The introduction of Nokia Asha 310 is clear evidence that the gap in the user experience between entry-level smartphones and feature phones is blurring.
This phone mimics to perfection key aspects of a smartphone including touch/gesture user interface, support for various connectivity solutions, storage footprint, and most importantly support for more popular applications and multimedia content.
However, like any other feature phone, Asha 310 does not support always-on connectivity and content push for data applications, which means applications are not refreshed dynamically without a prompt from the user. This together with the relatively low-processing performance and the lack of multitasking could disqualify this type of device from being included in the smartphone category.
Having said that, in comparison to a smartphone, Asha 310 is much less bandwidth consuming and is less of a burden on the network in terms of signaling. This means users can make significant savings on their data plans while consuming the same content compared to on a smartphone.
Pricing is another key advantage of Asha 310. Priced at just above $100 (€74), this device could compete against any branded smartphone with equal user experience. All smartphone models currently playing in this price range are either supplied by unreliable micro-brands or are discounted old models often lacking the latest key features and functionalities.
Malik Saadi is a principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. For more information, visit www.informatandm.com