Nokia Asha 309 Review
Being a feature phone, the Nokia Asha 309 is based on the Series 40 platform, that recently got a refresh with swipe actions inspired by MeeGo, an Android-like notification shade and icon notifications similar to the ones in iOS.
It’s a welcome improvement that you’d appreciate from the get-go. Your missed messages and calls are visible straight from the lockscreen, and you can swipe them to go the application that issued them. You unlock the phone by swiping to either side.
Then, you arrive at a three-panel home screen. One of the panels is an app drawer, then there is a panel that you can customize with shortcuts and finally a dedicated panel for the dialer/music or radio.
All throughout the interface, you can swipe from top to bring the notification shade. There you can also find toggles for connectivity and quick access to your calls, messages and music.
And speaking of the interface in general, there are a lot of leftovers from the past, pop-up messages that annoyingly double check with the user when you try to exit an app, menus within menus within menus, and many more little annoyances, all across the system to remind you of its age.
Forget about apps on this feature phone. You do get a gift of free EA games when you buy this gadget, but don’t be fooled by titles like “Need for Speed” - those are merely extremely basic Java games and nothing more. The Nokia Store contains a few thousand applications, but again even basic apps like Facebook and Twitter are a disappointment of frustratingly slow performance.
Processor and Memory:
We don’t have the details on what kind of processor the Asha 309 uses, but we do know that it features 64MB of RAM memory, and a quick comparison with the older sibling in the Asha series, the Asha 311, hints the processor is far less capable.
What really matters is how the phone behaves and it was fairly speedy with basic tasks like opening the contacts log, but not completely lag-free. Also when switching between the three home panels there is a slight slowdown, but nothing fatal. Applications like the camera take a fairly long couple of seconds to open up.
The Asha 309 comes with 128MB of internal storage, but you can expand that with microSD cards of up to 32 gigs.
Internet and Connectivity:
Sporting a 3-inch capacitive screen and Wi-Fi connectivity, the Asha 309 has what it takes to connect to the Internet. With Nokia Browser 2.0, you can browse around simpler pages. You zoom in with a single tap on the screen, and double tapping zooms back out. We managed opening even moderately heavy websites, and that’s a plus. Cellular connectivity is limited to 2G GPRS/EDGE, though.
The Asha 309 lacks a GPS chip, but it does include Nokia’s Maps for Series 40 for your navigation and mapping needs. Having no GPS means it triangulates data from nearest cell towers to determine your position, and while not as accurate as GPS it does work when you need it.
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP is also on board, allowing you to easily hook up wireless accessories like Bluetooth headsets.
10. -box- (Posts: 3564; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Yet again I am astonished at PA's insistence on comparing this with Android phones. They may be of similar price ranges, but they are hardly comparable. The Ashas compare to other feature phones, like the Pantech Swift, LG Xpression, etc, which can cost several hundred dollars off contract (from the carrier, though admittedly similar phones can be gotten much cheaper through a prepaid service). It doesn't require a data plan as the Androids do, which saves the buyer hundreds per year, and is designed as a phone first and multimedia device second, not the other way around, so it is highly desirable and satisfactory for its target audience.
Try try again (again, again, again).
12. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
What the hell are you talking about??
Android phones don't require a data plan!
The same Huawei(phone in the iPhone 3gs class) I mentioned below costs the SAME as this crap, on my carrier.
Now who in their right mind should buy this instead??
19. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Box, care to answer my reply?
I can't believe I'm being thumbed down for stating facts!
You Nokia fanboys are freaking hopeless
21. phonemirer (Posts: 111; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
lol no, the best nokias are lumia 920, 808 and n8 or n9 maybe
still remembering the times that u were cool with the xpressmusic
3. Thephonegeek (Posts: 118; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)
I would care if it was 2 years ago but I no longer care.
4. smallworld (Posts: 371; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
To Nokia: please abandon those asha phones.
6. akbar (Posts: 55; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)
They can not abbandon the Asha series. They are paying the bill right now. If you haven't noticed Nokia is still the second largest phone producer.
5. Mghazisohail (Posts: 23; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)
please nokia remember the display first not the build of the phone
8. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Nokia = perfection minus 60%
Even the phone like Huawei Y200 cost just a bit more and is leagues ahead in terms of performance, features and usability
9. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Oh and whoever thinks windows phone 8 will ever come close to competing in low end market, is seriously deluded.
The thing requires dual core processors at minimum.
Compare that to JB which will run on a single core 800 MHz phone (galaxy mini 2 ), yet packing truck load of additional features compared to WP8.
14. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
not WP8 but WP7.8
i hope you've read the article regarding the newest lumia member, 505.
11. aco96 (Posts: 168; Member since: 12 Oct 2012)
This asha has faster browser and better facebook app than my Nokia x7 xDD
15. Lwazi_N (Posts: 205; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)
I don't understand why PA is so harsh in judging entry level phones... Really
17. pliskin1 (Posts: 59; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)
I know, it was also annoying of them to be constantly saying that the Asha 309 is just a little cheaper than a smartphone...well for the phone maybe. But you're saving all the money by not having to have those expensive data plans.
18. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Why are my points from above being ignored and thumbed down?!?!
Entry level android phones DO NOT DEMAND A DATA PLAN, for f!ck sake.
They sell prepaid (galaxy pocket, y, Huawei Y)just like this Nokia, at the same or lower price!
20. javorr (Posts: 14; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)
Asha phones are great in their price range. People who want functionality will get better smartphones which are not in this price range.
If I have to choose between Asha and cheap and laggy android, with an old android version that never will be updated and very bad battery life – I choose Asha.
Asha makes a great secondary phone – if you have to go in the forest or to work in the fields (or any hard conditions) – you will not carry a big expensive smartphone with several hours battery life, you will take the cheap nokia that will do the job .
22. phonemirer (Posts: 111; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
why 4/10 ?? this phone has better performance/price ratio better than i5
23. ayamga (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jan 2013)
please can someone help me out? my camera and other icons cannot be opened. this nokia asha 309 is really complex for me
24. ayamga (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jan 2013)
can someone help me out? my camera, music,video icons cannot be opened?