Nokia’s Asha 311 is the flagship handset in its trio of ‘Full Touch’ phones, which also include the Asha 305 and Asha 306. Having just reviewed the Asha 305, the 311 is quite similar to it except it also offers better features like a capacitive screen, Wi-Fi etc. for a little more. Let’s see if this is enough to make it worth a purchase.
Design and Build
One thing that can be taken for granted is the build quality on Nokia handsets; it’s always going to be great and the Asha 311 is no exception. The tiny little candybar phone is built from a very sturdy and glossy plastic. There’s absolutely no sign of flex or creaks anywhere throughout the phone. The one issue you will face is fingerprints and the glossy back is easily prone to scratches. Also, the chrome trim along the call keys and around the camera will wear off after sometime.
A well-built handset
The buttons on the Asha 311 are uncomfortably hard and it takes an effort to use them. We have the volume rocker and sleep/wake button on the side, along with the 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port and thin-pin charging port on the top. The speaker is placed at the bottom around the back along with the 3.2MP camera. The Asha 311 is a smart-looking phone (when not covered in fingerprints) and you get A-Grade build quality. It also feels very comfortable even if you have large hands.
Just like the Asha 305, the 311 also runs on the Nokia Series 40 OS, so there’s no multitasking as such, but it’s a lot more functional than what Series 40 used to be. The 3-inch capacitive screen responds well to touch and there’s support for two-finger multi-touch as well. You get three homescreens: one with the date and time and shortcut to apps, the second is the dialer and the third is the list of all the apps. There’s a drop down notification bar that lets you jump to tasks like SMS, call and music player. It also has toggle switches for data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and silent mode.
Playing Angry Birds on the 311 will only make you angry in frustration
The Asha 311 packs in a 1GHz, but that’s pretty meaningless since there aren’t any apps to take advantage of it and the ones that come with the phone are very sluggish. You can’t really swipe across the homescreens ‘fast’ as no matter how quickly you swipe, they’ll change at the pace that was programmed. Same goes for the the drop down notification bar and scrolling in apps. The display also features Corning Gorilla Glass, but the display quality is not great and there’s a lot of colour banding that’s evident in wallpapers.
The music player is basic but functional. You can sort music by album, artist, genre or through playlists. You even get a few equaliser presets and have the option to stream audio via Bluetooth. Audio through the speakers is quite loud, enough to fill a small room. Audio quality through the bundled earphones is strictly average. You also get FM Radio with RDS support but there’s no internal antenna, so you will need a headset. The video player only supports formats like MP4, but due to the poor screen quality, you won’t be doing a lot of movie watching while on the move. One redeeming media feature is Nokia Music, which gives you access to a truckload of music for free.