Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: Nokia Asha 302

Nokia is really aiming on targeting and connecting 'The Next Billion', and to achieve that goal, they need to introduce more and more affordable devices which will offer people the ability to connect with everyone using any available means.

That's where the Nokia Asha 302 comes in. The Nokia Asha 302 is a very affordable phone that you can depend on when it comes to being connected. It has everything on it - fast 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and to sum it up, a QWERTY keyboard.

PART 1: Hardware and Design

The Nokia Asha 302 is just so affordable that I just can't complain about its build. It has a QWERTY keyboard on the front, a panel of keys above it - which has the two soft-keys, call/end keys, the d-pad, and two keys that serves as a shortcut to some built-in apps. For example, you can assign the Contacts key to open your contacts list, and the Messaging key to open your e-mail.

It also has a 3.2 Megapixels camera which is just your average camera (read: fixed-focus). More on that later. Beside the camera you will find the speaker grille, and the latch used to open the back cover below. The metal cover on the back does not attract fingerprints - I find it good!

The Nokia Asha 302 is powered by a 1430 mAh battery, which lasts between 1-2 days of moderate usage, i.e. sending texts, checking e-mails, and using the web browser. Another thing I like here is that it supports USB charging, while the other S40 phones does not. Another thing that I want to share with you, I had a hard time putting in my Sun Cellular SIM card in the sim slot. It just won't lock. I guess the SIM card is just too thick. Argh.

The phone is surrounded by a metallic side, which kinda gives it a glossy and reflective look. On the top is the 2mm charger port, the 3.5mm audio port, and the micro-USB port - which again, you can use to charge it if you have a USB charger. On the left side, you'll see the microSD card slot. The phone doesn't have a volume rocker, which I think is the same as the other S40 phones too. You'll have to use the 'Go to' shortcut to adjust the volume level.

The QWERTY keyboard of the Nokia Asha 302 is very pleasurable to use. I compared it to my sister's Nokia X2-01, and found out that the keyboard of this has a reduced level of noise when pressing the keys. The keys has a matte-like feel, and it has enough grip for a single-handed operation. It has shortcuts to some key functions like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The screen is a 2.4-inch one with 320x240 resolution with 167ppi. As such, you can easily notice the individual pixels with your eye. You can't adjust the brightness level of the screen, but it doesn't bother me too much as it's already bright.

Oh by the way, watch this video I made to see how load the speaker of the Asha 302! It's just loud that I was shocked when I first tried it.

PART 2: Software

Comparison: Nokia C3-00 on the left, Nokia Asha 302 on the right.
The Nokia Asha 302 runs on the trusty ol' S40 (or Series 40) operating system. Apps are still very limited. The OS does not support multitasking, so if you're typing an e-mail and there's an SMS that arrived, you will be unluckily forced to quit that typing session.

Moving on, tasks are done well easily on the Nokia Asha 302, thanks to it's fast 1GHz processor. Opening apps is instantaneous, and loading webpages on the Opera Mini browser is fast enough for this phone. Speaking of the browser, the built-in Nokia Browser is slow. I really know that the old core browser of S40 is still there, Nokia just hid it out of our sight. I suggest that you use Opera Mini instead.

The homescreen is the same as the other S40 phones, you can configure it to display your e-mail or your social networks updates. You can also set it to show your notifications for texts or calls.

Speaking of e-mail, when Nokia announced this device at MWC, they said that this supports Mail for Exchange. It is used to sync your contacts and calendars from different web services, like Google and Hotmail. In the unit that I have, I can't find that option. You can add your Google or Hotmail accounts but that's it. It doesn't sync my contacts and other data.

UPDATE: Just got word that Mail for Exchange support is coming this Q2 2012.

Another thing to add, the QWERTY keyboard also supports some Ctrl (or Control) commands. For example, when typing a message and you want to delete all the texts on the screen, just press and hold the Ctrl key + the letter 'A' key to select all texts, then press delete. Pretty neat, huh. Other commands that also work are cut (Ctrl + X), copy (Ctrl + C), and paste (Ctrl + V). I'm not sure if there are more commands that I missed.

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other social networks are built-in on the phone, in one app called Social. There's not much into it, you can perform basic functions like sending a status, or a tweet, or upload a photo.

PART 3: Camera

As I've said before, the Nokia Asha 302 has a 3.2 Megapixels fixed-focus camera. You can't do macro shots on it. Nevertheless, it takes good to good enough photos, with some clear details. Click on the photos to view them in full resolution.

You can also use live frames for some quirky and fun shots, like one of these...

Overall, the camera of the Nokia Asha 302 is good, but obviously not the best.
PART 4: Conclusion

So, is the Nokia Asha 302 a good buy? I can say it depends on you. The S40 OS still doesn't support multitasking and that's a big deal for me. But if you are looking for a fast and affordable phone, with a good camera, and a very good speaker, then yes! At P5,290, this is a good buy although you can still look for other phones at this price range like some very low-end Android phones.

Hardware and Design - 8/10
Software - 5/10
Camera - 6/10

Disclosure: Nokia Philippines provided us this review unit.

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 hi jon, myself kk from Mumbai,India. i am desperately waiting for this phone. i want to ask --1) pdf reader and pocket office(word /excel) software available for this phone. reply soon

Hi KK. Yes you can try ezReader PDF, it can be used to view PDF and some document files.

How long does the battery hold in real life?

when this nokia asha 302 be available in the indian market.....especialy
in Chandigarh???.....plzzz let me know as soon as possible as i cant
wait to buy this mobile.

hey, i tried to check the compatibility of ezReader for Nokia 302 Asha on ""

but it gave me below error
"Sorry, this item is not available for the Nokia Asha 302.Browse more great content in the "Related" section below.eZReader DOC PDF Lite"

Have any one else tried this software on their Nokia 302 Asha phone and is it working fine?

or please advise any other PDF or MS word/ excel document reader.


To read PDF or DOC without PDF reader one must needs
1. Internet connection (GPRS 2G, 3G or 4g)
2. Opera Mini Browser on your mobile hand set ( Opera Mini run all phone)
3. Gmail Accounts
4. PDF or Doc File ( Which you want to read

How to read
 Open you phone opera mini Browser. Login Gmail accounts, Compose a mail, ( view html while composing mail in gmail other wise attachment link will not be available) , Attach the file you want to read ( PDF or DOC) send it to your own gmail address. Open your gmail in Box, You find mail you sent just now, Open this Email, Go to bottom of the mail, You find attached file, Click file at Veiw file html. File will open in the gmail. You have done.

how to open the files on pdf format to see through Ez reader form asha 303 mobile plzzz sugest me ....

i mistakely deleted the frames, how to restue it back or can some one sent it to my email pls

Nokia Asha 302 is a stylish QWERTY phone featuring a 2.4-inch TFT LCD screen. The phone is powered by a 1 GHz Processor and runs on the S40 OS. The price of this mobile phone is also easily affordable. If you like messaging handsets then the Nokia Asha 302 may be the handset for you. It is a full QWERTY keyboard based mobile phone. It runs Nokia's S40 operating system and has awesome features.

I agree with all the above but cant find my way onto the internet?

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