The Nokia Asha 306 gives you a near-smartphone experience. Feature phones such as this have hybrid capabilities. They are neither a full-fledged smartphone nor a feature phone. They lie in between.
The Asha 306 belongs to this category. The attractively priced phone comes with a range of interesting functionality. For starters, this phone is touchscreen and has WiFi connectivity.
The design of the phone resembles Nokia Asha 305. There are no design changes in the 306. This phone comes in a range of colors that includes silver, mid blue and red to name a few. For the more adventurous, there is white, dark grey, and silver. The back of the phone is finished with matted design. This means that the back of the phone does not accumulate fingerprints. The 3” display is compact and neatly presented. The front face of the phone is well-utilized.
You will notice how the metallic edges of the phone have contours. The curvature of the phone is dynamic.
The Nokia Asha 306 is a touchscreen phone. This is reason enough for cheer. Because at such a low price, you get a touchscreen experience on a decent resolution screen. The 3” screen is small and compact. It fits into your palm snugly.
Being a resistive touchscreen helps to keep the price low. The display resolution on the phone is 240 X 400 pixels. Given that the screen is small, the resolution produces a reasonable level of sharpness because the pixels pack in tightly into the small screen real estate.
The processing capabilities of this phone are surprisingly high courtesy the 1GHz processor. You can expect all the good things from the phone due to a high-end processor. For instance, applications render faster. System responses have no latency and so on.
Running on Nokia’s Series 40 operating system, the phone sports a brand new interface. The interface is a Full Touch Version featuring excellent user interface options for a comfortable operating experience. There are semblances of the MeeGo project in the user interface design. There is also a rip-off of the Android operating system design in the scheme.
The operating system is definitely a big plus. Navigation is self-explanatory, and the scrollable list of icons adds to the user experience. For instance, on the left of the screen is the dialer. On the right of the screen are more than a dozen shortcuts.
You are greeted by the app launcher user interface component. This component presents an array of applications. All major applications and utilities are within swiping distance. There are a host of preloaded apps on the phone. The popular one is Social. This social networking aggregator is a one-point virtual place to access your account updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. There are plenty of chatting programs in the form of Google Talk, Nokia Chat and MSN Messenger.
The Nokia Asha 306 has 2G network support. You can also connect to the network using WiFi. The phone has a fully functional browser. Additionally, the phone as a QWERTY keyboard that is ideal for typing and setting search engine preferences. You can download scores of EA games such as Tetris, and FIFA 12. Although the phone has no GPS, it compensates this with Nokia Maps. Using a technique called as Network Triangulation, the application locates you whereabouts. When you are on the move, you can switch on the FM radio that has an inbuilt RDS and decent music playback capabilities.
What’s not so great?
The display is not a strong point of the phone though it seems to be. The display is not bright and there is no option to control the brightness. The low resolution on the phone is not particularly problematic but the screen sometimes becomes very reflective. The image quality is not great either.
If you have been using a capacitive touchscreen, this touchscreen might not impress you. This is a resistive screen with poor system response and image rendition.
What’s with a 1GHz processor and only 64MB RAM? This is a case where the twain does not meet no matter what. The low primary memory on the phone does put the phone in a spot of bother. For one, you cannot multitask with ease. You cannot render memory intensive applications. Some screens take longer to populate on the screen.
Performance-wise, there are good things and bad things about this phone. But don’t expect to get a super fast browsing experience. You will experience some sluggishness. It is only a matter of getting used to it.
On board memory is low. In fact, abysmally low. 64 MB is an extremely low specification. The saving grace is the 2 GB memory card slot. This expandable memory gives you some space to store something at least. But you can’t expect to store a lot on this phone.
Worse, your touch is not registered as quickly as you expect the phone to. You need to get used to this latency though. The only justification for this seems to be the price point. But isn’t the 1GHz processor under-used with this low primary memory?
The 2 MP camera is definitely not great. The maximum output from this camera is about 1600 X 1200 pixels resolution photos. You can’t take good quality pictures when there is low ambient light. There is a lot of fuzziness associated with the quality of photographs.
Vs. Nokia Asha 311
The best feature about the Asha 311 is that it is a global phone. It can work with any network in the world based on GSM technology. The 311 is a better phone. It has a capacitive touchscreen, has a slightly bigger screen, and has better data speeds.
Vs. Samsung Galaxy Y
Asha 306 is a faster phone. But the Galaxy Y compensates for it by being a smaller phone. The Asha 306 has slow data transfer technology. It has a resistive touchscreen. Apart from these limitations the Asha 306 is a better phone.
Design wise, the Asha 306 looks better. Although there are a lot of features missing on both the phones, it is a matter of preference at the end of the day.
Vs. Samsung Galaxy Pocket
The Pocket is a smaller phone. It has a lower resolution camera, video capture, and low resolution screen. The only advantage the Asha 306 has it that is has a faster processor. The Asha 306 does not have good EDGE, and GPRS data connection speeds, and this is where the Pocket fares better.
The Asha 306 has a 1GHz processor. So this is indeed a fast phone. But its low primary memory of 64 MB plays spoil sport. If the phone had a higher primary memory, system responsiveness would have been better, multitasking would have been possible and so on.
There are preloaded apps such as Social for example. This app provides you a centralized virtual meeting place to connect with your friends on various social networking platforms. There is also Angry Birds which is a popular game in the Android world. This phone is definitely a buy. Design-wise, and performance-wise the phone does a decent job.
Price and availability
The Nokia Asha 306 costs only Rs.3711. It is available at all the leading online stores.