Nokia has been a market leader in terms of sales of the dual SIM handsets in India for the last year. And Nokia is in no mood give away even an inch of that lead to its competitors in the market and as such have come up with the Asha series to further fortify its budget and dual SIM feature phone profile.
We checked out the Nokia Asha 200 which is a hot swappable dual SIM budget feature phone with QWERTY keypad. Read on to find out how it fared and whether it is the value for money low cost device you can invest on…
In the Box:
There are no USB cables or microSD card provided in the box.
- 2.4” TFT QVGA Display
- 2MP Camera
- Stereo FM radio with RDS and Recording
- Bluetooth 2.1
The Asha 200 does not have either 3G or Wi-Fi.
Build and Design:
The hardware build of the Nokia Asha 200 is as good as any other device if not better in its price range. The device sports a full shiny plastic body which looks decent enough and makes the phone light as well.
On the front you have a 2.4” QVGA TFT screen and a D-pad along with flat shortcut buttons and call keys surrounded by vertical options button, which is followed by four rows of QWERTY keypad.
The right side of the device sports a microSD and the hot swappable SIM slot and the left is blank.
On the back of the device you have a 2MP camera along with a speaker right at the bottom left. The top sports a 2mm Nokia pin charger slot, 3.5mm jack and a micro USB slot.
The Nokia Asha 200 comes in Pink, Aqua, Green, Light Pink, Blue, Orange, Graphite and Pearl White, which would appeal to the youth. Over all the Asha 200 looks pretty good for a budget feature phone and is quite comfortable to hold and use.
The 2.4” screen on the device is bright enough with decent color rendition; also legibility under direct sunlight is average. Surprisingly it has good contrast and viewing angles.
The QWERTY keypad is very good and easy to use. We had no problems typing on it. Though, we cannot say the same about the vertical options button which would take some time getting used to.
Speaking of the software on the device, it’s S40 but the same is interestingly made to look like the Symbian Anna interface which makes it refreshing. Though, there is no multitasking on the Asha 200.
Talking about the dual SIM on the Asha 200, its dual SIM standby rather than dual SIM active, which means that the two SIM’s will be active only till the one of them receives a call, after you are on a call the other one gets deactivated. Wonder when Nokia will have dual SIM active on all their phones. One thing you need to remember is that the hot swappable SIM doesn’t work unless you have one SIM under the battery.
Talking about the multimedia on the Asha 200, the call speakers though loud, emit echo when on calls which makes it very difficult to understand the person on the other end. We tried changing the settings with no improvement in performance of the call speakers. The other speaker on the Asha 200 is sufficiently loud for an individual to enjoy music on the go.
When it comes to the music player it has a simple UI, nothing fancy here. There are some basic equalizer settings which one needs to dig through the settings to get access to. The FM radio on the Asha 200 works fine, but it works only with the earphones which act as the antenna.
The 2MP camera on the Asha 200 is more than decent considering the price of the device. There is no flash on the device. The color reproduction on the images is average.
Here are a few sample shots taken from the camera:
When it comes to video, it’s better if you avoid taking one from this camera. The videos look washed and are also highly pixilated.
There seems to be a battery issue on the Nokia Asha 200 which boasts of a 1430 mAh Li-Ion battery, our unit lasted just above 6 and a half hours. There is a possibility that the poor battery performance might be the result of a software bug on our device, though a few people have also got back to us with the same issue on their Asha 200’s.
Video Review of the Nokia Asha 200:
Agreed that the Asha 200 has a good hardware with a good QWERTY keypad, but the issue with the call speaker and the battery are critical and cannot be ignored. And hence till the time Nokia sorts these out, we would suggest you to steer clear of the device and look at other handsets. Priced at Rs. 4,350, there are certainly other devices which are better than the Asha 200 currently.