The mobile industry isn’t just about smartphones, as a fair amount of users all over the world still use feature phones, which don’t have the same flashy operating systems, huge screens and monster processors as our beloved Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 handsets, but they’re considerably cheaper because of it.
Nokia blurs the line between smartphone and feature phone with its Asha range, handsets built using Nokia’s S40 software, which still provides the chance to run apps, but isn’t quite up to the standard of Windows Phone, Android or iOS.
The latest Asha phones to be announced are the Asha 205 and Asha 206, two very affordable and rather basic new handsets. The Asha 205 has a QWERTY keyboard to keep eager texting fans happy, plus a dedicated Facebook button to make it quick and easy to share a new status update. The screen measures 2.4-inches and has a 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
This screen size and resolution is shared by the Asha 206, a traditional candybar phone in a series of non-traditional colours. It doesn’t have a full keyboard, but does have a better camera on the rear of the chassis, as it has 1.3 megapixels instead of the Asha 205’s 0.3 megapixel lens.
Both phones are available as either dual-SIM or single-SIM models, have 2G connectivity, a microSD card slot, an FM radio, Nokia’s bundle of social networking apps, EA’s package of 40 games to download, plus the special Xpress browser which compresses web pages so you don’t use as much data while browsing.
Nokia has also introduced Nokia Slam, a new way of sharing content between two devices. It uses Bluetooth, but there’s no pairing needed, and Nokia promises it’s quicker than just using Bluetooth too. It even works between Asha phones and Android handsets.
Battery life is naturally, very impressive, with the Asha 306 expected to reach 47 days of standby time. They’re going to be available in colours ranging from cyan and magenta to orange and yellow, and are expected to go on sale before the end of the year. Both have been give $62 price tags, which equates to around £38.