Nokia Asha 311 Hands On Videos And First Impressions

Nokia Asha 311 meet

Nokia Asha 311 had a private release event at the Nokia Office in India yesterday, that is, 24th August 2012. Well, the event was amazing. And why won’t it be? Well, getting to the point, the Nokia Asha 311. Packing loads of features at the price range of  Rs. 7000. Here is the side-show, or rather, the only slide shown by them.

Overview:

Nokia Asha 311 meet

As the slide suggests, the Nokia Asha 311 packs a very powerful single core 1 GHz processor, 3.2 MP EDoF camera, Gorilla Glass Capacitive Screen (~155 pixel density), 3G HSPA, and the software including Asha Smart UI (greatly inspired by N9 UI/UX), Nokia Browser 2.0, free 40 EA games worth Rs. 2,700 absolutely free, pre-loaded WhatsApp, Zomato, Nimbuzz and various other apps. If you buy it via Vodafone, 4 GB of 3G data valid for 4 months for free. Now lets talk about some key points here.

Design:

Some pics from the event. This should describe something.

Nokia Asha 311

Nokia Asha 311

To be honest, the design is amazing at this price. Its a steal. The device is beautiful which totally lives the N9. Or should I say its a poor man’s N9? Now that was not very witty. But yeah, the design its pretty amazing. Featuring hardware soft keys for calls, one lock/unlock button and the usual volume control, for me it’s minimal enough for this phone and OS takes the control of everything. Though what I would have really liked is a shutter release button or in other terms, a hardware camera button to open the camera app and take stable pictures (button does really help with that). Also, using an EDoF camera after all those reviews, is it only to keep the budget of the phone or is it because Nokia just blindly loves EDoF? I don’t really understand but I could really use an autofocus cam on this one.

Nokia Asha 311

On the top of the phone, you won’t find the power button. It’s with the soft key again. And keeping all the jacks above the phone is a good decision. This includes the 3.5mm headphone jack, micro USB jack and obviously, the charging pin.

Nokia Asha 311

The speaker has been kept on the lower half, behind the phone. Well, keeping it around the camera could also have been better but keeping the design in mind, the layout is pretty neat. And yeah, a pretty loud and clear speaker!

Software:

We all love N9 and everyone will be ready to accept that. Swipe UI just takes us into an another dimension. Well, Asha 311 does a very good job at that. Lets have a look at the phone start-up time.

Pretty quick eh? Well, running Asha Smart UI aka improved S40 on a 1 GHz processor – bound to happen! Also there are these lovely animations as the part of UX that I really love. For example, this one.

Other than all this, here is a quick overview of the Asha Smart UI and a demo of Angry Birds and Dice games.

In short, its keeping the N9 alive in a really weird manner. Might just grow to be something better with the software updates.

 

Camera:

Nokia Asha 311 camera

A satisfactory 3.2 MP EDoF shooter in this tiny beast. Not very impressive not very bad. Couldn’t get much time to test the camera but here is one shot from it. Also, a video sample.

Other applications and interface:

Nokia Asha 311

Nokia Asha 311

Very well done, its neat and clean. Nicely laid out and easy to reach. Though it may give you the feeling of being a Qt interface, it isn’t.

Nokia Asha 311

Nokia Asha 311

This phone is perfect for all the people who need a phone for the sole purpose of calling, texting and moderate internet browsing. 1 GHz processor may be a bit too much for an S40 but it does help in keeping the UI buttery smooth. I might just say it’s a really good phone for my mom. But hey, wait. We’ll have a detailed review coming up soon. Stay hooked!