Following the arrival of phones with dedicated BBM and Facebook buttons, Nokia this morning introduced us to its new handset with a special social network key of its own. That device right up there is the Asha 210, the "something new" phone with a physical hardware keyboard that Nokia teased earlier this week.
In addition to its set of QWERTY keys, the Asha 210 sports a dedicated WhatsApp button below its screen, offering users quick access to the messaging service. Nokia says that through its partnership with WhatsApp, owners of the Asha 210 will receive access to the service for free for the entirety of the device's lifespan. The WhatsApp key isn't the only special key that the Asha 210 offers, as it also includes a special camera key on the front of the phone as well as a Wi-Fi On/Off button.
In addition to its special buttons, the Nokia Asha 210 features a 2.4-inch 320x240 display, microSD card slot, 2-megapixel camera and the Series 40 platform. Nokia plans to offer the Asha 210 in both single-SIM (GSM/EDGE 850/1900) and dual-SIM (GSM EDGE 900/1800) models. As is usually the case with the folks at Nokia, the Asha 210 will also be available in a number of different colors. Nokia plans to offer its WhatsApp phone in yellow, cyan, black, magenta, and white.
So how much does having lightning-quick access to WhatsApp cost? Nokia says that the Asha 210 will be priced at around $72 before subsidies, giving heavy messagers a new device with which to bang out missives that won't mangle their money clips. Even for non-WhatsApp users, the Asha 210 looks like a respectable little handset that offers QWERTY keyboard addicts another option for a new phone at a time when hardware 'boards are becoming increasingly rare. Expect the Asha 210 to be available later in the second quarter.