Nokia has announced a new phone in its budget Asha line-up, the Asha 310. This is Nokia's first phone that has both dual-SIM and Wi-Fi capabilities. It is set to be launched in India in the first quarter of 2013, and is priced at $102 (approx. Rs 5,500).

Nokia claims that the Asha 310 “has Dual SIM on steroids”. The company features the Easy Swap Dual SIM technology present in other dual-SIM phones in the Asha line-up. As usual, the main SIM card sits behind the battery, but the second SIM card slot is on the side of the phone, which allows for easy swapping of SIM cards. You can offer unique profiles for up to five SIM cards and define which SIM card you want to use for calling, sending text messages, or for using Internet data through the SIM manager.

The phone also features the Nokia Xpress Browser, the latest version of which is available through an over-the-air download. According to the company, the Nokia Xpress Browser compresses data by up to 90 per cent, meaning that you can download pages quickly even over a slow connection, and save money at the same time, without compromising the browsing experience.

The Nokia Asha 310 is the company's first dual SIM phone that has Wi-Fi

The Nokia Asha 310 is the company's first dual-SIM phone that has Wi-Fi

The Asha 310 comes with preloaded apps, including email, Facebook, Twitter, and eBuddy. The eBuddy app also features push notifications so that you don't lose any chat messages. It also comes preloaded with Nokia Maps, which works both online and offline.

It has a 3-inch touchscreen, which Nokia claims is scratch-proof. It also has a 2-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot for storage, and depending on the variant, either a 2GB or 4GB card is included in the box. The memory is expandable up to 32GB through a microSD card. The phone will be available in black, white, and gold colour choices. Nokia claims that the Asha 310 has a battery life of 17 hours of talk time, or 25 days on standby from a single charge.

It was revealed in January that Nokia's Asha line-up sells twice as much as the company's higher-end Lumia line-up. While the Lumia series has been selling well, it would be well worth noting that Asha smartphones have hit 9.3 million units in the fourth quarter. This is more than double the number of units that the company has shipped of the Lumia series. This could be attributed to the popularity of low-end smartphones, as opposed to the considerably pricier higher end Lumia phones.

“Some countries, like China, appear to be “game, set, match” for Android, while others like Indonesia are heavily BlackBerry,” Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt told AllThingsD. “Asha is interesting for Nokia because in many of these markets Nokia’s brand is very strong and Symbian devices used to sell very well. India, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America are examples of regions and countries where Nokia likely has a strong opportunity with Asha, but even in these markets android phones are growing rapidly as well.”

Nokia may be relying on the Asha series to sustain itself while it still tries to push its higher end Lumia out. Even now, the popularity of the Asha series can be seen by simply going into a Mumbai train and scanning the devices in the commuter's hands.

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