- Very good screen
- Quality built-in applications
- Excellent battery life
- Learning curve to some default apps
- Poor camera images
- Small number of apps compared to other mobile platforms
A nicely-priced smartphone for those who are more into comunication than third-party apps.
The Nokia Astound is the T-Mobile USA variant of the previously released Nokia C7. The Astound already features many of the tweaks that are to come in the recently-announced “Anna” version of the Symbian operating system, but generally speaking, these are very similar devices.
This is an affordable smartphone, as T-Mobile is asking just $50 for it with a two-year service agreement. Even without a contract, it sells for only $300. The C7 is the unlocked variant and retails for $330 from the Nokia store.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Nokia Astound is an attractive handset. From the chromed bezel to the contrast between the metal battery cover and the plastic surrounding it, to the very well done AMOLED screen, the Astound seems to have had no shortage of eyes turning to take a look at it.
I’ve found the Astound to be an extremely pocket-friendly device. The weight is heavy, but not so much that you don’t feel like holding it. At the same time, it’s also very thin, but not fragile thin. It does get a bit hot in the battery area during extended gameplay, which isn’t bad, but its noticeable after long/extended use.
From others who’ve asked and noticed it while I’m out and about, this model has drawn positive compliments to its weight, appearance, and screen. Its been mistaken as an Android device, and it’s even been noted that it seemed a bit more polished than what many have seen on TV advertisements.
As with many smartphones, the front of the Astound is dominated by the 3.5-inch touchscreen. Though only offering a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels, colors are sharp and vivid. I’ve only had issues viewing it in extreme sunlight as the ambient light sensor has done a good job of adjusting the backlight automatically. It is a capacitive screen, and is a bit sensitive on the lower right side to inadvertent touches, but is otherwise responsive enough throughout applications.
Even though this is a touchscreen device, there are several ways to handle inputting text. There are on-screen landscape and portrait QWERTY keyboards, and a portrait T9 keyboard. For those needing just a bit more, Swype is included for the QWERTY keyboard and works very well. There’s also some haptic feedback that is felt when touch-typing. Lastly, you can pair a wireless keyboard to the Astound using the Nokia Bluetooth Keyboard driver (downloadable online).
Other Buttons and Controls
Below the touchscreen is a physical menu button with the call send/end buttons on either side. The left side of the Astound is devoid of any buttons, having only the 2mm charging slot, while the right side has volume up/down buttons, camera shutter button, and a voice command button (the Symbian operating system supports voice commands). The right side also contains the screen-lock toggle button.
The top of the device has the power button, which I found to be a bit too recessed for quick access. There’s also a 3.5mm audio/video jack, and microUSB connector. Compared to its platform brethren, the N8, the Astound has both the 2.5mm and Micro-USB ports that it can be charged from.
The back has an 8-megapixel, fixed-focus camera with dual-LED flash. Surrounding the camera are stereo speakers/air vents that produce decent sound. The battery is accessible, and you have to remove it to access both the SIM card and microSDHC card slots. Ironically, my review model of the Astound noted the C7-00 name on the battery cover.