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Nokia Asha 305 Review

Nokia Asha 305

Posted: , posted by Victor H.



The biggest surprise in the Nokia Asha 305 is its brand new Series 40 interface. With a dropdown menu a la Android, three swipeable home screens a la MeeGo, it’s an interesting amalgamation that reinvigorates the otherwise dated feature phone platform.

In a nutshell, when you unlock the device by swiping to either side of the screen, you arrive at three home panels. One is actually the app drawer, there is another one for shortcuts and a third one which you can customize to be the dialer (default), radio or music screen. Swiping down from the upper part of the display pulls the notification shade from where you can open the music player, see notifications and tweak some settings including the way your two SIM cards handle calls and data.

The interface of the Nokia Asha 305 - Nokia Asha 305 Review
The interface of the Nokia Asha 305 - Nokia Asha 305 Review
The interface of the Nokia Asha 305 - Nokia Asha 305 Review

The icons themselves also get updated with notifications so you’d see a counter with all your new messages just above the messaging icon (why, hello, iOS!).

It’s all neat and perfect if it wasn’t so sluggish. The nice attempt to refresh the Series 40 UI bumps into the brick wall of inept hardware. A small but consistent lag is omnipresent and the frustration from using a resistive screen just doesn’t go away. We can try and console ourselves by remembering how affordable the phone is, but if you do care about the fluidity of an interface, you won’t be happy with the Asha 305.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the device comes with a multi-tap T9 keypad in portrait mode and a full QWERTY keyboard when switched to landscape orientation. We had no issues typing on those despite the relatively small size of the screen.

On-screen keyboard - Nokia Asha 305 Review
On-screen keyboard - Nokia Asha 305 Review

Dual-SIM functionality:

The pinnacle of the handset however is not just its affordability - it’s affordability plus dual-SIM functionality. Now, while Android is indeed breathing in the neck of feature phones and the Asha 305 in practically every way, it’s still not close when you look at Android dual-SIM devices that are nearly two times more expensive. If the presence of two SIM slots is essential, this will be the reason for you to consider this device.

Nokia Asha 305 Review
First, we should note that you need to have one SIM card placed under the battery that will act as your main SIM. Once you have that in place, the second SIM card is hot swappable - you open the tray on the side of the device and change cards to your heart’s content without the need to reboot the device.

The two SIMs come with all the options you’d expect. First, you can save contacts to either SIM 1, SIM 2 or the phone memory. You can further set defaults so that the phone uses one of the SIM cards for say calls, and the other for data. There are the four categories you can choose from - calls, SMS, MMS and data. Each of them could be assigned to one of the SIM cards, and if you don’t want to set a default, the phone would ask you every time you perform one of those SIM-related actions like calling or texting.

Internet and Connectivity:

Internet and connectivity are Series 40’s weakest sides, so don’t get your hopes too high about browsing much on this device. The first problem you’d encounter however is not the browser itself, but the lack of both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity whatsoever. Yup, it’s back to GPRS/EDGE that max out at the snail fast 236.8Kbps. We should also mention that the phone is dual-band, so it won’t work in all parts of the world.

Once you’ve swallowed that 2G pill, you can head on to the browser which is utilitarian. It supports tabs but it loads pages slowly and doesn’t support multitouch. You can zoom in a page to a certain fixed level, but everything from zooming to scrolling is painfully slow and frustrating.

The browser of the Nokia Asha 305 loads pages slowly - Nokia Asha 305 Review
The browser of the Nokia Asha 305 loads pages slowly - Nokia Asha 305 Review
The browser of the Nokia Asha 305 loads pages slowly - Nokia Asha 305 Review
The browser of the Nokia Asha 305 loads pages slowly - Nokia Asha 305 Review

The one notable feature missing is GPS. You still get Nokia Maps with Navigation but you’d need to rely on triangulation from your carrier cell towers rather than accurate satellite positioning system.

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PhoneArena rating:
Display3.0 inches, 240 x 400 pixels (155 ppi) LCD
Camera2 megapixels
Single core
0.03 GB RAM
Size4.34 x 2.12 x 0.50 inches
(110.3 x 53.8 x 12.8 mm)
3.46 oz  (98 g)
Battery1110 mAh, 14 hours talk time

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