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Nokia intros Asha family of phones for emerging markets

Looking to bring more of its devices and access to information to more parts of the world, Nokia unveils its new line of Asha smartphones.

Though the headliners of Nokia World were the company's first Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 700, Nokia also introduced a new line of handsets today designed for emerging markets.

The new Nokia Asha (which means hope in Hindi) family includes four models--the Nokia Asha 200, Asha 201, Asha 300, and Asha 303--and is part of the company's mission to bring affordable, stylish, and feature-rich phones to all parts of the world. The Asha handsets run on the Series 40 platform but vary in design and purpose. Here is a breakdown of each of the models.

Nokia Asha 200
Nokia Asha 200 Nokia

Nokia Asha 200/201
Designed for "young, urban consumers," the Asha 200 is a dual-SIM phone with an EasySwap option, so you can easily swap SIM cards without having to turn off the device, while the Asha 201 is a single-SIM handset.

Both integrate various social networking, e-mail, and instant-messaging services and feature a full QWERTY keyboard, a 2.4-inch QVGA display, and an expansion slot with support for up to 32GB.

The Asha 200 and 201 are expected to ship in Q4 for around 60 euros ($83 U.S.).

Nokia Asha 300
Nokia Asha 300 Nokia

Nokia Asha 300
The Asha 300 combines a 2.4-inch QVGA touch screen with an alphanumeric keypad and is powered by a 1GHz processor. The 3G-capable handset comes with Nokia's Web browser, which compresses Web pages by up to 90 percent for faster browsing.

The smartphone is also equipped with a 5-megapixel camera, an FM radio, Bluetooth 2.1, and Angry Birds Lite. Like the Asha 200, it has an expansion slot (up to 32GB).

The Asha 300 will ship in Q4 for 85 euros ($118 U.S.).

Nokia Asha 303
Nokia Asha 303 Nokia

Nokia Asha 303
As the flagship model, the Asha 303 features metallic finishes and packs in a 2.6-inch QVGA capacitive touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard. It includes a 1GHz processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and 3G, WLAN, and Bluetooth 2.1 radios. It, too, will come preloaded with Angry Birds Lite and supports such apps as Facebook Chat, Whatsapp, and Nokia Maps.

The Asha 303 will be available in Q4 with an expected retail price of 115 euros ($160 U.S.).