Nokia Asha 303


The Nokia Asha 303 feels pretty fine in the hand, thanks to its curved back and tapered sides, plus the quite respectful yet not overbearing thickness. The portrait QWERTY keyboard half is recessed below the upper screen region, as if you are dealing with a slider at first look. Overall the phone has a bit chubby, but very lightweight and sturdy construction, incorporating a little premium elements like the metal battery cover. It comes in a selection of colors.


The 2.6” capacitive touch display is a first for the Series 40 line. Its colors seem pale, and brightness is about average, so using it in the sun is a small piece of a chore.

The 240x320 pixels of resolution is pretty low by any standard, so even on this small size the poor 154ppi density makes interface elements look pixelated. Horizontal viewing angles are pretty bad, while the vertical ones are decent, and overall the display does the job.


The Asha range sports the same 3MP fixed-focus camera in the whole lineup, and the 303 is no omission. It doesn't have a flash on the rear.

The touch interface is decent, with big buttons that make accessing the camera functions simple. Most of the basics like white balance and exposure adjustments are here, and there is face recognition, a little effects and funny frames thrown in for a good measure. The phone has a Sequence mode, which allows you to take up to five shots in rapid succession. The 
pictures themselves turned out decent in terms of color illustration and white balance measurements, but quite soft and a bit light on detail to be considered anything above average. Inside photos get even softer and noise ratchets up. Since the camera is fixed-focus, macro shots are out of the question with the phone as well.


The music player got touch controls, but otherwise keeps a very similar interface to its previous version. It is pretty purposeful as it is, with cover art, equalizers and song categorization support. One of the few advantages when you have a thick phone is that you can fit a more potent loudspeaker in it, and the one in the Asha 303 is certainly very strong and clear, and could serve as an improvised boombox.

The handset has a decent video player, too, this time improved with DivX/Xvid format support out of the box. It plays those vids up to 640x360 resolution, but if your file is above 700MB, the handset would refuse to take it for a spin.

Call quality is rather clear in the earpiece, although we wish there was a tad more strength. The other side said they could hear us well, with no unpleasant crackling or distortions. The phone supports call recording, and, as we mentioned, has a very strong loudspeaker, so you are unlikely to miss a call with it.

Nokia specifies the
 1300mAh battery in the Asha 303 for 7 hours of talk time in 3G mode, over a month of standby, and two days of continuous music playback. 


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