Monday, March 8, 2010

T-Mobile's New Phone Doubles as a PND

T-Mobile's New Phone Doubles as a PND

T-Mobile's new Symbian OS-based Nokia 5230 Nuron isn't just a phone. It's also a portable navigation device (PND). The touchscreen 3G smartphone will cost you just $69 after a $50 rebate, but you will have to sign a two-year contract that includes a minimum $39.99 per month voice plan and minimum $9.99 per month data plan.

The phone is full-touchscreen and has a 3.2-inch display. Like any PND, the phone features on-board maps, points-of-interest data, and routing algorithm. And because the data is a part of the phone instead of a carrier's subscription-based service, it has tons of advantages. You won't have to wait for maps and other info to download over the network, you don't need a signal to access your info, and you don't have to pay to access your info.

This isn't Nokia's first PND phone. It launched an unlocked one in late 2009 in the United States and added to the selection earlier this year. However, this phone is the first one that features Nokia's preloaded Ovi Maps navigation app. It also comes preloaded with access to Nokia's Ovi Store, which makes it the first Nokia phone to do so. Other Nokia phones offered by AT&T require you to download the Ovi Store app.

Maps for the United States, Mexico, and Canada come preloaded and over 180 other countries are available for download at It also features pedestrian and driving route guidance, automatic rerouting, and lane assistance. The embedded database even includes real-time traffic updates, movie listings, and weather forecasts and you can use the full HTML browser for IM and email.

The Nuron will be available in the next few weeks in T-Mobile stores and select retailers. Its launch will more-than-likely lead the way for more affordable PND phones.

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