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Nokia launches Asha 308 and Asha 309

Nokia has announced that it is expanding its Asha range, with the launch of two handsets – the Asha 308 and Asha 309.

The devices have been dubbed the most affordable capacitive touchscreen devices to date, and with a price tag of around $99 (around £61), it’s easy to see why.

Shipments of the smartphones are set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2012, meaning that smartphone fans will be able to get their hands on the wallet-friendly models by Christmas.

Nokia Asha 308 and 309: What we can expect

Both devices feature a fluid ‘swipe’ user interface, with a 3.0” WQVGA capacitive display.

Although both devices lag behind in terms of internet connectivity, enabled for 2G only, they do include a number of key smartphone features, such as multiple home screens, stereo radio, loud speakers, and a microSD card slot.

While the Nokia Asha 309 is the single SIM device, the Asha 308 is a dual SIM and features Easy Swap technology, allowing users to easily and quickly switch between multiple SIMs.

The smartphones will also include a new version of Nokia Xpress Browser, which allows for up to 90% more efficient mobile browsing, as well as giving them faster access to rich web applications.

Nokia Asha 308 and 309: The full package?

There is some debate as to whether these devices can really be called ‘smartphones’, as they are more akin to feature phones.

Yet there are plenty of features in both models that will keep users satisfied, especially when they cost as little as they do.

Will Stofega, fromat global market intelligence firm IDC, argues that the Asha 308 and Asha 309 may be cheap, but that this doesn’t mean that users’ experience is compromised. He said:

“Nokia’s Asha Touch family delivers all the core smartphone experiences, and with the new software developer kit, provides ever-increasing flexibility for developers to build compelling new experiences for consumers.”

The devices also come with the added bonus of 40 free premium EA games as well as the Nokia Messaging Service and video streaming through the browser from sites such YouTube – the first time this has taken place in the Asha range.

The success of the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309 will no doubt depend on whether users prioritise price over features, or vice versa.

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