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Easy does it

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By Alvin R. Cabral

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Published: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 2:46 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:46 AM

Tired of too high-tech? Simply get your hands on the Nokia Asha 311

Nothing comes easy nowadays, especially if you’re trying your best to convey the ins-and-outs of a certain thing concisely. So, before we run out of space, let’s get things going with the Nokia Asha 311. I previously mentioned here that I like the way Nokia’s become more agg-ressive lately. Let’s find out what they have in store now.


It’s your ol’ reliable monoblock phone, with a 3” Corning Gorilla Glass-protected display and your usual-suspect buttons: call and end keys up front, and volume and lock keys on the right side. You also got your charger, micro-USB and audio ports atop.

I got a bit ticked off with the back cover; it’s made of plastic material, and took me a while to pry loose to insert the battery, SIM card and microSD card. So wet or slippery hands are not recommended here. Thanks to its size, it fits comfortably in your hands, yet may be a bit too small for comfort, as it limits some capabilities you’ll find in other phones.



CPU 1GHz processor

User memory Up to 140MB, expandable up to 32GB microSD


Display 3” capacitive multipoint touch; 400x240 pixels; 65536 colours

Battery life 744h standby; 6h talk; 40h music playback

Camera3.2MP, 4x zoom

Environment-friendly? Yes; product is recyclable

In the box Two chargers, data cable, stereo headset WH-102, 2GB microSD card

Price Dh439


Fast response, colourful and cool display, easy to use


Crammed browser, limited capabilities



One of the features of the Asha series is its Nokia Browser that allows you to surf the Net using less data, meaning it’ll be friendlier on your pocket. Nokia claims that the Asha 311 gives up to three times faster browsing and up to 85 per cent cheaper Internet. Hmm… we tried it out and, let’s put it this way: you’re gonna see the ever-testing-your-patience address bar loading, then all of a sudden, the complete Web page pops out, enabling you to navigate smoothly.

I also notice that the full Qwerty keyboard would only come out when you hold the phone horizontally; vertically, you’re left with the crammed old-school, dial-pad style interface. Thing is, while the browser may be fast, I find it a bit crammed, limiting flexibility. Understandable for a 3” screen, but it could have been done better.

The Asha 311 responds fast to your taps (crucial for fast-and-furious users like me), thanks to a 1GHz processor. You can make calls and send messages quickly; kinda reminds me of phones of years past, when everything was that simple (BTW, the Nokia 3210 is the all-time sexiest phone for me). Anyway, what’s a nice phone without some snaps? There’s a 3.2MP camera waiting for you, but remember that images and videos won’t pop up like what you expect from top-line phones.

For all the social media freaks, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and instant messaging come in a jiffy. I know a lot of people who’ll be happy to know this. And you get 40 free games from Electronic Arts; that’s good news for gamers-on-the-go like yours truly. I couldn’t survive a Metro or bus ride without killing time by killing bad guys on my phone.


If you’re looking for a low-priced phone in which you have all the necessary stuff, the Nokia Asha 311 is a serious contender. It may not have the oh-so-glorious functions the high-ends do, but is a practical solution. You’ll have to deal with the negatives mentioned before, especially some limitations it brings, given its form.

But I always try to find the fun in anything, and the Nokia Asha 311 is a fun, practical and capable daily use phone to have.


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