Nokia Asha 311 budget smartphone review
On a more positive note, there is a handy pull-down menu to give instant access to your connection toggles and key settings, while swiping the main screen takes you from all your apps – the order of which can be changed – to the dialler or music player or radio and then onto a homepage that you can populate with as many or as few shortcuts as you like, and shows the time and date. Not bad for a dumb phone.
You can't knock a homegrown Nokia for battery life
When it comes to expanding the 311’s abilities there is a Nokia app store stocked with some handy stuff like WhatsApp but there's no Skype or Instagram. Nor can you use the 311 as Wi-Fi hotspot, if you were thinking about tethering your tablet to it. When it comes to that sort of functionality, the 311’s looks flatter to deceive.
With 40 free EA games to download, Angry Birds preloaded and basic little video and music players plus a microSD card slot (a 2GB card is included in the retail package), the 311 makes a good little media player. Also, you get Nokia Maps but as there’s no GPS the Asha 311 isn’t going to serve as a cheap satnav.
The 3.2Mp snapper isn't that great really. It's fixed focus affair that lacks a flash and can only record video at 480 x 640. Still, this is a budget phone and if you keep your expectations low, you might be pleasantly surprised with your pictorial endeavours.
The 311’s killer feature is its battery life. The maximum 3G talk time of 6hrs may not be that special, but 744hrs on 3G standby and 40hrs of music playback is impressive. In everyday use, you can expect to get around four days from a charge. Under the same usage regime, that will drain a Huawei G300 in a day and a bit. Excellent all round call quality too, but who uses their phone to talk these days?
As a tonic to these all-singing, all-dancing smartphones – that cost too much and consume power like there is no tomorrow – the Asha 311 has much to appreciate. It’s cheap, well made, does many of the basic things a fully fledged smartie will do, is easy and satisfying to use and will get you through many a day on a single charge. I’m not sure I could recommend one as a main phone over, say a G300 but as a backup or travel phone or your young’uns first handset, it’ll do very nicely. ®
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