Review: Nokia 301 — The Best ‘Type’ Phone with 3G & a Decent Camera

In India, there are many customers who are still looking for a type-based mobile phone instead of a full-screen touch model, but when you look around for one good piece, it’s tough to find one. In my hunt for a Type-based mobile phone, which I mainly wanted for my mom, I found a couple of decent options in Nokia range itself, but then I picked up 301, which looked perfect, keeping both screen size and easy to use the keypad.  Below is the full review of the Nokia 301with primary feedback coming from the user.

Nokia 301 Video Review:

Watch on YouTube

Review: Nokia 301 — The Best ‘Type’ Phone with 3G & a Decent Camera

  • Display & Build
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Phone Software

Display & Build

Compared to many other phones in the type segment, the phone has a little bigger screen, which makes it very convenient when it comes to reading the text and browsing the internet.   The screen size is 2.4 inch TFT, color display.

Even though the back lid of the phone is fragile, but the overall build quality of the phone is excellent. You won’t feel the phone to be shady and cheap. The keypad quality is worth a mention because of the quality of the buttons. They respond quickly and feels solid. There are dedicated buttons for making a call, rejecting calls, menus, and launching apps quickly.

Some of you may feel the phone a bit heavy compared to other phones in the same range

Battery Life

The phone lived its fourth day over voice calls from full charge until we received the low battery message. That is impressive, keeping mind the user makes a lot of voice calls every day.

One thing to note here is that there was no internet usage. The phone supports 3G, and if you configure email accounts, use Facebook and Twitter, expect it to live for around two days tops. This is when you use the applications on a daily basis.

Nokia 301 Battery

The phone battery is 1200 mAH and comes with a wall charger. You can also charge it using your computer.

Camera

Nokia has done fantastic work in the camera section. The phone has powerful software and feature which you will not find in this kind of phone, especially when it comes to TYPE based phones.

The phone houses a 3.2 MP of the camera with portrait mode support but without a flash. That said, this phone is not for taking photos at night but only day time and that for casual usage.

Nokia 301 Camera

Here features to impress you:

  • You can shoot a Panorama
  • Voice Guided Software to help you take a self-portrait picture using the back camera.
  • Set Timer to take a picture – So you are always in the picture.
  • Record Video with Filters
  • Sequence – So you don’t miss any moment.
  • Change Modes, i.e. White balance, Automatic, Daylight, Night Mode, etc.
  • Grid View

That said, Nokia has definitely done an excellent job both on the hardware and software parts to get a decent camera at this price point. Below are some sample pictures.

Phone Software

It’s the typical S40 OS installed on this phone. So if you have ever used a similar phone, you know what kind of features you can expect.  You have the below-mentioned features and apps on the phone. I have detailed a few of them which need special mention.

  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Music
  • Internet
  • Messaging
  • Nokia Life
  • Store
  • Photos – Camera, Camera 5-in-1, My Photos, Timeline,  My Albums, Video Camera, and My Videos.
  • Settings – Themes, Profile, Connectivity, Tone, Display, etc.
  • Mail – Supports Nokia, Yahoo, Google,  Outlook, Sify, Net4India, etc.
  • Pre-Installed Apps – Twitter & Facebook, UTV, Calculator, Converter, Alarm,  Voice Recorder, To-Do List, Notes, Stopwatch, etc.
  • Chat – eBuddy.

Nokia 301 Software

SIM Manager: In case you choose to use only one SIM, the SIM manager allows you to set options for the call, mobile, data, and text from one particular SIM. Also, there is a dedicated button (bottom left) to launch the SIM manager.

Data Counter: You can check how much data you are consuming. This may be important for consumers, especially on 3G.

Nokia Xpress Browser: Nokia made sure you consume less mobile data and surf faster with this browser. Check the internet usage section for more details.

Nokia Slam: Very close to how NFC works, the Nokia Slam feature allows 301 to connect with the nearest Bluetooth device to transfer data with a tap.

Voice Call Quality:

The phone was used for 2-3 hours of daily calls, and the voice turned out to be pretty good. There wasn’t any issue of disconnection during calls keeping in mind this is a dual SIM phone. The audio was loud enough, better than 105.

Even when talking in an environment like parties and public meetings, the other side can hear your voice clearly because of  HD-voice ready technology built into the phone.

Internet Usage:

The phone supports 3G, Nokia has an app store in place, and for web browsing, Nokia Express makes a perfect fit.  If you are not aware, Nokia Xpress is a browser developed by Nokia, which pulls in cached files from Nokia servers, saving you a lot of bandwidth and time.

Nokia Xpress Browser

Most of the apps developed, especially the Nokia Apps, are Web-based Apps. You have dedicated apps for Twitter and Facebook. My over experience was satisfying, but I had to lower my bar a lot keeping in mind its not a touch phone, and its a low-end phone.

I was able to browse web pages, check emails, Facebook, and twitter without any issue. Nokia Xpress and 3G connection made sure of that.

Music Quality:

Most of the phones which have speakers on the backside suffer from low volume issue because the speaker gets blocked. Nokia did a smart thing here by curving it such that there is enough space left between the flat surface and the speaker, and the audio can pass through without any block.

Nokia 301 Speakers

I played a couple of music on full volume, and it was ok if not great. The only problem is with the bass and if there is more of a voice than music in the song.

When used with earphones, the quality turned out to be better than what is on the speakers. Apart from this :

  • Nokia Music is available on 301, but you need an SD card to download the music files.
  • The phone supports Radio when a headphone is plugged in.

Is Nokia 301 Value for Money?

The kind of feedback and experience I received, this phone is at par when it comes to Value for Money factor but only if you need a TYPE phone. A great camera, long battery life, and 3G support is good enough for moderate internet usage and long calls.

However, the phone does not support Whatsapp, which is a deal-breaker. Not sure if this is going to be developed either. We have reached out to Nokia to get some details on this.

Where to Buy From?

Nokia 301 is now available at approximately Rs 5200 at various mobile outlets and online stores like Flipkart and Amazon India. To buy from Flipkart, follow this link, and to place your order from Amazon, India follow this link.

[wp-review]

A die-hard fan of Windows, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone and Xbox, Loves to Do Video reviews on Windows Phone Apps, Games, Xbox Games, Xbox Tutorials.

68 COMMENTS

  1. i see 1st sim is full size what about 2nd sim, tell me about 2nd sim size (full or mini sim)

    if i recive call on 1st sim, can i know about 2nd sim call

  2. Both are Full Sim. No Micro or Mini Supported at least for Indian version.

    Yes You will get to know for which SIM any call was made and even missed calls.

  3. IF I AM ATTENDING A CALL ON SIM 1, AT THE SAME TIME IF SOMEBODY CALLS ME AT SIM2 WHAT WILL BE THE REACTION AT MY PHONE , WHAT WILL BE THE ACTION AT THE SECOND CALLER END WHO IS CALLING ME ON SIM2 , AFTER ENDING MY CALL ON THE SIM 1 , WILL THE 301 SHOW THAT I HAD MISSED A CALL ON SIM2 WHEN I WAS ATTENDING CALL ON SIM1 !!!

  4. Thanks a lot sir for your valuable reply. please help me to find out the exact performance of the handset, as I want to buy the handset. Previously I had used a lots of dual sim standby handsets but none of them had given me the full satisfaction for the function which I am looking for for my daily use. As i want to use 1 sim for my office use and the other-personal. so I can’t miss none of the calls.

    Regards,
    Manisankar
    9007095557

  5. Hi Mani,

    I did not had a problem with calls on Dual Sim. However I am not sure what kind of expectations you have. Calls can be received using both sims. When you are talking to somebody already, and a call comes in from the second sim, you will get a miss call notification with details of the SIM it came from.

  6. Dear Sir, Actually in all those dual standy handsets which I had used previously, when I am talking on SIM1, If somebody called me on second SIM at the same time they all got NOT REACHABLE COMMENT. But very Recently I had bought Samsung e2202 in which smart dual feature is provided from samsung, which rectifies the problem somewhat but not fully. this feature forwardes the second SIM call to the first SIM which I am currently speaking to and shows a miss call. But when i end my call on SIM 1 , I can see the missed call no. but in which Sim the original caller had called me that it is not showing.
    For ex. suppose I am speaking to SIM1 , AT THE SAME TIME SOMEONE CALLED ME AT sim2, the phone just forwardes the call to sim1 and i get a missed call alert. If the caller had called me at SIM2, EVEN THEN ALSO THE PHONE IS SHOWING MISSED CALL AT sim1 because it had forwarded the SIM 2 CALL to SIM1. I can’t recognize later on that the second caller had actually called me at SIM 1 or SIM2 ? I want to know that whether the NOKIA 301 is a DUAL SIM ACTIVE PHONE or not. I want a dual sim active phone.

    Thanks.

  7. you can use a micro sim my new sim from orange in england comes with a micro and a normal sim adaptor. you pop micro sim into the adaptor and then fit to the phone.

    Also there seems to be major issues with battery life on this phone! Anyone have issues on the dual sim version?

    The single sim used 2.03 and now they have a new 2.51 version dual sim uses 2.23 or something

    People were reporting that just a few calls and text and no internet or anything and the battery was dead in 48 hours. obv a quoted time of one month no one would expect that long but I would expect at least a week from a few calls and text and maybe 4 days for fairly heavy usage

    Ashish how was you model?

  8. Dear Sir,
    I am still waiting for your advice. Is the NOKIA 301 a DUAL SIM ACTIVE PHONE or not ?
    Kindly advice me.
    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Mani

  9. Hi Manisankar, Do you mean if you can take a second call while already on a call but placing the first call on hold?

  10. Hey Amir, I did not find any battery issue. My Mom is still using it and still lasts pretty long.

  11. Exactly Sir, but the second call should be from SIM No 2 while I am talking on SIM No 1 at the same time. I mean both the SIMs should be active all the time, even when 1 SIM gets engaged., then also the SIM 2 should be active.
    I mean to say, DUAL ACTIVE SIM .

  12. Sir, after waiting for a long time for your reply, I finally got my answer from one of my known dealers in kolkata. The NOKIA 301 is a DUAL SIM STANDBY PHONE , NOT A DUAL SIM ACTIVE PHONE which I was asking, The only Phone available in Indian market with Dual SIM ACTIVE FEATURE is the HTC DESIRE 600. Where u can use the second sim even if u r using the first ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Both SIMS REMAINS ACTIVE ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

  13. Hi Mani, Thanks so much for sharing, really appreciate that you took your time and posted about this. Readers will enjoy this.

  14. @Mani, @Ashish. I own a mobile handset shop. So far as I know you get a missed call (not engaged) if you are attending a call on the OTHER sim called. And you get engaged tone if someone calls to the SAME sim but again a missed call alert is left. I have tried it few times.

  15. Thanks a lot Sambhu for your test reply. . Actually I want to buy this phone. currently using the samsung e2202, but on this if sim1 is attending a call and anyone calls at sim 2 at the same time the second call being unreachable at that time, the same is forwarded to the 1st sim line by the Handset .This function samsung says is the SMART DUAL SIM. But the screen shows the missed call on sim1 since it was forwarded by the phone to sim1. Ultimately I can’t recognize actually the person called me on sim 1 or sim2 !!!!.

  16. Hi.,

    How about music quality in this phone ….. my first preference is music.

    Please suggest me which model is good in nokia

  17. Just for Ashish i had a pay as you go upgrade and even though the phone came with v2.51 the battery doesn’t last that long. In fact I went for a Nokia x2 in the end and the 860mah battery outlasts this and doing exactly the same things just normal usage.

    This phone also has no volume rocker and thats just a pain in the arse!

    It’s a shame cause it feels like a solid phone. Maybe a Nokia 302 with a volume rocker would be good i don’t want windows phone. or all this touch screen nonsense.

    I’ll just stick with Nokia x2 it does the job.

  18. How much is the phone book in 301. Like in 112 contacts 1000×5 plus address, email, web page etc. When we compare with X2-02 and 112 where 301 stands?

  19. Hi. I just wanna ask if there is a place in the phone where I can put an accessories such as lace or chains? Seems like there’s none unlike other nokia phones.

  20. Hi, thanks for your reviw on Nokia 301 Dual-sim.

    I have 2 specific questions regarding 3G on this phone:
    1) Does Nokia 301 Dual-sim support 3G on BOTH the sims (3G in sim 1 and also 3G in Sim 2)?
    2) Can I connect with PC using the 3G on Nokia 301 Dual-sim via Bluetooth (through either and both sims)?

    You may simply answer as short as a yes or no – as I have zeroed on Nokia 301 Dual-sim and am soon to buy it.
    Awaiting your reply at the earliest,
    Neel

  21. Oh, thanks Edwin for your specific answer.
    Hmm, so that cancels my choice for Nokia 301.

    I read that Spice 3G Stellar Glamour Mi 436 has dual-3G and also WiFi. Do you know about it?
    http://www.bgr.in/news/spice-smart-flo-space-mi-354-and-3g-stellar-glamour-mi-436-budget-android-smartphones-launched/

    Also, the reason why I trust Nokia is than any other brand of phones do not have SMOOTH PC connectivity (with or without PC Suite). I HATE installing PCSuite and unnecessary softwares.

    Regards,
    Neel

  22. I got a Nokia 301 – not happy with the themes in it – i tried to download few from the net but does not work out for all screens like sms background screen is in white and the font is also in white colour – would you suggest any best theme available in the net

  23. I have Nokia 301 dual SIM. I want to know from where i can change the always online to when needed? Because in the main display continuously show the icon like [g]. So, I want to remove this icon. I know I can remove this with the help of always online to when needed. Please tell me where is this in the setting. Because handset not in my hand, handset is now in my home and I am outside. so, I will tell after to my home.
    Please help me.
    Thanks

  24. questions:
    as a user coming from LG GX200, i want to know battery life of Nokia 301 Dual SIM… web is filled with negative comments for its battery life… does it last at least 3-4 days if i m on a call for 45 minutes a day??

    GX200 is LOUD when it rings… does this match its loudness???

    does it support contacts transfer thru bluetooth in .vcf format???

  25. I have one of these phones the Dual sim 301,I don’t want or like smart phones and have always bought Nokia since 1997,this is a lovely phone,but the battery life is abysmal despite what Nokia say the battery with only 1 sim in the phone lasts only 3 days with no calls and only a few minutes internet use and I am not the only with this problem,just go on Nokia’s own forum and you’ll see for yourself,but Nokia customer service don’t care about it instead blaming me for not using the phone correctly.

  26. I bought nokia 301 after seeing ur vid.. but surprsingly what is modem mode in nokia 301????? as u said we cant connect it to pc for internet so im a bit confused…. help me out

  27. Hi Ashish, Can I disable SIM1 (yes there will be a valid SIM card in SIM1 slot) and enable only SIM2. I need to enable SIM1 whenever I need to use 3g internet connection. Because I find that service provider faster and better. Also the SIM2 number I have been using for a long time and I find it difficult to change it to different service provider and also the 3g surfing is very slow and in limited cities only. Kindly let me know if I could disable SIM1 and use whenever needed for internet.

  28. Yes, To Set which SIM to use – go to Settings > Dual SIM > disable Always ask to > Select which SIM to use for which connection.

  29. In one of the reviews, it is said that to change the volume of the music player, first you have to close the app you are in and then you have to go to music player. Is it so ?? No menu standby option???

  30. Can you tell me if my mum only wants it for calling and texts does she need to put a memory card in it or will it work ok with just the internal memory?

  31. Hi there, does anyone know if Nokia are planning to include a missed call/text notifier on the 301. Great phone but I keep missing people! Thanks in advance for any help.

  32. hi,
    just bought this model but the sound is very low even when using the earphones. since there is no volume control, how can I adjust the volume? or my unit is just defective and needs servicing?

  33. Ashish

    Thanks for the nice review. I just bought mine as a secondary/backup phone.
    I’ll just have to see again if the model here in the Philippines have mini-sim. I hope both slots supports only the regular sims so I won’t bother to have the other one cut to size.
    I’ll jsut have to test this for months and just like you, I plan to give my next pruchase to my parents.

  34. just to update my earlier comment with regards to the size of the sims,
    I just confirmed that both sims are regular sized

  35. hi i am koushik.my mobile is nokia301.i want to connect the internet from computer using usb cable.now i want to used 2nd sim to connect the internet.but when i connect the internet using pc suit , automatically it connect the internet using 1st sim.what i do?my mobile no is 9647596716

  36. Hi ashish,
    recently purchased a nokia 301. I am unable to set the contacts name display to either phone or sim1 or sim2. I dont find an option for display of contacts from phone or sim1 or sim2, which is present in other nokia phones (c3-01). By default it displays the name from all three memory ie phone,sim1 and sim2. This displays the name repeadetly which i do not want. Kindly advice.

    Regards,
    Ravi.

  37. Can I use radio with blue tooth head phones as it cut out because wired head phone are required for an arial

  38. My Asus Memo Pad, which does not have 3G connectivity, cannot connect to the Internet via its Bluetooth connection to my Nokia 301.

    However, my friend’s iPad *can* connect to the Internet through the Bluetooth connection with my Nokia 301 (he disabled the iPad’s own network connection to verify this).

    Any idea why my tablet cannot utilize the BT connection to the 301 to connect to the Internet? Any solutions?

  39. Hi Ashish,

    Thanks for the review. I am planning to buy this phone for my dad as he needs the keypad based phone. He is looking for Music as basic necessity and Camera is not going to be used much. Multiple number in single contact is a must feature (Mobile, Work, Home). Please confirm if these are available with 301. Have ruled out Nokia 225 as it has only one name per contact.

    Torch Light was a good to have feature, but it is not available with Nokia 301 phone.

    Is battery life good or not?

    Thanks,
    -Srinivasan.

  40. Sir, I became a proud owner of a Nokia_301_dual sim mobile handset for the past few months. I feel very proud and now become very conscious about that. I tried for my kind of phone and last of all I found this one. My last handset was Nokia C_201. It was also a best of the best. But due to negligence of this phone, I now unable to use the set. It is now looking at me every-time from the showcase glass door in my computer study room. Actually I submerged the set into water. But I feel so lucky to have Nokia_301 Dual sim set. Can you tell me how to stop/block any number or record the call in my set? Is there any specific software or apps like for my set. I tried some of them (like the very popular COMPASS apps – but it not work properly). Please tell me how to be the best user of this phone. I also feel the lack of flash in taking photos. Please let me know – how to create any caller photo identity for incoming call in my phone? Thanks – [email protected]

  41. Nokia 302 has no volume control buttons on the side… misrable but the only Nokia feature phone having this is Nokia 515 that costs a lot…

  42. it can! you go to music player > go to multimedia player > options> more> play through bluetooth, it searches , connects and plays….I play music in that way in my car

  43. in the contacts add a photo to the contact… tap the contact >options> photo options>change/add photo >open the gallery and choose it…
    you can’t block a number
    the store is full of apps but you have to be careful cause many having virus or damaged some are not working properly … I reccomend Shazam (you have download it puting into google “dowload shazam for Asha” it’s working 100%
    Facebook Messenger with notifications (it blows much internet so be careful, I have no limit)
    InsgtaTags the only good photo editor for Asha phones with good filters, but it makes the 3mpix photo into QVGA :(
    Google Translate by biNu good working
    Opera Mini is exellent choice works brilliant
    Google maps 2.3.2 it’s very good but there’s no GPS although you have a map in the phone
    WhatsApp
    Line for cheap calling… the rest is preinstalled

  44. i NEED A KEYPAD SPEAKING PHONE FOR MY GRAND FATHER ANY MODEL WHICH IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN MARKET PLEASE SUGGEST .

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.