Nokia Asha 230 hands-on: diminutive handset with a diminutive price

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The Asha 230 is the most affordable touch-based Asha device to date. Nokia claims that it's also the most affordable touchscreen smartphone in general. At the price of $59 (45 EUR), the Asha 230 makes Nokia's claim sound truly realistic.


The design is pretty nice for such an unpretentious phone. Just like previous Asha devices, the 230 is super compact. The plastic casing is super light-weight, and the phone probably won't make too much of a bulge when you carry it in your pocket. The plastic has a decidedly matte finish to it. The Asha 203 maintains a clean, colorful look. And Nokia has several neat shades of colors it borrowed from the candy store for it.


The Asha series are not known for beautiful displays. The one here is 2.8-inches by diagonal, and has a 240x320 QVGA resolution. It isn't the sharpest or greatest when it comes to colors. It has a very washed-out look, and the viewing angles are pretty bad. The distortion makes it darken tremendously at the widest angles. The display is responsive for the most part, but it does gather a lot of smudges. 

Interface and functionality

The Nokia Asha 230 we toyed with had the latest Asha software installed, version 1.4. The launch version of the Asha 230 and other Asha phones will get the update to v1.4 in April. It will bring a number of different improvements, such as an updated Fast Lane homescreen. It will let you see Twitter updates and handle photos easier. Hot apps, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, LINE, WeChat are all there. In addition, the phone will be sold with an exclusive gift of 10 free games, worth about $27.

Hardware and battery

The Nokia Asha 230 is a quad-band GSM phone – it supports 850/900/1800/1900MHz frequencies. Bluetooth 3.0 is available, and Nokia’s innovative SLAM technology makes use of it for easy file-sharing. The phone can take a microSD card with a capacity of up to 32GB, and it has dual-SIM capability. According to Nokia, battery talk time runs up to 12 hours on the Dual-SIM model, and 33 days of standby on the single-SIM device.


The Asha 203 is a touchscreen phone with the minimum requirements to get the job done. It's an affordable handset that may very well become the first smartphone for customers from developing countries. It will sell for $59 (45 EUR).

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