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Nokia bolsters budget range with Asha 205 and 206

Nokia has added two new phones to its mobile lineup, bringing Facebook and instant sharing to more mobile users.

The Nokia Asha 205 and 206 were designed by the Finnish company to provide speedy Internet at affordable prices, as well as integrated social networking.

Facebook junkies will find comfort in the Asha 205 (above), which carries a dedicated button for one-click access to the social network.

"We have seen that many people who use Nokia Asha devices are hyper-social and we are proud to partner with Facebook to improve the user experience of those consumers further with the introduction of the Facebook button," Nokia mobile exec Timo Toikkanen said in a statement.

The Asha 205, with a full QWERTY keyboard, is expected to start shipping in the fourth quarter in the US, with a price tag of $62 - so expect a price point around the £40 - £50 mark if and when it hits the UK. The device comes in cyan, magenta and orange.

Its counterpart, the Asha 206 (below), features the classic alphanumeric keypad below a 2.4-inch display, plus a 1.3-megapixel rear-facing camera. It is expected to ship around the same time and carry a similar cost.

Both devices, available in single or dual SIM versions, are the first to include Nokia's Slam feature, which allows users to share multimedia content almost instantly with nearby friends. Compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled Android phones, the feature works without tethering devices, and can share data with users who don't have Slam. It does not currently work with iOS or Windows Phone, however.

"The latest Nokia devices give super-social consumers new ways to express their personalities through design, colour, and innovative new features like Slam," Toikkanen said. "Both devices are built with the trust and quality people have come to expect from Nokia, and offer smarter Internet experiences that help save money today and tomorrow."

Both phones will also tap into the cloud-based Nokia Xpress Internet platform, which reduces data consumption by up to 90 per cent, Nokia said. There's also Nokia Nearby, an app that helps users locate points of interest in their general vicinity.

Nokia's low-cost Asha phone family has been growing this year, with the launch of the "smartphone-like" Asha 305, 306, and 311 in early June, followed this fall with the dual-SIM Asha 308 and single SIM Asha 309.