Nowadays, all major companies are spending most time developing the best smartphone and are not giving enough though for the mid-ranged feature phones. These feature phones are normally aimed at the larger population, who just want to use their mobile device to make phone calls, text and maybe listen to the Radio or Music.
There are so many smartphones being released these days, that people are forgetting about the smaller and less powerful feature phones that actually started the whole thing. Nokia, however, are still at it and are still making some good devices in the sub $200 price range. And here’s a review of one such device, the Nokia Asha 300, that was recently launched along with the more powerful Lumia series of devices.
Nokia Asha 300 is a touch and type, candy-bar mobile phone that has modern design and styling. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get on with the review!
Nokia Asha 300 Review
Firstly, let’s start off with the specifications, the pros and the cons of Asha 300 and then talk about each in detail. The Asha 300 is a workers phone and yes it delivers!
Nokia Asha 300 Features
- 2.4″ QVGA touchscreen
- 1GHz processor
- 128MB RAM, 256MB ROM
- 5 megapixel camera
- VGA video recording at 30fps
- Stereo FM radio with RDS
- Bluetooth v2.1 (with A2DP)
- 3G Support
- Standard microUSB port (charging enabled)
- USB On-The-Go support
- microSD card slot (32 GB supported)
- 3.5mm audio jack
Nokia Asha 300 Cons:
- The 5 megapixel camera has a fixed focus and is not that great
- No Wi-Fi!!
- No video calling camera
- No multi-tasking
- Symbian OS
Nokia Asha 300 Design and Build
The Asha 300 is supposed to be the replacement for the older C3-01, but does a poor job at proving that. At the design end, however, things look good, but the plastic feels like it came from one of those old Nokia phones that aren’t around anymore. The keypad on the other hand, is nice to use, but things sometimes get rough because of the touchscreen. Whoever thought that both a keypad and touchscreen would be a good idea, wasn’t thinking straight. Finally, I love the form factor, I’ve always preferred candy bar to flip or slide and the Asha 300 does have a good design. From the frontside, the device looks pretty nice, but the back looks cheap!
As for the buttons and connectivity ports on the device, you’ll find the volume locker on the right side along with a lock/unlock button. The left and the bottom side of the device have no ports or buttons. On the top, you’ll find 3 ports, one for charging, a 3.5mm jack that will let you enjoy music and a microUSB port that can also be used to charge the device. The 5 megapixel camera on the back doesn’t have a flash and is left alone. The speaker is housed at the back of the device on the bottom left. The microSD slot is hidden on the left side of the device and is only accessible if you remove the back cover.
I’d give the Nokia Asha 300, a 3/5 for Design and Build.
Display and User Interface
A 2.4 inch TFT display is pretty sufficient for a regular user and a non touchscreen device. But, this does have a touchscreen and that’s one of the reasons why I do not like the phone very much. A 3 inch touchscreen and a keyboard would’ve been a better choice, but the combination used here is not. The display is alright in terms of colors and brightness and because it is resistive, the response is not very good. For a feature phone, however, these features stand good, but I really doubt if anyone would enjoy the touchscreen with the keypad.
Because of the small display size and the use of a UI that packs lot of widgets, the whole thing looks crammed. If you’ve ever used a Symbian device, then you should have no trouble whatsoever. Navigating through the device is very easy and there are some pretty good shortcuts too. If you swype left to right on the homescreen, you’ll be directly taken to the games folder. I did not find any settings for using that action, so I believe it was a surprise for the users.
A 3/5 is the best I can give ! Your opinions may differ.
Nokia has given the Asha 300 a 1GHz processor and 128 MB of RAM. WHY? WHY? WHY? During all the time I spent using the device, I didn’t come across any app or program or feature that would require a 1GHz processor. The special edition Angry Birds game for the device didn’t look like it needed a 1GHz CPU to run. I’m not saying it’s a waste, but there’s no point of it because the Asha 300 doesn’t really require it. The transitions, games, apps, browser, camera and everything else worked really smooth. But for a phone that doesn’t cost so much, I enjoyed playing Angry Birds on it!
I’d give it a 3.5/5 in performance and I bet it would be same with a 600mhz processor.
Functionality, Nokia Music and Apps
Again, if you’ve ever used a Symbian device running the S40 or S60 operating system, then this should be super easy for you. There’s one main menu that houses everything, the apps, settings etc. A Go To menu for shortcuts and another Names menu for contacts. It’s very simple, the functionality of this device, anyone can understand without any problems. As for the apps and goodies, Nokia is giving free music for a limited period of time. There aren’t many apps though, but yes, you can try your luck at the Ovi store to find some for this device.
The Angry Birds game developed for Nokia Asha 300, consists of 15 levels and like always is fun to play, even on the resistive touch display. The graphics are okay and nothing very surprising and I did not face any sluggishness. The music quality is good enough and is nothing more than what one would expect from a feature phone.
For functionality, music and Apps, I’d give it a 3.7/5 because of the ease of use.
Battery, Usage and Others
For the time the device was with us, it had to be charged only twice. The battery life, however, isn’t amazing because the powerful processor keeps using the juice all the while. One thing I noticed though, the standby life is pretty good, which means that if you don’t use the device you’ll probably get up to 4-5 days of backup. But, that isn’t very practical, as these phones will be used rigorously by users to make calls, send messages etc. Thus, a maximum 2 days of backup is what we’re looking at!
The lockscreen looks like it has been lifted off from the iPhone. The typical Slide to unlock found on iOS devices is also found on this small Nokia device, but without all the text. But, there won’t be any suing business here as it doesn’t look similar to the Slider on iOS, however, it does use the same concept.
In terms of practicality, the Asha 300 is a very good device. The audio quality was good, the camera is alright for daytime use, video isn’t bad either and the overall functionality and easy usage makes this a really good buy for the price it sells at. You can check out some sample images of the 5 megapixel shooter on this device, it did okay inside the house under normal lighting.
Nokia Asha Image quality:
Because there is no auto focus, the images can be blurry, as seen in the sample image above!
Nokia Asha 300 Review : video
Here is a 3 minute video, showing features of Asha 300:
Final Verdict, Pricing
The Nokia Asha 300 is designed and built for the everyday working class people and also for the budget constraint ones. If you’re in either of those categories, want a phone for the sole purpose of call, texts and music and don’t want to pay a lot at the same time, then you should get the Asha 300 without thinking twice. I’m pretty sure that the extra CPU, the 5 megapixel fixed focus camera and the old operating system won’t bother you at all! There are other phones that come with Android and have better features, more apps and are available at a similar price.
You can buy Nokia Asha 300 for as low as INR 4,800 or $102 from various mobile retailers. Will you be buying the Asha 300? Let us know how you liked the device if you did buy one.
I hope this Nokia Asha review will help you to decide about this phone. If you are gadget manufacturer and need a gadget to be reviewed, get in touch with our Submit gadget page.