Nokia Asha 201: Review, Price and Specs of budget QWERTY Phone

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In last October at London at the Nokia World 2011 event, Nokia introduced four new phones. These new handsets include Nokia Asha 200, Nokia Asha 201, Nokia Asha 300 and Nokia Asha 303. Together all these phones were introduced under the new Asha series. All these handsets run on Symbian Series 40 operating system. All these mobiles carry different form factor and features. Let us take a look on the Nokia Asha 201 of the Asha series.

Nokia Asha 201: Review, Price and Specs of budget QWERTY Phone

Design and display

The rounded corners body of the gadget looks quite impressive. Featuring a solid built plastic body with a full, 4-row QWERTY keypad and an easy fit in the hand, the handset allows easy texting and calling. The dimension of the handset is 115.4 x 61.1 x 14.0 mm and it weighs about 105 grams. The volume of the phone is 47.7cc. With a 2.4 inch TFT screen and a resolution of 320×240 pixels, it supports 256K colors. It is not a touchscreen phone, so all navigation is done by means of the multi-directional Navigation key and twin selection keys. The navigation and selection keys are small and spongy; making it difficult to be sure that the press has registered. Two more shortcut buttons are added that can be customized to fire up the web browser or email, along with a call key and an end or power button.

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Camera and Sound

The Asha 201 flaunts a 2 MP camera, which is not much impressive. The camera does not have a flash and there are no focusing options as well. The features like adjust for white balance, effects, grid also cannot help you take normal pictures in the dark. The camera disallows to take some close-up pics in low light conditions as it will give you a blurred result. Even landscape pictures taken outdoors in daylight appear blurry and lack of clarity. Occasionally a ‘processing photos’ screen is displayed, which means you have to wait before clicking your snap. The video camera is even poor, producing a blotchy and shaky footage lacking details. It allows video recording with 176×144 pixels resolution at a rate of 10 frames per second. Sound quality is quite unimpressive. As while clicking the pics on the phone, there is a visible time lag between pushing of the capture button and the photo being clicked. The music player however stands on a plus side as it offers simple and straightforward use. Also it supports the AACs, MP3s, and WMAs audio formats, which make the playlists easy.

Interface and performance

The Series 40 operating system is an age old. Navigating its confirmation-based menu system may feel quite old fashioned and irritating to use. It involves loads of going back and forward, which can leave you frustrated. Entering a URL in the browser for instance, takes you to a detached typing screen. The absence of 3G or Wi-Fi makes your internet surfing too slowly. Also the web pages are not clearly displayed on the Nokia browser. Using the web apps like Facebook can take too much of time after being loaded. Especially Nokia’s Ovi Store is lethargic to boot up and dull to navigate. However, most of the apps open swiftly with negligible loading time.

On the home screen the operating system has been given a social skin, which helps trim down the number of menus. Also there is another icon-based secondary screen which allows you accessing apps and features quickly. You can change the themes and backgrounds as per your choice or add ringtones and pictures to specific contacts. A handful of games are pre-installed and you can also download more games through the Store. Call quality is average, with voices on the other end of the line sounding muffled. If you’re talking to someone in a noisy environment like a busy street, it can be difficult to make out what’s being said.

Memory and battery

Asha 201 has 32MB RAM, 64MB ROM along with 10MB of internal memory. It supports MP4, WMV, H.263, and H.264, audio and AAC, MP3, WAV and WMA video formats. The memory is expandable up to 32 GB via a memory card. The opera mini browser and Nokia browser come preloaded on the gadget. It is powered by a Nokia BL-5J battery with a power of 1430 mAH. It offers a talk time of up to 7 hours and a stand by time of up to 888 hours. It is outfitted with a USB port and a memory card slot.

Music and browser

Any dedicated volume key is not provided on the handset, which is really bad as Nokia is focusing on music with the preloaded radio app, ‘My Music’ hub. A speaker is provided on the top left and you can plug the headphone in the 3.5mm headphone jack to listen music. The radio and music can be played in the background while messaging and surfing on the Internet. Nokia’s own Nokia Browser and Opera Mini are the two web browsers that come pre-loaded on the phone. Opera Mini is considered quite cool to use, however on the Asha 201 it does not really work that well. It is not much faster as compared to the Nokia Browser, which is loaded with shortcuts to Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia on the home page. To sum up, it will be better to avoid web services of the Asha 201.

Price and availability

The Nokia Asha comes with a quite cheap price tag of £45. It may cost you around 4000 rupees in India. There is no confirmed news about the availability of the phone. But it will be available soon in the stores. The handset might be available in eight color options including Aqua, Graphite, Pearl White, Blue, Orange, Pink, Light Pink and Green.

Specifications:

General

  • Brand: Nokia
  • Manufacturer: Nokia
  • Model ID: Asha 201
  • Form: Candybar
  • Operating System: Symbian

Display

  • Size: 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 405 gm
  • Dimensions: 115.5 x 61.1 x 14mm
  • Resolution: 800×480pixels
  • Screen: TFT
  • Keyboard: QWERTY
  • Ports: USB port, microSD card slot, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack

Battery

  • Capacity: 1430 mAH
  • Type: Lithium-ion battery
  • Build: Chargeable
  • Talk time: up to 7 hours
  • Stand by: up to 888 hours
  • Music play: up to 52 hours

Processor

  • RAM: 32MB
  • ROM: 64 MB
  • Internal Memory: 10MB
  • Storage expansion:
    • Slot Type: microSD
    • Maximum card size: 32 GB

Camera

  • Resolution: 2MP (1600×1200 pixels)
  • Video: 176×[email protected]

Connectivity

  • USB: USB 2.0
  • Bluetooth: v2.1 with A2DP, EDR

Pros of Nokia Asha 201:

  • Quite affordable
  • Solid body
  • Good battery life

Cons of Nokia Asha 201:

  • No WiFi
  • No flash on camera
  • Spongy buttons
  • Old and lethargic interface
  • Slow internet surfing

Video of Nokia Asha 201 unboxing video from youtube:

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