Nokia Asha 308 and 309 In-Depth Analysis

  • October 10, 2012
  • Tech
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Nokia Asha 308 and 309 In-Depth Analysis

Nokia has announced two new members of its feature phone Series 40, the Asha 308 and 309. Geared for first-time smartphone users, the tiny devices are nearly identical feature-wise. Both have 3-inch WQVGA touch screens, microSD storage expandable to 32 GB, 2-megapixel cameras, stereo loudspeakers, FM radios and 2G/Wi-Fi connectivity—all for the friendly price of $99 (the cheapest capacitive touchscreen Nokia phones). How to tell them apart? The Asha 308 has dual-SIM capabilities, while the Asha 309 is a single-SIM device. While not the most advanced units of their kind on the market, the Asha 308 and 309 perform as advertised.

Other Specifications (Asha 308 and 309):

Form: Candybar

Dimensions: 4.33 x 2.13 x 0.51 (109.9 x 54 x 13 mm)

Weight: 102 g

Display resolution: 240 x 400 pixels LCD

Pixel density: 155 ppi


Camcorder: 144 x 176 pixels 10 fps

Battery: Li-Ion

Talk time: 8 hours (average)

Stand-by time: 19 days (average)

Phone memory: 64 MB RAM/128 MB ROM

Bluetooth: 3.0

Other features: Phonebook, organizer, messaging, instant messaging, email

Asha 308

Colors: Black or Golden Light

SIM: Easy Swap Dual

Connection: 2G/EDGE

Asha 309

Colors: Black or White

SIM: Single

Connection: Built-in Wi-Fi

Extra Features: Internet Radio app

Build and Design

The Asha 308 and 309 don’t break new design grounds; the look is spare and utilitarian. The phones are made of lightweight plastic, so they can feel fragile to the touch. When you swipe and poke at the screen, however, the device is surprisingly responsive. The back cover slightly deviates from the uncomplicated design with a pattern that adds a nice touch. The camera is at the back, the headphone jack and micro-USB are on top and the microSD slot, lock and volume dial are on the right.

User Interface

Both phones run on a paltry 800MHz processor, but launching apps and navigating the interface were quite painless. It took time to load some features, however, and websites rendered slowly not because of the browser (Xpress) but due to the EDGE connection. Nokia claims that Xpress makes mobile browsing 90 percent more efficient, and the speed is pretty decent. The UI does let you manage media like music and games, swap SIM cards and add a third home screen to access most-used functions.


The Asha 308 and 309 don’t come with the galaxy of apps available to full-pledged smartphone users. What it does come with are social networking apps (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) plus 40 free EA games including FIFA 2012, Tetris and The Need for Speed. More apps and games are available in the Nokia Store like Bandai’s Pac-Man and Final Fantasy. Both phones also feature preloaded Nokia Maps 2.0 for directions and discovering new places.


Basic smartphone capabilities for competitive price


Slow internet browsing due to connection

Low screen resolution

Low resolution video recording

Camera has no flash or autofocus

Display remains on during phone calls

No automatic screen brightness adjustment


The Asha 308 and 309 were designed for emerging markets, which does not leave much room for Nokia to innovate. For the price, however, both phones deliver what was promised: a basic “smartphone” experience with one or two extras thrown in. The troubled Nokia still gets most of its revenue from basic cellphones, and analysts believe that offering the 308 and 309 will help the company compete with cheaper smartphones on the market. Phones under $100 can also help build brand loyalty with possible future smartphone users. Due out in the fourth quarter of this year, the Asha 308 and 309 will retail for $99, excluding taxes and subsidies.

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet vs. Amazon Kindle Fire

  • November 8, 2011
  • Review
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Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet vs. Amazon Kindle Fire

After Amazon fully entered the tablet market last month with the Kindle Fire, it’s time for Barnes & Noble to follow suit with the Nook Tablet. Both companies have had e-book readers for a long time, and now both are trying to make their ways into more general computing devices like the iPad and other Android tablets. The feature sets are certainly impressive, and both corporations tout their devices as ground breaking products. But which one to choose? Is this new Nook Tablet superior to the Kindle Fire? A comparison is clearly in order.

First, let’s see how they compare on the basic hardware features. Both devices are similar in size and forms. They also have similar 7″ screens, with a resolution of 1024×600 pixels. Barnes & Noble claims that their tablet has the advantage because of a greater viewing angle, which could end up being the case, but it’s a close call. The Nook Tablet has a dual-core CPU with a lot of RAM which makes it fast and snappy to load web pages or videos. This could give it a leg up on the Kindle Fire. Where it definitively has an advantage however is on storage. The Fire has 8GB, while the Nook has 16GB and is expandable. Of course, Amazon claims most storage needs are now in the cloud, but if you want to store a lot of e-books or songs locally, this may be a big issue.

On the software side, both tablets run heavily modified versions of Android, with branded apps on top of it. Both tablets focus heavily on e-books, and they both have a large selection available. Amazon has the advantage of Amazon Prime, which offers free lending to users of the service, but Barnes & Noble has deals with many libraries which offers lending services as well. They both have their own app store, although Amazon hasn’t said yet which services will come pre-built on the Kindle Fire. The Nook is said to include Hulu, Netflix and other popular services out of the box. All the other typical Internet functions like email and web browsing are fairly similar, although Amazon claims to have the edge with its new Silk browser which speeds up browsing. On the software end of things, it’s very much a personal preference type of deal.

Both tablets are pretty inexpensive, and because of that they lack some basic tablet functions like 3G, a camera and Bluetooth. However, the Fire is cheaper than the Nook, by $50. Is the Nook Tablet worth the extra money? It depends on your needs, like if you want the extra storage, or if you’re used to B&N’s services. Overall, it’s still a close race, with both options being quite interesting. They may be the first two tablets to rival the current market leaders if only on price.

Set Top Box Review – Is Apple TV the Best? Part 3 of 3

  • May 3, 2011
  • Review
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Set Top Box Review – Is Apple TV the Best? Part 3 of 3

In this blog post I review my 3 favorite set top boxes. These include Boxee, ROKU, and finally Apple TV. Apple TV is the best right? I mean everyone loves the Apple brand right? Well yes that may be true, but Apple TV is more of an afterthought on Apple’s part than a legitimate contender in the set top box world. Apple TV biggest downfall is lack of content support. Apple TV is also more expensive than ROKU and ROKU does it better than Apple. ROKU stills wins in my book.

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

Apple TV is a digital media made and sold by Apple Inc. Not only that Apple TV also allows consumers to use an HDTV set to view photos, play music and watch video that originates from limited Internet service or a local network. When using internet media services users can access the iTunes Store directly through Apple TV to rent movies and TV shows and stream audio and video podcasts. Apple TV can display photos from Flickr and MobileMe in a slide show, with automatic cross- dissolve transitions. Not only that YouTub TV with the latest scores, updates and league standings and if you are League Pass subscriber, you will be able to watch live and archived games right from your Apple TV.

The sleek new Apple TV has been completely return for everyone’s entertainment. Not only does the new Apple TV have an amazingly small footprint, it also has an incredible energy efficient. It stays cool without fan, sot it is never noisy. And when it’s not filling your living room with drama, romance, and comedy, it uses less power than a night-light.

Everything you want to watch- movies, TV shows, photos and more- streams wirelessly to Apple TV. In that way you don’t have to worry in managing storage for your iTunes library. Either way, all you have to do is click and play. Since Apple TV features a powerful A4 chip, it streams everything effortlessly, without frozen screens. Videos look crisps and clear and just like watching a DVD, you can move it fast forward through opening credits or replay scenes you nearly missed while watching it.

Setting up Apple TV is about simple as it gets. Just plug the power cord into wall and connect Apple TV to your wide screen TV using an HDMI cable. Since everything streams wirelessly to Apple TV, that’s all you need.

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

Set Top Box Review – Is ROKU the Best? Part 2 of 3

  • May 3, 2011
  • Review
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Set Top Box Review – Is ROKU the Best? Part 2 of 3

In this 3 part blog series I compare my favorite set top boxes. In this post I review ROKU which is my pick for #1 set top box. ROKU unlike Boxee does not require you to download content in order to get entertainment to your flat screen TV. I have a ROKU and love it! You simply plug the ROKU in, enter your wireless network details, and you’re off the races. Of course the best part about any set top box is Netflix so be sure to subscribe.

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

Roku was founded last October 2002 as a consumer electronics company that sells home digital media products. Currently, the company’s recent consumer products includes the Roku SoundBridge, a network music player and the SoundBridge Radio, a network music player with built-in speaker, AM-FM receiver, alarm clock, preset buttons, SD slot and headphone jack.

Instead of paying monthly fees just to add a cable box for your tv at homes or offices, some prefer to use the Roku devices that offers only a single price for a unlimited usage. Today, they are currently introducing three new models namely the Roku HD, Roku XD and Roku XDS. The Roku Hd is an entry-level model with wireless raio; Roku XD is a mid-level and Roku XDS is a high-end dual- band wireless technology. All of these three models have HDML, ethernet, composite video and analog video ports. This new Roku HD is sleeker and smaller than the original one.

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

In the box you can find the Roku player, remote control, a 2-AAA batteries, power adapter, red/yellow/white RCA cable and a manual for you to guide on how to use the device. The good thing about Roku devices is that they are affordable and streams more than a hundred internet video and audio services, works with all kinds of tv including the non- HD models and has a good HD video quality. On the other hand, the bad sides is that most worthwhile services required a monthly fee and some game consoles and ever cheaper offer many of the  same internet viewing options plus disc playback, which currently offers no official support for streaming from USB drives and home network sources; the videos quality may varies from channel to channel, depending on the provider and the source of material; most of the setup and content queues usually require at least some PC interaction and lacks official support of YouTube. YouTube is one of ROKU’s major drawbacks in my opinion. It’s cheap, easy, and super fast to hook up. ROKU my #1 set top box pick!

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

Set Top Box Comparison – Is Boxee the Best? Part 1 of 3

  • May 3, 2011
  • Review
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Set Top Box Review – Is Boxee the Best? Part 1 of 3

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

In this 3 part series I will review my 3 favorite set top boxes. In part 1 of 3 I will review Boxee. A Boxee is a software application which is open to source media that includes social bookmarking capabilities and is intended for some sort of television system. This kind of software makes use of a mixture of applications and types of streaming media that is accessible to the users. Not only that, it also supports content such as images, musics and video clips. The Boxee package, which needs a physical cable link from your computer to your tv, let you access media both local and elsewhere by using your tv and its remote control. And like other social networking you can also add comments and share what you are watching.

Boxee use the XBMC Media Centre which originally designed for Microsoft’s Xbox games console and an open source media player and entertainment application for Windows and Linux. It also allows you to download content from almost anywhere where you can choose any kind of content you like.

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

In order to use the Boxee, you need to create an account just like other software as a basis for adding feeds that you want to keep an eye on, contacts and account details for sites like Twitter. One of the advantages of Boxee software when compared to other competitors is that you can monitor online content from the desktop of your PC or laptop in tv format, but without needing to use a browser. There are also various of forums where users can find solutions or at least work around for common problems.

There were some reasons also why Boxee is better than other application software is that it plays a variety of file formats and has internet video sources. But still there were some that don’t like Boxee just because the one purchased online content may not play sometime.

As an overall, Boxee to all intents and purposes is an open source media centre software program which includes social bookmarking capabilities and is intended for some of television system.

For more information on Boxee and other set top boxes visit

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