Nokia Rolls Out the Sociable Asha 210

Nokia Asha 210, launched today, is being touted by the Finnish mobile giant as a viable alternative to entry-level BlackBerry offerings. The keypad-candybar may not feature a smartphone OS such as Windows Phone or Android, but makes up for that with a heavily retrofitted Symbian S40, with apps for most web-based services and social networks. It competes with BlackBerry handsets and their BBM, with pre-installed WhatsApp.

Measuring 111.5 x 60 x 11.8 mm, and weighing just under 98 g, the Asha 210 offers a combination of a physical QWERTY keypad, and a 2.4-inch QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) screen. It's available in various color options specific to regions, some of which are pictured above.

The Asha 210 features an unusual combo of connectivity options. It lacks 3G, forcing you to make do with EDGE (800/1800 MHz) when on the move, and even features variants with two SIM slots; but makes up for that with support for 802.11 b/g WiFi, so you can catch up on your favorite channels whenever you can. The phone ships with a minuscule 64 MB of internal storage, but gives you a micro-SDHC slot to expand storage all the way up to 32 GB.

In addition to common social media apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, the Asha 210 ships with Nokia Nearby, a local app. The Nokia Slam feature lets you share stuff between two of these phones without spending the time to pair the two. As for battery life, Nokia is promising up to 46 days of standby battery life with a single SIM, and 24 days with dual SIM.

Slated for market launch before June, the Asha 210 is priced at $72 contract-free.

Nokia today unveiled the latest device in its Asha family, designed to offer consumers more social experiences at an affordable price. The Nokia Asha 210, available in Single- or Easy Swap Dual-SIM variants, features a distinctly Nokia design and smart imaging that sets it apart from the crowd. It supports Wi-Fi to help people enjoy more of the Internet for less and is the world's first phone to have a dedicated WhatsApp button.

Your social life at your fingertips
The Nokia Asha 210 has a QWERTY keyboard and a dedicated WhatsApp button for fast access to instant messaging. To celebrate the Nokia and WhatsApp partnership, WhatsApp is offering their service for free on all Nokia Asha 210 devices with the WhatsApp button for their lifespan. Combined with Facebook, Twitter and support for popular email accounts such as Gmail, the Nokia Asha 210 is designed to ensure that people are never more than a few clicks away from their friends and family.

Capture and share great images every time
The Nokia Asha 210 comes with a 2MP camera that can be accessed through a dedicated hardkey even when the keypad is locked. The smart camera also offers a choice of image capture, editing and sharing options, including:

  • Self-portrait - for perfectly centred self portraits, even without a front- facing camera. The built-in voice guides the user to ensure they are in the frame, before taking the shot.
  • Fast editing of images directly from the camera app and easy sharing of images to social networks.

People can also share photos and other content quickly by using Nokia's innovative Slam feature, which comes built-into the Nokia Asha 210. It works by enabling the transfer of content such as images or videos to another Bluetooth- enabled phone without the need to pair devices.

"The Nokia Asha 210 really stands out giving super-social consumers new ways to express their personalities through design, colour and innovations like the world's first WhatsApp button," explains Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. "It has been designed to allow people to easily update their social networks, stay in touch with friends and share user created content."

"We are focused on delivering the best WhatsApp experience to as many people as possible," said Brian Acton, Co-Founder of WhatsApp Inc. "We are very excited about our partnership with Nokia Asha complementing our strategy of giving people around the world an easy experience when keeping in touch with their friends."

The new device also takes full advantage of the Nokia Xpress Browser which uses Nokia's cloud technology to reduce data consumption by up to 90 percent, helping people enjoy more affordable Internet access. The Nokia Asha 210 also features Nokia Nearby, a web app that lets people discover points of interest such as restaurants, shopping and ATM machines close to their location.
Other key features for Nokia Asha 210 include:

  • Social phonebook integration with the ability to launch WhatsApp direct from contact cards in the Phonebook
  • Preloaded YouTube launcher for direct video streaming
  • Chat screen notifications that keep users up-to-date on new conversations - Single-SIM and Dual-SIM models featuring Nokia's exclusive EasySwap technology that enables consumers to change SIM cards without having to turn off the device
  • WiFi On/Off control button
  • Nokia's renowned long battery life: up to 46 days with Single-SIM and up to 24 days with Dual-SIM

The Nokia Asha 210 is available in yellow, cyan, black, magenta, and white. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Asha 210 is around 72 USD and it is expected to start shipping in the second quarter of 2013.