shooting at the frame rate of 25 frames per second, there is still a jittery movement with its playback. Even more, the out of focus appearance of its recording doesn’t add any level of excitement, but rather, it simply makes you appreciate the power of auto-focus.
Nokia Astound Sample Video:
Impressively, the Symbian^3 music player is a refreshing departure from previous ones thanks to its silky cover flow-like presentation. Underneath it all though, we’re still subjected to the same consistent layout when music is played – like displaying the album cover, track information, and on-screen controls. As for the speaker, its output is average at best with its sharp tones, but thankfully it’s still pleasant sounding to the ear.
Thanks to its gorgeous looking AMOLED display, the Astound is a perfect candidate for watching high-definition videos. After loading a video encoded in DivX 1280 x 720 resolution, we’re greeted with plenty of details, iridescent looking colors, and a smooth playback that will easily encompass anyone to its bountiful capacity. Check out our Nokia Astound Specs for the rest of the supported formats.
With 8GB of internal storage, it should be more than sufficient for most people out there, but thankfully you can supplement its capacity by adding microSD cards up to 32GB is size.
Internet and Connectivity:
Although many T-Mobile handsets are flaunting “4G” speeds, the Astound is only your generic quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and UMTS (850/900/1700/2100 MHz) smartphone – meaning, only 3G speeds are on board. Furthermore, it features aGPS for your location based services, Bluetooth 3.0 to connect with other devices wirelessly, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi as an alternate data connection.
Call it an unexpected benefit, but the Nokia Astound actually packs along an NFC chip which should hopefully take advantage of the new technology down the road once services are better established.
Again, one of the new features found with the Astound that’s not available with the C7 is its tab browsing experience with the Symbian^3 web browser. As much as it’s nice to easily switch between multiple tabs, the overall web browsing experience isn’t on par with the competitive offerings. Specifically, we can’t help but notice the choppy kinetic scrolling and slow rendering of complex web sites. Then again, its somewhat unresponsive rate might be attributed to the handset’s support for Flash Lite. Nonetheless, we’re not all that impressed with its less than ideal performance – especially for a touchscreen device, so we'd recommend that you install Opera Mobile 11, which is a great free alternative.
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.