Nokia Asha 300 - Red (Unlocked) Smartphone Reviews

Nokia Asha 300 - Red (Unlocked) Smartphone

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Nokia continues to disappoint

Feb 3, 2013
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Disappointing

  • Durability:
  • Clarity:
  • Portability:
  • Battery Life:

Pros:touch screen and dial pad, camera, media player.

Cons:Symbian OS, durability, call quality.

The Bottom Line: Tough to say who it is for. The die-hard Nokia fan, if there are any left.

I've been using this phone sporadically for the past 6 months. It was given to me by a friend and my initial intention was to replace my aging Samsung E250 with it, but I was not happy with it so I've been using it as a back up only when traveling or when my battery runs out.

On paper the Asha 300 should be a decent phone, with a combination of a dial pad and touch screen, 5 mp camera, media player, and plenty of other features. The phone disappoints, however, in both performance and ease of use.

I have never been a fan of the symbian OS and this phone does nothing to dissuade me with my impressions. I might be in the minority here, but frankly I think Nokia did well to embrace Windows phone instead. I only wish they would've immediately quit producing additional Symbian crap phones.

I find the OS neither intuitive, nor speedy. Menus take their time loading, text and icons are unattractive, customization options are limited, functionality is weak, and app support is very fragmented as there are still a million versions of the OS. The Asha 300 does come with the Nokia App store, but it's hard to say which apps would work on the phone, the only way to tell really is to try - it's a hit or miss affair.

One of my major problems with the Symbian OS is the lack of unified account support. At this point every other smart phone OS allows the cloud syncing of contacts, settings, etc. by connecting to a user account. In Symbian we still have to rely on SIM for contact transfer, which only supports phone numbers, any other information like address, birthdays, secondary phones numbers are not transferable by SIM.

My next big problem is the file system, which simply makes no sense to me. To this day I have a hard time finding my files and apps. Though the phone has factory default folders for music, video, apps, etc. none of the stuff I download and install ever seems to go to the right place. That became especially true after installing a SD card. Now everything is put into additionally created folders on the SD card, which are not merged with the phones folders. Searching for anything in Symbian is just a chore to me.

OS aside, the Nokia Asha 300 fails to deliver in the hardware department too. Though a relatively attractive phone, it is still burdened with every Nokia deficiency I've ever experienced. There is no easy way to adjust the volume for anything as there are no dedicated volume controls. The camera's quality is barely adequate, but nowhere near matching the expectations for a 5 mp shooter.

There are two ways to charge the phone - with the included proprietary charger, and through the micro USB, which according to the manual is only good for data transfer. Not so, it does charge the phone, but much slower than the included charger. This makes no sense to me, especially since the EU already passed legislation requiring phone companies to use the micro USB standard for charging. I could see Samsung or LG not complying, but Nokia, which is a European company, is a bit strange.

The media player is really only good for music, and again - finding your songs is an exercise in patience as the music player looks in the phone music folder by default, where it finds nothing, but the including ring tones, alarms and such.

I've yet to be able to play any video file that was not created by the phone itself, but maybe just as well - there is no landscape view available on this phone. This also affects the usefulness of the web browser. Luckily though some apps and games which require landscape mode are allowed to be displayed properly. The phone comes loaded (and loudly advertised) with a very limited version of Angry Birds. It is difficult to play on the tiny screen and only includes the first level of the first world, but it does play smoothly. The full version of the game requires a paid download.

The biggest problem of the phone though seems to be its fragility. I know I have some fault here, but it had never happened to me with another device. After dropping the phone once, from pocket-level height and in a protective case, the display cracked and is now barely useable. I've always very careful with my electronics, but I don't think I've had a phone, which I haven't dropped multiple times, yet this is the first one to ever break.

No smaller problem for a phone is the call quality. I know it's not my service as I normally use a different phone. I frequently have difficulties hearing people speaking, while they report the same problem on the other end. The speakerphone is weak and adds a significant echo to the conversation. Though I haven't experienced any dropped calls I've experienced call mutes, because the touch screen remains active during call and might accidentally rub against the face.

The battery life is totally average. I usually get about 3 days between charges, given that I don't play games on it too much, which I normally don't.

And finally, I know this is supposed to be a cheap phone, but it would've been nice to at least include WiFi or GPS, preferably both.

Recommend this product? No

Recommended for: Professionals On-the-Go - Internet and Email is a Must!

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