Nokia Asha 200, 201, 300, 303 pictures and hands-on

If the excitement of two new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 7 devices is too much for you, perhaps you'll be more interested in the S40-based Asha range.

Nokia presented the new handsets on stage at the opening of Nokia World 2011 in London, wrapping each device into a story. Picking out three characters from around the world, Nokia gave the impression that these devices were for those in emerging markets, rather expecting to shift a large number in Europe.

Whatever the case, Pocket-lint was on hand to give the new devices a quick going over. The first impression is that they very much toe the line for "old" Nokia and Nokia watchers will probably recognise various details and be able to accurately name the predecessor devices. 

We've bundled these all in together. The first up is the Nokia Asha 200 (pictured in white) and 201 (pictured in blue). Essentailly these devices are the same, but one features a dual SIM setup and the other is single SIM.

The target market for this type of device is Africa, it seems, where Nokia tell us they've sold a lot of dual SIM devices. This is enhanced by their Easy Swap SIM technology, meaning you don't have to mess around when you want to swap from one card to the other.

One of the SIMs resides under the battery, as normal, the other can be accessed through a slot on the side of the phone, meaning you can cross a border, roll up to your nearest SIM seller and get yourself on a cheap local network, rather than face roaming bills. 

The other big claim of the Asha 200/1 devices is that you get microSD support up to 32GB with a battery that Nokia claim will get you through 52 hours of music.

The next device offers a traditional 12-key keyboard as well as touch in the form of the Nokia Asha 300. It offers a 5-megaxpiel camera on the back so you can snap all those exciting shots and share with your friends. It looks every bit the Nokia phone of yesteryear, but with the freshly polished S40 OS.

The final device is another QWERTY phone with touch. This comes in the form of the Nokia Asha 303. It has a large capacitive display and an attractive metallic curved back. The Asha 303 comes with a 1GHz processor and Wi-Fi and 3G.

It only packs in a 3.2-megapixel camera, however, so you what Nokia giveth with one hand, it takes away with the other. The keyboard feels great though, feeling very much like the E series devices. 

The four new Nokia Asha phones come with a Nokia browser, which offers compression on the server side, offering faster connections using less data, designed to save users money.

No word on whether we'll be seeing them in the UK, but Nokia is planning to sell millions of these handsets globally. Asha, if you hadn't heard, is Hindi for "hope" and we can't help thinking there is some significance in that.



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