Nokia Adds Stainless-Steel Symbian Smartphone

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Orlando, Fla. - Nokia followed through on a promise to continue to support the Symbian smartphone OS, even though it entered into

an alliance with Microsoft

last month to adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform.

Here at the CTIA convention, the company unveiled a Symbian-based 3G touchscreen smartphone, the


. It will be available for T-Mobile's 3G HSPA network on April 6 at $79.99 with a two-year service agreement and qualifying voice and data plan through T-Mobile stores and such retailers as Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Target Mobile locations and Walmart.

The Astound is positioned as offering the features of a high-end smartphone with a premium stainless-steel design at a modest price point, and like select phones from Nokia and other companies, it's equipped with GPS, embedded maps and a route-calculation algorithm to double as a portable navigation device (PND).

It will be Nokia's first Symbian 3.1 device in the U.S.

The Astound features a 3.5-inch capacitive-touch AMOLED display protected by thin, damage-resistant Gorilla Glass. It also has an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, 720p HD video capture, and access to thousands of free and paid apps via Nokia's

Ovi Store

. Other features include three customizable homescreens and preloaded apps such as the Fruit Ninja game, Slacker Radio, and playback of stored music and video.

 It's also preloaded with Ovi Maps for the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean to deliver voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation.  Maps of more than 80 countries in different languages are available at no additional cost.

The navigation application features more than 8,000 3D landmarks, free premium points-of-interest content from Lonely Planet guides and Tripadvisor,  Wi-Fi positioning, real-time traffic updates, maps of public transit lines, and the ability to share trip experiences via Facebook, Twitter and local social networks.

From the online Ovi stores, the phones downloads apps and games, such as Angry Birds, OpenTable, Shazam and Galaxy on Fire. Downloaded apps can be billed directly to a consumer's monthly T-Mobile bill or credit card.

 T-Mobile "continues to make owning a smartphone easy and affordable," said Andrew Morrison, product management VP for T-Mobile. "Offering the features of a high-end smartphone at a great price, the Nokia Astound is sure to appeal to a broad array of consumers."

Nokia sales VP Mark Slater called the Astound an "alternative" smartphone "unlike anything in its price point."

 Last year, Nokia began selling its first two phones to T-Mobile with embedded maps and PND functions following 2009 availability of its first unlocked U.S phone with maps and PND functions.


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