Whilst the Lumia line is Nokia’s foothold in the flagship smartphone market, its Asha family is more at home offering smart features in a much simpler, more affordable package, typically to markets where lower prices shape the recipe for success.
The Nokia N9’s design team paved the way for the company’s current design language and the Asha range, including the 205 is now benefitting from the clean lines and vibrant colour palettes we already loved so much in the company’s Lumias.
The polycarbonate body of the 205 features a split aesthetic, the front offering up the more reserved of two contrasting colour choices (in our handset, that’s white) with the back, a shot of intense orange, nicely accented by a ‘V’ shaped split line down each side.
The back is an attractively textured piece of angled polycarbonate, with space for a centrally positioned VGA camera, a speaker grille and not much else. It’s a different story on the front however. Turn the 205 around and you’re not only presented with a 2.4-inch LCD panel, but a full QWERTY backlit hardware keyboard that any discerning BlackBerry user would appreciate, navigation keys and a dedicated Facebook key for quick access to your virtual social life.
Being a Series 40 Asha phone, you won’t find any Live Tiles here, instead the 205 offers up a more conventional home screen, filled with glanceable information like time, date, calendar entries, a few app shortcuts and so on. The main menu beyond that presents a grid of 12 app icons with more downloadable from the Nokia app store.
Out-of-the-box, all the essentials are there: Nokia’s Xpress Browser serves up compressed web browsing for fast site loading and smaller amounts of data, as you may have guessed the Facebook button is tied in neatly to a pre-installed Facebook app so you can share from anywhere and there’s a mail client with support for a myriad of pre-existing services like Outlook and Gmail.
On the hardware front, music lovers with appreciate the microSD card expandability up to 32GB, whilst the 1020mAh battery will last for days on a single charge. Just remember that like the rest of the Asha family, the 205 only supports GPRS data speeds, with 3G arriving a little later into 2013.