CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nokia Highlights Affordable Asha Devices Launched in 2013

From the Nokia 105, available for under Kshs 2,000, to the touchscreen and stylish Nokia Asha 503, we saw a mobile phone for everybody during 2013.

Affordable and feature-rich:

The Nokia Asha 310 was the first mobile phone to make an appearance for Nokia during the year, announced in February 2013. The 310 offers a 3-inch touchscreen display and Wi-Fi, striking a great balance between features and affordability.

Mobile World Congress took place later on in February, with a couple of new handsets making an appearance. The stylish Nokia 301 was the first up, and despite the affordable price tag it's packed with features. From 3.5G connectivity to the Nokia Xpress Browser, with support for YouTube and VuClip videos, the Nokia 301 is the ideal phone for staying entertained on the move.

The Nokia 105 was also announced at Mobile World Congress, and is currently one of the most affordable phones you can buy. It's ideal for people in developing countries and, with a battery life that's measured in weeks rather than hours, it's also the perfect back-up phone.

Smarter, social and completely new:

The Asha 210 with a distinctive Nokia design, a dedicated social key, Wi-Fi and a QWERTY keyboard was announced in late April.

In New Delhi in May, the Asha range got a completely new look built on a new Asha Platform, with the introduction of the Nokia Asha 501. With its clean lines, vivid colours and features like Fastlane, the Asha 501 is the ideal device for first-time smartphone owners.

Following on from the New Delhi event, the Nokia 207 and Nokia 208 were announced in July. These handsets all offer 3.5G internet speeds, and social networking apps make them ideal for keeping in touch with friends and family on the move.

During the launch, Timo Toikkanen, EVP Mobile Phones, explained: "As our most affordable 3G devices yet, the Nokia 207 and Nokia 208 offer a perfect balance of performance, features and quality."

Durable:

Nokia announced the Nokia 106 and Nokia 107 during August, with both candybar handsets providing a 1.8-inch colour display. Both are available in red, white and black, and the keyboard is dust and spill proof. In addition to the features offered on the Nokia 106, the Nokia 107 also adds a bigger battery and microSD memory card support.

The summer also saw an exciting new product in the form of the Nokia 515, which launched in Moscow, Russia, in the last days of August. With an aluminium body, toughened display and 3.5G connectivity, the Nokia 515 is a premium handset for people who want physical buttons without compromising on quality.

The Nokia 108 was announced in September, featuring a VGA camera, Bluetooth and built-in FM radio at a very affordable price. With a battery life of up to 31 days on standby, the Nokia 108 makes a fantastic back-up phone.

Colourful and fast:

Nokia World was the biggest event of the year for Asha phones though, with a trio of new handsets released during the October event. We saw the Nokia Asha 500, the Asha 502 and the Asha 503, and all of the latest products take the design of the Nokia Asha 501 to the next step.

You'll still find clean lines and vibrant colours across the range, but the latest handsets also get a clear coating around the body that sets them apart from other phones, and there's just as much to celebrate when it comes to features.

The Asha 500 gets a 2.8-inch touchscreen, also packing in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, while its siblings get slightly larger 3-inch displays. The Asha 502 adds a 5-megapixel camera and LED flash to the mix, and the 503 gets 3.5G connectivity as well, offering a faster, smoother web browsing experience.

Making your Asha brand new:

And if all these announcements weren't enough, new software update to Nokia Asha Range of device was released in July, bringing support for Mail for Exchange and new social experiences.

And later in November, The Nokia Asha 501 was made brand new, when the latest version of the Asha operating system (also on Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503) was released. This brought improvements to Fastlane, imaging and a support for host of new apps, including WhatsApp!

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