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Nokia Asha 308 and 309 affordable smartphones unveiled

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Asha range

Nokia has revealed two new additions to its smartphone line. The Nokia Asha 308 and 309 join the company's affordable range of Series 40 handsets.

Nokia's focus is predominantly on Windows these days - and particularly on the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 launch with its Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 handsets. But it clearly hasn't forgotten that its biggest market lies in affordable feature phones for developing countries.

Of course, many of these developing countries are in fact rapidly evolving economies, so Nokia's affordable Series 40 handsets - which it has dubbed Asha in recent times - are getting more and more capable.

Just consider the new Nokia Asha 308 and Asha 309. Each contains a 3-inch capacitive LCD display, an 800MHz CPU and a 2-megapixel camera. Far from cutting edge, of course, but also firmly in smartphone territory.

Asha dual sim

Indeed, as Nokia's press release is keen to point out, analyst firms such as GfK and IDC have classified the Asha Touch range as smartphones. Despite this the Asha 308 and 309 are being dubbed "Nokia's most affordable capacitive touchscreen devices to date."

Both devices also come with a 1,110mAh battery, 20MB of internal storage and a 2GB microSD card (which is expandable to 32GB).

The main difference between the two new phones is that the 308 supports a dual-SIM configuration, which is massive in developing countries where mobile phones are often the sole means of telecommunication and internet access.

Asha 309

Speaking of which, both phones come with Nokia's Xpress internet browser, which compresses data usage by an impressive 90 per cent, making online access much cheaper. It also has Nokia's latest streamlined touch interface, which makes the dated Series 40 OS it runs on feel fresh and modern.

Both phones come with Nokia's usual Asha gift of 40 free EA games. They'll be shipping in the fourth quarter of 2012 for around $99.

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