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Visual Radio: But when are we going to see it?

Visual radio on Nokia handsets has been on the cards for some time now. It was due to be released this month, but it looks like you radio lovers are going to have to keep waiting

If you've got a new Nokia phone you may have noticed that the menu has a feature called 'Visual Radio'. You may also have noticed that it doesn't work. Unfortunately, as with most Nokia products, it's taken a while to make it to the UK market.

Visual radio is just like normal FM radio, except that you can also see pictures and text related to the audio broadcast. It will let you find out information on your favourite band, enter competitions -- even download ringtones. The service is going to be provided by HP, O2 and Virgin Radio and will be available on most new Nokia handsets. To check that you have it, just scroll through the menu of your Nokia phone and look for the visual radio icon.

A host of blogs have been mumbling about visual radio for some time now and there were rumours that it would be launched this month. However, Crave has confirmed that actually it won't be launched until the beginning of April, according to the good people at O2.

It works via FM radio and GPRS connectivity. The idea is that you listen to your FM radio through the Visual Radio application, and when you want to see pictures and information about a band or enter a competition, you turn on the visual goodies and access the GPRS network. According to 02 this will cost you about a £1 an hour, which seems nuts to us, but in a world where people will spend £2.50 for a ringtone clearly anything's possible.

We'll keep you posted once we can actually test the service ourselves, but for now we're all going to have to wait patiently until next month. We're always waiting for Nokia. In fact, while we're at it, Crave would love to know when we're going to see N91, the 3250 and the E61. We're standing by. -AL