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Hands on: Nokia Asha 311

New Delhi, Sep 30: Nokia has been the star player with entry level and feature phones in India. It introduced a new series of smartphone like feature phones - the Nokia Asha series. After a

India TV News Desk [Updated:30 Sep 2012, 8:14 PM IST]


Nokia has optimized its Series 40 user interface and branded it as Nokia OS. The user interface has been influenced by the Meego OS and offers a swiping user interface. It also offers a pull-down notification tray which covers up to two-thirds of the screen. Asha 311 offers three different screens - Lockscreen that has a single color background, a shortcut screen where select icons can be added for quick access and the application drawer.

The new Nokia OS user interface for Asha 311 has quite a lot of options for music listeners. For instance, the notification tray has a shortcut for opening the music player and if you swipe to the left, then you get immediate access to the music player that has eight tracks pre-loaded.

The software seems to be heavily influenced by Meego OS. The icons seem to be taken from the Anna-Belle OS and the sub menu options appear in a neatly overlaid manner. The smartphone comes pre-loaded with essential apps like WhatsApp, Nokia Chat, Nokia Life Tools, Nokia news reader (RSS) and Nokia Social that includes Facebook and Twitter. Besides that, Asha 311 has multi-login instant messing apps Nimbuzz and Zomato pre-loaded.

The Asha 311 also offers email support with IMAP4, POP3, IMAPS and SMTP protocols. The email experience is good with standard and folder views. For text input, the user interface offers a light background with text appearing on it. In the portrait mode it appears in multi-tap format and in landscape mode it is in Qwerty lay out. It actually doesn't look like a keyboard but more like a panel showing generic letters.

Nokia has tied up with Electronic Arts to provide about 40 games for free through the EA Games Gift app. Consumers need to download all forty games in two months from when they purchase the handset. Of course, the famous Angry Birds game comes pre-loaded with a couple of other random games. You can also enjoy free music from the Nokia Music store for a couple of months.

For navigation, the phone does not have a GPS chip but offers Nokia Maps which uses cell-based triangulation to lock location. The native mobile web browser comes with shortcuts on the home panel and also a pod for popular sites in categories like news, sports, business and so on.

Heavy jar files like those of games take a while to load while most applications load fairly quickly and have a good looking interface. However, the kinetic scrolling enabled in the app drawer interface makes it fun to scroll.

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