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Nokia Asha 305 and Nokia Asha 306
Two closely related and very low cost touchscreen phones, the Nokia Asha 305 and Nokia Asha 306 are aimed at emerging markets and consumers on a budget.
The differences between the Asha 305 and 306 models are slight. The Nokia Asha 305 is a dual-SIM handset with a hot-swap capability that allows you to change SIM cards without turning off the phone. The Nokia Asha 306 removes the dual-SIM capabilities and includes WiFi instead, making this Nokia's cheapest ever WiFi-enabled phone. Neither phone is 3G capable, although the WiFi connectivity on the 306 means that you can access the internet quickly when connected to a suitable wireless network.
These are Series 40 feature phones rather than smartphones, but you can download new applications from the Nokia Store including 40 free EA games that you can keep. The Asha 305 and 306 support Facebook, Twitter and come with a media player with an accelerated web browser designed to minimise download costs and work more quickly on the 2G connection.
On the front is a simple 3.0" 240 x 400 pixel touchscreen. The panel is of the older (and cheaper) resistive type rather than the easier-to-use capacitive displays that you see on more expensive devices. The closely related Nokia Asha 311 does have a capacitive screen, but it costs about 50% more.
On the back is a basic 2 megapixel camera capable of very rudimentary video recording. There's an FM radio, a microSD slot, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The standard sales package includes a 2GB memory card and a stereo wired headset.
Inside both handsets is a 1110 mAh BL-4U battery which Nokia claims gives up to 14 hours talktime and 22 days standby time. The Asha 305 and 306 measure 110 x 54 x 13mm and weigh a little under 100 grams.
The Nokia 305 should retail for €63 before tax and subsidy, it will be available in silver white, red, mid blue and dark grey colours and should hit the market during Q2 2012 (which effectively means by the end of June).
The Nokia 306 is a little more expensive at €68 before tax and subsidy in the same colour schemes as the 305, and Nokia say that it will be available during Q3 2012. These are both very good looking handsets for the money, and they certainly look more expensive than they actually are.
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