- Set to be quite affordable
- No 3G
- No touchscreen
One look at the Nokia Asha 201 will tell you that it’s a quite simple phone, targeted at being pocket-friendly instead of stunning you with smart phone features. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to get thrilled about here.
We’ve gone hands-on with the Asha 201 at Nokia World 2011, and we’re ready to present our first impressions, broadcasted directly into your brain box.
We suppose the Asha 201 to be priced at approximately £50.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that the Asha 201 was a BlackBerry, not a Nokia phone, because it looks exactly like one of RIM’s business-minded devices. There’s a rectangular screen above a big qwerty keyboard, and every edge is curved, including the black panel.
That said, the 201 is much more colourful than your regular BlackBerry. The Nokia website records it as coming in pink, blue, lime green, navy blue, orange, black, white and light pink shades. That’s a lot of varieties, and the bright colours do make these phones appear kind of enjoyable.
It’s not high style, but it’s difficult to go wrong with a lime green mobile. Unless obviously you’re wearing an orange scarf.
Build quality seems solid enough, and the smooth clear plastic on the rear is kind of nice, mocking the grey, extravagant smart phones that are hundreds of pounds more costly.
It’s not exceptionally slim though, measuring 14mm thick. It’s quite slim enough to fit in your pocket or bag with no complain, but if you’re bent on possessing something slim enough to slip under a door, look away.
It’s light however at only 105g, so you won’t find it weighing you down or pulling your trousers to your ankles while you’re running for practice.
We didn’t get much opportunity to analyse the qwerty keyboard, though we’re a little worried by the small space key, which could slow you down when you’re attempting to type swiftly.
Screen and software
Bad news if you like getting oily fingerprints all over your screen though – this 2.4-inch screen is not of the touchscreen kind, so any poking you do will turn out to be useless.
That means you’ll be handling the Asha 201 using the five-way navigation key in the middle, and variety of buttons, including two shortcut keys and call answer and end keys. The interface didn’t look too puzzling to us, and with a display this small you’re probably better off without a touchscreen anyway.
That’s bad news if you’re into downloading apps and games though. This mobile is simple – it’s running Nokia’s Series 40 platform, and while it does provide some downloadable apps and games, if you would like getting trapped into the exciting world of apps then you’re better off paying a little more money and getting something like the Orange Monte Carlo, an affordable Android smart phone.
Music and storage
There’s an FM radio incorporated, and an interesting feature that lets you tape songs from your radio to your mobile, so if you hear a song you like you’re capable to save it to your mobile to hear to again next time.
There’s not much room to reserve things onto the Asha 201, with a poor 10MB of on-board memory. If you want you can increase its memory up to 32GB using a MicroSD card, but Nokia doesn’t appear to be providing one in the box, so purchasing one will charge you a little extra.
There’s a browser aboard, but because the Asha 201 doesn’t support 3G connectivity, don’t look forward to web pages to load particularly swiftly.
Camera and battery
Around the rear there’s a 2-megapixel camera. That’s not a powerful camera, so don’t look forward to capture any sharp photos or video. It might deliver if your necessities are quite simple; it will probably deliver if you only need to capture a shot of your friend looking shocked having just dropped his pint down himself.
We’d assume battery life to be quite decent on this mobile, because there’s not much aboard that could actually empty its power stores that fast.
The Asha 201 looks like a quite simple mobile that’s light on features, but also goes light on your pocket. When it comes to the full review, we’ll be seeing at how simple it is to navigate the mobile’s interface in addition to build quality – we wish for this mobile to survive for years without breaking down, and for the qwerty keyboard to be comfortable to type on.