The Nokia Asha 305 full touch phone has just launched here in India at a very good price of 4699 INR and my cousin brother, pouncing on this fantastic opportunity, bought it few days ago (on my recommendation) and fortunately for me he was at my home, in my city for 2 days that time, So i got the chance of doing an Unboxing and a Hands-on video of this new Nokia phone. Read on for more.
So, as you guys already know that Nokia launched three new touch based S40 powered feature phones this summer, namely The Nokia asha 305, Asha 306, and Asha 311, targeting the low end mobile phone market in which Nokia is continously loosing grip. These new phones comes with all the features which were present in the previously launched Asha series phones, plus these new touch phones comes with the fully revamped S40 touch interface which makes them different from other phones in the segment. And the Nokia Asha 305 is the cheapest of them all.
Lets take a look at the specifications of the Nokia Asha 305:-
- 3.o”, 400×240 pixels, LCD Transmissive, Resistive Touch Screen.
- Dual SIM with Easy Swap support.
- Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, USB 2.0 support, 3.5 A/V Connector, GPRS/EDGE.
- 2 MegaPixel Camera.
- 64 MB internal memory, 2Gb memory card in the box, Expandable upto 32 Gb.
- BL-4U 1110 mAh Battery with 528h of Standby and 14h of Talk time.
- Nokia’s S40 Touch based Operating System with Swipe Gesture Support.
- Nokia Maps and Nokia Life (in selected countries).
- 3 Month free subscription of Nokia Music Unlimited, with over 40 lakhs songs to choose and download from.
So these were the technical specifications of the Nokia Asha 305. Now without wasting time anymore, lets see the unboxing of the phone.
(Note: This phone is an indian variant. Its content may differ in your country)
(The phone was slippery, was slipping off my hands that time 😛 )
So this was the unboxing. First of all, the packaging box of the phone is small and looks nice but it is very light weight and thin compared to what i’ve seen in the previous Nokiq phones, didn’t gave me a feel that its made of very good quality material. But apart from that, everything looks and feels really nice. Graphics on the box looks great. There’s a photo of the phone on the right side of the box which shows the actual size of the phone (yes, i measured it and it was correct). Some Nokia perks that comes with the phone are displayed on the right side like the Nokia Music, Free EA Games pack, etc. Now the phone, out-of-the-box, its design and build quality seems pretty solid. The plastics used are also of good quality and gives a nice feel to hand while holding it.
On the front, there’s a call speaker on the top, and the 3inch LCD Resisitive touchscreen in the middle, and two buttons- Call pickup & Call end, are given on the bottom with a little mic in between them.
On the left side there’s a Sim2 slot where you can insert your second sim (the first sim card slot is inside the phone, below battery), and a memory card slot which can be used to insert the Memory card (the phone itself comes with a 2 GB memory card though, which can be expanded upto 32 GB).
On the right you have the two volume rocker buttons and a lock/unlock button.
On the back of the phone, there’s a 2 MP Camera on the top and the speakers on the bottom.
And on the top of the phone, you have a 3mm A/V jack, a USB Port and a charger port.
Going inside the phone box you’ll get a phone charger, a decent headset and some user manuals.
And now lets move on to the Hands-on video. But let me tell you that I have missed to show many parts of the phone’s UI in this video, but i tried to remind them and elaborate in this post.
(Sorry if you faced some interruptions in between 😛 )
And that was the Hands-on video. Now lets talk about the most important part of this phone – The Interface. As i said earlier in this post that this phone comes with a all-new touch based interface. Nokia have been suffering in the market from quite a while now, and they haved faced really tough competition from their rivals, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Mainly the Android has challenged Nokia not only in the smartphone segment but also in the feature phone/dumbphone segment.
Nokia’s keypad based S40 feature phones were doing good in the market but when Samsung started inducting the somewhat smart, Android based touchscreen phones with lower prices, the market share of Nokia in the mobile phone market started to feel the heat. As a result of which they decided to fully revamp their feature phone OS – Series 40 (S40), and make it fully touch based. And these new phones (Asha 305, 306 & 311) are the first ever Nokia phones that runs this new, fully revamped S40 touch interface.
Now this new interface is a combination of the interfaces of Symbian Belle and MeeGo Harmattan. Just like the Nokia N9 (MeeGo Harmattan) it has 3 swippable homescreens plus the dropdown notification bar which we found in Symbian Belle UI.
The first homescreen is the general shortcut screen, where you can add/remove the shortcut icons of the application you want. It also shows the time, date and day.
The second homescreen is the Menu screen. It serves the user as a Menu where you can access any application, settings of the phone, etc.
The third and the last homescreen is the dialler screen which provides the user a dialler for making calls. It also has shortcuts like Contacts, Log in the bottom to assist the user. Apart from that, the Dropdown notification can be accessed from almost every part of the phone.
Now lets talk the phone’s applications and the features it provides to the user. First of all, as I said earlier that I missed to show many parts of UI of the phone in the hands-on video and that’s why I only wrote about some important parts. Read about them below.
- Lock Screen :-
This phone has a MeeGo like Swipe-to-Unlock.
User just have to swipe finger on the screen to unlock the screen (after pressing the unlock button on the right side of the phone). I think this is a really nice feature at this price point.
The calender in the phone is quite a functional one, just like it is in Symbian and MeeGo. It also offers more options on its bottom toolbar for advance customizations.
- Music Player:-
Music Player of the phone looks really nice and has a neat and simple UI. It doesn’t have the cover flow like UI but apart from that it has almost all the options to satisfy the music lovers.
I like the graphic appears on increasing/decreasing the volume.
This phone (and almost all Nokia S40 powered Asha phones) comes with the latest version of the Nokia Browser, which, by using its cloud based technology, compresses the web pages faster and for saving the data cost.
The above given screenshot shows the landing screen of the browser. It has some shortcut links like Social Networks, News, Entertainment, etc to assist the user.
And not to mention, this browser scores a very good 241 with 2 bonus points in the HTML5 test. (I was on a 2.5g connection in the video that’s why the page opened slowly).
It also supports the Pinch-to-zoom feature, so that the user can zoom into the images taken by the camera. Though, it does not support the double tap zoom in/out feature.
Nokia Asha 305 packs a 2 MP Camera. The camera is good when it comes to taking photos in the day light. The photos taken in the day light are quite impressive for a 2 MP camera. Though, i couldn’t get how the camera works and processes the photos, i haven’t seen such type of working and processing before. What i noticed when capturing photos from it is that when you opens the camera then the screen shows a little blurry photo (not that blurry) but after capturing the photo it processes and increases photo’s sharpness & brightness level so that the final photo looks good (in the day light conditions). But, i’m not sure if this happens in the camera.
When it comes to taking photos in the low light, the camera of this phone disappointed me to be honest. And the video recording from the camera wasn’t good either. The quality of the video was below average when i tried to shoot one with it. But again, considering the phone’s price, its camera is not bad at all. One should not expect high quality videos and photos from a phone of this range.
The Camera UI is also pretty functional. All the necessary options are there in the phone to customize. It also have the Nokia 808 PureView like animation that appears just after capturing the photo, and I like it very much. 🙂 The phone also offers a great photo editing feature to edit the captured photo on the phone.
I took some photos from the phone. See them below.
The phone provides the user with lots of settings to do. All the settings including the Theme settings, Nokia Account settings, Text editor settings, etc can be found at one place. Though, the phone lacks the display brightness settings, that means the display brightness cannot be changed, and the display of this phone looks VERY bright in the dark. I also asked @NokiaHelps on Twitter if there’s any setting for this or any 3rd party app available for this, but the result i got was negative.
The new S40 UI packs a whole new keyboard for full touch phones. This new keyboard looks really nice and the typing is also good but the resistive touchscreen of Asha 305 makes typing little difficult.
At default, the user will get a alphanumeric keyboard in portrait mode and full QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode. The user can also change the alphanumeric keyboard to Full Portrait QWERTY in the portrait orientation by going in the Settings – Text Editor.
- Notification Handling:-
The Notification Handling system in these new Asha touch phones is very unique. The new S40 UI handles the notifications in two ways- ‘The Dropdown notification bar‘ from Symbian and the MeeGo like ‘Notifications on the Lock screen‘. While the Dropdown Notification Bar is always accessable from almost every part of the phone to see the notifications when the user is playing with the phone, the ‘Notifications on the Lock Screen’ saves the notifications on the lock screen when the user is away from the phone or when it is locked, and shows them to the user right on the lockscreen when user opens the lock of the phone to make them quickly accessable. The user just swipes finger on the displayed notification to open it.
The Dropdown Notification Bar also adds the user with some other useful options and quick-action buttons like Mobile Data ON/OFF, Bluetooth ON/OFF, Silent ON/OFF, etc.
- Nokia Store:-
The S40 Nokia Store helps the user in downloading more Applications, Games, Ringtones, Videos and Themes. And the Store UI also looks great.
There’s a good collection of Java Apps and Games available in the Nokia Store.
And not to mention, the phone also comes with a pack of 40 EA Games download able for FREE within the first 60 days.
- Nokia Maps:-
These phones also comes with the industry leading- Nokia Maps, which, in my opinion, is a very good addition to the phone considering its price point. Though, Asha 305 does not have a in-built GPS but it can detect the current position over the network.
- Other Features:-
Once again, as i said earlier that i could not show every part of the phone UI in the Hands-on video because I had a time of just 2 days. So I decided to mention them in this little head. See them below.
- Nokia Life (in selected countries)
- FM Radio in-built
- In-built Mail Client
- In-built Social Networking Support (FB, Orkut, Twitter & Flickr).
- In-built Nokia Chat client for FB, Gmail, etc.
- In-built Weather application
So that’s all I have from my review of the Nokia Asha 305. It is truly a fantastic phone to have, at a very good and affordable price. Coming onto a conclusion is easy for this phone, but I decided to write down its Pros and Cons for the readers. So, see them below.
- 2 MP Camera
- Dual Sim support
- 3 inch, 400×240, Full touch LCD Screen
- FM Radio built-in
- EDGE Enabled
- Nokia Maps 2.0
- Nokia Store Gift Pack of 40 EA Games FREE worth €65
- Nokia Music Unlimited FREE 3 Months Subscription
- New S40 Touch interface with Swipe UI
- Resistive Touch Screen
- No USB Cable
- No 3G connectivity
- A little bit laggy sometimes
So there it is. All the Pros and Cons have been listed (well, almost :P). And the conclusion is pretty clear that at this price point i.e., Rs. 4699 INR, Asha 305 is going to rock. Yes, that’s what I thinks. If you ask me, I would definitely recommend you to buy Nokia Asha 305 if you’re looking to buy a phone in this price range. Or if you want some more features like WiFi, Capacitive TouchScreens, then you should consider looking at the Nokia Asha 306 and Asha 311. They are now available in most countries at a very reasonable price. Check your nearest Nokia Store to know more about these phones.
Know more about Asha 305 here