Nokia Asha 202

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/ Updated: 29 February 2012 12:22 pm GMT

The Nokia Asha 202 is a compact handset that packs in both a touchscreen and an alphanumeric keypad.

The 202 will be priced at around €60 (£50) according to Nokia, making it a smidge more expensive than the £45 Asha 201 -- but cheaper than the €95 toll being levied on the Asha 302.

I got hands-on with the device, which is the sibling of the Nokia Asha 203, at Mobile World Congress. Read on for my first impressions.

Dual SIM support

The Asha 202 has two SIM slots -- one under the removable battery, and one on the side of the device. Switching between SIMs can be done without turning the phone off, which makes it easier to manage if you've got a different SIM on the go. The phone will also prompt you to specify which SIM to use for certain operations.

Nokia says the 202 can store settings for up to five SIMs using the SIM Manager menu.

Nokia Asha 202 side
There's a second SIM slot on the side and you don't have to turn the phone off to switch between SIMs.

Design

The 202 has a standard candybar form, with a shiny black plastic face. It's reasonably stylish, especially at this budget price. There's a choice of four basic handset colours -- red, white, dark grey and black -- with most choices edged in silver.

Despite its metal trimmings, the 202 feels very light. It's also small enough to easily slip into all but the most miserly of pockets. Being so lightweight, it could feel cheap, but its unfussy looks help it to stay on the right side of classy.

The keypad on the 202 is alphanumeric, which means it's probably not as fast to type on as a full Qwerty, unless you've developed your multi-press reflexes to ninja levels.

The keys are generously proportioned though, so you shouldn't have to worry about mashing the wrong one too often.

Nokia Asha 202 back
You can choose between red, white, dark grey and black trim.

Screen

The 2.4-inch display is a touchscreen but it's the resistive type, rather than the capacitive variety found on most smart phones such as Nokia's high-end Lumia range.

It seemed reasonably responsive during my brief hands-on, but we'll be sure to poke and prod a lot more when we get the device in for a full review.

Software

Like all of its fellow Ashas, the 202 runs Nokia's Series 40 OS so it sits squarely in the budget blower category.

Nokia has tweaked the S4 interface to fit the 202's particularly diminutive screen dimensions, so it looks slightly different to the Asha 201, which has a squarer screen. On the 202, there's an emphasis on getting to stuff quickly and easily, with minimal presses -- such as via the contacts shortcuts that can be added to the home screen and by swiping left or right to get to favourite contacts, games and apps.

As with the other Ashas in the range, the 202 can be tied up to your Facebook account so you can post and view updates from the home screen with only a few key presses.

Nokia is making a gift of 40 EA games that can be downloaded to the 202 for free in the first two months of use. You're not going to be able to cram all 40 games on the internal 10MB of memory but there's a microSD card slot that supports expansion of up to 32GB.

Camera

On the back is a 2-megapixel snapper -- I didn't get a chance to assess image quality but don't expect to be writing home about how great your pictures are. Still, at this price, it's a bonus there's a lens at all.

Outlook

The Asha 202 looks like it's going to be a niche device -- most suited to a budget-conscious student with lots of overseas relatives to call, or possibly as a basic phone for kids, that can be preloaded with games.

Nokia reckons the 202 will be hitting shops in around six weeks' time, so check back soon for a full review.

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Nokia Asha 202

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