Nokia Asha 308 Review

Nokia Asha 308

Nokia Asha 308

Nokia

September, 2012
3.0" display, 2 MP primary camera, 1110 mAh battery, 20 MB storage, 64 MB RAM, Scratch-resistant glass.
EUR:€70 | USD:$84 | PKR:8,218 | INR:6,156

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Nokia Asha 308 Review

Nokia Asha 308 Review


Introduction

Nokia Asha 308 is a new mobile phone from the Asha series that offers true value to your money. The phone does not pretend to be a smartphone however, it does claim to be a smart feature phone that looks attractive enough to appeal the youth crowd. Although, Nokia’s main focus these days is primarily on Windows - and for the most part on the upcoming Windows Phone 8 launch, but then again it undoubtedly has not overlooked that its main market lies in reasonably priced feature phones for developing countries.

Since majority of these developing countries in fact are now quickly evolving economics, therefore, the reasonable and inexpensive Series 40 handsets of Nokia are getting increasingly capable. Nokia Asha 308 can be the ideal choice for those who want to make their entry into the world of touch screen mobile phones. It is the perfect touch screen phone that offers unique and effective features while delivering a full smart phone experience in budget.

The build quality of the Asha 308 is good despite the fact that it is not extraordinary, but looking at the price tag you will surely get more than enough for your dollar. The Asha 308 is made of good quality plastic material and offers a squeak free experience. The Asha 308 is a beautiful and sleek handset that offers state-of-the-art as well as reasonably priced smartphone experience packed with Internet connectivity, apps, maps, social networking and games.

Unboxing the Asha 308

While unboxing the Nokia Asha 308, you will get everything inside the retail box that you need to get started with this phone. This includes the traditional Nokia A/C charger, though you can charge your phone with USB cable too, a short microUSB cable and a single piece handset. Moreover, a 2GB microSD card is also there inside your phone.

Design & Build Quality & Controls

The phone comes with a 3.0 inch capacitive touch screen that is reasonably protected by scratch resistant coating. The capacitive touch screen responds to user command quite well. The phone runs on a fluid swipe user interface that together with the capacitive touch screen makes using Asha 308 a delightful experience for the users. The thing that needs to be kept in mind that capacitive touch screens are extremely rare in this price segment.

Talking about the design and style, Asha 308 is similar to the series however, it is way better than the Asha 305 in number of ways. Furthermore, its sensible finish also needs to be appreciated as it is not fancy yet very pleasing. And there's something pretty subtle like the shape of the call keys beneath the screen. The two controls are nicely graved for an impressive touch orientation. In contrast, the image quality continues to be almost unchanged. Whereas the contrast is average however sharpness is reasonably low and viewing angles are also poor too to a certain extent, but nevertheless that's about as good as it gets in this price range.

User Interface

The new Asha Touch variation of the Series 40 software offers decent experience and users appreciate what Nokia has done with its best-selling platform. User interface structure seems to be based on the MeeGo one. Except for the red receiver key, all interactions are touch based and offer great user experience. The red receiver key offers a convenient way to bring the home screen to the surface or close an app.

Navigating through the interface is quite fluid and it launches the applications with a reasonable amount of speed. The user interface offers users some useful tweaks such as swapping SIMs, managing music and games from a drop down list and adding a preset third home screen just to name a few.

Although, the S40 Asha touch mobiles do not really offer multitasking, but the shortcuts to the music player, the phone and messaging apps are almost always available to you through the notification area and even inside Java apps, whereas the only exception is full screen apps. With this in hand, you can swiftly change the track, send a message, make a call and go back to where you left your app.

Phonebook, Telephony & Messaging

A very nice looking and efficient phonebook is offered with the Asha 308 that is a part of the updated Series 40 touch friendly platform that integrates well with the call log and the dialer. Furthermore, contacts are displayed with the options to show photos with the name and numbers. Moreover, you will get the advanced menu and Add new contact shortcut on top of the actual list.

Talking about dual SIM telephony, you can select which SIM to be used for making calls. You can either select a default SIM for making calls or can choose to be prompted every time you need to make a call. Same goes with the SMS, MMS and data works.

There is a SIM manager app to help you configure each of the SIM cards. Having chosen your preferred settings, the rest is pretty straightforward. The only thing missing is smart dialing.

Furthermore, messaging on the new Asha 308 is also as good as ever. The messaging department covers everything including text message that are organized in threads, chat client that supports multiple services as well as a feature rich email client with a quick setup. Creating a message is very easy. You can choose between a portrait multitap keypad, portrait QWERTY keyboard and a landscape QWERTY keyboard. In addition, if you move the phone horizontally, you will be provided with a lot more room to work with the keyboard and create messages with great accuracy.

Web & Social Media

The new Asha 308 is a dual SIM phone that comes with the Nokia’s Easy Swap technology in order to allow its users to switch between multiple SIM cards and therefore, they can easily and very quickly use multiple SIM cards without the need of removing the battery and turning off the device.

What’s more you will get with the Asha 308? Well, the phone is packed with 40 premium EA games, Facebook and Twitter integration, the Nokia Messaging Service and video streaming. These features are first to be introduced within the Asha touch series. Furthermore, the phone is also loaded with Xpress browser that eases 90% more efficient internet browsing.

Multimedia

The full featured great file browser makes the S40 user interface much more smarter and makes it somewhat similar to iOS and Windows phone this app is named as Files and it lists down all the local folders with the memory card on top.

The phone is also blessed with a functional gallery and photo editor, though the image gallery is somewhat a Symbian copycat but it does its function quite well. Organizing and editing pictures are also easy. The available options are crop, rotate, flip, effects, warp, add frame, clip art, add text, adjust brightness and contrast, retune colors or do auto enhance.

Talking about the music player, do not expect anything extraordinary as the interface is quite basic with some hidden options to explore. The music player supports background playback, but there are no quick controls in the notification area or the lock screen.

The Asha 308 also boasts a neat and simple interface for the FM radio and you can change stations with the dedicated controls at the bottom. There is a tab with all available stations.

The audio quality is of mediocre level with no resistance applied to its line-out. Though, the phone audio quality overall is quite good but its frequency response is somewhat poor.

The Asha 308 comes with a 2 mega pixels fixed focus camera that produces average quality images with a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200. This clearly suggests that the Asha 308 camera is good enough for the occasional use and it is not meant for the demanding applications. The camera user interface is also very pleasing and easy to use. The phone offers you settings, camcorder or still camera toggle as well as a shortcut to the gallery. Meanwhile, the virtual shutter is always placed centered at the bottom.

From the Settings, users can change effects, self-timer, grid and scenes and can also go into the deeper Advanced settings menu if he wants to change resolution options, camera sounds, orientation, and so on. Moreover, with the help of “Funny Sounds” feature of Asha 308, you can make your subject to laugh as it plays one of the several preset funny sounds just before taking a picture.

Disadvantages

With respect to design and build quality, there is a typical defect that is certainly because of cheap phone design, and this is that plenty of unused space is there around the 3 inch display. We have seen this on the handset with actual hardware buttons that there is too much screen bezel particularly at the top of the screen. Usually such space above the screen is meant for a camera and sensor but Nokia Asha 308 has none of them.

Should I Buy Nokia Asha 308?

On the whole the Asha 308 is the best dual SIM phone with smart phone features, this is the reason it offers you a complete smart phone experience. To be precise, Asha 308 is not for those who are looking for an excellent camera phone as it lacks in this department, however, it takes very good care of all the other needs people with strict budget are looking for in a smart phone feature phone. This is one of the most recent Nokia’s most affordable capacitive touchscreen swap dual SIM phone to date.

With the Asha touch screen series, the company tries to bring a smartphone like experience to the low end budget phones, and the Asha 308 does just that with its Java based S40 platform with an app store, games as well as social app to help you stay connected with your friends and relatives and make your life easier. Despite the fact that Asha 308 is not a real smartphone, it does offer you a lot of amazing feature and apps that you won’t find on any other smartphone.