Nokia Asha phone range debuts

Nokia has announced four new budget handsets: the Nokia Asha 200, Asha 201, Asha 300, and Asha 303.

Derived from Hindi word signifying hope, the new phones will run Symbian Series 40 and be aimed at the emerging markets around the world.

"We can bring the Internet to people for the first time," said the company. The aim is to target "the next billion".

The Asha 200 comes in an awful looking lime green colour, as well as as a less garish purple variant. It's a dual-SIM model with live swapping, the 201 is a single-SIM setup. It has a QWERTY keyboard, 52-hour battery life and will sell for around €60.

The 300 is a touchscreen device with a 5-megapixel camera, a music player, FM radio, Bluetooth connectivity and can handle memory cards up to 32GB. It will cost €85.

The 303, the pick of an average bunch, packs a physical QWERTY along with a 2.6-inch capacitive touchscreen. It packs a 1GHz processor (as does the 300) and also boasts Nokia Maps along with 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. The 303 will be priced at €115.

All the phones pack the Nokia Browser, which compresses web content by up to 90 per cent in the cloud, saving time, data and, crucially for the target markets, money.

And, get this, Angry Birds is making its way to Series 40 Symbian handsets. It's like 2010 all over again.

All four Asha handsets are due before the end of the year.