Nokia Asha 200 review: Dual SIMpatico
2 MP worth of camera
The Nokia Asha 200 has a 2MP fixed-focus snapper that produces photos with maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200. The camera interface has been updated so it's a lot more like Symbian.
On the screen you get a column on the bottom with the virtual shutter key in the center and the back and options keys besides it.
A click on the D pad on the screen reveals more controls - indicators (photos remaining, resolution and white balance), digital zoom controls, and three shortcuts for video camera mode, gallery and self-timer. These auto-hide so they don't take up space on the screen.
Going into the Options menu, you get a menu popup. There are controls here for effects (greyscale, sepia, negative), white balance, a viewfinder grid and extended settings.
The image quality of the Asha 200 isn't all that good though we can't quite remember the last time we reviewed a phone with a 2MP camera. Colors look dull and our retail review unit had a lens issue - take a closer look at the smudgy spot a little on the left from the center of the photos.
Here are the results themselves.
MMS-grade video recording
The Nokia Asha 200 is also capable of video capture but the QCIF (176 x 144) quality shouts bottom of the barrel.
The interface of the camcorder is the same as the camera. Options include setting the video length from MMS to maximum available.
In terms of quality the videos produced by the Asha 200 are awful. The lack of resolution aside detail is practically nonexistent and colors are all wrong.
But we guess the Asha 200 just isn't camera-oriented and Nokia have gone to some lengths to keep the price down - it's a bargain many users will gladly take.
Here is a video sample for you to check out.
Connectivity matches the pricing
The Nokia Asha 200 is a dual band device (900 / 1800) and offers GPRS and EDGE class 12. There's no 3G (HSDPA) or Wi-Fi on board.
Bluetooth is version 2.1 and A2DP is, of course, enabled.
The Nokia Asha 200 uses a microUSB port for both data connections and charging. There's no USB-on-the-go here like on the Asha 300.
The Nokia Asha 200 also comes complete with a memory card slot. Coupled with a card reader it can usually give you the fastest data transfer rates.
And finally, there's the standard 3.5mm audio jack, which allows you to use your own headphones, but doesn't have TV-out functionality.
S40 browser is worse without touch
The browser found on the Asha 200 is the Nokia Browser, which utilizes server-side compression to keep those data charges in check. Another plus of the compression method is faster page loading times.
The start page is easy to navigate with a URL field and a search field at the top and shortcuts at the bottom for Social network, entertainment, news and more.
There's also a data counter on board to keep a statistic of how much you've used out of your monthly data plan.
Pages are rendered okay but some mobile sites turn out too zoomed in and users can only view a single article at a time.
Organizer and apps
The Nokia Store is the place to download free and paid apps and games for your Nokia Asha 200. The interface is easy to navigate but the lack of Wi-Fi means you'll be forced to use a data plan from your carrier to avoid huge bills.
There are a couple of preinstalled games on the Asha 200, the most noteworthy of which is Asphalt 3 Elite Racing.
The calculator app is really easy to use and Nokia have conveniently made a D pad and soft buttons layout to facilitate users.
Present are also a voice recorder with no time limit and an alarm clock.
The notes app is self-explanatory, a to-do app is here too and you set different reminders.
There is a stopwatch and a countdown timer.
The calendar application, like on every S40 Nokia phone out there, is pretty good. You can set reminders, meetings, calls, birthdays and more. The landscape layout offers a dual-screen viewing solution so you see the appointments you have without leaving the month view.
Though Nokia isn't one to leave the customer without all the required organizing apps you will be able to find some in the Nokia Store as well.