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24 hours with the Nokia Asha 303

Karen Bartlett Published by Karen Bartlett November 09, 2011


24 hours with the Nokia Asha 303


Karen Bartlett Published by Karen Bartlett November 09, 2011

Others were lured by the Lumia, but Karen Bartlett spent the night with the Nokia Asha

Nokia Asha - comes with birds

GLOBAL – It’s true that I’m probably the least techie person on the Conversations team. When it comes to devices, don’t wow me with hardware – just tell me what it can do. 

So while everyone else got loved-up with the new Nokia Lumia at Nokia World, I got the chance to get to know the Nokia Asha range. 

The Nokia Asha phones are designed for emerging markets. As someone who travels a lot in Africa and India, I liked the lightweight handsets. It would be nice to travel without feeling that you’re nervously guarding a fragile cut-glass prima-donna in your pocket – and now I can.

The first step in my 24 hours with a Nokia Asha was turning it on. For this I enlisted the help of Adam who sits next to me in the office and only ever sighs slightly when I interrupt his concentration every two minutes with another inane technology question. (Full disclosure: Not every phone comes with an ‘Adam’ tool).

I admit – it was easy, and so was everything else I did on the Asha.  

I borrowed the top of the range Nokia Asha 303. Its size and shape were impressive and it felt both businesslike and fashionable. 

Nokia Asha keys

I’d never actually used a phone with a QWERTY keyboard before, but I was won over the moment I started writing emails and texts. (This may not be very techie – but they’re lovely rounded little red keys…)  

The Nokia Asha 303 combines a QWERTY keyboard with a touchscreen, and for me these worked together seamlessly and intuitively. Sometimes the keyboard is quicker (e.g. for typing emails) and sometimes the screen makes most sense (e.g. for navigating menus).

I set up my three email accounts straight away, and then kept them on the home screen. No complications.    

Then I added my phone numbers, and marked the favorites for the homescreen. I used the photo editing tool to attach photos to some of them, and I even added a little heart frame for one, but I’m not telling you who that was (It was Ian, our Editor – just kidding). 

[ hana-code-insert ] '’Nokia' is not found

With the really important things out of the way I explored the other things that you can do with a Nokia Asha. You can use Facebook and Twitter. You can use Nokia Maps, without GPS, which is a big bonus. It’s not just about working out your route, but letting you discover the world. You can surf the web and use WiFi – and although it’s not the same experience you have with a fully-fledged smartphone, millions of people are going to find it a pretty amazing addition to their lives. The specially designed browser is fast even over a 2G connection. You can download songs from Nokia Music, and take photos with a 3.2-megapixel camera – and, on some phones, edit and color correct them. 

It was a faultless experience. 

For the grand finale I played Angry Birds, which comes preloaded on the Nokia Asha 303 and 300 phones. It was as good as playing the game on any smartphone – and the sound effects were just as annoying.

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