Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Nokia Nostalgia and Review of Nokia Asha 306

The Nokia Asha 306 was launched in India around Q3 2012 at a price of Rs. 4000. Nokia Asha 306 is a single sim low med range smartphone featuring a 3” TFT resistive touch screen, 1 GHz single core processor, Wi-Fi enabled, SD card support and S40 operating system.

Now before moving further let me just recall those good old Nokia days! Most of us have a long association with Nokia phones. Most of us even had a Nokia phone as our very first mobile phone. After all they were (and still are) the most successful, reliable and affordable mobile phones in our market. I still remember the chilly evening of 21st November 2001 when my father bought a brand new Nokia 3310 which was the first mobile phone in our family. In fact my first ‘personal’ cell phone was also a Nokia 3110 Classic in 2008. We also had Nokia 6610, Nokia N72, Nokia 6210 Navigator and few other models which I don’t remember now.  We are still using the 6210 Navigator as a secondary cell phone in our family. And I have not sold any of the Nokia phone we bought – they are still lying somewhere in the house. It’s around five years now since we bought a Nokia phone and slowly the Blackberries/HTCs/Samsungs took over.

I experienced this Nostalgia when I got my hands on my friend’s new Nokia Asha 306. Last few years were very tough for Nokia. Ever since the Android buzz, the Finnish telecom giant was lagging behind in terms of bringing mobile phones with advanced hardware that could support the Android operating system. Slowly people started to forget Nokia and the company was in trouble. Nokia finally managed to come back in the market and tried to recover its lost glory by introducing models like Asha/Lumia somewhere in 2011, opening exclusive Nokia stores to boost sales and making Windows as their primary operating system.

 How I wish Nokia just could take the plunge in the android segment but sadly that could not happen because of some poor decisions and planning including company’s late decision to make an entry into smartphone segment as many other manufacturers were already dominating the android smartphone segment, for example Samsung. To add their further woes, Microsoft’s Windows 7 mobile OS just could not match the functionality, app support and user friendly interface of an android operating system. People actually hated windows based mobile phones till few years back. Thankfully things are changing ever since Microsoft introduced Windows 8 Mobile operating system which caught fancy of prospective smartphones buyers.

Well looks like I have just gone a little off topic here – Nokia Nostalgia you know!

Let’s get back to our Nokia Asha 306 which is actually the twin brother of Nokia Asha 305 which is a dual sim phone minus Wi-Fi functionality which is present in Asha 306. Nokia Asha series is a low-mid range smartphone which uses Nokia’s S40 operating system platform.  Nokia Asha 306 was launched in July 2012 with a price tag of INR 4000. These days this device is available for around INR 3500 in local market.

Nokia Asha 306 comes with a 3.0 inches TFT resistive touchscreen with resolution of 240 x 400 pixels and 65K colors (~155 ppi pixel density). The touch screen, being resistive is not very touch friendly. You have to actually push a little hard on the screen to get going. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not that hard but just a comparison with other smartphones which comes with capacitive touch screens. And this must not be an issue with a smartphone belonging to low-med segment.  

The build quality is very good, the phone feels premium to hold and looks wise it definitely belong to 5K+ category. The top and bottom chin is chrome plated and is of good quality. Back cover is made of pure plastic with a SAR certification sticker on it. The device is quite light, weighing just less than 100 grams. The earpiece and microphone is nicely integrated in the glossy surface. It has two dedicated buttons for answering and rejecting calls which operates without a fuss. On the top you will find the Nokia’s proprietary pin type charging slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and micro USB port for PC connectivity. There is also a micro SD card slot on the left side of the phone. Volume rocker and power button are on left side of the phone.

 The Asha 306 is equipped with a single core 1 GHz processor, 32 MB RAM, 64 MB ROM for holding the core system software, 10 MB internal user memory and SD card support upto 32GB. Performance wise this phone does a fair job considering its limited hardware/software capabilities. User interface is somewhat smooth but if you have used an Android phone before then it will take some time in getting used to it. The phone comes preloaded with social networking and messaging apps like facebook, orkut, twitter, whatsapp, Nokia messaging app and few other Nokia proprietary apps like Nokia music store, Nokia maps etc.

On the back side you will find a 2 MP camera also capable of recording 176 x 144 pixels @ 10fps videos. Picture/Video quality is average and nothing to write home about. Call quality is nice and clear. Nokia phones are always good in this regard. This phone supports only 2G networks but is Wi-Fi enabled which is good thing for a phone available at this price point. Loudspeaker is loud just like the other Nokia phones as well. Asha 306 comes with standard earphones which offer average sound quality. Battery backup is superb and this phone can be your perfect secondary/backup phone.  It has an 1110 mAh Li-Ion removable battery.

To sum up Nokia Asha 306 is a nice low end smartphone which offers decent value for money features, performance and Nokia Reliability. This phone is capable enough to serve as your primary device and an excellent backup/secondary phone in case you have a power hungry Android Phablet as your primary phone.

And while writing this text I have promised myself to get a Nokia mobile again someday.

 Nokia! Please continue to build great products. We’ll come.

Disclaimer: The review and its content are my own views/user experience and may differ from others. I am not an expert reviewer and the review can have possible shortcomings. Please bear with that. Comments and suggestions much appreciated.

Thanks folks for reading!

1 comment:

Retrovit said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)