Rating: Three new Nokia handsets – 202, 203 & 302 handsets
Focussing back on what it does best – sell mobile phones, at MWC 2012 Nokia highlighted the fact that that there are still 3.2 billion people around the world who don’t own a phone and the 1.2 billion users who don’t have a data plan. The most telling phrase the company used was about the new Nokia 302. It was described as being faster than “some entry level Android phones.” An indication that Nokia still views there being life in its Series 40 range even if it doesn’t sport a fancy smartphone OS. The company also used the launch to announce a hook up with EA games and an enhancement to its Nokia Life Tools which has been renamed to just Nokia Life.What’s particularly interesting about the tie up between EA games with the two new 202 and 203 models is the value of the games owners will be able to download for free.
The face value of these games is €75. Which is pretty good given that the 202/203 handsets are only expecting to cost around €60 when they come out in Q2 2012.
203/202 owners will have to visit a special section on the EA Games web site to download these games within sixty days to ensure they get them for free. But the list of free games does include leading EA titles such as Bejeweled.
GoMo News has no idea whether any of these free games will be restricted to just a few levels. Some of the games RIM gave away free to BlackBerry owners were restricted in this way.
The main difference between the two models is that the Asha 202 features Dual SIM Easy Swap technology with a dedicated SIM manager to personalise the phone and save up to five SIM card details.
That’s an important feature for emerging markets. As is the revamping of Nokia Life Tools.
Introduced originally in India back in 2009, the SMS-based service has expanded to China, Indonesia and Nigeria.
Nokia Life now delivers content in the areas of parenting, life skills, education, health, entertainment and agriculture. Currently some 50 million people have benefitted from Nokia Life advice.
The feature which doesn’t seem to fit too well with the positioning of these Asha handset for emerging markets is the new support for Microsoft Exchange Mail within the 302.
Surely entry level phone users want access to the free email services such as Hotmail and Gmail? Don’t see many of them wanting to access their corporate email servers.
However, the Asha 302 is powered by a 1-GHz processor and supports 3.5G data speeds. It is available right now for around €95.
Significantly, the new Nokia Ashas connect to popular social networks and IM services. – but the Whatsapp app (BlackBerry Messenger’s chief competitor) app is built in.
Finally, the Asha range boasts Nokia’s cloud-accelerated Nokia Browser – its answer to the Opera Mini browser. Nokia says the browser compresses data traffic up to 90 per cent.