09. 26. 2005
Nokia XpressMusic phone
The "iTunes phone", the ROKR, was a bit underwhelming for people hoping for a slick convergence of mobile phone and music player, but Nokia may have come closer with their new hybrid model. The 3250 has a twistable base which can be switched between a traditional phone keypad, music player controls, or camera mode without needing to navigate through any on-screen menus. The crucial phone buttons, for placing and ending calls are located above the twisty bottom, so they're available in every mode. The ROKR has a 100 song limit, the 3250 can hold up to 750 songs with a 1 GB miniSD card (the internal memory is just 10 mb) and supports MP3, WMA, M4A and AAC files. The phone will also support over-the-air downloads but there's no word on just what services will be compatible and an iTunes deal is a long, long shot. The bluetooth connection will let users swap playlists, but not actual music. And if you tire of all your stored music, there's an FM tuner. The camera is well above standard too: 2 megapixels with a digital zoom function. The battery life for playing music is 10 hours but just 3 hours of talk time for the phone.
Although the ability to change functions of the phone through the hardware is a big step forward, the 3250 still appears to be a phone that can play music, not a true replacement for a good dedicated music player.
The Nokia 3250 will be available in early 2006, but no US carriers have been announced for this tri-band GSM phone.