Nokia Asha, the handsets for the next billion

nokia asha 303 Nokia Asha, the handsets for the next billion

As for the new Symbian S40 6th Edition handsets announced today at Nokia World 2011, it's clear that Nokia is pushing for a death of the "dumb phone" even though it's hard to call the new Asha handsets smartphones, but they most definitely fall in the feature phone category. The four new models are the Asha 303, Asha 300, Asha 201 and Asha 200, of which three comes with a full QWERTY keypad. Apparently these handsets are intended for the developing markets, or for the "next billion" mobile users, according to Nokia.

As for the new Symbian S40 6th Edition handsets announced today at Nokia World 2011, it's clear that Nokia is pushing for a death of the "dumb phone" even though it's hard to call the new Asha handsets smartphones, but they most definitely fall in the feature phone category. The four new models are the Asha 303, Asha 300, Asha 201 and Asha 200, of which three comes with a full QWERTY keypad. Apparently these handsets are intended for the developing markets, or for the "next billion" mobile users, according to Nokia.

nokia asha 201 Nokia Asha, the handsets for the next billion

Starting at the bottom, we have the Asha 200 and 201, which are more or less the same handset, although with some minor differences in terms of the internals. Neither model offers 3G connectivity with both limited to dual band GSM/EDGE. Both models sport a 2.4in QVGA (320×240) display, up to 64MB of internal storage memory, a micro SD card slot, a 2Megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR,  FM radio, a micro USB port and a 3.5mm headset jack. The main difference is that the Asha 200 is a dual SIM phone, but the neat thing here is that the second SIM can be swapped without having to restart the phone. The Asha 200's have a battery rated at 1,430mAh which is good for up to 35 days standby or 7h talk time. Both models will be available in eight different colours depending on the market, with the Asha 200 expected to launch this quarter with the Asha 201 set to follow in Q1 next year with an estimated retail price of €60 (S$105) excluding tax.

nokia asha 300 Nokia Asha, the handsets for the next billion

Next up we have the Asha 300 which looks a lot more like a traditional “dumb phone” but the looks are deceiving in this case. The Asha 300 features an unspecified 1GHz processor, a 2.4-inch QVGA (320×240) resistive touch screen and quad band 3G/HSPA connectivity. It also has 140MB of internal storage memory, a micro SD card slot, a 5Megapixel camera that will also shoot VGA resolution vide at 25fps, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, FM radio with RDS, a micro USB port with USB OTG support and a 3.5mm headset jack. It's also the first of two Symbian S40 devices from Nokia that will come with Angry Birds Lite pre-loaded. The Asha 300 will be available in six different colours and should arrive this quarter with a retail price of around €85 (S$150) excluding tax.

nokia asha 303 Nokia Asha, the handsets for the next billion

The fourth and final new handset is the Asha 303 which gets a slightly bigger capacitive 2.6-inch screen, but it retains the low QVGA (320×240) resolution. It too boosts an unspecified 1GHz processor, but the rest of the specs have been given a bump. It has 170MB of storage memory, pentaband 3G/HSPA support, a QWERTY keypad, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, a 3.2Megapixel camera, FM radio, a micro USB port with USB OTG support and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Nokia claims that the 1,300mAh battery should be good for up to 30 days standby in 2G mode or 35 days in 3G mode with up to eight and seven hours of talk time respectively. The Asha 303 will come in six different colours and it too should arrive later this quarter for about €115 (S$205), again excluding tax.

Source: Nokia

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