Nokia has unveiled the Asha series of phones at Nokia World in London today. There are four phones in the line up, the 200, 201, 300 &303. These handsets are addressing the low-end feature phone and will be running the Series 40 6th Edition with a physical portrait QWERTY keyboard. These phones are all designed to encourage the “next billion” users to access the web.
Nokia has already launched seven new NFC phones – the most open NFC models of any vendor – and the MeeGo powered N9. Their existing line up is already positioning Nokia on the market to sell the next billion handsets. Elop also discussed their focus on the dual-SIM market which is clearly aimed at Asian countries, specifically India, as Asha means hope. Nokia’s handsetswill allow you to switch the SIM card without rebooting the phone.
Asha Phone presentation by Elop:
Here is the full presentation, but if you’re after a handset hands on its just a bit further down the page:
The Verge was able to get a hands on with the Asha 200, 300 & 303
Featured above the Asha 300 has a touchscreen and numeric keypad, along with a 5-megapixel camera in a candybar form-factor. There’s a homescreen widget for social networking integration, as with other Asha models. The Asha 303 meanwhile has similar specifications but a QWERTY ‘board instead.
The Asha 303 which is featured above has a full QWERTY keyboard and capacitive screen is the most luxurious offering in the series. It comes for the affordable $160 (115 euro). The Nokia Asha 303 release date is set for this quarter.
Nokia Asha 200. It combines a QWERTY keyboard with a touchscreen and it’s the company’s lowest priced device with a full physical keyboard. It also has a second SIM card slot for hot swapping your cards, something which developing markets should appreciate. The Nokia Asha 201 is the single SIM version, otherwise it looks the same. You can extend the memory on both handsets by up to 32GB via microSD cards. At just $84 (60 euro) off contract.
The Asha 201 has the same specs but lacks dual-SIM. Both can be used with up to a 32GB microSD. The 201 is the same phone but its only sporting a single SIM.
All four Asha phones come with a Nokia browser “powered by the cloud,” suggesting that Nokia will compress data on their servers before pushing it down.
The Asha 200 & 201 will be available for €60 ($85); the 200 is going to ship before the end of the year, while the 201 will be ready for your purchase by Q1 2012. The 300 and 303 are the capacitive touchscreen handsets of the bunch; the 300 is a candybar with a numeric keypad and offers a 1GHz CPU, 5MP camera and 3G. It’ll be priced at €85 ($120) and will be available in Q4 2011. Similarly, the 303 offers the same types of features with a 2.6-inch display and full QWERTY experience, and should be ready before the end of the year for €115 (about $160).