By Andrew Liszewski
Today Nokia announced a new smartphone, the N9, which quite frankly is probably not going to make much of a dent in the marketplace, as sleek and svelte as it looks. But they also announced a few new accessories for the phone, like the Nokia Play 360° wireless speaker, which is a bit more exciting. It’s yet another Bluetooth equipped speaker that lets you wirelessly stream music from your smartphone, but manages to stand out in a crowded market with a few notable features.
Unlike the way Microsoft uses it, ’360′ here refers to the speakers omnidirectional sound that is better suited to filling an entire room in all directions. And thanks to a built-in NFC (near field communication) chip all you have to do is tap an NFC-equipped phone with it to automatically initiate Bluetooth pairing. If you’ve got a second Nokia Play 360° on hand, the two will even work together to play stereo sound. Like all wireless speakers there’s a 3.5mm line-in port for connecting any audio source, but unlike most it has an impressive 20 hours of battery life. And it’s expected to ship sometime in the 3rd quarter for ~$214 (€149).