Nokia Asha 309 Review

Interface and Functionality:

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.

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24 Comments

1. natesvlogs

Posts: 40; Member since: May 15, 2012

Best Nokia phone EVER! GO NOKIA!

2. redmd

Posts: 1943; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I wish I could relate to this.

7. brandonrana

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

PA just a 4 ?????? Too harsh

10. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 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: Oct 17, 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: Oct 17, 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: Dec 07, 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: Nov 22, 2012

I would care if it was 2 years ago but I no longer care.

13. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

that's what your ex said.

4. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

To Nokia: please abandon those asha phones.

6. akbar

Posts: 62; Member since: Feb 09, 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: Nov 29, 2012

please nokia remember the display first not the build of the phone

8. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Nokia = perfection minus 60% Grin 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: Oct 17, 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: Apr 30, 2012

not WP8 but WP7.8 i hope you've read the article regarding the newest lumia member, 505.

11. aco96

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

This asha has faster browser and better facebook app than my Nokia x7 xDD

15. Lwazi_N

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

I don't understand why PA is so harsh in judging entry level phones... Really

17. pliskin1

Posts: 59; Member since: Oct 17, 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: Oct 17, 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: Feb 28, 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: Dec 07, 2012

why 4/10 ?? this phone has better performance/price ratio better than i5

23. ayamga

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 19, 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: Jan 19, 2013

can someone help me out? my camera, music,video icons cannot be opened?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Asha 309
  • Display 3.0" 240 x 400 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Battery 1110 mAh(6h talk time)

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