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Mobile Phone Reviews: Is The Nokia Asha 303 Good Value?

Alastair Walker 24/01/2013 11:11:55

Mobile Phone Reviews: Is The Nokia Asha 303 Good Value?

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 the gap?

Nokia Asha 303So 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?

Nokia -asha -303 GroupYou 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.

Nokia -Asha -303 RedBest 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 mark.

 

Alastair Walker is features editor of Watchmywallet.co.uk

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