Accessories: Nokia Play 360 Blue, NFC speaker unboxing, demoed with Nokia N9 (+Gallery).

| May 3, 2012 | 28 Replies


I’ve been itching for one of these for a long, long time but Nokia UK/Nokia Connects didn’t (and still don’t) have any trial units. Fortunately Nokia Australia had one for Michael – you might have seen his post back in February:

That was based on two weeks of use.

Well, last week I got contacted by Katie who’s working on something called ‘Best British Bloggers’ and wanted us to take a look at some accessories from, one of the major UK mobile phone retailers. Thanks Katie!

I was so excited to see the Play 360 on their list. I’ve only had a brief try of these myself at Nokia events, and yesterday at 6am, the postman brought this mystery package in (I wasn’t sure what it could be at the time as I was expecting another similarly sized box).

I really wanted to get two to try out the stereo thing, but they could only do one unit per person. You can also find these on Amazon.

Nokia Play 360 Black - £87.82
Nokia Play 360 White - £107.88
Nokia Play 360 Blue - £119.99

I picked Blue due to it matching the Cyan pair of Monsters I had last week, and of course the Cyan N9.

Here’s an unboxing and a quick demo again for you guys. This was unboxed yesterday but it took absolutely forever to process (5h -__-) and upload  (estimated 3h) so it’s appearing today instead :).

Quick summary of below: I’m really surprised and pleased by how well this works and how good it sounds. I’ve demoed this with the N9 but it works with all bluetooth music capable devices, and those with NFC give it a quick initial pairing touch.

The speakers are quite something. I’ve not had much time with it but all my housemates are impressed, with the volume, the clarity, the bass and how it can just connect by tapping. With the latter, the NFC tapping actually works very well when done properly. Just bring the N9 over to the label that says NFC and tap. I did this wrong the first time in the unboxing as the NFC positioning has to be right and I was not allowing them to make proper contact. You can also see in that video later, how quick NFC connects (and it’s this quick on my subsequent attempts). But without NFC, pairing is also simple. Just hold for 1.5s on the BT button, find and click connect. Subsequent attempts, you can just press the BT button.

For small(ish) portable speakers, it really does pack a punch. I may not use it much around the house as I already have some speakers set up, but when travelling, or having a BBQ outside, or going to the park etc this is absolutely perfect. Pretty much anyone can connect to it and share their music as long as they have bluetooth (that can send music) or 3.5mm jack

They feel great. They’re weighty, but not too light or too heavy. The main body is a cold blue metal.  This is studded with what looks like a speaker grille though the sound does not come out of the side but out of the top.

The top is a cloth material and the bottom is plastic.

The base has a rubber ring to help grip onto surfaces.

There are four buttons in total.  At the front,  (volume +/-), one bluetooth button  (which lights up white when on, blue when connected and pulses blue when trying to pair/find bluetooth device). There’s also a charging light. This is red when charging and turns off when charged.

On/Off button at the back along with the microUSB port and 3.5mm port.

This comes with a pouch that is lined blue on the inside.

It doesn’t fully cover the Play 360 though that does mean it can still be used when in the case (if  you put it in upright with the material bit exposed).

It goes really well with the Cyan N9

BTW, this works for audio of everything except calls. That’s games, incoming messages (which can be read) the keyboard tapping, videos etc. It’s consistent that it will slowly increase the volume of incoming BT transmission as opposed to just suddenly being blaringly loud – this is most useful when playing music and it not suddenly shocking you.

This is a rather loud speaker, definitely enough to fill a room without having to put on maximum volume (yet whilst on max volume, it is not distorted – but make sure the music source is of decent quality).  Very excellent job, Nokia Accesories folks!

Here’s the full gallery:


Category: Accessories, Nokia

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • Grendell

    Great post Jay. The Play 360 is a great device. Battery life is good. NFC pairing takes the cursing out of the BT ritual. Also you can use the N9 charger on it. It came with the N9 I got from overseas (Thailand) but it was well worth it. Just waiting for it to hit our Southeast Asian shores so I can pick up a 2nd unit.

  • stylinred

    mmm i want a couple of those

    has anyone seen that bar mobile charger the DC-16?

  • Alvester

    There comes Cyangasm again. :-D

  • N9

    Please can you test how this speaker works outside, eg garden, field, park, beach, Bbq scenario. In a large space, not just back yard where walls/fence will bounce the sound back. Given that speaker points upwards, is all the sound Lost into space?

    How does is compare in quality & volume to other outdoor speakers like the Bose iPod dock which is quite popular. I’m hesitating buying I’m case in open space it can’t really be heard from more than a 2metres away. Thanks

  • Dave

    Not to detract from the N9, as the NFC and music player look to work very well, I am curious how it works with a Lumia device.

    How does the bluetooth pairing go, how easy is it to (after initial pairing) later on, say the next day, come home and reconnect to play via the 360 with a Lumia?

    • Fredy

      Sorry man but this is more N9 option, in my limited knowledge Lumia don’t use sophisticated protocols like NFC. This staff was designed to work with Nokia N9 and works perfect. It is not BT but NFC. And Lumia unfortunately was reported many times to have sound quality problems, so can be not the best at all. Lumia don’t have NFC, it will not pair.
      This 360 is one year old staff already, is a part of Nokia N9 strategy, also you can notice it is N9 design. For this reason most probably it was restricted in markets where Nokia N9 was prohibited. This good pure Nokia staff. With the same design are BT phones alos, it is whole Nokia N9 accessories collection.
      Try it with N9 and you will love it.

      • Dave

        Are you trolling or just misinformed?

        NFC is used to automate the bluetooth pairing, nothing more and nothing less. Any bluetooth device can drive the 360.

        NFC is cool but not “sophisticated”, already shown in the 610 NFC, and probably in every WP8 device.

        • Jay Montano

          Ah this is Annethe, or whatever millions of usernames he/she has decided. Your TrollRadar is quite on the money. I don’t know why but he/she seems to be insistent on reciting the same garbage, tears, antagonistic attacks. I can only picture them rocking back and forth whilst typing these comments out. it’s as if any mention of Lumia/N9 is a trigger back to stories from doucheland.

          • Olly

            Dear Jay, somebody already has noted that sometimes you use arguments ad hominem, ad personam when you don’t have arguments. Or when you just want to use some tricks, but can’t find a good argument.

            Ad meritum. Lumia 800 did not have WIFI support, and also did not have NFC support. (Have this changed?) Both can be called sophisticated protocols for certain purposes. You try to prove it is not sophisticated. They are not new.

            WIFI is absent in L800 probably because inventors (Australian scientists) have demanded patents fees from several big users. Patent have some years already (20?) and will expire next year, so this is probable that Lumia don’t have WIFI for Microsoft to avoid patent fees for Australian patents owners, however this is Lumia’s user costs of WIFI lack – but just savings.

            There is no any WP8 mobile device, am I right? There are only Windows Mobile and Windows Phone devices. When WP8 will be then we will be able to say anything about it, just like with WP9 – this is the same situation, there are no WP9. Now you can say just nothing.

            If you have arguments then use it, if you see false or misinformation point it. This is called argumentation and discussion.

            And forgive me this ad personam remark: from medicine students I think some argumentation skills and some distance, even from own personal preferences or antagonisms could be expected.

            If there are wrong info above just point it and say why. This way we all can get more info, argumented.

            • Jay Montano

              You don’t argue or discuss. You just spout whatever meaningless ramble under yet another new username.

              You always need to bring up and justify the N9. This guy simply asked ‘am curious how it works with a Lumia device.’ yet you took that as an opportunity to attack Lumia devices and push him back to ‘try the N9′ when that’s not what he asked. Every single one of your comments rambles on about the great N9 not in many countries and everyone must try one. Dude, it’s OK to love the N9 but just stop being constantly off topic about it.

              Also: Lumia don’t have WiFi or NFC?

              I’m pretty sure they have WiFi.

              As for NFC support, here you go:


              • Olly

                I ‘ve asked about WIFI and NFC in L800 and you answer with L610, which is not the answer for my question. You just avoid to confirm Lumia didn’t have WIFI and NFC, and that was serious limitation for users.

                • Jay Montano

                  Your words ‘Olly’ but under a different username of ‘Dave’

                  “Lumia don’t use sophisticated protocols like NFC. ”

                  You said Lumia don’t use NFC. I showed you Lumia 610.

                  You said Lumia 800 does not have WiFi. What are you talking about? Of course it has WiFi.

            • Madratz

              Please Olly, stop it.. U’re embarassing urself.

            • arts

              lack of wifi? o.0

    • Jay Montano

      “But without NFC, pairing is also simple. Just hold for 1.5s on the BT button, find and click connect. Subsequent attempts, you can just press the BT button.”

      Initial pairing is also very simple even without NFC. Reconnection is a doddle too. Just press that BT button on the Play 360. This goes for any device. And Non Nokias too.

      • Dave

        Not sure if I understand, I’ve always initiated the connection from the phone. If you’re playing music on the phone, with BT turned on, and you press the button on the speaker, that is enough to switch the audio to the speaker ? (ie without doing anything else on the phone)

        I could get used to that too :)

        • Jay Montano

          Yes, you’re right.

          The next time you turn on the speaker, you can just press that Bluetooth button on the speaker. It will cycle through any devices that are available (which you have previously connected). If it’s only your current phone in the proximity, it will immediately connect to that. If you have multiple devices, you just press the button again, never needing to touch the phone to connect again :).

    • donaldvc

      Bluetooth pairing is fast and reliable with my Lumia 800 and sound quality is also excellent. Pairing picks up almost immediately after a long break. I was also impressed by the integration with Lumia / WP speech control functions, allowing texts to be read out and responded to without picking up the phone. Overall, this is my favourite Lumia accessory – highly recommended.

  • snoflake

    Please no one flame me – this is an N9 thread death to WP etc.- but just to draw to the attention of those in UK who may not know (as I did in the free Monster Purity post) if you pre-order a Lumia 900 through phones4u website or phone desk then eligible to receive free 360 speaker whilst stocks last subject to keeping it 28 days see their website.

    Quite fancy a pair of these bad boys but dunno which colour and can’t justify the expense really (not sure what phone going to be next or colour even) s’pose they would work with my (un)trusty old C7.

    OK carry on as you were, death to Lumia…………………..

    • DesR85

      Just ignore those people. They’ve got too much time on their hands if you ask me. :p

      In regards to that speaker, it looks good and glad that it works well but I still don’t see a need to get one. The speaker on my Lumia is pretty satisfactory and if I really want to listen to music at the best quality, I’ll just listen through the PC instead with its Altec Lansing speakers. Just an opinion on my side. ;)

    • noki

      99% of the N9 fans have nothing against the LUMIA long live the LUMIA range. dough do have a problem however of the N9 being treated as a second class citizen (not on the price tag dough) wen Lumias enter a market….
      Being removed from sale or not placed for sale at all…

      I find it interesting that you end the post on such an inflammatory note…

  • noki

    the way to use the nfc is by making a subtle tap. not placing it on top ;)

    • freddo

      I`ve had a pair of these for a couple of months, and they really are as good as reported.

  • Madratz

    Got one of this free when I puchased the N9 with Singtel here in Singapore. This was one of the first thing I wanted to do. Pair up with my N8 with the Mobile Microphone app via bluetooth and test it as a PA system. Works ok with a lil’bit of lag with voice transmission to the 360 bluetooth speaker. But the lag is due to Symbian’s limited processing rather than the bluetooth transmission. Video was shot on the N9.

  • Honestly

    I Know you’ve probably figured this out right now (at least it says so in the video) but I though I’d shed some light on the design aspects and filosophy when it comes to NFC-enabled devices. And how we intended for the technology to be used.

    So like mister Ahtisaari said, NFC is meant to extend the touch experience of our smartphones in that we don’t only use touch to operate our devices.

    Now when we look at how people hold their phones, you can notice that whenever somebody is holding their phone the top half of the phone is not being touched by your hands. From the volumekeys and up the phone is free from you hands and fingers (this applies to all phones even the nokia 3310, it’s the way we hold our phones).

    NFC is focused on ” Tap & Go”. So again if you look at how we hold our phones it wouldn’t be smart to put the NFC-chip in the bottom or the middle of the phone because that would mean we would have to reposition the phone in our hands or hold it differently to be able to make use of the NFC-technology.

    So that’s why from a designstandpoint all Nokia phones have NFC-chip located in the top of the phone.

    For accessoires it’s different. The chip could in theory be placed anywhere. From a designsaspect you want the location of the chip to be evident and easy to reach. Overall the whole experience has to be in line with eachother ”Tap & Go”, no hassle.

    So that’s why every nfc enabled accessoire has tree letters ”nfc” on the location of the chip. It’s the ”X marks the spot” idea. The package also indicates on how to use it. See your own video at 02:07-02:43.

    Like I said you probably know by know but I thought it would be nice to know the designbackground.

    You looked clueless in the video. I know this is the second time I’ve called you clueless but honestly, sometimes you are. Take no offence.

    Just thought you should know, especially since your role as Nokia ambassador.

    Nice music collection by the way, whats the song at 08:52?

    • Jay Montano

      Thanks. I accept my limitations that I don’t know everything, even about Nokia, I’m not that knowledgable. I just know some bits and of what I do know I’d like to share, and point others to other people that can also help. I think it’s natural, especially the first time using something, I’m bound to not immediately know how something works.

      Since this first unboxing I have been able to just tap and go. I had the misconception that NFC was merely just bringing things in close proximity, but it actually requires you to be even more accurate. I put on my written review yesterday:

      ” NFC tapping actually works very well when done properly. Just bring the N9 over to the label that says NFC and tap. I did this wrong the first time in the unboxing as the NFC positioning has to be right and I was not allowing them to make proper contact. You can also see in that video later, how quick NFC connects (and it’s this quick on my subsequent attempts). But without NFC, pairing is also simple. ”

      The song at the end is Riot Rhythm, it was used in a Nokia ad.

      Subsequent taps (which I added later in the video) just worked. My fault for not reading the instructions.

  • Sam

    hey i just got this speaker was anyone able to pair it with there mac. Have not got it to work wirelessly. Though its amazing with the N9

    • Dave

      I have not tried this but I remember when looking to use a BT headset with the Mac, that it should in general work, but there is some system settings for the bitpool size that you need to enlarge otherwise the sound stutters or breaks altogether.

      Don’t remember it exactly but Google for something like that :)