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Gadget: Nokia Asha 200

The name Asha means ‘hope’ in Hindi. The phone is unmistakably, and perhaps unashamedly, plastic in build. Available in several colours, the Asha 200 has a glossy finish. The front features the 2.4 inch screen, six dedicated buttons, menu pad and a QWERTY keyboard, while the back has the camera and a speaker grill.

Two of the dedicated buttons are for menu navigation, two for answering and rejecting calls, and the other two are a dedicated SIM switcher (yes this is a dual SIM phone) and a dedicated messaging button.

On the side are two latches, one for the second SIM, and the other for a microSD card. The phone is 14mm thick and weighs about 105g. There is not a lot of free memory on this phone – about 10 MB – so you will definitely want to get a microSD card.

It comes with a decent set of applications including e-mail support (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Ovi Mail), Instant Messaging application (Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, and Ovi Chat) and social media applications (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Orkut and more). In terms of entertainment, the phone features a few trial games and has support for major music formats as well as listening to and recording FM radio.

The phone obviously cannot, and is designed not to, compete with the heavyweights in the smartphone industry. It goes for about Shs280,000 in shops around town.

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