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Nokia brings its own browser compression to Windows Phone with Xpress app

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Nokia Xpress
Nokia Xpress

Nokia's Windows Phone hardware has become decidedly less distinctive thanks to HTC's impending releases, so it seems the company is embracing software as another way to differentiate its devices from the competition. Today Nokia released Xpress for Lumia, a comprehensive app that it claims will "save data, time and money" as users browse the web. At its core, Xpress — presently in beta — is a web browser that packs in options for data/bandwidth monitoring, a sleek magazine-style RSS reader, and nice features like automatic translations and contextual search.

Nokia's helping you stay under that data cap

The company says Xpress will automatically compress your data by up to 85% during browsing sessions, which could go a long way toward keeping users underneath their monthly cap. It also lets you save webpages for offline reading and download videos and other files directly to a SkyDrive account rather than your mobile device. In our initial tests, we found the compression algorithm to be a bit agressive; many of the images on our front page simply didn't load at all. Thankfully image quality can be adjusted in settings, which should help users find an acceptable medium.

Nokia is also pushing discoverability in Xpress for Lumia, integrating a magazine-style news reader that will automatically prompt you to add sites with RSS feeds. It pares stores down into simple snippets in a style not unlike (nor identical to) Flipboard. A QuickLinks screen serves as a glorified bookmarks page, and Nokia has also included a handy translation feature that will automatically translate content into your native dialect. Xpress for Lumia is available via the Windows Phone Marketplace now.