Nokia announces three low-cost touch screen handsets

Nokia has announced the release of three new budget touch-screen phones. The range is "designed for young, urban and social people to get online faster, better and cheaper", the company revealed on its website

The Asha 305, Asha 306 and Asha 311 will emphasise web browsing, social networking and gaming, and run on Nokia's new Asha Touch interface. The entry-level "smartphone-like" UI features a notification bar and access to some 35,000 apps.

The updated Asha range features improvements to the Nokia Browser, which the company claims can reduce data usage by up to 90 per cent through better cloud integration. The devices come preloaded with Facebook, Twitter and 40 free EA games.

The Nokia Asha 305 and Asha 306 both boast 3in touch screens, as well as a 2-megapixel camera, GPRS/EDGE data connectivity and Nokia maps. Additionally, the Asha 305 will feature Easy Swap Dual SIM, allowing users to easily navigate between multiple SIMs using one device. The Asha 306 will ship with Wi-Fi capability. Both handsets will be available in Silver White, Red, Mid Blue and Dark Grey.

The slightly more up-market Asha 311 will feature a similar 3in touch screen, as well as a 3.2-megapixel camera, 3.5G HSPA connectivity and will be powered by a 1GHz processor. It will be available in Dark Grey, Rose Red, Blue, Brown and Sand White.

The Nokia Asha 305, 306 and 311 will respectively retail for €63 (£51), €68 (£55) and €92 (£74). No exact release dates have been set, but the company says the Asha 305 will be available in the second quarter of 2012, and the Asha 306 and Asha 311 will ship in the year's third quarter.