Nokia Asha 306 review: Smartphone Ash-pirations

GSMArena team, 20 October 2012.
Pages: 12345678»

Tags: Nokia, S40, Touch UI

Introduction

In a shrinking featurephone market, the Nokia Asha lineup is trying to deliver a near-smartphone experience with less complexity and, more crucially, at a more attractive price point. The Asha 306 slots just above the middle of the pack - delivering a touchscreen display and Wi-Fi connectivity.


Nokia Asha 306 official photos

The Nokia Asha 306 is aimed at those that value Wi-Fi connectivity over a second SIM slot (there's Asha 305 if that's not the case). Wi-Fi connectivity is the headline feature, but it's not everything the Asha 306 has going for it.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM, GPRS, EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • S40-based Asha touch interface
  • 3" WQVGA resistive touchscreen, ~155 pixel density
  • Multi-touch in the gallery and Nokia Maps
  • Display auto-rotation
  • Nokia Browser 2.0
  • Nokia store and 40 EA games for free
  • 2 MP camera
  • microSD card support (up to 32 GB)
  • Complimentary 2 GB microSD card in the box
  • Bluetooth v2.1
  • Standard microUSB port, charging
  • 1100 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Excellent loudspeaker performance

Main disadvantages

  • Interface slows down at times, due to low RAM
  • Poor screen quality
  • Resistive touchscreen feels awkward
  • Fixed-focus camera
  • QCIF video recording
  • No smart dialing

The Nokia Asha 306 is no powerhouse, but then again, the target user for this one isn't really obsessed with specs. The Asha 306 makes sense for people looking for a straightforward handset for calling other people or are just on the lookout for a secondary phone, which should complement their smartphone without breaking the bank.

Nokia Asha 306 Nokia Asha 306
The Nokia Asha 306 at HQ

A case can be made that touch and simple don't really mix in times when pixels and clockspeeds are what drives the industry forward. Why not simply get a regular phone with a keypad. You'll save a little money and still get basically the same functionality in a possibly smaller package. An Asha 201 would cost you significantly less too. So why go for a Nokia Asha 306?

This is where the new interface comes into play. It's not just a touchscreen you are getting here - you are actually purchasing something that enables even easier UI navigation. Web browsing is also way more intuitive on touchscreen devices and gaming benefits, too.

So can the Nokia Asha 306 deliver all it promises on such a tight budget? Read on to find out.

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