Price; £145 SIM free at John Lewis. Not
available on contract yet.
Budget rival to a Blackberry has a 2.6 inch screen,
1GHz processor speed but runs Symbian OS
Nokia are determined to position their phones as good, solid,
middle of the road value. The company is becoming the Marks and
Spencer of mobiles if you like and if Blackberry pull out of
consumer phones soon, then who knows - maybe the Asha 303 can fill
So it's no surprise that
the Asha 303 offers a reasonable sized, capacitive type
touchscreen, 1GHz processor chip, plus a full physical keyboard. It
looks similar to the Blackberry and features like the keyboard, big
battery cover on the back, plus expandable 32GB of Micro SD memory
and call recording give it an old school appeal.
But the Asha runs Symbian OS, so anyone used to an iPhone, or an
Android handset with all the app choices, will probably feel this
is a step back in time. Basically you navigate on your Asha using
menu bars, not a range of tap-to-activate apps and icons - it's a
little bit 2002.
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY BUDGET SMARTPHONE?
You get a 3.5MP camera on the Asha which again will
deliver impressive photos, unless you've used anything with a 5MP
camera, or an iPhone 4/S.
If you've never owned a smartphone, the Asha 303 will feel good
and you will love built-in features like Angry Birds and Shazam -
the app that tells you the artist and title of the song you just
heard on the radio.
The Asha should deliver good battery life compared to some
power-hungry smartphones. It also has handy features like the
Sequence mode on the camera, so you can take 5 pictures in rapid
succession. For most people, it will do the job perfectly well.
But for £145 SIM free from John Lewis you kind of expect more
for your money. Budget phones like the Vodafone
Smart (£70) or Samsung Galaxy
Ace (£129.99 from 02) or perhaps a
Blackberry Curve 8520 (now reduced to
£100 at Vodafone) all compete strongly.
Best Feature: Old fashioned quality,
physical keyboard for those who love to text
Worst Feature: Symbian OS arguably not as
slick, or intuitive as iPhone or Android to use everyday, but you
might like it. Bottom line is the Asha is a low spec phone for
medium range money.
Area for Improvement: For a budget
smartphone the Asha really needs to be around the £100 mark to
offer good value for money. The new Motorola
Motoluxe, or Samsung Galaxy
Ace offer more features for around the same £130-£150