Cheapest phone to offer a touchscreen, no Wi-Fi, non-hot-swappable memory card
The new Asha series shared the spotlight with Lumia and this should be indicative enough of how important the new budget line is. It's obvious that S40 will be playing second fiddle to Windows Phone but Nokia are in no mood to share the low end with anyone.And while Windows Phone is Nokia's hope of clawing... More
The new Asha series shared the spotlight with Lumia and this should be indicative enough of how important the new budget line is. It's obvious that S40 will be playing second fiddle to Windows Phone but Nokia are in no mood to share the low end with anyone.
And while Windows Phone is Nokia's hope of clawing back lost ground in the smartphone game, Asha (Hindi for hope) should serve emerging markets where changes are no less dramatic. The four models in the Asha series are obviously aware of the priorities of their target audience.
Touchscreen is slowly creeping up the agenda but nothing still beats the basics. Limited budgets make things like messaging and dual SIM almost mandatory. Everything else is optional. And while the developing markets may be ripe already for the optional stuff, the Asha series don’t force a hard choice on potential customers.
There's a strong sense of hierarchy in the lineup. And no overlapping of features. With the Asha 303 clearly on top, the Asha 300 is for those who don't need a QWERTY keyboard. Saying no to QWERTY means you need to make do without WLAN too. But you get a better camera. Not that fixed focus is anything exciting, but it doesn't get any better in the price range.
Nokia are breaking down the entry level segment into smaller chunks and that's a good way for them to present themselves as the unchallenged leader, the one without alternatives. As for the Asha 300, it has a few but most of them are fellow Nokias.
With a price tag hovering well below the €100 mark, the Asha 300 is among the cheapest phones to offer a touchscreen.
To wrap up, the Asha 300 is the most likely first upgrade for someone coming from some of the most basic S30 Nokia phones. It can adequately fill in as a backup or temporary handset too. It would've been a lot better with Wi-Fi, but that would've pushed the price up. On the other hand, a 3.5G-capable phone without WLAN must be more attractive to carriers. A carrier-subsidized Asha 300 with a solid data plan sounds like great value for money.
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