Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why a Nokia Asha priced above 5K INR makes no sense?

Along with the flagship Lumia devices, Nokia had released a set of Asha devices dubbed as the Internet device for the next billion. While the Lumia devices have a very clear consumer target, the Asha promise sounds good, if the price factor is kept. That simply dosen't appear to be the case with any of the Asha 3xx series. All of these are priced above 5K and at these prices you can easily buy a fully featured Android Smartphone with much better set of features. Where Asha 3xx series scores is the build quality, the camera and probably battery life. But Nokia has squarely failed to understand that it is also the ecosystem that matters. And, in places like India, people are increasingly wanting smartphone features (not smartphone like) on devices close to 5K mark.

S40 is a pretty dated OS, with virtually no exiting thirdpary application for the platform (sorry, but I don't consider a dumbed down version of Angry Birds as an important application). Moreover, it lacks any sensor or GPS support. At the same price point as Asha 3xx series you could easily get a fully loaded Samsung Galaxy Y with Android 2.3.x (hopefully 4.x is also on the way for this device). Feature and usability wise the later device simply beats the Asha 3xx series. I have hard time figuring out just what Nokia is upto here with these 'smarterphone' device. To me, it merely appears to be a marketing gimmick that is going to fail to impress majority of budget minded Indian customers.

While I would happily recommend an Asha 2xx device, if you are even considering getting a Asha 3xx, I would strongly recommend a Samsung Galaxy Y. Heck, you could even think of buying a new Micromax Funbook paired with a very basic Nokia 101 phone for actually making calls.