The Asha 206 runs the same Series 40 OS like all of the Asha range of devices do ever since it was announced a year ago. It doesnt have the QWERTY keyboard or dedicated Facebook button of the Asha 205, but instead you have an alphanumeric keypad and the new “Nokia Slam” file sharing feature, along with being available in both a single SIM version and Dual SIM version. Just like the 205, the Dual-SIM version has an Easy Swap port for the second SIM card.
It’s a 2G-only device, but you have Facebook, Twitter and eBuddy messenger pre-installed, as well as WhatsApp on the Single-SIM versions and 40 games from EA that you can download from the Nokia Store within 60 days of your purchase. There’s only 10MB of internal memory though, so you’re going to want to get a microSD card.
And just like the 205, you have the same S40 menu with a grid of Nokia’s squircle icons, and navigating around with the D-Pad is easy enough. Once again, the apps do take a little while to start up, but it’s not slow mostly because you cant multi-task on S40. There’s also the new “Nokia Slam” file sharing feature, which is, pretty much, a more aggressive sounding version of the bump app. You can use it to quick-share media over Bluetooth 2.1, without needing to manually pair devices. You dont have to actually bump/slam the phones together though, and users just have to accept the file transfer to get it started. Interestingly, it’s compatible with other S40 phones and Android phones but not iOS or Windows Phones, sigh.
You have the same 2.4 inch screen here too, except it’s in portrait orientation. The resolution could have been better, since it’s just QVGA, but color reproduction was okay.
Nokia also spoke about how data efficient they’ve tried to make everything on the Asha 205 and Asha 205, and even uses their Nokia Xpress cloud-compression browser to help you keep data usage down. As such, loading up things on EDGE is pretty quick, even when you try to load full desktop versions of websites.
Build quality was nice and classic-Nokia-solid feeling, even though it’s mostly made of plastic and pretty lightweight. The black version seemed to catch fingerprints fairly easily though.
Apart from all that, you have the usual charging port which uses a classic Nokia charging PIN, and a standard 3.5mm audio jack at the top. At the back you have a 1.3 Megapixel camera which is much better than the VGA camera on the 205.
Even the battery is supposed to last longer than the one on the 205, with the Single SIM version supposed to last up to 47 days on standby, and 28 days on the Dual-SIM version.
The Nokia Asha 206 will be available in White, Yellow, Black, Cyan and Pink/Magenta before the end of the year. Estimated price is about $62 (approx Rs 3500-ish) before taxes, the same price as the Asha 205.