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Nokia Asha 303: Hands-on and first impressions

The Nokia Asha 303 might look like a slider Qwerty phone but trust us, it’s not. We know that the keypad part looks like its designed to slide underneath the screen (from the front, at least). But it doesn’t, we tried, to the consternation of Nokia World 2011 staffers.

Sliding pad or not, the Nokia Asha 303 is another phone that’s evolved from Nokia’s Touch and Type range from last year.

Something of a compromise, the 2.6-inch capacitive touchscreen gives you a degree of flexibility when browsing the web, while the full Qwerty pad gives you that dedicated typing and texting experience.

As with the Nokia Asha 300, you get a 1GHz processor tucked away inside the small(ish) body and Nokia’s stock browser which boasts web page compression of up to 90 per cent. These ought to allow for some pretty fast and more data-efficient access to the web on the go. Sadly, we weren’t able to really test out the Asha 303’s browsing credentials; 3G signal, as is often the case at events like this, was really patchy and getting on the Wi-Fi was near-impossible.

Access to Facebook Chat and Whatsapp comes pre-installed, as does a Lite version of Angry Birds, Rovio’s popular avian-tossing physics game that’s finally hitting selected Symbian 40 phones. We were able to have a quick go on Angry Birds and, allowing for the smaller screen size, found it to be just as fun and easy to play on as most other phones.

Nokia has pegged the SRP of the Asha 303 at €115 which currently works out at around £100 – obviously prices will differ depending on networks and availability here in the UK; we’ll let you know the second we hear more. It’s due to arrive in stores before the end of the year so we imagine the wait on the details won’t be too long.

Until we do, have a gander at these hands on pics, as well as our other spoils from Nokia World 2011, including the flagship Nokia Lumia 800, Lumia 710, and the Asha 300, 200 and 201.

A series of Angry Birds covers are being released to accompany the Asha 303. If you really like Angry Birds

Or there’s an Angry Birds pouch….

In common with the other Asha handsets announced today, connections are located at the top of the phone

Side controls include the lock button and volume rocker

Here are all those Angry Birds cases in full….

Angry Birds is finally here for Symbian S40 handsets. We had a quick go and found it responsive and as easy to play as ever