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Nokia Asha 201 review

 Review: March 2012  

Last updated November 2013

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The Nokia Asha 201 is an entry-level messaging phone designed for texting and social networking. We like its QWERTY keyboard, music player, FM radio with recording facility and strong battery life. It's a shame that both 3G and Wi-Fi are missing though.

Best buy: Nokia Asha 201 from Amazon Marketplace UK (£43.39)


The Asha 201 is a cut-price version of the Asha 302 qwerty messaging phone. A BlackBerry-style phone for around £50 sounds like a winner, but have Nokia cut too many corners in the spec?

At first glance, the Asha 201 looks a bit strange. It's the curious joined-up keyboard design, reminiscent of Nokias from years gone by, when weird keypad designs were all the rage. It's a bit retro, but it seems to work OK. The 201 doesn't have a premium look and feel, and probably won't get mistaken for a BlackBerry, but the design works well enough, with a functional keyboard and D-pad. It feels quite light too, even though it's not particularly thin.

The screen size is standard for this kind of phone. It's a good size for messaging, but don't expect to do a lot of web browsing or multimedia stuff on this platform.

Besides, the Asha 201 is never going to be great as a web platform because it doesn't have 3G or Wi-Fi, so data crawls at 2G speeds. Nevertheless, you can text, email, chat, tweet and even catch up on facebook, although fb can take a while to load on a 2G network.

There's a very basic camera that can (just about) record video. And you can listen to music perfectly well. In addition to a music player, there's an FM radio and a 3.5mm headphone jack. You can easily record music from the radio too, with a dedicated recording feature (so no need to pay for MP3 downloads if you're quick at recording).

One great thing about the Asha is its battery life. You'll be laughing when your smartphone-wielding friends bite the dust and you're still at 90% battery capacity!

So, the Asha 201 fills the niche of entry-level messaging phone quite well. You might also consider upping your budget and going for an Asha 210 with Wi-Fi or the Asha 302 that runs on 3G networks.

Nokia Asha 201 features include:

Nokia Asha 201 user reviews

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Average rating from 35 reviews:

Reviewed by S.k from South Africa on 6th Oct 2015
I am staring to hate it cos this phone doesn't play online videos.

Reviewed by Tee from South africa on 11th Sep 2015
1st of all it doesnt record, 2ndly it freezes , 3rd i cant use my whatsapp , i dnt like this phone.

Reviewed by Menzi from South Africa on 8th Sep 2015
My phone is not recording radio.

Reviewed by Nonhlanhla from South Africa on 8th Sep 2015
I loved this phone before bt now it gives me headach i cnt chat with my freinds anymore whenever log in into any social netweck it gives me application erro damm guys why did make such a stupid phone like this #angry#

Reviewed by Bongani Ncube from Zimbabwe on 20th Aug 2015
At first this mobile was good but it turned to be bad when it freezes it really stresses.

Reviewed by Oratile from South Africa on 13th Jun 2015
This phone is just something els!! All it can say is application error now i can't play my music using headphones or headset just can't deal with it.

Reviewed by jj from sa on 13th Jun 2015
Hey this phone sucks, i cnt get to my photis email and internet..... wat ms i do????

Reviewed by ps molapo from south africa on 12th May 2015
nokia asha 201 its a toy i hate it. i cant open my email store internet thise phone no no no no no i wish i didnt buy it.

Reviewed by Kondwani from Malawi on 10th May 2015
My asha 201 can not operate normaly, it restored itself and i can not use it for internet anymore 358327/05/098795/2 help!

Reviewed by Linda T from India on 9th May 2015
It has a good and bad points according to our purpose,. sotimes it make me anger eg:can't watch you tube videos, freeze, auto shut down and much more. but it is also good.

Reviewed by Diamond from Malawi on 9th Mar 2015
Its slow, it sometimes freezes and now the internet is not working, nokia-were you trying to insult us when you made this phone?

Reviewed by Segametsi Mooke from Botswana on 17th Oct 2014
i can't view pictures and videos sent to my nokia asha 201

Reviewed by Godwin Kamtunda from Zambia on 3rd Sep 2014
Hello my nokia asha 201 its freezes when making calls or downloading. what is can be the problem?

Reviewed by dredo from south africa on 4th Aug 2014
hello nokia dosent look good on playing videos, from youtube or opera why?

Reviewed by slytee from Ghana on 2nd Aug 2014
I luv it but experience difficulties when i download some apps

Reviewed by Josh from Northern Ireland on 23rd Jul 2014
Amazing--you can put that phone through the washing machine and it will work. I'm not telling fibs--by accident it went in the washing machine and bingo--everything works fine--even the progress is still saved in your games.

Reviewed by Sam McClear from South Africa on 9th Jul 2014
i was a fan for Nokia my whole life until i bought Nokia asha 201. don't get me wrong it has nothing to do with the fact that it doesn't have a premium look. the bring part especially with mine is that it has poor development software's especially with twitter and face book. to load face book page with asha you need patience & which is something i don't have. again when you stay log in to web using its Nokia express internet is constantly gives error messages about java not responding and running out of memory. then promotes you to restart the browser, which it doesn't change the situation even after you have done so

Reviewed by Onuoha nelson from Nigeria on 7th May 2014
Cant load check date and time

Reviewed by kate from nigeria on 30th Apr 2014
mine is showing conflicting application

Reviewed by Steve from South Africa on 31st Mar 2014
I hate it, because when I download games it shows me somethin' sayin' "java/error...":
details or quit. On Facebook app, the icons aren't displayed and starts to be very, very slow. I don't enjoy those with Asha 201

Reviewed by bored from UK on 9th Mar 2014
decent but music player stopped playing high frequencies after a while, now is essentially without music. keyboards a pain but does the job. only recommend if you're a cheap ass :|

Reviewed by moleseng motsumi from south africa on 7th Mar 2014
this phone has given me lot of problems just like freezing.my internet is no longer working when i press the key for internet,it just freeze and stand still,now my whatsapp is expired i cant even download another one cause of the unfunctioning internet.

Reply by Michael from Ghana on 18th Jan 2015
I also have de same problem.why? Can someone help me

Reviewed by debbie from cleethropes on 27th Jan 2014
can not record from my phone

Reviewed by Msandi from south africa on 4th Jan 2014
Useless, a toy for 1st grade kids which they should break within a week. Even Nokia 5130xpress music is the best even though it is older than asha 201, because it supports streaming videos and opera mini works sharp, bt asha 201 cant even have a good opera mini it will say application running even though u nt using it a that time. Lol they wanted our money like seriously

Reviewed by sandile from south africa on 4th Jan 2014
Im sorry to say this but I am really like seriously not happy with the device i find it useless an stupid, I wish i never bought it because it is obvious that the Nokia company wasn't serious by creating this device, I am definately sure that i am nt the only 1 complaining with this mobile phone, at least in the future rather focus on making much more intresting or smartphones only than this thing which always breaks my heart i sometimes feel like i could just smash it to the ground so please never create such a stupid phone, i am a big Nokia fan but this time around yohhhh, u proved me wrong im thinking of suppoting samsung instead of Nokia. Even the SAMSUNG GALAXY POCKET is much better than the stupid Nokia asha 201. Aghh. Thanx for letting us comment on it I wont even advice people to buy it because they will regret it.

Reviewed by Chaz123 from UK on 18th Dec 2013
I LOVE this phone. In my experience it is a very fast phone, and it's very easy to use. I love the Qwerty keyboard as it makes for easy texting, which is the main thing I use my phone for. Call quality is outstanding and it is very quick to connect. It is very good a finding signal in weak signal areas, so I think it must have a very sensitive transmitter/receiver. I love the microsd slot that it has, as this can expand the storage by a lot. It has a very good camera, and I love the file explorer that it has. It is very well-designed; it's nice to look at. It has an excellent media player, and supports a range of formats like mp3, wav, wma, mp4, wmv, 3gp, jpeg, bmp, png, midi, and many more. It has a lot of apps pre-installed such as a converter, world clock, calculator and many more. And all this on a 35 pound phone.

Reviewed by Margaret from England on 23rd Nov 2013
Can't send or receive photo's. I think a phone costing 50 plus should have this basic service. Other than that it's ok but no better than a phone I paid half that price for.

Reviewed by Tuto from SA on 9th Nov 2013
Poor On internet

Reviewed by Innocent shiganga from Tanzania on 7th Nov 2013
I can't take photo when chatting

Reviewed by cedric from south africa on 25th Oct 2013
This phone is a full of junk, it is very slow when loading especialy for internet usage, it always giving problemes when you want to download something, you will always have to free up the phone space eventhough you hardly see wht really taking space in it besides its crazy system installed applications that is not so important. this is type of a phone that is specially designed for school kids and i would never recommend it for someone to buy it. i regreat myself

Reviewed by Hamzah from Malawi on 9th Oct 2013
I like the asha 201 but the fact that it doesn't play mp4 sucks. My email is hamzaahmed3516@yahoo.com

Reviewed by Tony lasway from Tanzania on 1st Sep 2013
Good phone. But sometimes go off auto. And my nokia express do not open. My email is tonyj056@gmail.com

Reviewed by micheal from Nigeria and london on 19th Aug 2013
nice phone but 302 is better

Reviewed by John mwamba from Zambia on 11th Jul 2013
I love my nokia asha 201, it maks my writing conviniently easy to hold handle majestically

Reviewed by Sarah M from Scotland on 27th Sep 2012
At first, this was a good phone; excellent battery life and it coped with everything I'd asked it to do, but having only owned it for less than a year, it decided to one day start randomly freezing and then shut down completely on me.

I then tried to get it to factory reset, but it wouldn't even stay on long enough for me to fix it, so it has been rendered useless and now lives in my drawer. Poor show Nokia; having owned a nokia years ago, i was expecting it to work like the rest, but this time they let me down and I will not be returning to Nokia again.

I really don't recommend this phone! When it was good, it was good, but when it goes wrong, it's downright awful!

Reply by dave from usa on 23rd Sep 2013
what is wrong with the phone?

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