Published on March 5th, 2012 | by Waqas Khawaja2
[Review] Nokia Asha 300
Nokia is back with the Asha series as it aims to target the mass market and diminish the difference between feature phones and smart phones. The Nokia Asha 300 touch and type costs Rs. 9,200, it features the revamped version of the S40 software and is powered by the 1Ghz processor along with 128MB of RAM. Let’s dig deep and see what it has to offer, and whether this mobile lives to the expectations or not.
Lets start with the video:
- Software: Series 40 Asha edition 9.2 with Touch and Type UI
- Display: 2.4″ 240×320 262,000-color
- Resistive touch-screen
- Processor: 1GHz
- Camera: 5 megapixel full focus (EDOF) with 4x digital zoom
- Video Recording: up to 640×480 video recording
- Data storage: 140MB + up to 32GB via MicroSD
- Ports: 3.5mm audio, micro USB, power
- Bluetooth: Yes, 2.1 EDR
- Wi-Fi: No
- FM Radio: Yes
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, Nokia Messaging Service Email 3.0
- Networks: GPRS/EDGE, HSDPA cat 9, HSUPA cat 5
- Battery: BL-4U, 1110 mAh
- Dimensions: 112.8×49.5×12.7mm
- Weight: 85g
Design and Build:
Nokia Asha 300 is a candy bar mobile phone, so it does not have an unusual look but it certainly gives a rather impressive first impression. The screen size is not bad at all and is separated from the keypad with three buttons aligned in a straight line, the buttons are for Call receiving/call log, messaging and Mobile switch on/off. Nokia has given a really good keypad to the Asha 300, the keys are big and are very well distanced both adjacently and from top to bottom. The metallic chrome used in the front between the keys and on the sides gives out a good finish and adds to the mobile phone’s overall look.
On the top you would find three ports one is for the headphones, second one is for the battery charging and the last one is the micro-USB connection port. On the right hand side of the mobile are the up and down keys for volume adjustment. Here you would also find a little button, which at first seems to be for the camera to take pictures but interestingly it is for one click keypad locking, this is a good feature and a handy one. Moving on to the backside of the mobile, there is the 5MP camera hole on the upper left corner and on the bottom left is the speaker.
Overall, would like to give the design of the mobile 4 out 5. Not bad for a touch and type candy bar handset.
The Nokia Asha 300 has a touchscreen as well as a keypad. Now hold your thoughts and before you get an idea that maybe it has a touch like the smartphones, the answer is no. It supports a resistive touchscreen which is also mainly used in low priced Chinese handsets. The resistive touchscreen is not bad actually while keeping in view the price range of this mobile phone. In a resistive touch screen you need to apply some pressure to use the interface, but I didn’t find much difficulty in using it. Yes, there were times that it was hard but once you get to know the mobile phone and use it a little, you will get used to using it. However, the resistive touchscreen started to show a visible impact on the screen on using it after couple of days of usage.
As a normal user of this mobile, you would be satisfied with the mobile’s software. The S40 is limited on various aspects, but still it works pretty much fine. Yes, there are handsets with Android on them which are available in the same price range and this could upset plenty of Nokia lovers but we have to get use to the fact that Nokia is not going with Android (sad but true, just let’s hope for the best).
Nokia Asha 300 has unlock keypad feature just like the iPhone. You need to slide your finger across the screen to unlock the keypad. Now let’s move on to the interface that the mobile gives us. The main home-screen is very friendly to use and gives you the ability to customize it. On the top you have the large and on tap it will turn into your alarm clock and you can give a time for the alarm. On the side of is the default calendar tab, which can be also changed to any of the provided list of gadgets. Then under it comes the default favorite contact bar, this can also be changed if you want something else and similarly this can be done the bar under it which on default has 4 shortcut icons that can be changed individually as well. So, this means that you can literally change the home-screen according to your needs and usage, which is an impressive feature in the mobile.
The Nokia Asha 300 gives out the basic menu items which are:
- Store (Nokia Ovi)
The Nokia Asha 300 has a 5MP camera and it performs pretty well. The camera takes good quality pictures in daylight and captures the colors well. The maximum size of picture you can take is 2592 x 1944, however it would be better to lessen down it for a better picture quality. Timer feature is available, so you can take pics after a certain period of time in seconds.
The video quality is however low, I didn’t like the results of the video which I took as the resultant snaps were a little blur and didn’t work well with the zoom-in. There is one thing which was disturbing to me was, as I took a step down when I was making the video, the video got a little wobbly. The video quality could be made better when given the proper light and if you don’t move too much.
The pictures you take on the phone can be seen in a timeline fashion, means you can watch them according to the days they were taken. It is very much easy to watch them as the days can be easily accessed through a finger touch, move the days away by scrolling them left to right.
Other feature is the photo editing, there are a plenty of options you can choose from like effects, picture frames and wrap etc. Also you can add the pictures to an album or watch them on a slideshow.
Messaging is very easy with the nicely designed keypad, its fast and could be easily done with one hand. The messaging could be done in a conversation view as well as the simple traditional view. Archive option is also available so you can save your messages.
There is only one game worth playing in the Nokia Asha 300 and that is Angry Birds. The game is easy to play and interestingly easy to play because of the resistive touchscreen as you can hold back the sling really hard as you want too. Angry Birds is surely a plus for this mobile.
Music Playback and Sound Quality:
Let me totally criticize Nokia here, I don’t know why this keeps on happening. This is one of many times that has happened to me, the headphones which are given with the Nokia handsets just don’t seem to be fitting into the audio port provided in the headset. I had to adjust it up and down to get it right so that I could listen to music and radio through the headphones. Sorry to say, but I am disappointed with this. I tried another simple local made headphone and the knob fitted perfectly plus the sound quality was excellent. Songs can also be played through Bluetooth. Having said all that, the sound quality through the mobile itself is good and the loudspeaker works just fine.
The battery gets charged in around 1.5-2hrs depending on how much it is drained. The talk time is 2-3hrs and the battery can easily stay with you in an extensive usage upto 1 day or more even. Nokia hasn’t disappointed on the battery timing of the Asha 300.
- No Wifi
- Resistive touchscreen
- No front camera
- No multi-tasking ability
- You have to remove the back cover to insert the Micro-SD card
- A bit difficult to navigate
The final conclusion that the Nokia Asha 300 is a fairly good mobile phone to use, but it has it’s cons which Nokia can overcome by reducing the price of the mobile because there are other good options for the buyer to look into.