Feb 17, 2014

The Nokia Asha 210, Efficient and Stunning

Nokia sees to it that they got all the grounds covered specially in the entry level market, defying the norm, borne the Nokia Asha 210, the company's very first Wi-Fi Dual Sim and Dual Standby QWERTY phone. I call it a desire phone having a no less, my ideal form factor aside from being equipped with the best hardware and specs in its market segment.

A bold claim I know, but reasons defy logic, read on.

Design and Construction

As the famous saying goes, "beauty is not caused, it is", and the Nokia Asha 210 is as it is, design-wise the best looking QWERTY phone in the entry level market to date. In cyan, the phone looks refreshing and vibrant, as an effect of the colored frame fusing effectively to the deep black rims of the screens, emitting the Lumia synergy.

The phones built quality bespeaks a sturdy architecture even with its plastic frame, no wobbles or creaking whatsoever, no loose ends, just a compact and well built construction to last careless abuses.

Its a handy phone as well with its narrow-ish dimension of 4.39 x 2.36 x 0.46 inch that it fits perfectly in the hand but as much as I like the handiness, the width made the QWERTY keypad a bit cramped making it a little bothersome to use. Other than these keypad is excellent with its good tactile feedback and rubberized-like polycarbonate matte.

Screen and Display

The phone had 2.4 inch screen size, quite ideal enough for a QWERTY phone but the screen resolution was a little disturbing having only a 65thousand color resolution and a 167 ppi pixel density that it looks a bit flush at a glance. It could be fixed though by downloading wallpapers or themes withe deep black color.

Other Hardware Features

The rest of the hardware features includes the dedicated button for Facebook, VGA camera at the back, 3.5mm audio jack, the luad speaker at eh back and the microUSB port for pc connection. The phone is not supported by the Nokia PC Suite.

The Asha Operating System

One of the best feature of the phone is its operating system being very basic and easy to use, yet modern and socially adept. Moving forward to modern mobilephone technology, Nokia made it sure that it will retain its navigable system interface prowess concentrating more on natural human behavior making the user experience satisfying and engaging to use.

The operating system also heralds reliability and stability. The system is fast and responsive even though it only run basic processors, and users seldom experience hangs and freezes. The phone is working smoothly and amiably.

When it comes apps, the system never miss important widely used ones like Whatsup, Facebook, Twitter, email clients such as Gmail, YahooMail, Nokia Mail among others. Its also had quite a lot of productivity apps on board with thousands more on Nokia Store.

Dual SIM

Nokia further improve the Dual SIM mechanism on the phone compared to its predecessors. The system combines the contacts, logs and messaging of individual SIM’s into one making it easier for users to access, but sadly, it doesn't clearly mark the messages and contacts from each SIM showing only SIM numbers on the right side of the screen. It would have been better if there were highlighted markers, or it not, an option to segregate messages from both SIMS. Just like the previous versions, the Dual SIM mechanism still works perfectly well, no signal problems, no drop calls or unsent SMS.

Calendar and Contacts

Symbian 40 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 210 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.

Wrap up

The Asha 210 is the second attempt of Nokia to bring the QWERTY form factor to low end market, this time around though, bringing a sense of style and alluring statement. The phone combines attractive design, value for money and an excellent software, befitting mass market consumers. As always, the device edge all  other competing devices in its category.


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