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  • 04.24.13

Nokia Brings A WhatsApp Button To New Budget QWERTY Phone

Nokia’s new Asha budget featurephone has social smarts, reminds us where Nokia can still succeed.

Though Nokia is pinning its future success on the popularity of its top-end Lumia smartphones, the company still makes a lot of money on low-end phones and it has a new one: The Asha 210. Most interestingly it also has a dedicated WhatsApp button which brings free lifetime access to the alternative SMS service.

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Costing just $72 for the single or dual-sim functions the phone takes a few design cues from Lumia and has a QWERTY keyboard. It’s definitely a feature phone rather than a smartphone, but given its functionality and price (plus up to 40 hours of standby time) it’s likely to sell well in emerging markets. The WhatsApp button will be replaced by a Facebook function in some nations, meaning Facebook can reach customers in a new way even if the phone isn’t smart enough to run its new “Home” Android front end.

Is this a smart move by Nokia? Or is it really one of the last times this company can pull off a clever low-end phone stunt?

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