Tech

REVIEW WRAP-UP: Nokia 301

A video of a hands-on with the recently announced Nokia 301 was released by MyNokiaBlog, and shows that the phone comes in two variants: normal or the dual SIM.

"This phone itself is part of a new inspiration by Nokia where the low-end phones are inspired by the Lumia design," says the narrator of the hands-on.

The video goes on to show the similarities between the new (affordable at $85 a pop) Nokia 301 and Lumia:

  • Same camera strip on the back
  • Similar material
  • Same "beautiful colors" such as white, yellow, red, black and cyan

The camera on the Nokia 301 is 3.2 megapixels and "does some things that, according to Apple, have just been announced."

Such features, according to MyNokiaBlog, include panorama mode and the burst feature that allows for five images to be taken at once with the user able to pick his favorite one.

MyNokiaBlog's "very best feature about the camera" is its voice-guided self photos. If you turn the phone's camera onto yourself, a voice will tell you where to best position the phone until your face is centered.

The narrator in the video is particularly excited about this feature and in fact notes that he doesn't even have the function on his 920 ("obviously.")

The Nokia 301 has a 2.4-in. screen (QVGA display; 320X240 pixel resolution) and can run Facebook, Twitter, Whats App and eBuddy.

The narrator refers to the new design as a "refined look; something that makes it look more elegant at a much cheaper price range."

Finishing the hands-on by saying that the Nokia 301's design, features and price make it ideal for a "younger brother" who may not yet be ready for a higher-quality Lumia, the narrator seems to have hit the nail on the head.

"Nokia's 301 is, like, totally aimed at teens," jokes CNET's review with a serious bent.

CNET's reviewer goes on to note she likes that the Nokia 301 "truly looks like an updated version of a typical Nokia cell phone, with a solid, rectangular candy bar shape, a central select button within a four-directional navigation array, and dialpad buttons below."

She, too, points to the bright new signature Nokia colors: a refreshing reprieve from traditional legacy silver. CNET adds that the Nokia 301 runs on Series 40 interface, as did its predecessors.

CNET believes that the effulgent colors may be one hint that the Nokia 301 is custom-tailored for a younger market.

Another tween/teen-friendly feature is the Nokia 301's Slam, which accesses Bluetooth to share photos with a simple click: Something all the kids just love doing these days.

TechCrunch catches in its review that the Nokia 301 supports YouTube streaming video via Nokia's Cloud Xpress browser.

TechCrunch also feels the lower-grade phone allows for a lower price that can keep Nokia in the good fight with Android, while also proving that it can go even lower than sometimes-partner Microsoft. 

Nokia Conversation — the official Nokia blog — also points to the Nokia 301's super-smart camera features as testament to the phone's being "a clever feature phone for 2013."

Noting the phone is "classic Nokia top to toe," the review goes on to gush that the Nokia 301 still "has a few surprises up its sleeve."

Other features Nokia Conversations adds to the other reviews includes the Nokia 301's camera's self-timer for taking pictures of oneself with other people.

Nokia Conversations is also ecstatic about the Nokia 301's "terrific battery life" that allows for the phone to be on standby for 39 days (when using the single SIM version on the 3G network). There's also HD Voice, which allows for far clearer calls as operated by a network that supports the protocol.

"The Nokia 301 has all the features you want, with 3.5G performance and it will never let you down," product manager Vivian Chan told Nokia Conversations.

The phone is expected to go on sale in the second quarter.

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