Nokia Nuron

source – engadget.com/ by Chris Ziegler

When the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic was released a little more than a year ago, we thoroughly panned it in our review — put simply, it felt undercooked and uncompetitive in a world where webOS, iPhone OS, and Android were all realities, regardless of Nokia’s existing smartphone dominance through much of the world. More than a year later, we’re now presented with the Nokia Nuron, a pretty close relative of that first S60 5th Edition device from back in the day; it’s simply a carrier-branded version of the 5230, which itself is a lower-end variant of the 5800.

Despite its flaws, the 5800 has gone on to become a global success for Nokia — but can the Nuron do the same in a market traditionally unfazed by Nokia’s advances? More directly, has Nokia’s first volley in the modern touchphone battle evolved enough to become a prime-time player in the States? Let’s find out.

As you might be able to gather from its family tree, the Nuron is a dead ringer for the 5230 and for the 5800 before it — it’s the same physical layout (and made from the same materials) all the way around, and the white / silver color scheme that T-Mobile has chosen for its version might be our favorite of the lot. Along the right side you’ve got a one-position camera button (there’s no autofocus to worry about), a volume rocker, and the lock / unlock slider familiar to those who’ve used the 5800, N900, or a number of other Nokia products. On the left you’ll find two slots protected by flaps — one for the microSD card, another for the SIM; getting the SIM in is a simple matter, while getting it out again requires just a little more effort since you’ve got to remove the battery and use a pen or similarly-shaped object to pop it back out through a slot in the circuit board, but it shouldn’t be a big deal unless you do a ton of SIM swapping. Along the top you’ve got a power button that calls up the typical profile menu when pressed, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a micro-USB port protected by a flap, and — get this — an old-school 2mm power jack. Why’s it there, you ask? Because the Nuron doesn’t charge over micro-USB, which is positively unheard of by 2010 standards, even in Nokia’s own product pipeline. The only possible explanation is that the Nuron’s based on 18 month-old hardware, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

The volume rocker is deceiving, particularly for those not used to Nokia’s quirky way of handling things. Basically, it does absolutely nothing most of the time, because it isn’t used for adjusting ringer volume — for that, you’ve got to muck around with your profile (to be fair, Nokia does a far better job supporting profiles than most manufacturers, but it still takes a little more effort than we’d like). Instead, the rocker only comes into play when you’re in a call or listening to music, or intermittently as a zoom control for some applications — though we couldn’t figure out a rhyme or reason to how or where Nokia decided to implement it (it doesn’t work in the browser, for example).

read on at engadget.com

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