The latest additions to the Nokia Asha family are two models – Asha 305 and Asha 311, which bring the touchscreen experience at a price point that will bring smiles to those who are on a tight budget . What we have with us today is the dual-SIM Asha 305, which packs a very basic feature set and exudes style as well.
A stylish and affordable touchscreen phone
Design and build
The Asha 305 is about as large as a typical candy bar handset and weighs a little less than 100 grams. It’s quite slim at 12.8 mm and doesn’t feel too heavy in the pocket. You have three colour options to choose from – red, blue and black. We got our hands on the black variant, and we must say it’s a good-looker. The only elements that are black are the frame around the 3-inch display and strips on the curvaceous sides that house the slots and buttons. The trapezoidal bits at the top and bottom are emblazoned in gunmetal chrome and the rear panel is of the same colour but with matte finish. The rest of the body has a glossy finish, which lends a premium look, but the downside is that the shiny surfaces get mottled with fingerprints too easily.
The Asha 305 is quite slim at just 12.8 mm
The exterior of the phone has limited components. Just below the screen are buttons for call accept and reject. The right side has the volume control, a lock button and an elongated groove to insert your fingernail and pluck out the rear panel. The left side has slots for SIM2 and microSD card, which makes hot-swapping easy.
Port flaps for protection
The plastic flaps protect the internals of the ports from dust and also prevent accidental removal of SIM and memory card. The top of the device houses a micro USB port for data transfer, a 3.5 mm headhone jack and a jack for the charger.
Micro USB port and jacks for headphones and charging
The rear of the phone sports a 2 megapixel camera with fixed focus and a mono speaker towards the bottom. The SIM1 slot resides under the 1110 mAh BL-4U battery.
Features and performance
The most striking feature of the Asha 305 is the 3-inch touchscreen display. However, the touchscreen is of the resistive type, which doesn’t inspire too much confidence unlike the capacitive ones. In this case, a little pressure is required to register the touch due to the nature of the resistive touchscreen. It would have been nice if Nokia had included a stylus in the package. Typing messages and website addresses can be frustrating, especially if you have thick fingers. To top this, the jittery user interface makes things worse. You have to be patient while scrolling through the icons, contacts and song list. You can’t expect much from an entry-level phone such as this one, but it shouldn’t have been this jittery either.
The overall performance of the Asha 305 is good (for the price at least). The earpiece is loud enough to converse comfortably in noisy public transport and crowded places. The bundled wired stereo handsfree makes things easier. They are acceptably loud and the sound quality is good – quite decent for listening to music and FM radio. The output of the mono speaker is crisp and it’s just a step lower than being annoyingly loud. It sounds good with the speaker grille exposed. With the handset placed on a flat surface, the sound is quite muffled. Place it screen-down, and there’s some brilliance in sound.
Updated 23 May, 2013, 9:28 am IST
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