Asha 210, WhatsApp phone, WhatsApp for Symbian

Nokia has announced another handset to launch in its Series 40-based Asha portfolio of low end phones. The Asha 210 is a full QWERTY device that comes in yellow, magenta, cyan, black, or white color options. For WhatsApp Messenger fans, though, the big news is a special hardware key that includes a special built-in shortcut to the popular messaging app.

“We have an ongoing relationship with Whatsapp that spans a range of Nokia Asha and other Nokia products,” said Neil Broadley, marketing director for Nokia’s mobile phones division, in an online Q&A. “We are both really excited about this opportunity.”

The 200 million monthly user-strong WhatsApp Messenger can be access by long-pressing this special key, which Nokia describes as the “world’s first” and takes a page from BBM on BlackBerry devices and the Facebook key on a phone released last year. In fact, the Asha 210 also includes a version (in black, shown below in photos obtained via TechCrunch) that trades the WhatsApp key for a Facebook key. In addition, the device comes in both single and dual-SIM variants.

If a dedicated key isn’t enough to get you to consider picking one of these devices up, Nokia said Asha 210 buyers will get a free subscription to WhatsApp for the lifetime of the device, which will save you $0.99 per year on the Series 40 platform.

The new device is due to ship before the end of Q2 2013, so you won’t have too long to wait if this is your type of device, even if you’re just wanting to use it with your global SIM card service rather than take advantage of its social features.

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By Josh Robert Nay

Josh Robert Nay is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TruTower. He has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003 and specializes in GSM based technology. He also uses (too many) VoIP apps and is a long-time user of BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone. He adores anything having to do with space exploration and writing. In addition to the links below, he can be found on LinkedIn and can also be found on his website at