As long as there’s a crowd that demands them, there will always be someone around to make phones with QWERTY keyboards. That includes Nokia, which has recently come out with its text-friendly Asha 210.
The Nokia Asha 210 is mostly built around texting and developing markets. The intersection of those two could be said to have resulted in the Asha 210’s dedicated WhatsApp button, a messaging app that has gained an appreciable following the world over. It’s a little like the Facebook button that was found on the ill-fated HTC Salsa and ChaCha, so we’ll see how the idea works out this time. Besides WhatsApp, the phone can be connected to Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts (lest we forget, this isn’t a smartphone). There’s also a YouTube launcher.
This is a phone dedicated to saving money, too, and not just by being low-priced. It uses Nokia’s own cloud technology to cut down on data use by 90 percent, and the phone comes in single-SIM and dual-SIM versions, both of which will have EasySwap technology, which allows for SIM cards to be hot swapped. Data can be shared between the Asha 210 and another Bluetooth device using Nokia Slam, which allows for Bluetooth transfers without needing to pair the devices. The phone is also Wi-Fi enabled, in addition to the use of a pre-3G data connection.
Lastly, there’s the 2 MP camera (no front-facing), with quick-edit software. There’s voice-guided assistance for self-portraits, so your selfies don’t take six takes to get right. That camera can be used with a physical button on the front, regardless of whether or not the screen is locked. The dual-SIM version of the phone will have a battery life of about 24 days, while the single-SIM version will run for up to 46 days.
The Nokia Asha 210 is $72 by itself, without contract, which could make it a pretty attractive budget social phone. It will be available in yellow, cyan, black, magenta, and white, and will begin shipping worldwide sometime during Q2.