Where are the full touch Nokia S40 feature phones that Stephen Elop hinted at last June?
They are coming in the next twelve weeks. And we’ve got the User Manual for the first among them – Nokia 306 Asha – to prove it.
Until now, Nokia introduced four Asha S40 phones that have touchscreen displays: Asha 303, Asha 300, Asha 202, and Asha 203. However, all of them also come with keyboards, in addition to touchscreens. The Nokia 306 does not.
Skimming through the 306’s User Guide, we’ve found several sketches of the handset, as well as details about its software. It is definitely not Symbian, and it’s pretty close to the version of S40 we’ve seen on the Asha 303. But with some nice additions, including an Android-like pull-down notification bar, which lets you:
- see if you have missed calls or unread messages
- change the profile, for example, to silence your phone
- open the music player, for example, to pause the currently playing song
- open or close mobile data internet connections
- check for Wi-Fi networks, and connect to them
- switch Bluetooth on or off
The Nokia 306 also has 3 home screens:
- the “My screen” for favorites, contacts and shortcuts
- the “App screen”
- and the “Dialler screen”, which is customizable and can be replaced with music player or radio
In addition to swiping, Nokia 306 also supports pinch to zoom gestures for maps, photos, and browser.
What we have here certainly looks like a nice S40 Touch UI facelift. But I do hope it is just the “Sonic” full touch UI Elop mentioned in the leaked video last year, and not the next generation Linux based Meltemi OS. The software described in the User Manual looks way too limited to make a good low-end smartphone OS.
Feature-wise, the Nokia 306 comes with GSM connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 3.5mm headset jack, a camera of unknown resolution on the back, Micro USB, and hot-swappable MicroSD card slot supporting cards up to 32GB. The handset seems to be a low-end one, so it would fit perfectly in the Asha family (its name – 306 – also suggests it’s an Asha).
We have it on a good authority that the new Nokia 306 is scheduled to be announced no later than in the first week of July. So the Nokia Connections annual event in Asia (held at the end of June) sounds like a place where it might happen.
If you want to check out the Nokia 306′s User Manual yourself – you can download it here (*.pdf).
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- Fighting cheap Androids. Seppo Aaltonen, Nokia phone Strategy Lead: ~9 million apps downloaded to S40 each day #MWC13