Nokia kicked off this year’s Nokia World conference by announcing a new range of Symbian S40 handsets called Asha. The four devices that Nokia demoed are Nokia Asha 200, Asha 201, Asha 300 and Asha 303. The word Asha means “hope” in Sanskrit.
Nokia Asha 303 is the most power packed handset of the lot. It has a decently sized 2.6″ capacitive touchscreen as well as a full QWERTY keypad, and is powered by a 1 GHz processor. 3.2 MP camera, expandable memory (up to 32 GB). 3G, Wi-Fi, social network integration, instant messaging, and email are few of the other features. Some of the apps that Nokia is bundling with Asha 303 are Facebook Chat, Whatsapp messaging, and Nokia Maps for Series 40. It will be available in two colors (Red and Graphite) and will cost around 115 EUR, excluding taxes and subsidies.
The Asha 300 features a slightly smaller 2.4screen, retains the 1 GHz processor and QWERTY keypad, degrades the touchscreen to resistive, and amps up the camera to 5 megapixel. As a result, Asha 300 will set you back by only 85 EUR. It is also available in the same selection of colors as Asha 303.
The Asha 200 is Nokia’s latest dual-SIM handset with “Easy Swap” functionality. You can change SIMs whenever you feel like without having to switch off or restart your phone. The screen size is still 2.4 inch; however, it is no longer touch sensitive. It also has other features like high performing loudspeaker, enhanced stereo FM radio and ringtone tuning that are popular among the masses. Asha 200 will be available in as many as eight different colors and cost 60 EUR. Asha 201 is a single SIM variant of the Asha 200 and will retail for approximately the same price.
All the handsets will come preloaded with Nokia own browser, which uses remote rendering and compression in Opera Mini style to speed up browsing and save bandwidth. However, the biggest news on the apps side is that Nokia Asha 303 and 300 will come preloaded with Angry Birds! With the exception of Asha 201, all the devices are expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2011. You will have to wait until 2012 to get your hands on Asha 201.