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Nokia N8 gets DAB digital radio headset

Nokia's new digital radio headset brings DAB radio to smart phones including the N8, C7, C6-01 and the soon-to-launch E7. It's free when you buy an N8.

Nokia reckons its new digital radio headset accessory is bringing DAB to mobile phones "for the first time". Not so fast, Finns! DAB was a key selling point of Virgin Mobile's Lobster 700 back in 2006, although the handset turned out to be a bit of a flop. Oh, alright, a vast Gwyneth Paltrow in a fatsuit-size flop.

Nokia clearly thinks we're more interested in hearing digital radio through our phones five years on, hence its new peripheral.

The digital radio headset works with Nokia's latest smart phones -- the ones with the USB On The Go feature -- including the N8, C7 and C6-01, along with the upcoming E7.

Buy a new Nokia N8 from the company's Online Shop, and you'll get the headset for free for a limited time. Don't fancy one or got an N8 already? The headset will cost you £45 from the same website.

Some 28 national digital stations and more than 50 local stations can't be sniffed at. DAB has its detractors -- while coverage is improving, there are still dodgy spots -- but its appearance in phone accessories is worth welcoming.

That said, its appearance in actual phones might be better. The Lobster certainly didn't inspire confidence that built-in DAB would have people signing up in droves.

If there is a demand for DAB in 2011 and beyond, however, we suspect it will be for phones with the receiver built in from the start, rather than relying on a headset.