Nokia is building up steam in the smartphone race. If the middle to high-end segment is covered by the Lumia series of phones, the lower end market is being well stocked with the Asha range of phones. Expanding it’s offerings in this segment, Nokia has introduced Asha 501 heralding the beginning of a new Asha series. The new handsets are designed like mini-Lumias with rounded corners and vibrant pastel shades. But trust the resemblance to end there. Let’s take a quick look at the specification set of this newcomer.
Nokia Asha 501 – Specifications:
- Screen: 3″ QVGA capacitive 2-point touch screen with (resolution: 320×240), pixel density: 133 ppi
- Battery: 1200 mAh battery (removable), 2G standby of 624h, 2G talktime of 17h, music playback of 56h
- Camera: 3.2 MP rear camera with 3x digital zoom, no flash, video recording at 15 fps
- Connectivity: USB 2.0, Bluetooth v3.0, WiFi WLAN 802.11 b/g, no NFC, no WiFi hotspot
- Memory: Internal memory of unknown specification, MicroSD supported, expandable upto 32 GB
Reading through the list of specifications doesn’t get one’s pulse racing but it is not entirely disappointing either. The features fit right into the entry level segment and with Asha 501, Nokia has brought its cheerfully vibrant hues into this area as well. A Dual SIM version of the same phone is also in the works and will be launched soon. Other specifications remaining same, the battery performance alone will vary (2G standby time of 624h).
The Asha 501 has been designed with the connectivity-hungry consumer market in mind. As this demographic is largely populated by youngsters and middle-aged users, the design and features of the phone should sit well with them. Nokia, which has always been known for its sturdy hardware has replicated it’s design ideals with a simple yet strong 2-piece design (screen+cover) in the Asha 501.
Moving onto the inside story, the software has been given a face lift with a new feature called “Fastlane”. Simply put, this is an all-encompassing activity log. The past is shown by displaying a list of recent contacts, most-used apps and music listened to. The present finds representation with the current apps list and the phone shows off its clairvoyance with a listing of your upcoming appointments. As Nokia puts it, Fastlane is “one swipe access to everything you love.”
Placing special emphasis on the central position that Internet occupies in today’s smartphones and communications in general, Nokia Asha 501 comes with the Nokia Xpress Browser that promises to compress content upto 90%, thus reducing the toll on your data connection without compromising on the speed. Since the phone has been designed with 2G as the bandwidth of choice, it is prudent that Nokia has thrown in a technology that would enhance the browsing experience. It is common knowledge how soul destroying slow Internet can be! Also adding on to the personalization quotient is the Nokia Xpress Now feature that is a compilation of trends around the web, presented to you in the form of a tiled line-up.
The phone is a cosy fit into one’s palm but the appeal of this form factor has taken a slight beating after the advent of phablets, which are said to rule to the roost now. However, those who want to economize on their expenditure towards a mobile phone but would like to get the best possible deal for money would want to consider this phone as an option. The device comes pre-loaded with a bevy of social apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc and there are also bundled offers with carriers that come with the phone that will offer a limited period of free access to Facebook. This phone will also support the new Nokia Chat app. Nokia Asha 501 is expected to ship in July and is expected to retail at about $99.