AT&T to carry Dell Aero smartphone (Updated)

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Mar 222010
 

AT&T

On the heels of the announcement that the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus are coming to AT&T comes word that the carrier will also soon offer the Android-based Dell Aero smartphone.

The Dell Aero will be Dell’s first smartphone to be available in the United States. It will come with a custom user interface developed by Dell and AT&T. It promises a “variety of social networking apps including Facebook” and Flash Lite support for streaming audio and video content. In terms of hardware, it will have a 3.5-inch nHD display, GPS, Wi-Fi, and a 5MP camera.

You can now sign up to receive an email alert from AT&T as soon as the Dell Aero is available.

Update: The AT&T page for the Dell Aero is now up. I’ve updated the post with additional details.

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MWC 2010: HTC Legend and HTC Desire announced with new HTC Sense

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Feb 162010
 

HTC Desire

Aside from the HTC HD mini, HTC also unveiled two new Android-powered smartphones, the HTC Legend (machined from a single aluminum block) and the HTC Desire. Both come with an enhanced version of HTC Sense promising to “take Android to the next level.”

The latest version of HTC Sense adds a new application and widget called HTC Friend Stream that aggregates social network information into one organized flow of updates and a new newsreader application and widget. It also adds a new seven-screen ‘Leap’ thumbnail view to more easily navigate between screens. It also comes with a number of improvements to the browser, email client, and other applications.

Specifications:

  HTC Legend HTC Desire
Processor 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
Operating system: Google Android 2.1 with HTC Sense Google Android 2.1 with HTC Sense
Connectivity: Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band (900/2100MHz) HSPA/WCDMA Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band (900/2100MHz) HSPA/WCDMA
Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR GPS, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Display: 3.2-inch AMOLED HVGA touchscreen 3.7-inch AMOLED WVGA touchscreen
Input: Optical joystick, software keyboard Optical joystick, software keyboard
Memory: 384MB RAM and 512MB ROM 576MB RAM and 512MB ROM
Storage: microSD cards (up to 32GB) microSD cards (up to 32GB)
Camera: 5MP with auto-focus and flash 5MP with auto-focus and flash
Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB
Battery: 1,300mAh 1,400mAh
Other: FM radio FM radio

The HTC Legend will be available in Europe in April (including through Vodafone). It will roll out in Asia in Q2. The HTC Desire will be available in Europe and Asia in Q2. It will also be available in Australia exclusively from Telstra. There is no word on availability for both in North America.

HTC has also confirmed that the latest version of HTC Sense will be offered as a free upgrade for the HTC Hero in both Europe and Asia. Again, there is no word on an upgrade for the North American Heros.

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MWC 2010: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 Series

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Feb 152010
 

As had been widely expected, Microsoft formally announced the latest version of its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7 Series.

“Today, I’m proud to introduce Windows Phone 7 Series, the next generation of Windows Phones,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience. Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and all kinds of seamless experiences.”

Microsoft Phone 7

As promised, much is new in Windows Phone 7 Series:

  • The Start screen features “live tiles” that show real-time content.
  • Windows Phone hubs that bring together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view to simplify common tasks. These include:
    • People: This hub brings together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.
    • Pictures: This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step.
    • Games: This hub offers Xbox LIVE functionality, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile.
    • Music + Video: This hub ties together media content, including Zune integration and a built-in FM radio.
    • Marketplace: This hub provides access to the Microsoft Marketplace to purchase applications and games.
    • Office: This hub provides access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, giving users the ability to read, edit and share documents. It also includes Outlook Mobile.
  • Every Windows Phone 7 phone will have a dedicated hardware button for the Bing search engine.

Microsoft Windows 7 Phone

Device manufacturers and carriers are expected to have the first Windows Phone 7 phones available in time for the 2010 holiday shopping season. The manufacturers include Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc. Carriers include AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Sprint and Verizon Wireless in North America (I see a distinct lack of Canadian participation) as well as Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, and Vodafone in the rest of the world.

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Garmin-Asus announces Windows Mobile-powered nüvifone M10

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Feb 112010
 

Garmin-Asus nüvifone M10

Along with the nüvifone A50, Garmin-Asus announced the Windows Mobile powered nüvifone M10 which has already been available for pre-order for some time.

"The Garmin-Asus M10 is our answer to people’s need for work-life balance. The M10 runs Windows Mobile, making it the ideal smartphone for business use, while its smart navigation capabilities, comprehensive social networking features and connected services enable users to lead a truly smart lifestyle. The M10 is the phone for the new Smart3 era." said Benson Lin, Vice President and General Manager of ASUS’ Personal Mobile Devices Business Unit, Handheld Business Group.

The nüvifone M10 specifications are:

  • Processor: 600MHz Qualcomm MSM 7227
  • Operating system: Windows Mobile 6.5.3
  • Connectivity: tri-band GSM/EDGE and dual-band WCDMA/HSDPA
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Location service: GPS
  • Display: 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM
  • Storage: 4GB internal and a microSD card slot (cards up to 32GB)
  • Camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 1500mAh
  • Other: 3.5mm headphone jack

The Garmin-Asus nüvifone M10 will be available in Asia and Europe beginning in the first half of 2010. As with the nüvifone A50, there is no word on pricing and availability outside of North America.

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Garmin-Asus announces Android-powered A50 smartphone

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Feb 112010
 

Garmin-Asus A50 nüvifone

Ahead of the Mobile World Congress, Garmin-Asus today announced the Android-powered Garmin-Asus nüvifone A50.

The A50 benefits from the personalization and enhanced features offered by the Android platform, and also includes Garmin navigation with turn-by-turn, voice prompted directions for use in a car or while walking. Location features are designed into virtually every function including email, text messaging, and photos.

The Garmin-Asus nüvifone A50 is powered by Google Android (version 1.6 expected) with what appears to be a customized UI. It comes with a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen display, GPS/A-GPS, 4GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, an e-compass, and a 3MP camera. It will also come pre-loaded with Garmin’s own navigation (which includes maps, turn-by-turn navigation, lane assist with junction view).

The Garmin-Asus nüvifone A50 is expected to be available in Europe in the first half of 2010. There is no word yet on pricing and availability outside of North America.

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Apple unveils the Apple iPad

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Jan 272010
 

As had been rumoured for so long, Apple finally unveiled its tablet device today. As the event kicked off, Steve Jobs promised a “a magical and revolutionary product.” Enter the Apple iPad.

Looking like an oversized Apple iPhone, the Apple iPad promises to be “a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more.”

Apple iPad

The Apple iPad is powered by a 1GHz Apple A4 processor. It will come with a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen LED-backlit display (1024-by-768-pixel resolution), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, a speaker, microphone, a 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack, an accelerometer, and a compass. Battery life good enough for 10 hours of video or up to 1 month of standby. Weighing only 1.5 pounds, it will be about 0.5-inches thick.

The base model will come with 16GB of Flash memory and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi only. Other models will offer 3G connectivity (quad-band GSM and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA) as well as 32 or 64GB of Flash memory.

In the U.S., AT&T will offer two plans specific to the iPad. The first will offer 250MB of data for US$14.99 while the second will offer unlimited data for US$29.99. Activation will be done directly through the iPad and there will be no contracts. International deals are expected to be in place in June. What are the chances we will see similar plans in Canada?

On the software side, it runs both iPhone and upcoming iPad applications. Pixel-doubling support will allow iPhone applications in full screen. Apple is releasing a new SDK that will allow developers to update or write new applications supporting this new display. The SDK comes with an iPad simulator to run iPad applications on the Mac.

Apple is also introducing a new application called iBooks which will include its own iBookstore. A number of publishers are already onboard, including Penguin, Macmillan, Hachette, and Simon & Shuster. The iBook application will support the ePub format.

Apple also unveiled a new version of iWork with built-in support for the iPad. The main new feature is the new interface designed for the iPad. For example, it comes with different keyboard layouts for data entry. Each application in iWork will cost US$9.99 (or just under US$30 for all of them).

Pricing will start at US$499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model:

  16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi US$499 US$599 US$699
3G and Wi-Fi US$629 US$729 US$829

The Apple iPad Wi-Fi only model will start to ship in about 60 days. The 3G models will follow some 30 days later.

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Google announces Nexus One smartphone

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Jan 052010
 

Google Nexus One

As expected, Google formally announced the Nexus One smartphone powered by Google Android. Google is looking to offer a new way for consumers to purchase a mobile phone:

The goal of this new consumer channel is to provide an efficient way to connect Google’s online users with selected Android devices. We also want to make the overall user experience simple: a simple purchasing process, simple service plans from operators, simple and worry-free delivery and start-up.

The Google Nexus One is only the first of a series of phones that Google expects to sell in this fashion. But Google is not getting into the hardware game. The Nexus was designed and manufactured by HTC with Google working closely with them.

And now a closer look at the Nexus One:

  • Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 (Snapdragon)
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.1
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and A2DP
  • Location: A-GPS
  • Display: 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM
  • Storage: MicroSD with support for cards up to 32GB (4GB card included)
  • Camera: 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash
  • Battery: 1400mAH battery

It also comes with a multi-colour LED under the trackball for different notifications, Bluetooth with A2DP, a 5MP camera with LED flash, a 3.5mm headphone jack, two microphones for noise cancellation.

Google 2.1 will come a number of improvements. It adds features up to five homescreen panels, a new application launcher, live wallpapers, an improved image gallery application (including syncing with Picasa), voice recognition across a number of applications including email.

The Google Nexus One is now available unlocked for US$529 or with a two-year Even More individual 500 plan for US$179. It is also headed to Verizon and to Vodafone Europe a bit later.

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New features come to Microsoft MyPhone

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Oct 062009
 

Microsoft My Phone

To go along with the launch of the new Windows Mobile 6.5 phones, Microsoft announced some improvements to its My Phone service (backup and media sharing service) as well as its exit from beta. Among the new features are the following:

  • Find your missing phone – The My Phone service can show you the last known location of your phone on a map (based on where it last synced or shared photos using My Phone). This option requires user activation and is not available in all markets.
  • Share photos to leading social networking sites – Now you can quickly and easily post photos to Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and Windows Live from your My Phone web account or phone.

Microsoft is also unveiling some premium services. Among these are the ability to remotely wipe your phone if it is lost and lock or post a message on your phone from the web. These premium services will cost US$4.99. For a limited time, Microsoft will offer these for free though.

When you next sync your phone, you will receive a notification to update your My Phone software to the latest release.

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Mio announces 3.5G Explora K70 GPS mobile phone

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Mar 032009
 

Mio Explora k70

The new Garmin-ASUS nüvifones suddenly have some competition from one of Garmin’s PND competitors. As expected, Mio announced its first 3.5G mobile phone today at the CeBIT tradeshow in Germany.

The Mio Explora K70 is powered by a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A processor and Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. It comes with quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band (850/1900/2100MHz) connectivity, a 3.5-inch touchscreen WQVGA display, 128MB RAM and 256MB ROM, GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, a 3MP camera with autofocus and geotagging, a microSDHC card slot, and a 1000mAh battery. It measures 115 by 61.5 by 11.9 millimeters and weighs 115 grams.

Mio also unveiled its new Spirit navigation user interface but it’s not clear whether it is included on the Explora K70. It is slated to appear on other products throughout 2009 and promises an intuitive user interface with less clicks between functions to make PNDs easier and more interesting to use.

Mio has yet to reveal availability and pricing information for the Explora K70.

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i-mate announces super-tough i-mate 810-F smartphone

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Feb 122009
 

i-mate 810-F

It’s not clear if this is the revolutionary device promised by i-mate last month but the company just announced the i-mate 810-F smartphone, described as the world’s most adventurous Smartphone.

Whether you work in the great outdoors or in an office, on the road or on a building site, or you just simply want a tough take-anywhere mobile, the 810-F offers everything you need for work and play. The phone comprises waterproof rubber casing and exposed metal screws to lock in the factory seal, making it impervious to almost anything.

The i-mate 810-F is powered by a 624MHz PXA processor and Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. It comes with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band HSDPA connectivity, a QVGA touchscreen display, a full QWERTY keyboard, 128MB RAM and 2.2GB of built-in storage, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 2MP camera, digital compass, and an accelerometer.

The 810-F meets the MIL-STD-810F series of standards, meaning that it can operate at temperatures between -10°C and 60°C, and can tolerate high pressure, submersion in water, and extreme shocks. i-mate will back it with a lifetime warranty.

i-mate plans to have the 810-F available in the next few weeks. Pricing information was not revealed.

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Garmin-Asus announces nüvifone M20

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Feb 122009
 

Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20

Garmin-Asus unveiled a second mobile phone in its nüvifone product line. The Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20 is an all-in-one phone, mobile web-browser and premium navigation system with a Windows Mobile operating system.

As the first Garmin-Asus nüvifone powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional with enterprise email, the sleek and colorful nüvifone M20 is designed for on-the-go professionals who want a fashionable and functional smartphone to manage their busy work and personal lives.

The nüvifone M20 is powered by a 528MHz Qualcomm 7200A processor and Windows Mobile Professional 6.1. It comes with tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSDPA/UMTS connectivity, a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen display, 4GB or 8GB of flash memory (depending on the market), 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, a 3MP camera with auto-focus and geotagging, an accelerometer, and a 920mAh battery.

Two models will be available. The North American model will support the 850/1800/1900MHz 2G bands and 850/1900MHz 3G bands. The other model will support the 900/1800/1900MHz 2G bands and 900/2100MHz 3G bands.

Like with the nüvifone G60, there is a strong focus on LBS (location based services). It comes with the same navigation capabilities as Garmin nüvi PNDs, and comes with preloaded maps and points of interest. It also includes Ciao!, an application that lets you see where friends and family are, and other Connected Services, a suite of various online applications and data.

Garmin-Asus will announce nüvifone M20 pricing and availability details later in the first half of 2009.

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Garmin-Asus reveal nüvifone G60 specifications

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Feb 122009
 

Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60

Just days before the start of the Mobile World Congress, Garmin-Asus has released the final specifications of the upcoming nüvifone G60.

The nüvifone G60 was developed with an LBS-centric design philosophy. Location information is added to everyday applications including email, SMS, photo sharing, social networking and more in order to enhance applications and share location information with others.

The G60 is none other than the original nüvifone that Garmin has been working on for over a year. It received a new model number when Garmin and Asus announced a new partnership earlier this month and plans for other nüvifones.

The Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60 is powered by a Linux operating system. It comes with quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band (850/1900/2100MHz) HSDPA connectivity, a 3.55-inch WQVGA (272 by 480) touchscreen display (with three primary icons – "Call," "Search," and "View Map" and secondary icons on the side), 128MB RAM and 4GB flash memory, built-in GPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 (with A2DP), built-in accelerometer, a 3MP camera with auto-focus and geo-tagging, a microSDHC card slot (up to 16GB), and a 1100mAh battery. It measures 112 by 58.1 by 14.6 millimeters and weighs 137 grams (with battery).

Garmin-Asus will announce pricing and availability details later in the first half of 2009.

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T-Mobile launches G1

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Oct 252008
 

T-Mobile G1

Just having posted about a security flaw on the just released T-Mobile G1, I realized that I completely missed the announcement earlier this week.

T-Mobile launched the G1 after a successful pre-order period that saw existing customers get first dibs on the first ever Google Android-powered mobile phone. The G1 is now available in select retail stores across the U.S. and online at http://www.T-MobileG1.com. The Android Market also launched.

With a fun and intuitive user interface and one-touch access to Google Search, the T-Mobile G1 is the first phone to offer access to Android Market, which hosts unique applications and mashups of existing and new services from developers around the world. Customers can find and download a wide range of innovative applications-from games to social networking and on-the-go shopping-to personalize their phone and enhance their mobile lifestyle. Even better, for a limited time, the dozens of applications available on Android Market are available free-of-charge for T-Mobile G1 users.

The T-Mobile G1 is available for as low as USD$179.99 with a two-year voice and data service contract (with a minimum of USD$55 per month). Without a service contract, the G1 will sell for USD$399.99.

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HP launches iPAQ Data Messenger and iPAQ Voice Messenger

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Oct 212008
 

HP iPAQ Data Messenger

Do you remember the HP Silver and Oak, codenames for two devices that appeared on a leaked 2008 Vodafone roadmap? They are a bit late but HP finally unveiled them today. HP announced that it is partnering with Vodafone to launch two new smartphones in Europe. The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger is a 3G candybar smartphone with 20-key keypad and the HP iPAQ Data Messenger is a 3G smartphone with a large touchscreen display and slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

“HP is taking mobile computing beyond borders and boundaries to something truly global as a result of our relationship with Vodafone,” said David Wright, vice president and general manager, Personal Systems Group, HP UK&I. “Our new HP iPAQs will enable people to stay connected seamlessly on Vodafone’s high speed networks to the information, content and people that matter most to them.”

The iPAQ Voice Messenger is powered by a 528MHz Qualcomm 7201A processor and Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard. It comes with quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM and tri-band (900/1900/2100MHz) UMTS/HSUPA connectivity, a 2.4-inch QVGA display, a 20-key thumb keyboard and 5-way optical navigation key, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, integrated Assisted GPS, a 3.1MP autofocus camera with LED flash, a microSDHC card slot (up to 8GB), and a 1260mAh battery. It measures 5.0 by 1.36 by 11.4 centimeters and weighs 107 grams.

The iPAQ Data Messenger shares very similar specifications but comes with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, a larger 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen display (with automatic screen orientation), a slide-out QWERTY keyboard instead of the thumb keyboard and a1140mAh battery. It measures 5.7 by 1.74 by 11.4 centimeters and weighs 160 grams.

The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger and Data Messenger will be available in the UK starting in November. Additional European countries will follow a bit later. The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger will sell for about £333 and the iPAQ Data Messenger will sell for £399 (prices include VAT). Vodafone will announce its pricing (likely subsidized with service plans) in November. There is no word on whether North America will see these.

Nokia announces 5800 Xpressmusic and Comes with Music service

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Oct 022008
 

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

As expected, Nokia finally entered the touchscreen phone market today by announcing the Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic. According to Jo Harlow, Vice President, Nokia:

“As Nokia’s first mass-market device with a touch screen, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic turns a ‘user interface’ into a ‘human interface’ by truly putting people first.”

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is powered by a touchscreen version of the S60 user interface. It comes with a 3.2-inch widescreen (16 by 9 aspect ratio) touchscreen display, 8GB of memory, a 3.2MP camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack and built-in surround stereo speakers. It features a virtual alphanumeric keypad and a virtual QWERTY keyboard as well as a pen stylus and a plectrum for the true music enthusiasts.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will also support Nokia’s Comes with Music service which offers one year of unlimited access to the entire Nokia Music Store catalogue.

Customers who buy a Comes With Music device will be able to explore and enjoy a diverse catalog of music of international and local artists with unlimited access to millions of tracks for a year, keeping the music once the year is over and revolutionizing their digital music experience.

The service will also be available on a range of Nokia devices, including the Nokia N95 8GB and Nokia 5310 XpressMusic.

Comes with Music will first be offered in the UK, starting on October 16, 2008. The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic Comes With Music edition will be available from Carphone Warehouse and is expected to cost £129.95.

The 5800 XpressMusic will be available worldwide starting in the fourth quarter of 2008 and will sell for €279 (about USD$385) before carrier subsidies and taxes. Except in the UK, a version with the Comes with Music service will not be available until early next year though. With such a low price, it is likely that many carriers will offer it for much less than the announced price.

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