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Nokia Asha 200 and Nokia Asha 201
A pair of closely related messaging phones, the Nokia Asha 200 and Asha 201 are inexpensive feature phones aimed at the mass market. The difference between the two models is simple - the Asha 200 is a dual-SIM handset, where the Asha 201 is a single-SIM device.
Both devices are Series 40 feature phones rather than smartphones, but they can still download and run simple Java applications, in addition to those applications that are built into the handsets. Pre-installed software includes a web browser, a music player that can cope with MP3 and AAC formats, an email client, social networking support and in some markets the Asha 200 and 201 will support Nokia Life Tools.
The hardware is simple enough - these are dual-band GSM devices with a 2.4" 320 x 240 pixel TFT display, a smallish QWERTY keyboard, a basic 2 megapixel camera with rudimentary video capture capabilities, a stereo FM radio with a 3.5mm audio connector, a microSD slot and Bluetooth. Although the download speeds are limited to EDGE data only, the Nokia Browser is designed to make web browsing much faster on this type of connection.
The Asha 200 can take two SIMs at a time, and the built in SIM manager can cope with up to five different SIM cards. The second SIM slot is in the side of the phone, and SIMs can be hot-swapped which is a pretty cool feature. Of course, the 201 doesn't have this feature, but oddly enough both the 200 and 201 cost the same, priced at a very reasonable €60 before tax and subsidy.
Inside both phones is a large 1430 mAh battery that gives up to 7 hours talktime and 36 days standby time. The Asha 200 and 201 measure 115 x 61 x 14mm and weigh 105 grams. Both handsets come in a very wide variety of colours.
If you're looking for a cheap alternative to a BlackBerry, then the Asha 200 and 201 seem to be well thought out, especially the dual-SIM Asha 200. Nokia say that the Asha 200 should be available from Q4 2011 with the simpler Asha 201 following during Q1 2012. It isn't exactly clear which markets either handset will be available in, but certainly expect to see the 200 in India and Russia.
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