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Nokia announces the Asha 210 with dedicated Whatsapp key

Eyes Blackberry with social features
Wed Apr 24 2013, 10:50
Nokia's Asha 210 has a dedicated Whatsapp key

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia has unveiled its mysterious QWERTY keyboard handset, the Asha 210, as it looks to snatch market share from rival Blackberry.

As expected, the Nokia Asha 210 isn't a top-end Windows Phone handset, although it does borrow the look and feel of Nokia's Lumia lineup. Instead, the handset arrives running Symbian S40, which Nokia has tweaked to focus on social media.

Nokia has configured the phone with a 'social button' similar to the one found on the now defunct HTC Chacha. Unlike HTC's offering however, Nokia's button will open Whatsapp, which comes preloaded on the Asha 210 for free messaging to iOS, Android and Windows Phone handsets.

Brian Acton, co-founder of Whatsapp said, "We are focused on delivering the best Whatsapp experience to as many people as possible.

"We are very excited about our partnership with Nokia Asha complementing our strategy of giving people around the world an easy experience when keeping in touch with their friends."

The Nokia Asha 210 features exactly what you'd expect from a low-end Blackberry rival. There's a 2.4in 320x240 screen along with a full QWERTY keyboard, and the phone's storage can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card.

There's also a 2MP rear-facing camera with Nokia's software features including self-portrait mode and fast editing, WiFi connectivity and a 1,200mAh battery, which Nokia claims offers 12 hours of talk time. The phone will also be available in a dual-SIM model, and will be offered in black, white, blue, pink and yellow models.

Nokia said that the Asha 210 will start shipping in the second quarter, priced at around $72. There are no UK availability details yet. µ


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