The Nokia Asha Touch phones were launched in early June; the Asha 305 and Asha 306 are the others in the full Touch family.
These phones are designed for people who are active on social networks, want to use their phones for entertainment, such as music and games, and want to get online. Many thousands of different apps can be downloaded from the Nokia Store.
Let’s start with how the phone looks. You would expect any Nokia device to be well made, to feel nice in the hand and to be just that little bit different. The Asha 311 doesn’t disappoint.
The first thing I notice is that the display appears to take up the entire front of the phone. When it is in lock mode, you can’t see the edges where the display ends – you’re just faced with a deep black façade. It’s very nice.
The bottom lip of the Asha 311 has a nice matt finish and above this runs a thin metal ring that encircles the whole phone and where you will find the two buttons on the front.
The Touch interface is the key to the Asha 311, and it is easy and fun to use. I was also surprised at how fast it is. You can swipe the screens down and up and side to side. Thanks to the phone’s 1Ghz processor, the controls and animations are extremely responsive.
There are also some characteristic Nokia elements that bring a smile to the face when you see them for the first time, such as the icons on the screen bouncing up a little before coming down to a gentle rest when you scroll to the bottom.
Traditional Nokia fans will be familiar with the range of customising options for the screens and shortcuts. One feature that I especially liked is that the third screen can be changed to either the dialler (phone), music or radio functions. This means that you are never more than a couple of swipes from accessing one of the three.
Photos and Social
In trying out the Asha 311, I didn’t use it any differently from any other phone I would have in my possession. I like to check my emails, look at websites, take photos and see what people are talking about on Twitter. Pretty ordinary stuff.
The Asha 311 is a 3G phone with WiFi, has a 3.2-megapixel camera and it has the fabulous Nokia Browser, which uses compression technology to make browsing the web faster and cheaper.
In other words, it was more than capable of doing all the things that I wanted it to do.
On the photos, it comes with a fully featured editing suite that lets you rotate, flip, crop, warp, add frames, clip art, text, adjust the brightness and contrast and add special effects.
To be able to do all these things without downloading an app was a real, and unexpected, bonus.
I enjoy mobile gaming but sadly I am not particularly good at it. The Asha 311 though is a really good phone for getting some practice in because each device comes with 40 free EA games that you can keep forever. How could one resist? The only cost to me is my sense of pride when my young nephew beats all my high scores.
Me and My Asha
Over the last few days, I have come to look at the Asha 311 with a great deal of fondness. Yes, it is smaller than my regular Lumia 800 but that only makes me feel more protective of it.
Listen to what Pimorn in Bangkok or Ana Laura in Mexico City said about their Asha phones. They and 10 other Asha owners shared their stories in some wonderful and personal videos in a series called ‘Me and My Asha.’
I’m beginning to know how they feel.