Nokia's Asha series: Simple, but oh so useful (photos)
Nokia kicked off its Mobile World Congress press conference by introducing the new Asha series. Though the Symbian devises are hardly smartphones, they're hardly dumb.
Nokia Asha 202
BARCELONA, Spain--You can't say that Nokia didn't come to Mobile World Congress with something for everyone. Even before it introduced the Windows Phone 7-powered Lumia 610 and the 808 PureView super camera phone, the company unveiled its new Asha series. Designed for budget-minded consumers and emerging markets, the three Asha series handsets, may look simple, but they offer a few surprises.
On the outside, the 202 has a simple candy bar design that looks like it was plucked from the '90s. Beneath the 2.4-inch display are the calling controls and an alphanumeric keypad. The display is a touch screen, though it felt the slightest bit clunky.
The highlight of the Asha 202 is its support for two SIM cards. That means you'll be able to load two SIM cards (even if they're from different carriers in different countries) and make calls and send messages on either line. Though dual-SIM phones are not new, major manufacturers like Nokia have largely shied away from them. Since the Asha 202 will come unlocked, it won't be popular with U.S. carriers (so don't count on AT&T or T-Mobile picking it up), but it would be a great phone for international travelers. The signal meter and the carrier name for both SIMs is at the top of the 202's display.
You can customize each SIM to receive only the communication that you want including calls, data, and text and multimedia messages. That's a very nifty option for saving money on your roaming bill when you're abroad.