It was at the beginning of the year that Nokia announced it had sold 1.5 billion phones running its S40 operating system, which has evolved over recent years to become a sub-smartphone OS for the company to sell in markets where Windows Phone isn’t relevant yet.
Today, Nokia has added another two Asha phones to its range, the Asha 205 and Asha 206. As you’d expected from such lowly model numbers, the pair won’t even be troubling the likes of the 308 for supremacy, but they do bring with them the introduction of Nokia Slam, a new way of sharing content with friends.
Let’s take a look at that before the phones. Nokia Slam works in a similar way to Bump, where media can be shared with friends nearby, but without the hassle of pairing Bluetooth, or even the receiving party having a Slam application. Nokia says it’s faster than Bluetooth, although it does use it to transfer files, and that it’s also compatible with Android phones — a handy bonus for potential owners — but strangely, not with Windows Phone 8 devices, an embarrassing problem given Nokia’s dedication to Microsoft’s OS.
Nokia Slam comes as standard on both the new phones, which are available as either a single-SIM or dual-SIM handsets. The Asha 205 is a QWERTY phone with a 2.4-inch,240 x 320 pixel screen, a 0.3-megapixel camera — which seems hardly worth including — while the Asha 206 is a candybar phone with the same size and resolution screen, but a 1.3-megapixel camera instead.
Facebook users will appreciate little tweaks made to each phone too, as the Asha 206 has a dedicated Facebook button for quick and easy status updates, while the Asha 205 — equipped with the better camera, remember — optimizes its photos using some clever software before they’re uploaded to the social network.
Despite these differences, deep down, they’re both almost identical. Standard features on each include FM radios, 2G connectivity, a microSD card slot to take the memory to 32GB, a 3.5mm headphone socket and a 40-game Electronic Arts package. Nokia’s usual range of social apps and its data-sipping Xpress Web browser are also part of the deal, plus in the case of the 206, a battery which provides up to 47 days standby.
Both will be available in some very bright colors, including cyan, magenta and either orange or yellow depending on which model you purchase. They’re expected to go on sale before the end of the year, and prices have been set at $62 each.