back to article Nokia out $99 dual-Sim Asha

More low-cost Asha phones from Nokia. Out in Q4, the Asha 308 and 309 will both come in Sim-free at under $100, Nokia said today. Nokia Asha 308/309 The two touchscreen handsets are pitched at emerging-market punters seeking mobile internet access and who might otherwise be tempted by a cheap Android smartphone. Nokia is …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For $99 seems a pretty decent phone with dual SIMs - better than most of the budget android phones.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge

      I guess these are mostly for the Chinese market - everyone who is anyone has a mistress - and they want to keep their texts / calls off their main phone bill so they buy a second PAYG SIM to keep it secret....

    2. N13L5

      So, Nokia has thrown away modern Megoo, and is more Symbian phones instead... God, I hope people are not so stupid as to buy them with that ancient atrocity of an OS.

      Even though dual SIMs are a great feature.

      One SIM for calls, one SIM for more reasonable internet tethering.

      Of course, with Symbian, you couldn't just create a WiFi hotspot if you wanted to, I'm sure Nokia made several more kneefalls before Telcos since last time, and made sure that there will be no tethering and no skype either.

      No matter the hardware, they will be crippled phones... more crippled than the chinese Android fork for sure.

      Sure you can make phone calls, and probably be all over facebook, but when it comes to utility, you'll be flat on your face with one of those.

  2. Anonymous Coward 101

    "They run Nokia's own OS - Symbian, in other words."

    I'd swear it's more likely to be the S40 OS that runs the other Asha phones.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Your're right. Asha runs Series 40...

      ... and Series 40 is not Symbian.

      App development is via J2ME with touch extensions. This is the ONLY app API presented.

    2. Dave 15

      NOT Symbian ... grief... not Microsoft either

      These are running S40 - an OS from donkeys years before Symbian and Microsoft.

      The original write up could even have been clearer rather than muddying the water with mentions of Microsoft.

      In some ways its a pity they don't have Symbian on (it could easily fit on a phone at this price point) because Symbian would give the ability to download apps, support decent cameras and so forth. But Microsoft will not allow this because the Symbian devices end up with better cameras and more apps than the microsoft alternatives.

  3. forger


    Nice looking phone (well without the front physical buttons), couldn't they produce a WP8 version?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WP8

      WP devices have to fit a certain form factor.

      The Lumia 800 isn't that different and it's £149 SIM free at ASDA if you can get hold of one, they were out of stock last time I looked.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: WP8

        The Lumia 800 is a fairly high-spec device. The low-end Lumia 610 is closer to £100 (about $150) so even there there is a big difference from $99.

  4. Magnus Ramage

    NOT Symbian

    They're not running Symbian. They're running S40, Nokia's old but much updated own OS, with a new skin. No doubt the latest version of S40 has learnt from Symbian, but it's a different thing.

    For a low-end phone this looks pretty good - won't get much publicity because it's not a 'smartphone' (ie it won't have a wide range of apps) but the build quality and installed software looks strong.

    1. Philip Lewis
      Thumb Up

      Re: NOT Symbian

      I think I mentioned here that this is Plan B.

      It's starting to take shape.

      1. Dave 15

        Plan B?

        Nope, not plan B, as Symbian there was a last hurrah, S40 isn't quite there yet but there are less and less of them and now all S40 work has moved to China and the people with the real knowledge (the original folk) have all been kicked out (in amongst the 10,000 earlier this year). The S40 will limp for a few months, produce a few cheapo's for China, India, Africa and eventually die out as the new engineers struggle to work their way through code that evolved over 30 years or more.

  5. Richard Lloyd

    There should be more dual sim phones out there

    I suspect the Telcos don't like dual sim phones because most of them probably won't have two full-contract SIMs in them (i.e. work sim will be contract, home sim will be PAYG), which might explain why dual SIM phones are pretty thin on the ground. Sadly, this phone is a bit too low spec to be a good all-rounder.

    I also wonder how clever dual SIM phones are about separating functionality depending on which SIM is active. Contacts should have the option of being per SIM or combined and it would be nice if other elements of the UI switched depending on the SIM (e.g. separate wallpapers and even app icons).

    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: There should be more dual sim phones out there

      Any dual-SIM high-end smartphone from one of the big players (Apple/Nokia/HTC/Samsung) would clean up. I'd even move to the dark side (Android) for that...!

    2. Kristian Walsh

      Re: There should be more dual sim phones out there

      Telcos are neutral on dual-SIM devices (while they do reduce revenue, they also mean you retain customers you'd otherwise lose outright to a discount service). Besides, in the markets where these devices are popular, customers buy their handsets outright, and not via a subsidised loan as in Western Europe/USA.

      1. Philip Lewis
        Paris Hilton

        Re: There should be more dual sim phones out there

        I have never met even 1 person in Thailand with a "subsidised via plan" phone. Everyone has a prepay.

        A SIM costs less than a dollar on the street and people change their number like they change socks. Unsurprisingly, there is a robust market in used handsets in every price range. If you want to know what a new handset actually costs or what your used one is actually worth, the answer is to found at you local mobile shop.

        Paris: Because she knows what she's worth.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: There should be more dual sim phones out there

      Have a search for the Samsung Galaxy S Duos. Dual sim but has lower spec than other phones in the Galaxy series.

      1. Keith Goodhead
        Thumb Up

        Re: There should be more dual sim phones out there

        Ok, there should be more of a choice but my DUOS does everything I need it to do. This doesn't include watching movies (I have a TV if I wish to do that) or take hi-res pictures (I have a Nikon for that); I can however take and make calls and texts on whichever SIM I choose.

        Being able to use any of my email accounts when out and about, Opera, Skype, Outlook-synchronised Calendar, the MP3 player, and SatNav / GPS were also on my wish- list. The Dashcam app. is something of a bonus!

    4. Dave 15

      Low spec?

      In what way is it 'low spec'? For what it does it is more than adequate. If you want a 'smart phone' (able to download any old app) then get one, other than that this phone is very capable, no need to have gigabytes of memory and ghz of processor if you can write the code properly in the first place (unlike Microsoft, Android, iOS this is a phone OS built on a proper RTOS and more than able to do the job in a sensible space and on limited battery).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow !!

    Am I the only one, or does this phone totally and completely look absolutely nothing like an iPhone?

    How can that be?

    The fandroids have told me a million times that square icons with rounded corners were the obvious answer and there can be no other solution. But these are sort of circular and flattened a bit on four sides and look a bit like Meego icons.

    And the physical shape as well. I mean it doesn't look a bit like an iPhone. WTF?

    The fandroids have proven to their own satisfaction (rather like Karl Marx did) that the the historical inevitability is that all phones will look like iPhones. But this one doesn't!

    I am confused. Really, and my entire world perception is tumbling down around my ears.

    Can the fandroids have been in error?

    I am shocked I tell you, and stunned to the core of my being.

    1. Dave 15

      Re: Wow !!

      Sadly though it is a touch screen with no keyboard so for us old fuddy duddys who like to use their phone in the bus, on the train, walking, cycling etc. (but of course not in the car!) won't be able to because you can't hold the damned thing and poke at stupid iconic buttons with a hope in hell of hitting the right one. Now I don't blame Nokia that they've followed the 'fashion' but I really wish someone had the balls to actually offer a choice.

      1. Kristian Walsh

        Re: Wow !!

        You'll be wanting the Asha 302, then, which was launched earlier this year. Similar spec, but physical keyboard.

  7. plrndl

    Nice Looker...

    ...shame they don't make Android phones.

  8. Christopher Slater-Walker

    NOT Symbian

    As others have said, these phones run S40, not Symbian.

    S40 has been around a long time, but it has also changed a lot over the years, and a major change came with Nokia's acquisition of Smarterphone, which off the top of my head happened earlier this year.

  9. Philippe

    Don't knock'em till you tried'em

    They're cheap, run for days on a battery charge, and have the "basic" apps people might need (Facebook, Twitter, Viber, and What'sapp).

    The keyboard version (Asha 302) is a great little phone with the ability to run "Mail for exchange", albeit in a poorly designed beta version.

    These things might not be Nokias"Plan B", which i suppose something like Firefox OS, or Tizen would be, but they definitely can help Nokia survive through their "Smartphone" transition.

    As an aside, I noticed that the Operators call these Asha phones "Featurephone plus" as they are not Smartphones or featurephones.

  10. Robredz

    Great Expectations?

    If all you want is phone, text and social networking, it doesn't matter what the OS is as long as it works, and the phone is responsive, natural competitors are the cheapo $30 - 50 dollar Chinese phones most of which are dual sim, so Nokia shold beat them on quality and longevity, albiet at more than twice the price, as you can get a dual sim Chinese Android for that coin.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Symbian

    I cannot tell you what the OS on the Asha phones is (I know, but as a Nokia employee, I cannot say), other than it is NOT Symbian on the Series 40 phones, which is what the Asha models are. I work on the software for that division of Nokia... The only new model that I am aware of that runs Symbian is the 808 PureView phone with the 45 megapixel camera. I have for work 3 phones: an N8 Symbian (my previous business phone), C3-00 S40 (for testing purposes), and 900 Lumia (my current business phone). They each have their positive, and negative features, as will any phone. One of the best features on all of them are Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, and Nokia Transit. The Drive application can download maps for most any country on Earth, and with their built-in GPS can help you navigate even when you are out of range of a cell phone network. Try that with Google or Apple maps! I prefer my 900 Lumia for turn-by-turn navigation to my Garmin Nuvi, which uses maps from Navteq, a division of Nokia. If I want to update my maps on the Garmin, it will cost me big $$. To update maps on a Nokia phone, it costs you $0. If I needed to purchase a new phone for myself (I have 2 Google N1 phones personally that I got from G at the Linux Collaboration Summit 2 years ago), the maps alone would be a major factor in a purchase decision.

    1. Robredz

      Re: Not Symbian

      I keep a C6-01 as spare and for use as sat nav, the maps are brilliant; only problem is one of my sons has "borrowed" it as his Blackberry has died, damn and cuss, I would love a Pureview 808 as i have a professional use for the camera facility but as the UK big players won't touch it I cannot afford the coin to buy outright at the minute, and I am not a fan of Windows phones.

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