Nokia Asha 306 hardware hands-on

The Nokia Asha 306 is the latest budget smartphone lite device running the Asha Touch version of Series 40 software. How well does the interface work on a phone costing a little over £50? Find out with our Nokia Asha 306 hardware revhands-oniew.

The Nokia Asha 306 is the budget brother to the Nokia Asha 311 we reviewed recently and while it comes with many of the same features sets, with a street price of around £50 less, there are obvious differences to be had with the Nokia Asha 306.

Nokia Asha 306: What’s in the box? 

Smartphone lite are devices that look, act and feel like a full-blown smartphone but as they are intended for those on a tight budget don’t rely on being connected to the web as much as a high-end device like the Nokia Lumia 900, for example.

Nokia Asha 306: smartphone lite build quality

The Nokia Asha 306 is slightly longer than the Nokia Asha 311 due to having a tapered edge at the top and bottom but it fits neatly into the hand. Weighing 96g, it’s a compact sized phone and we’ve found that it slips into your pocket smoothy and easily.

Based around a 3-inch touchscreen you’ll find the Nokia Asha 306 uses the older resistive screen technology, so you will find that you need to push quick firmly for it to respond as smoothly as you’d like. The screen offers a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels and with a 16-bit colour depth images look

On the front of the Nokia Asha 306 you’ll find two standard call functions below the screen, while on the top are the standard 3.5mm audio jack, 2mm charger and microUSB connectors. The only other buttons are to be found on the right-hand side, being the screenlock and volume controls buttons.

You’ll find a microSD card slot on the left-hand side under a protective flap. The flap is attached via a small plastic strip but with the Nokia Asha 306 shipping with a 2GB card already pre-installed you’ll only need to open it when you want to upgrade the card. It takes cards up to 32GB in capacity.

With a 1GHz processor and 32MB of RAM, the Nokia Asha 306 is quick and nibble and navigating around the new version of the OS, which has been solely designed with touch in mind and brings along with a new interface three homescreens. The first is a long list of all the apps on your Nokia Asha 306, which you can move around to personalise and prioritise.

The second homescreen allows you to add your favourites, while the third is the Call screen, which nicely reminds you that this is a smartphone lite device rather than a fully-blown smartphone.

There are some nice little features too, such as swipe down from the top of the screen and a notification window appears, similar to the one on Symbian Belle, showing you the status of your connections, both Wifi and Bluetooth as well as your Profile settings. What’s more, with Facebook and Twitter integrated into the system you’ll find that staying in touch with social networks is easy on the Nokia Asha 306.

It’s not all great news, as the 2-Megapixel camera lacks Flash and while file sizes are small enough to share, you won’t buy the Nokia Asha 306 looking for an amazing camera experience.

What you will buy this phone for is the great build quality and being essentially a Series 40 phone, a great battery life. We’ve been impressed with the standby time of the Nokia Asha 306, which Nokia claims is around 25 days, while you’ll get up to 14 hours of talk time.

Using the Nokia Asha 306 as an every day phone, we’ve found call quality is crisp and clear and while the compact size of the phone does feel a little odd when holding it up to your ear, it’s a highly practical phone.

If found the Nokia Asha 306 for £60 (inc. VAT) on PAYG at Phones 4u, which is a great price for this handset.

The Nokia Asha 306 isn’t going to revolutionise the world but if you’re currently using a feature phone with buttons and want to update to something faster and more intuitive then this could well be the way to go.