Nokia has always promoted its Asha series of feature phones to young people, who’re looking for a competitively priced phone with which they can chat, message, listen to music, play games and use social networks. They’re also the company’s main competition against super-cheap Android phones.
To level the playing field between the fashionable Android phones and the more traditional Asha brand, Nokia has now introduced three new Asha devices, all with full touchscreens, where previously the series featured keyboards or alphanumeric keypads.
The Asha 311 is the top-spec new model, as it has a capacitive 3-inch touchscreen with a 320 x 240 pixel resolution, a 1GHz processor and a 3.2 megapixel camera. It also connects to 3G HSDPA networks and has Wi-Fi built-in too. The 95g phone has GPS, a 3.5mm headphone socket, Bluetooth 2.1 and a microSD card slot too.
Joining the Asha 311 is the Asha 306 and Asha 305. Unfortunately, the pair have a 3-inch, 400 x 240 resolution resistive touchscreen, plus a 2 megapixel camera and 2G connectivity only. The difference between the two lies with the 305 having a dual-SIM slot, but the 306 makes up for this by including Wi-Fi instead.
One of the biggest benefits of Nokia’s Asha range is the hugely improved, best-selling Series 40 software, which allows access to the Nokia Store so users can download all sorts of apps. All three phones come with a selection of free Electronic Arts games, plus various social networking apps, Nokia Maps and the new Nokia Browser 2.0, which cuts down on the amount of data used when surfing the web.
The other major selling point of Asha phones is the price, and the 311 will cost a very reasonable 92 euros (£75) and the Asha 306 just 68 euros (£55).
We doubt the Asha 305 will make it to the UK in the future, but although the devices don’t currently have a release date here, the Asha 311 and 306 may well show up on these shores at some point. Other parts of Europe can expect the 311 during Q3 this year, with the 305 and 306 arriving a little earlier.