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Nokia Astound coming to T-Mobile April 6 for $79.99

At CTIA 2011, T-Mobile announces the upcoming availability for the Symbian-based Nokia Astound, but will anyone buy?

Nokia Astound
The Symbian 3-based Nokia Astound hits T-Mobile on April 6 for $79.99. Bonnie Cha/CNET

ORLANDO, Fla.--Though T-Mobile and Nokia are both in a state of flux, they're joining forces to offer an affordable smartphone for the U.S. market.

Today, both companies announced that the Nokia Astound will be available from T-Mobile starting April 6 for $79.99 with a two-year contract. The Astound is basically a rebranded version of the C7, which was introduced back in October 2010, and features the same sleek design, a 3.5-inch AMOLED touch screen, a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera capable of 720p HD video capture, and a front-facing camera for video calls.

The Symbian 3-based smartphone offers some enhancements, such as the addition of a portrait keyboard, and comes preloaded with the usual Ovi Maps, Ovi Store with support for carrier billing, as well as some extras, including Swype, Slacker Radio, and Fruit Ninja. The Astound also supports T-Mobile's Wi-Fi-calling feature and has an embedded NFC chip.

We got some hands-on time with the device at a special event here at CTIA 2011 and actually liked what we saw. As we've come to expect from Nokia, the smartphone's design quality is top-notch, and though Symbian 3 trails the other mobile operating systems in ease of use and functionality, it looked nice and worked smoothly on the Astound.

It certainly won't appeal to everyone, but the Astound's wallet-friendly price tag will fit the bill for some, especially since data plans for the phone start at $10 per month. Check out our hands-on photo gallery below for more.