May 15, 2012

Nokia Asha 200 Pep Talk Part 2, Software, Browser, eMail, Camera, Wrap Up

The Nokia Asha 200 has a modest overall first impression and hardware. It might not be as solid and dependable compared to metallic framed high end handsets but within its price range, the phone superior in most aspects. Read the Pep Talk Part 1 HERE.

The phone runs a Symbian 40 V11.56, the most prime, dependable and reliable operating system in mobilephone world. Count the number of years that the software had existed (1999), the number of software version that sprung from it (4) and the number of devices it was used (somewhere around 1.5 Billion), that’s how prominent it is in the mobilephone space.

Same as its being renowned for, the Symbian 40 software on Nokia Asha 200 delivers no less than the easiest and most convenient mobilephone experience for users. Anyone can just use the phone right up and familiarize its mechanism which had been proven tested through time.

In terms of stability, the phone handles it like the back of its hand. Maybe because the phone have only basic features that are not extensive to use or that Symbian had mastered the software like no other for decades, but no matter, it’s the system and mechanism that other manufacturers can only dream of for entry level devices.


The Homescreen of Asha 200 is 2.4inches with 320 x 240 pixels, has a 256K color resolution and supports application shortcuts. The screen size is very typical, it’s the same to that of Nokia E71, E72 or E6, which is desirable in terms of width because anything beyond this will make the phone arduous to hold. The color resolution is a bit bland but then again, it’s the best screen resolution you can find on the price bracket. The screen is fully customizable to user’s preference, you can add, remove or move the content bar and the shortcut bar depending on your most used applications.

Dual SIM

Nokia might be a bit late in adopting Dual SIM phones but they made it sure that the mechanism was rightly fitted before handling it out to consumers. What Nokia did was combine the contacts, logs and messaging of individual SIM’s into one making it easier for users to access. I just want Nokia to add more markers on the messages and contacts from each SIM, at the moment they were just numbers on the right part of the screen, well, a color marker will do. So far, the Dual SIM mechanism works perfectly well, no signal problems like that of Chinese cloned phones, no drop calls or unsent SMS whatsoever.

Calendar and Contacts

Symbian s40 calendar is pretty much basic were the screen is divided vertically between the month view and the calendar entries. You can add entries such as reminders, birthdays, meetings, anniversary among others. Contacts on the other hand was minimalist, you can add a lot of data on it such as internet details, multimedia files such as tones and images and personal information such as postal address, birthday, note, formal name or nickname. Contacts can either be viewed by name, name with image or name with number. Nothing extraordinary in here except a few tweaks on entry of information’s.

Web and Email

Not typical among affordable entry level phones but Nokia made it sure that its stronghold, the mass market, can enjoy all the modern services that the world has to offer.

The Nokia Browser on the Asha 200 brings rich web browsing that’s fairly capable. Nokia uses a cloud compression technology to reduce data usage up to 90% resulting to quicker web page download. Well, it does fasten the download process compared to the previous but the compression mechanism resulted to a poor webpage visual but nonetheless, the page can be zoom in or out with a little log and it reduces the data cost per web page.

Nokia eMail on the other hand gives users an easy access to e-mail anywhere and anytime. Users can view, respond, forward, compose and delete e-mails and manage e-mail inbox, outbox, drafts and sent folders. Downloading emails is also economical since it implements data compression similar to that of the browser.

Nokia Social

Since the dawn of social networking, the need to connect to social sites like Facebook and Twitter became a necessity rather than a privilege. Mobilephone consumers were now looking beyond the norm, high end or not, and so the Nokia Social was created not only to address the inevitable but gave users the best social network experience in low end devices. The app combines Twitter and Facebook were users can access both even opening there individual apps. Quite typical but for entry level phones, its the easiest and the most affordable social connectivity app in the market at the moment.

Nokia Store

Perhaps the biggest addition to S40 device, the Nokia store is an application that lets users find or buy contents, wallpapers, themes or application for the phone all in one place. I can still remember the days when I need to scroll around several web pages to customize my phone, now all it takes is a single intuitive app. The phone uses mobile data to download contents but for users to reduce possible cost incurred, you can connect the phone to a WIFI connected pc; download, install and open the Nokia Suite; go to the Nokia Store webpage and download directly from there. The pc downloaded contents will be installed directly to the phone.

Music and Radio

Music Player is also modest enough giving user’s easy way to navigate music files. A smallish album cover can be found on the right portion of the player, title of the tract were on the right side while the music grid (forward, play and rewind) on the bottom. Media options includes; Play in background – option were you can leave the music player page without turning the player off and do other stuffs on the phone; Shuffle songs; Repeat and Add to Playlist. Equalizer or bass booster is not supported as well as playlist synchronization over Nokia Suite. This would mean that you have to manually create your playlist. Music Player supports MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC+ files.

The FM radio was very typical, it can only be played with a headset inserted, tuning is both automatic and manual and users can save unlimited number of radio stations.

Video Playback

The Video player supports WMV, H.264, H.263 and MP4 files, but due to its limited processor, playing videos on the phone is not that smooth but still watchable enough.

Camera and Camcorder

The phone sports a 2MP camera capable of taking ordinary images in good lighting condition. It’s also capable of recording videos of up to 10fps. Very basic imaging feature here creating lightweight file size but very much ideal for the phone since it only rely on EDGE for web connectivity. Posting images or videos on Facebook or Twitter won’t be too costly.


The phone had 4 pre-installed, 3 Full games and 1 Demo. Among the Full games were my personal favorite Diamond Rush, Highroller Casino and Solitaire. The demo game was the Asphalt 4 Elite Racing. Then again as I’ve mentioned earlier, the phone had a fully supported Nokia Store app client were you can download hundreds of games, themes, ringtones among others. Just connect the phone to a WIFI connected PC, open the Nokia Store web page and you’re ready to download all you want.

Wrap up

The Asha 200 is the first attempt of Nokia to bring the QWERTY form factor to low end market and the said move was no less than a classic success since they were able to create a device that crossed boundaries. The phone doesn’t only have an attractive and value worthy QWERTY hardware but also prime software, a lethal combination that befits consumers more than anything else. Compared to the rest of the devices on its bracket, the Asha 200 humbly edge them out in every category that’s why I’m proud to recommend it to everyone. Enjoying your hard earn money should not be a privilege, it should be a choice, so if you’re looking for the best yet affordable Dual QWERTY phone, think of Asha 200, no less.


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