While all the headlines at Nokia World this morning will go to the two new Windows Phone handsets, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, Nokia also launched four new budget handsets running the Series 40 operating system.
The phones are directly aims at emerging markets and Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, spoke about connecting the “next billion,” with Nokia hoping these phone will enable that.
The four phones will be marketed as the Asha range and we are unlikely to see any of them any time soon in the UK.
The first phone in the range is the Asha 300 (below), which combines a touch screen with a T9 keyboard. It will run Series 40 (S40) operating system and has a 5 megapixel camera on the rear, and will be powered by a 1GHz processor – which seems like a bit of overkill to us.
Like all the Asha range, the 300 will be shipped with the new Nokia Browser, which will allow for "fast, affordable and localised Internet access" by compressing web pages by up to 90 per cent. Oh and Angry Birds is now available on S40 handsets, meaning our irate feathered friends only have microwaves and washing machines left to conquer for world domination. The Asha 300 will be available for €65 later this year in selected markets.
Next up is the Asha 303, which again combines a 2.6in capacitive touchscreen with a physical keyboard, this time of the QWERTY variety. Again the phone will be powered by a 1GHz processor and will come with 3G connectivity and Wi-Fi. The 303 will be available later this year costing around €115.
The Asha 200 and Asha 201 are basically the same phone with the 200 offering the option of having dual SIMs. The phones will be available in a variety of colours including a lurid lime green and vibrant purple.
There is no touchscreen here, with the 2.4in screen having a resolution of 320x240 pixels and it sits above a QWERTY keyboard. The phones can have up to 32GB of storage via microSD card slots and the battery will allow for 52 hours of continuous music, according to Nokia. Again the phones will have Angry Birds pre-installed and will come with the new Nokia Browser.
As well as announcing the availability of Angry Birds on S40, Nokia also officially announced the availability of messaging service WhatsApp on S40 phones, however it has been available already for a month or so in beta mode and so far one million people have signed up.
The Asha 200 will be available in late 2011 while the Asha 201 will come in early 2012, both costing around €60.
We're on the ground at Nokia World and will be getting some hands on time with the new Asha range and bringing you out initial thoughts very soon. For now, let us know in the comments what you think of Nokia's new budget handsets.