Nokia introduces Asha 210 with Qwerty keyboard

No Qwerty Lumia for now after Nokia unveils the new basic Asha 210 with keyboard

Shona Ghosh
24 Apr 2013

Nokia has added a new phone to its lower-end Asha line that features a Qwerty keyboard and a dedicated WhatsApp button.

Along with the keyboard, the Asha 210 will support a 2G data connection and Wi-Fi and comes with a 2-megapixel "smart" camera with additional photo-editing tools. Both single and dual-SIM models will be available and the phone is due to hit the market before the end of June with a $72 price tag.

Analysts compared the new phone with BlackBerry Curve line, both in design and the clear focus on emerging markets.

"It puts pressure on BlackBerry Curve in global markets, at $72," said IHS Screen Digest’s mobile analyst Ian Fogg.

The new device does put paid to hopes of a Lumia handset with a physical keyboard, but Nokia played up the social aspects of the new device, saying that the WhatsApp button is a "world first". A partnership between the two companies means heavy integration, with users able to access WhatsApp messages from their contacts list, and marketing director Neil Broadley added that there would be more features to come.

Like BlackBerry’s BBM, WhatsApp comes as the default messaging service on the Asha 2010 and, interestingly, for free. The service costs £0.69 on iOS or around £0.65 for one year’s subscription on Android. Nokia will also offer a version with a dedicated Facebook button instead.

Other social features include a pre-installed YouTube app and chat notifications. The phone also comes with Nokia's Slam service, allowing owners to exchange information via Bluetooth by bumping their phones together.

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