Nokia’s latest Asha goes social: Whatsapp hard key and Qwerty keyboard
The Asha 210, which will come in both single- and dual-SIM versions with retail prices starting at $72, has a physical QWERTY keyboard and is therefore well-suited to messaging and social networking services (it comes preloaded with YouTube, Twitter and Facebook). The handset will come with a free subscription to WhatsApp, which usually costs $0.99 a year, and the service is also integrated with the 210′s phonebook.
WhatsApp’s free suscription should receive a boost in emerging markets, particularly as many of its key rivals – such as Tencent’s WeChat – are strongest in the emerging markets where Nokia’s low-end devices are sold. These alternatives can still be found in Nokia’s S40 app store, but users should be effectively streed in Whatsapp’s direction by the inclusion of the hard key. A reminder of the numbers here: Whatsapp may have 200 milliion users, making it bigger than Twitter, but WeChat has 300 million users.
The 210 has a 2MP camera with its own hard key. It’s available in eye-popping colours yellow, cyan, magenta (plus black and white), and it has an estimated phone’s battery lasts for up to 46 days on the single-SIM version, and up to 24 days on the dual-SIM version – you don’t see this kind of longevity on a typical touchscreen phone.