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Nokia launches QWERTY Whatsapp Phone: Asha 210

Facebook phones? That’s not how Nokia rolls. The Finnish phone manufacturer believes Whatsapp can work better, and has released the world’s first Whatsapp-dedicated device – the Nokia Asha 210.

Nokia launches asha 210

Broadly, the Asha 210 is primarily for ‘social networking’ – it comes with Facebook and Twitter preloaded. But Whatsapp gets preferential treatment, with a dedicated button on the keypad (it has a QWERTY keyboard).

Users also get a lifetime subscription to Whatsapp messenger free of charge on the budget device. That can save you about $1 every year.

The Asha 210 is available in two variants – single SIM and Dual-SIM. Nokia claims the single SIM model has as a battery standby life of 46 days, while the Dual-SIM version can go last as much as 24 days.

Asha 210 is as low-end as a budget phone can get. It does not have 3G capability, has a 2.4 QVGA (320 x 240) display, just 64MB internal memory, along with Bluetooth 2.1. It does expandable memory up to 32GB with a MicroSD card slot though.

The camera on the device is a mere 2 Megapixels – something almost extinct now. Most budget phones offer at least 3.2 or 5 Megapixels with their cameras now. There’s no front camera, of course.

Asha 210 Specifications:

  • Display: 2.4 inch QVGA (320 x 240)
  • Memory: 64MB, expandable to 32GB with MicroSD card.
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR

This is not the first time a phone manufacturer has come up with a handset dedicated to social networking. HTC had previously released the HTC ChaCha, which came with a dedicated Facebook button for instant sharing and access to the website.

Whatsapp is the world’s most popular with cross-platform Instant-Messaging app, with at least 150-200 million users worldwide. It handles about 12 billion messages daily, and has been in the news for acquisition rumours by both Facebook and Google – both denied by Whatsapp. Reason enough for Nokia to cash in on its popularity with the Asha 210.

The Nokia Asha 210 is going to cost just $72 (without all the operator subsidies), and will hit the stores in the second half of 2013.