Nokia Announces Asha 308 and Asha 309 Affordable Smartphones

Perhaps in an attempt to inject some sanity into the smartphone wars, Nokia today unveiled the Asha 308 and 309, the latest additions to the Asha Touch family that allow its users to hop on the web and perform other smart tasks without breaking the bank. The statement Asha phone owners make is, 'I don't care about the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S III or even the Lumia 920, I just want a basic smartphone, dammit!'

Nokia's newest devices use the company's own OS along with a new version of the Nokia Xpress Browser, which is supposedly 90 percent more efficient and generally all-around faster than those "conventional browsers." The phones have a swipe interface and an open environment for third-party apps, though realistically, they're not going to see the same level of developer support that exists on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

Nokia Asha

"Our innovative Asha Touch family of devices is designed for people who want a great smartphone experience with lower running costs," said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. "By introducing the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309, we're expanding our affordable smartphone lineup and bringing new mobile experiences to more people."

Nokia Asha 308 and 309

The Asha 308 is a dual sim phone and the 309 is the single sim variant, both with a 3-inch WQVGA capacitive touchscreen display, 64MB of internal memory, microSD card slot with support for up to 32GB, 2MP rear-facing camera, and other mostly entry-level specs.

Nokia says both phones will retail for about $99 when they become available in the fourth quarter of 2012.