Nokia has announced a new partnership with JBL to create the Lumia-themed PlayUp portable speakers. While these might look like Nokia's Play 360 speakers, the internals have been updated with JBL audio technology, which the company claims delivers quality omnidirectional audio, despite fairly universal praise for the original speakers' sound. The speakers are encased in "double-shot plastic" that match the typical CMYK Lumia color scheme, although a magenta version is surprisingly missing. The units include a rechargeable battery that can last up to 10 hours under normal use, and weigh about one and half pounds, making the grapefruit-sized speakers easy to take on the go. Connectivity is handled through Bluetooth, a 3.5mm jack, or NFC for Lumia smartphones that utilize Windows Phone 8. A remote control app will also be available for current and future Lumia phones.
When the Play 360 speakers were released a year ago, Nokia was a very different company, and the new partnership and design cues are an obvious attempt at further establishing a fresh image. The two actually plan on releasing a entire range of audio accessories in the future. The PlayUp wireless speakers will begin shipping by the end of the year and are expected to cost €149 (about $187). As far as those next-generation Lumia devices are concerned, Nokia and Microsoft are sure to talk about them at length during their Windows Phone 8 event on September 5th.