Nokia Asha 300 review: King of ordinary
The 5MP camera is a mixed bag
The Nokia Asha 300 has a 5MP fixed-focus snapper that produces photos with maximum resolution of 2592 x 1944. 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. You can use the camera in portrait mode, but there is an option for landscape orientation as well.
A tap 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. All of 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 is good enough for a fixed-focus 5MP unit. Photos are quite noisy but the post processing manages to mask a lot of it, at least in bright areas. Shadows however have tons of noise. Contrast and color rendering are good and the amount of captured detail is as much as you would expect from such a camera. The biggest issue is the big pink spot at the center of the images, visible mostly at the all-white resolution chart photos.
Here are the samples the Asha 300 produced.
Photo quality comparison
The Nokia Asha 300 steps up in our photo quality compare tool to face the other shooters we've tested so far. The tool's page will give you more information on what to look out for.
The Asha 300 doesn't do particularly well and you can clearly see that it fails to resolve much more detail than the 3 megapixel camera of the Asha 303. There's also a notable pink spot in the shots captured with the Asha 300.
VGA video recording
The Asha 300 does VGA at 15 fps, not the best a 1GHz phone could do. Still the video quality is decent, with good colors and enough detail. The videos will do for MMS, but that's all.
Here is a video sample for you to check out.
Connectivity enhanced with USB on-the-go
The Nokia Asha 300 offers quad-band GSM and UMTS support. There is also HSPA support with download speed potentially reaching 10.2 Mbps, and up speed as good as 2 Mbps.
Bluetooth is version 2.1 and A2DP is, of course, enabled.
The Nokia Asha 300 uses a microUSB port for both data connections and charging. The bigger treat though is USB On-the-go. The Nokia Asha 300 can access USB flash drives and even other phones (card readers don’t work). Non-Nokia-made handsets generally refused to share their memory.
If you happen to connect two USB on-the-go devices – the master and slave in this connection is determined by the end each of the devioces is connected to. By the way, a special USB-OTG-enabled cable like the one that came with the Nokia N8 is not included in the Asha 300 box.
Unfortunately, the Asha 300 is not a Wi-Fi-enabled phone.
The Nokia Asha 300 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.