Product Type: Nokia mobile phones
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A Handful of Asha
Nokia Asha 300
Member Name: noodlesandwich
Nokia Asha 300
Date: 19/09/12, updated on 19/09/12 (369 review reads)
Advantages: Good Camera, good for calls and texts, inexpensive
Disadvantages: uses too much battery
The Asha 300 was recommended to me in a couple of different shops as being a basic phone with a decent camera. I liked the look of it and the fact that it's both touchscreen and manual. It's 3G and has all the kinds of things people who buy phones more often than me might expect, like the Nokia browser and Angry Birds Lite. There's a list of typical apps and various tones and themes to choose from. The layout is fairly traditional, with the keypad at the bottom and the 2.4 inch screen taking up more than half the space on the front. Above the keypad are three buttons, the usual red and green call/end call keys and a messaging key which is pressed to send a message or check your inbox.
To make a call you can choose to use the traditional green phone button and end the call with the red one, or you can use the screen to open the menu and tap on your contacts list. There's a key lock button on the side of the phone at the lower right of the screen. To unlock it you swipe the screen across a moving arrow. This had me confused at first and I couldn't unlock it until I'd read the instructions. To remove/insert the sim card, memory card and battery you need to take the back off, something I've found very tricksy.
The homescreen can be customised with the icons for your favorite apps. Mine looks like this: Across the top is the signal bar and indicators such as internet, new message and so on, below that is the clock and date. A third line has four shortcuts, I have mine set to; compose message, internet, camera and gallery. Then there's space for pics, (the default is silhouettes), of four favourite contacts who can be called, literally, 'on tap'. The bottom section has Go To/Menu /Names or has call options when in use. Add to this the fact that I have a photo of my daughter on a colourful fairground ride peeping out between the icons and you can see why my screen is crowded, but it's possible to swap the order or choose to have less onscreen. If you go to 'settings' you can change how the keys are used. You can basically fill the screen in or have it relatively clear, my problem is I like having the shortcuts but I also like a photo wallpaper. I'd recommend a cover, I haven't got one and my screen has acquired a scratch.
The touchscreen is easy enough to navigate once you get used to it, a bit of tapping unlocks menus that you scroll through, tap or hold. You can swipe through the photos and hide the screen icons. Apparently it has 'a fast 1Ghz processor' but I tend not to use the internet much on my phone and when I have I've found it a bit glitchy, maybe that's because I don't have any real desire to sort it out. I'm probably either not interested enough or not savvy enough to use this phone to it's best capacity to be honest. Another owner may find they use it completely differently to me.
The 5 mega pixel camera has come in handy, particularly when I was on holiday and went out without my camera. It does take a decent general snapshot but I've struggled to take clear detailed close up of things like small flowers. Photos can be cropped, enhanced, generally messed about with and sorted into albums. They can be printed directly if you have a compatible printer. There's a video option too. I use my partner's USB lead for transferring photos to my PC, but it can be done via bluetooth.
It came with a charger, headphones and instructions. The instructions are fine, although occasionally a tad assumptive. God knows where the headphones are.
Battery life - it seems to need recharging far too often, especially considering I don't use it that much. The battery lasts less than a week with little use. That mightn't sound so bad, but my old phone had a much better battery life and I would happily take short trips without my charger, with my Asha 300 however, I wouldn't feel comfortable going for even a weekend away unless I had my charger with me. Presumably I'm recharging all the stuff I don't really need. I did get it quite wet, (in a pocket in heavy rain), one day after a few weeks of owning it and it wouldn't work for several hours afterward, but luckily it dried out and seemed to recover okay. I suppose there's a possibilty that the experience has affected it long term, but I doubt it. Anyway, I find the need to recharge it when it's barely been used rather annoying. It takes longer than previous phones to fully recharge too, a couple of hours I think.
The sound quality is fine and for what I use it for; mainly texts and making calls, I have no complaints. It's available on contract or pay as you go with various networks. I paid around £70 for mine on payg from Phones-4-U. For a phone described as simple, small and cheap there's a lot to it. I've given it three stars but would give it three and a half if there was the option. It looks and feels nice and is quite user friendly. It doesn't really feel that sturdy though. Having already experienced problems because of a bit of rain, I don't expect it will last for years, but who knows, maybe it will prove me wrong.
Summary: inexpensive decent enough phone
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