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Nokia Asha 302 Review: Premium QWERTY looks on the budget

Smartphones are getting cheaper and cheaper these days but until this day, feature phones are still popular and being bought by most Filipinos especially those who are budget-conscious. Nokia, who is aiming to bring the internet devices to the next billion brings us the affordable S40 phone, the Nokia Asha 302. The phone doesn’t pack an eye popping feature or some mind blowing apps but this phone packs an affordable price with some features that most of us always use.

Hardware and construction

I love Nokia when it comes to design and construction and no, I’m not being biased here but the Nokia Asha 302 is just another proof that the Nokia produces decent phones with sturdy and solid construction. The Nokia Asha 302 is a combination of a plastic and metal body. The phone feels a bit heavy because of the metal back cover and. The metal back cover and the chrome sides also adds the premium feel to the device.

The QWERTY keyboard. Yummy

The QWERTY keyboard is almost the same with the other E series devices. Remember the Nokia E6 that we reviewed last year? Yeah, the Nokia Asha 302 has the same feel and moving from touch to this one was pretty hard. I already got used to touchscreen QWERTY. At the top of the QWERTY keyboard are some buttons that you are very very familiar with and I think I don’t need to elaborate on that one except the two buttons, the shortcut for the contacts and messaging button. Well, you can program it and change the shortcut.

The Nokia Asha 302 has a 2.4″ display and you can’t find a capacitive or resistive touch screen in here. Just a normal TFT LCD with just 256k colors. It’s good to see that the touchscreen isn’t present because of the small screen oh and a touch screen would just add to the battery consumption and to the cost of production of the phone. Oh and did you know that this phone packs a 1 GHz processor. Yes! it isn’t a smartphone but Nokia decided to put a 1 GHz processor on that phone so most apps load here quick but can barely see smooth transitions in here.

At the back of the phone is the 3.2 megapixel camera (no flash and autofocus here! sorry!) and the Nokia Asha 302 can record VGA videos at 15 fps. Just a simple camera for people who are not into photograhy. Inside the back cover is the battery that can last up to 2-3 days on me and when you remove the battery, you can see the regular sim card slot (No Micro-Sim here!. Oh and the memory card?, you can remove it easily on the side of the phone if you feel that you’re phone needs more space from the internal 140MB Storage.

The Sim Card Slot

At the top of the phone is the 3.5mm jack, MicroUSB and the round socket for charger. Too bad you can’t use the Micro USB for charging the phone. The speaker? Well it’s good. It is very loud and clear and I commend the Asha 302 for that. Too bad there’s no speaker control at the side. Anyway, if you want to get connected anytime there’s HSDPA and Wi-Fi on the phone (OH And I can’t connected to our PLDT MyDSL for some unknown reason)

The Micro USB, 3.5mm jack and the charger port


The 3.2 megapixel camera at the back

I really didn’t expect that much on the camera performance of the Nokia Asha 302 because it is just an affordable phone but the camera of the phone did well. The 3.2 megapixel camera without flash and autofocus isn’t great but it does its job well. Check out the pictures taken using the Nokia Asha 302 below:

Oh and here’s a video of using the phone’s camera:

Not bad for a phone like this but too bad it is limited at 15 fps. Nokia should’ve made it to 30 fps, 15fps is too crappy. We already have 1 GHz processor on the phone and yet, it can’t provide us a decent video framerate

The software

The device is just running the S40 OS. Yep, no S60/Symbian here but the phone is still equip with the good ol S40. But hey, eventhough the phone’s running the S40 OS, it still have some cool apps like Social in which you can connect your facebook, twitter, flickr and orkut accounts. Yep, there’s a built-in social networking app on the Nokia Asha 302.

For people who loves to check out apps, there is a built-in Nokia store. Yep, you can buy and download apps and games compatible for the Nokia Asha 302. There are a lot cool apps and games that you can find there. Don’t worry about games on the Nokia Asha 302 because there are pre-loaded games and some demo games that you can play in it.

The built-in browser on the Nokia Asha 302 is the Nokia browser. The browser acts like the Opera mini and looks like the Opera Mini. It also compress the images and webpages so that it will consumer less data (Great for those people who are on a limited data plan). There’s nothing special about it aside from the Opera Mini-like browsing. Other useful apps that are included are Music player and mail. It does their job well. No problems at all.

The Feel

Honestly, I’m not a fan of phones with QWERTY keyboards. I already got used to phones with on-screen pads ever since I switched to Samsung Omnia. Yes, the original Omnia powered by Windows Mobile 6.x. Like what I’ve said before, I really the design and construction of the Nokia Asha 302. Even though the phone is a bit heavy for its size, the back cover and the chrome-y sides looks good and premium.  Too bad there’s no S60 or Symbian Belle in here (And yes, the Symbian Belle was doing good and there are less crashes).

After using the phone for some time. I think the phone’s great when you’re looking for a phone with a QWERTY keyboard and just use it for texting, messaging & social networking. I really like the premium feel of the phone and I think it’ll be also a great secondary phone (If you already have a cool smartphone around). If you want to get a Nokia Asha 302 then check out the nearest Nokia stores around. The phone will be available in Dark Grey, White, Plum Red and Mid Blue colors. The SRP of the phone is P5,290.

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Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta likes to create content about tech. But he also hates tech.


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