Nokia Asha 302 Review

Interface and Functionality:

The Nokia Asha 302 is powered by the Series 40 feature phone platform. It's nothing to talk about, really. The manufacturer has done some neat additions to the experience like a home-screen social widget, which lets you do stuff such as update your Facebook status, or see the latest activity. There's also a customizable row of shortcuts at the bottom, which is all OK, but our gripe with this software is how unintuitive it is. More than once we found ourselves wondering which of the available on screen options is currently selected, and which isn't. The colors that have been used just aren't contrasting enough, and at times we observed bugs when the UI was showing more than one option being highlighted.


Not only this, but the software is constantly asking you whether it should do this or that, then it'll ask for a confirmation, then it'll probably ask you about something else... until it finally decides to carry out the command. One such frustrating experience was when we tried to update the Store application. We literally had to choose “OK” about 4-5 times in a row until the app finally started updating itself. Anyways, we don't really think that Nokia's trying to fix this at this point.

The Nokia Asha 302 has a social twist to it. It has a Social app, which lets you log in with Facebook, Twitter, orkut and/or Flickr accounts. Overall, it presents the user with some decent social networking capabilities, although it can't really be called convenient or snappy.



Messaging:

The built-in Mail application should let you quickly set-up an Ovi Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail, as well as some local mail service accounts, although we actually had problems getting it to work. Let's just say that it's not the smartest and most intuitive software out there.


Other than that, as we said, the keyboard is good enough to let you comfortably type texts or short mails.

Internet:

The browser of the Asha 302 is very Opera Mini like, although it doesn't work as well. It does present you with a page overview, allowing you to zoom into the area that you're interested in, but it's slower, displays images in a lower quality and struggles with loading some of the pages.


Because of all that, we decided to try installing Opera Mini. We opened the browser for the second time, entered Opera's internet address, hit Enter, and... got the message “No server access”, whatever this should mean. So, we were unable to install Opera Mini. Of course, you can always side-load it, but what we want to do here is to give you an idea of how inconsistent and difficult to figure out this  software can be.

Camera:

There are quite a few settings to tweak the photo-taking experience of the Asha 302, but we don't really think that it's possible to improve the results significantly. All in all, photos are quite sharp, while colors are relatively natural. Inside shots are decent, though there's an above-average level of noise, due to the camera's liking for sharper visuals.




The Asha 302's camera records VGA video, which is OK for a handset of this class, but the 15 FPS rate makes it quite choppy. You can definitely tell what's on screen, but that's it – no fun included.

Nokia Asha 302 Sample Video:



Multimedia:

We're content with the music player app of the Asha 302. In addition to the standard stuff, you can also choose an equalizer preset, or even set you own. The loudspeaker sounds pretty good, and is plenty loud too. The bundled WH-102 earphones are pretty basic, so we'd suggest using some of the equalizer presets in order to refine the sound.


The phone plays DivX, MPEG-4 and Xvid video in up to 640x480 pixels, no luck with H.264. The display looks good, but its viewing angles are quite poor.

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