Thursday, 17 May 2012

48 Hours With the Nokia Asha 302

Years ago I used to love Nokia's series 40 phones, they were attractive and relatively simple compared to Nokia's smartphones. The last series 40 phone I used as my main personal phone was back in 2007, a 7500 Prism which I purchased after becoming annoyed with the E65 smartphone I had. It was quick, fun to use and fast compared to the E65 and kept it for several months until the legendary N82 was released. Since then i've owned a couple of other modern series 40's but never for use as my primary phone, always as backups.

I've now had the Nokia Asha 302 for around 48 hours now most of which was spent using it as my sole phone. Previously I shared some pictures and a few comments but now i'll talk more about my experience so far with it.

As an experiment and for a bit of fun I've ditched my Lumia 800 which I still absolutely love after nearly six months and am now using the Asha 302 for a week or so. At first I thought "how hard can it be, series 40's are simple" but after a rocky start i've quickly changed my opinion. The first challenge I faced was getting my contacts and calendar from the cloud (Google) onto the Asha. Unlike modern phones that have a simple step by step set up procedure there's nothing like that on the Asha, it's back to doing it manually. At first I thought I'd try the new mail for exchange beta but quickly found that it wasn't supported due to the firmware version on this phone and no update was available. Knowing the Asha and gmail contacts supported the SyncML standard I set about creating a profile to get this working, it was slow and I had to google the settings but eventually it worked and I had my contacts. For the calendar I had to use an app, GCalSync which has brought all my calendar entries in, but has messed up the reminder times so am going to keep that a one way sync.

Setting up the rest of the phone was fairly straight forward, but some of the options are buried quite deep in sub menus and aren't at all intuitive. Had a few issues getting my email to work (Gmail) with constant errors about being unable to connect but eventually it just worked, still don't know why! Nokia has included a social app for accessing services such as Twitter and Facebook, both work reasonably well but compared to my Lumia they are slow and not ideal for a heavy twitter user like me. There's a lot of ways to customise the keys and homescreen on the Asha, a good set up there can make it so much easier (and quicker) to use than it's default settings. So at the moment i've got it set up to cover the basics and going to continue using it over the weekend into next week. It's been frustrating so far being without my smartphone but hopefully things will improve now that it's set up and as I adapt to it.

Later i'll talk about messaging, calling, the device itself and how i've been using it. Thank you for reading.

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