Nokia 303 review

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Nokia 303 review
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Nokia 303 is among the four Nokia Asha range of devices launched late last year by Nokia with the slogan “Reach the next billion”. You could say they are on their way to achieving that, and judging one of the products soon to be launched in the Kenyan Market, they are on track.

Nokia Asha 303 is a light Series 40 device with a you-could-call-it -candy-bar form factor. The other sisters in the range are Nokia 300, Nokia 200 and Nokia 201. Nokia 303 is feature-wise the better of the four. These series 40 phones were launched to give the feature phone user a feel above the feature phone, boost their user experience.

Nokia 303 is a 3G phone with a 1GHz processor, touch and type qwerty phone with a 2.6 inch screen TFT, 320×240 pixels, 3.5 mm jack, 170mb internal memory expandable via microSD to 32GB, 128 mb RAM, HSDPA of 10.2 mbps, 3.2 mp camera and a Li-ion battery of 1300 milli-ampheres. It comes in three colours, red, graphite and silver white.

Design

The Nokia 303 has a sleek design, the qwerty keys are easy to reach and use, overall it looks beautiful with the top all black, blends in when the screen is off. There are four buttons above the qwerty for call, message shortcut, music and disconnect/power button. The back is a little curved and the loudspeaker is wide and visible at the bottom. The volume rocker and lock button are at the right side, left is empty. All the ports are at the top, these being the usb port, pin charger port and the 3.5mm jack port.

Homescreen widgets

The homepage has some interesting features beyond the usual series 40 ones, these being swipe left and right to reveal preset shortcuts to apps and other locations. These are editable in the settings. You can add several homescreen widgets for the most commonly used apps like camera, wi-fi, etc. To change the profiles there is a fine tap to drop menu that reveals when you tap at the top profiles text.

Apps

Nokia 303 comes preinstalled with several apps and games, these being Angry Birds trial, Asphalt 4 Demo, Brain Challenge, Climate mission(I usually love this game, mostly on series 40) Converter, Golden heart, internet radio, maps and Nokia Social. There is also other series 40 apps on the Nokia store, though you get that bad feeling that since there is no really good twitter client. Snaptu is missed.

Series 40 Browser

If there is one thing that provides value to this phone its the browser. Nokia really worked on it. The browser loads pages fast, and with the phone giving amazing speeds of upto 10.2 mbps you can get a good experience. The browser caches pages so clicking back does not eat up into your data. The browser has three home menus revealable by swiping left to reveal the history and right to reveal the favourites. The browser juice is in the main homescreen which features shortcuts to several localzed apps in 5 categories. These are free apps link to Nokia store, Social Networks, News, Entertainment and information. Under the social networks there is Foursquare, Whive an app developed by John Karanja, yahoo and 2Go. Under news there are Nation Media, Capital FM, Standard and BBC, these link to the apps in Nokia store. Under Entertainment there are apps like Kenyabuzz, EatoutKenya and others. Under information you will find Nokia EA mobile app link, Google, Dealfish, Bing, Youtube and Mocality.

Networks

This phone is a 3G phone, so the speeds of browsing are good. It also has wi-fi capabilitites, giving you the chance to save on data when there is a chance to. I found this nice shortcut where you press and hold onto the spacebar below to search and connect to available wi-fi.

Mail

Mail setup on the phone is easy and fast, though I did not like the part where you cannot read your mail over wi-fi without a sim card in the device.

Hardware

This phone is hardy, I didnt mean to do that, but the phone fell off two storeys and dropped on my neighbour’s car bonnet. I hope he doesnt read my blog. The thing did not feel the fall anyhow, I collected the battery and cover, switched it on and recieved a call immediately. The only dent was on the car bonnet.

Bottom line

It’s normal to place the bottomline at the bottom, right? Here we go! For a user wishing to get great experience on a tight budget and not looking for those many features on the phone, the user who wants good battery life, mail access to the internet and social media, mainly facebook, they will be satisfied with the phone, it can give a 3 days battery life on average use. If you are a super-user you’d rather go up the food chain. People avoiding the confusion that is android would prefer the phone, however for functionality, you will find a phone purchaser going for the similarly priced android device and compromise on battery life. Nokia 303 retails at around Kshs 13000 ($150) basing on word on the street. Official launch is going to happen soon.

Some images of Nokia 303

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