Nokia announced the Asha 300 at the Nokia World last October that was launched in India in December. It went on sale in India at the end of January 2012. The Asha 300 has 2.4-inch (320 x 240 pixels) resistive touch screen display, T9 keyboard and is powered by 1 GHz processor. It runs on Series 40 OS 6th Edition , Feature Pack 1. Let’s get into the detailed review.
The phone is very light and easy to grip and weighs at 85 g. The 2.4-inch resistive touch display and 1GHz processor are similar to the X3-02 that we reviewed last year. In fact there is no major change between the hardware between these two devices other than WiFi and Music key in the Asha 300.
There is Nokia branding at the top below the ear piece.
There is call, messaging, end/off buttons below the display. There is a T9 keyboard below the display that is comfortable to type and is backlit similar to the buttons.
The lock / unlock button is on the left along the volume rocker on the top.
The Micro USB port, 3.5mm audio jack and 2mm charger port is on the top. The phone supports charging through USB.
There is a 5MP camera at the back.
The speaker is the bottom with the Nokia 300 branding.
You can access the Micro SD card slot on the right side which is hot swap, but it can only be accessed when you open the back cover.
When you remove the back cover, you can see the 1,110 mAh battery, you can access the SIM card slot after removing the battery.
The Asha 300 comes with S40 6th edition Future Pack 1 (FP1) OS and the UI supports both touch input and hardware input. There is no directional keypad and the operations are touch optimized.
The homescreen is customizable, which you can do by press and hold. You select different widgets from the content option including, calendar, Mail, Radio and My Music, Notifications and more, or leave it empty. The slide to unlock feature when you press the unlock button is nice.
There is a ‘Go to’ menu that lets opens a grid view of shortcuts, which you can customize from the personalise view option. You can also change the left and right shortcut keys from the settings.
Music Player and Radio
The Music Player supports a range of audio formats such as AAC, AAC+,AMR, MP3, MP4, NRT, True tones, WAV and WMA. The Music Player comes with equalizer with presets like Rock, Pop, Jazz and Classical and two customizable presets. Other options include Shuffle, Repeat and playlist support. You can buy Music from the inbuilt Nokia Music app which requires data connection.
The Radio with RDS auto tunes the radio stations.You can also set the station manually and play the radio via loud-speaker. You need to connect the headphones to listen to the radio, which serves as the antenna.
Contacts and Messaging
The contacts show the names in the contact list with images. There are also options to set speed dial for contacts, sync your contacts with you OVI account, contact groups, copy or move contact from phone memory to SIM card and delete contacts.
The Messaging is similar to the other S40 6th edition devices that shows text messages both in regular and conversational view, Sent items, Drafts and settings. The Mail could be configured and it works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols and supports multiple email accounts. Inbuilt chat app supports common Instant Messengers like Yahoo, Gtalk, Ovi and MSN.
Connectivity and Browser
The phone has Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR support that lets you play music and transfer files. There is a Micro USB port that supports USB OTG (On th Go) support that lets you transfer data from pen drives on to the phone easily (USB OTG cable needs to be purchased separately) . The phone has 3G support and the HSPA data could be disabled in the connectivity settings.
The default Nokia Browser that has been updated to version 2.0 is much faster that cuts data consumption by up to 90%. It is definitely faster than the earlier version we tried on the X3-02. It has WAP 2.0 and Flash Lite 3.0 support.
The 5 megapixel shooter in the Asha 300 does decent photos in the daylight. The Night shots were grainy as usual since there is no flash. It is a full focus camera and has 4x digital zoom. There are a lot of camera features such as Self Timer, Sequence Mode, Still Image Editor. You can also capture images in the landscape format. It can record videos at 640 x 480 pixel resolution at 30 frames per second. They could have added a dedicated camera button.
Here are some camera samples (Click to view the full sample)
Apps and Games
There are several apps and games that comes pre-installed with the phone. There are default utility apps such as Alarm Clock, Calculator, Voice Recorder. Nokia Life Tools offers information messages on several topics.
You can find more games in the Extras such as Angry Birds, Climate Mission, Memorize and Picture Puzzle and demo games such as Brain Challenge 3, Dimond Twister 2 and Fast Five The Movie Game.
The design looks good but the build is not that impressive compared to other S40 phones, X3-02 and C3-20 that we review earlier. The battery life is a plus, that lasts about 2 days with few hours of calls, messaging, audio and FM playback and some browsing. The USB charging is great addition but the lack of WiFi is disappointing.
- Touchscreen with Keyboard
- 5MP Camera
- USB Charging
- USB OTG support
- No Multitasking
- No WiFi
- No GPS