Back To The Basics: Nokia Announces Low Cost Asha 205 and 206 Smartphones

by Gaurav Kheterpal on November 27, 2012

2012 has been a mixed year for Nokia. The Finnish giant, once a powerhouse in the mobile industry, is standing at a crossroads, having played its last and final card with the Lumia 920. Should this attempt follow suit with every previous flagship smartphone debacle we’ve witnessed over the past two years and, well, Nokia likely won’t be able to recover.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that Nokia is now going back to the basics and launch offerings where it’s been most successful – the low cost feature phone segment. The company yesterday unveiled two new cellphone models, the Asha 205 and the Asha 206, pricing both models at around US$62, excluding subsidies and taxes.

Both phones are available in single SIM or dual SIM versions and give people innovative ways to access social features and share their favorite content. Both devices reflect Nokia’s heritage by combining world-class design and long-lasting battery life. These are the first devices to include Nokia’s exclusive Slam feature that lets consumers share multimedia content like photos and videos with nearby friends almost instantly.

Both new devices run on Nokia’s home-grown Series 40 software, a basic feature phone operating system that has been around since a decade. The Asha 205 boasts a full QWERTY keyboard, a 2.4-inch (240×320) screen, and isolated navigation, Internet, email, and Facebook keys. The device runs on GSM 850/900/1800/1900 networks (although there’s a dual-SIM variant), and it sports a Series 40 Alpha UI, 0.3MP camera, 10MB of memory (up to 32GB with a microSD card), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPRS/EDGE connectivity, and a 3.5mm AV jack. The company claims that the device can last on standby for a whopping 37 days and offers 11 hours of talk time on a single battery charge. It also has Facebook, Twitter, and eBuddy apps pre-installed.

The Asha 206 also has a 2.4-inch QVGA resolution display in portrait which sits right above its alphanumeric keypad. It has a 1.3 megapixel rear camera, louder speakers than that of the Asha 205, no dedicated Facebook button and other features remain the same as the former.

Interestingly, both devices will NOT be available in the United States.

Whatever spin Nokia puts on the situation irrespective of its new launches, however, it doesn’t change the fact that the company has still found absolutely no answer for Apple and Samsung, the Finnish company having watched its once entrenched position atop the mobile mountain usurped by those two tech giants.

It would be interesting to see how well the Asha 205 and 206 sell as the mobile market was also hit with the news that the global feature phone market is slowing, as emerging markets prepare for the introduction of the smartphone. This too comes as a difficult news for Nokia, as it has depended on its high volume of feature phone sales to keep itself going throughout its ongoing smartphone fiasco.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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