Samsung REX vs Nokia Asha : Clash of the next-gen feature phones
Smartphones may be the most anticipated breed of mobile phones across the youth these days, but the exact user base of Smartphone users in developing nations like India is not more than 15 percent. The remaining 85 percent of user base, still relies on so called “dumb phones,” that boats only few features, or we can say what mobile phones are originally built for, calling and texting. But a majority of these 85 percent dumb phone users are now equipped with feature phones, a phone with basic mobile features along with access to multimedia content and internet while, the addition of Bluetooth connectivity is a plus.
Samsung, may be the leader in the global smartphone sales now a days but, the title for the king of mobile phones still remains with the once, biggest vendor of mobile phones from 1998 to 2012, the Nokia. In last few years, a majority of big mobile makers has officially stepped out of this dumb phone industry, including Motorola, LG, Sony, while the Nokia still dominated this segment, followed by the Samsung.
Nokia is leading the feature phones sales out of its innovative phones, no I am not talking about Lumia 920, instead its Nokia Asha. A line-up of feature phones, announced back at Nokia World, in September 2011, that was aimed at “blurring out the line between Smartphone and feature phones.” On the other hand, Samsung is striving hard to attract users with its popular feature phone series, Star, Champ and Metro, to name a few.
Though, Samsung is still far behind, where Nokia currently stands in the feature phone segment with its strong and bold portfolio of new Asha line-up contenders, including Asha 311, Asha 309, 308, 305 and more. But, recently, Samsung has outed its freshest feature phone brand with a much of fanfare, named as REX, a series of ‘smart feature phones.’ The new REX series consists of four phones, a REX90, REX80, REX70 and a low end REX60. Today, I am going to put a high-end contender from both of the makers for a side by side comparison. It’s not just about hardware, instead its more about the user interface and features, from the Samsung of course it’s REX90 while, from the Nokia I had chosen, Asha 311.
Let’s first put both phones side-by-side for an initial hardware comparison.
|Samsung REX90||Nokia Asha 311|
|Touch type||Capacitive multi-touch||Capacitive multi-touch|
|No of colors||262K||65K|
|Resolution||480 x 320p||400 x 240p|
|Gorilla glass||No||Yes, Gorilla glass protection|
|Sensors||Accelerometer||Accelerometer, Proximity, Ambient light
|Processor||312 MHz||1 GHz|
|Memory(RAM)||No info||128 MB|
|Storage||10 MB||140 MB|
|Expandable||Up to 32GB micro-SD||Up to 32 GB micro-SD, Free 2GB card in the box|
|3G||No||Yes, 14.4 Mbps|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v3.0||Yes, v2.1|
|Dual-SIM||Yes (Active-dual standby)||No|
|Camera||Yes, 3.2 MP||Yes, 3.2 MP|
|Video record||Yes, QVGA (320 x 240p)||Yes, VGA (640 x 480p)|
|Battery||1000 mAh||1100 mAh|
|Talktime||Up to 15 hours||Up to 14 hours (2G)|
|Price (INR)||Rs. 5,590/-||Rs. 5,850 /-|
Here you can see, Samsung has clearly taken an edge at display front, where the REX90 is fitted with a noticeable larger 0.5 -inch bigger display with 262K colors for color rich display experience and also has slightly better display resolution over the Nokia Asha 311. However, with the Gorilla glass on the Asha 311 display gives, more protection in case the handset falls down or strikes hard with the display front on some hard surface. Additionally, the Asha 311 also has a polarization filter, that does extremely good job, with superb display visibility in the sunlight areas. Coming down to the sensors, the REX90 has got Accelerometer sensor, rotates display once you change the orientation of the device, while the Asha 311 has got an Accelerometer sensor along with proximity sensor that’s quiet useful in detecting accidental touch when you’re on call etc. Plus, an ambient light sensor is also located at its front to auto adjust the brightness of the display, according to the light conditions.
Rolling down to the power, the REX90 drains fast performance with its low end 312 MHz MM2230 processor however, Samsung is mum about its exact amount of RAM. While, the Asha 311′s performance is just faster than any other phone in similar price segment, we’ve seen so far, thanks to its bundled 1 GHz processor, along with 128 Mb of RAM, which is just more than enough to handle modern Nokia Series 40 Asha OS.
Moving down to the connectivity department, the REX90 comes with dual-SIM card slot with Smart Active Standby (I’ll discuss about this feature later in the UI section) and Wi-Fi to access high-speed internet, but, there’s no 3G support. While, the Asha 311 steps ahead, as the phone has 3G support and Wi-Fi option to connect it with high-speed internet access. As usual, both phone has Bluetooth, but the REX90 being a new phone has got faster v3.0 Bluetooth speeds for faster data transfers and micro-USB ports for PC connectivity, as usual.
Coming to the camera, both of the phones has got 3.2 MP camera but the video shoot quality of the REX90 is quiet low, in comparable to Asha 311, as the REX90 can only record in QVGA resolution while, the Asha does it in VGA and that too @25 FPS frame rate. So for normal photographs both are with same cameras, but if you’re using for occasional video records, then again Nokia Asha 311 wins your money.
Lastly, talking about battery, both has nearly same battery power, with Nokia Ahsa 311 it has got an additional battery power of 10 mAh, but this time Samsung wins the battery talktime performance despite of its slightly low, 1000 mAh battery.
Now clearly you can see Nokia Asha 311 wins out of most of the department not just because of extra features over Samsung’s fresh REX90, but being a year old device it still packs impressive hardware in nearly same price segment.
Well that was just hardware comparison, or we can say a typical comparison of any devices you’ve ever seen on the web. Now, I guess that’s just too much of text for you to enjoy today so, I am finishing this post right here and in my upcoming post I am going to write the next part of this post series, with an even deeper comparison, or to be more appropriate a software level fight of both the rivals.
Do let us know your views, in the comments below.