Nokia Asha 210 packs Qwerty keyboard, WhatsApp button

Nokia has unveiled the Nokia Asha 210, a new phone with a Qwerty keyboard -- and the world's first WhatsApp button.

Move over Facebook Home: Nokia has unveiled the Nokia Asha 210, a new phone with a Qwerty keyboard -- and the world's first WhatsApp button.

Nokia says the 210 is "the most social Asha yet," and the new entry to Nokia's low-cost Asha feature phone range borrows various Web-connected social features from its smart phone older brothers and sisters.

Like the recently-announced Facebook Home , the 210 plugs a social network into the heart of the phone. The popular WhatsApp instant messaging service integrates with the 210's phone book so you can start chatting straight from your address book, and chat notifications pop up even when you're not in the app, to keep the conversation flowing. 

The 210 is decked out in the vibrant primary colours that are the signature of Nokia's Windows Phone-powered Lumia smart phone range. Clad in yellow, turquoise, pink, black, and white, the 210 reveals a new overlap between smart phones and feature phones.

And the gap is clearly narrowing: even aside from the cosmetic similarities, Asha phones connects to the Web, uses apps, and has social networking gubbins. Apps include YouTube for video on the go. 

The 210 is still a cheaper option, though. It only has a 2-megapixel camera, even if it does have a voice-guided self-portrait option. There's a dual-SIM option but we're unlikely to see that here in the UK.

The Asha 210 goes on sale in spring, for around $72 (£50). 

What do you think of Nokia's announcement? Do you want to see the return Qwerty phones? Type your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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