Nokia Asha 311 review
We get to grips with the top-tier model in Nokia's budget S40 range, the Asha 311
Nokia is one of those manufacturers with a penchant for visual design.
Regardless of the overall strengths or weaknesses of a handset the company produces, design is consistently on the positive side of the checklist and even the worst of its portfolio looks rather dapper compared to much of the rest of the market.
The Asha 311 may be a budget device but that doesn’t mean Nokia has scrimped on the aesthetics. The shape is a neat rectangle with gently curving sides and corners which work well with the proportions.
Nokia’s also gone for its usual range of luminescent colour options and the 311 features a contrasting panel on the lower portion of the phone, separated by a narrow chrome band which also houses the solid control keys.
Overall we think it looks very smart.
That said, it is a little on the small side and those with larger hands may find it a bit fiddly to get to grips with.
Another minor grievance is the inconsistency of materials used. The build quality actually feels surprisingly solid for a budget device but Nokia has clearly saved production costs by using a fairly low-quality feel plastic for the main back panel.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this but the lower contrasting panel feels like a much nicer material and we can’t help but think the experience of the device in the hand would’ve been substantially improved if the whole thing was made from this superior plastic.
We also find it a bit irksome that Nokia insists on fitting a proprietary charging port rather than allowing the already present Micro USB to fulfil charging duties.
The budget constraints and diminutive size of the Asha 311 means it’s only sporting a basic 3-inch TFT touch display with 56k colours, low resolution (400x240 pixels) and low pixel density of only 155 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
But at the very least it’s capacitive rather than resistive and is reasonably responsive when navigating the homescreens.
Being a Nokia screen the blacks are quite good, but apart from that everything’s a bit fuzzy and the colours don’t really pop.
The Asha 311 is reasonably well provisioned in the processor department thanks to a 1GHz single core CPU which ensures the operating system runs quite smoothly and the device is capable of running games such as Angry Birds reasonably well (although this is a version built and optimised specially for S40 handsets).
However, in other areas it’s less impressive with 128MB of RAM and 140MB of onboard storage.
It does at least have MicroSD support for cards up to 32GB and connectivity is quite well catered for with Bluetooth, MicroUSB and Wi-Fi – the latter being rather unusual for feature phones and thus a welcome addition.
|UK Launch||August 2012|
|Frequency||GSM 850/900/2800/2900, HSPDA 850/900/1700/1900/2100|
|Phone Style||Touchscreen feature phone|
|Built-in Memory||140 MB, 256 MB ROM, 128 MB RAM|
|Additional Memory||MicroSD 32GB|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, MicroUSB|
|Camera Resolution||2048x1536 pixels|
|Battery Standby||700 hours|