Simplicity. Functionality. Affordability.

Being a part of the “next billion” project, the Nokia Asha 200 is expected to make a wave in the lower phone market segment. This budget phone brings much into the table with a couple of features – dual-sim support, physical qwerty keyboard, and messaging modes. Affordable it is but Nokia did not have to compromise anything to make this phone unattractive given its price point.

We round up the five things notable on this phone after the hop.

1) Dual-sim capabilities
One of the main feature of the Asha 200 is the dual-sim capability. This allows users to utilize two SIM-cards at the same time. Changing cards would be an easy chore as it is possible without turning off the phone. The phone can store records and settings up to 5 SIM-cards.

2) Messaging

The Asha 200 comes with a compact QWERTY keyboard. Physical keys are the basic 4-way navipad, call, end, and a shortcut for messaging. A dedicated button for dual SIM-card can be used for easy management. Messaging can be fun and functional with an array of messaging types – SMS, MMS, audio messaging, flash messaging, and email. Users can choose between standard inbox or the threaded messaging view. Most users will find the qwerty keyboard very comfortable to type in.

3) Battery

The Asha 200 comes with BL-5J battery rated at 1430mAh – the same powerful battery used with other phones like the X1-01, C3, 5800, and the X6. Nokia listed the expected battery operation times for this phone at 890 hours for standby and calls can run up to 7 hours. Our tests indicates that this phone on full standby mode without a SIM-card inserted can last up to a month on a single charge. Realtime tests – 10 minutes of calls, few SMS, and an hour of music a day – puts the Asha 200 lasting up to a week on one full charge.

4) Connectivity

Basically, the Asha 200 provides connectivity options limited only to GPRS and EDGE band networks. The phone is fully capable of connecting to many popular networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter with the use of the built-in social application. Users can share contents wirelessly via bluetooth . This can also be used to pair-up with bluetooth headsets.

5) Music

The Asha 200 comes with a 3.5 mm Nokia AV connector. Music playback is quoted at 52 hours continuous playback via the headset. The phone can play up several music filetypes WAV, MP4, AAC, AMR, MP3, WMA, and WMV. As far as expandability is concerned, a hot-swappable microSD slot (up to 32GB) is on the right middle part  just above the SIM-card slot. A Stereo FM Radio with RDS with recording capability is also onboard.

The loudspeaker is placed on the back lower portion of the phone. Overall impression is quite good, no noticeable distortions even when set to the maximum volume. A demo is included below:

As this time of writing, the Nokia Asha 200 is still available in the market with the following prices: EUROPE/EMEA – €60, US/CAN – $80, ASIA/Philippines – (3,500php) without taxes. The unboxing photos can be seen at this page.

Thanks to the nice people at Nokia for the review unit.