Nokia Mobiles, which once held the prestigious number one position by being a top company in the manufacturing mobile phones, is trying to redeem its position once again. This is the reason for adopting two pronged strategy. The first one is to manufacture the budget feature phones in Asha series, which it started during the last quarter of 2011. It has already brought out about 15 low priced mobile phones in its Asha series since then. Most of these Asha series mobile feature phones are priced between Rs.3500 and Rs.6000 except Nokia Asha 311 priced around Rs.6500 and Nokia Asha 303 priced around Rs.7400. The second strategy of Nokia to stay in the limelight, is to manufacture Lumia series smartphones with high end features running on Windows Phone 8 operating system. The latest in the Lumia series, which will be entering the market this month, are Nokia Lumia 928 and Nokia Lumia 925. Nokia has already created a name for itself once again with its Nokia Lumia 520, 620, 720, 820 and 920 smartphones doing a good business in the mid-range and premier smartphones segment. The present Nokia Asha 501 has just been launched in New Delhi on May 9 in the presence of Nokia's global chief executive officer (CEO) Stephen Elop. The smartphone is going to be introduced for sales in June 2013 in about 90 countries including India. Nokia Asha 501 will be priced $99 (Rs.5350) plus taxes. This price is for the single SIM version. The smartphone will run on Nokia's new software Nokia Asha platform 1.0. It will allow users easy multi-tasking jobs between the built-in applications and the popular social networks. The best news for us in India is that Nokia will manufacture Nokia Asha 501 in India. Nokia's policy about its Asha series feature phones appears to be quite clear. Nokia 's main objective of bringing out mobile phones in Asha series is to offer its users affordable mobile phones incorporating some of the good features of the smartphones. It somehow is trying to blur the distinction between the feature phones and the smartphones. Let us now discuss the features and specifications of Nokia Asha 501. The readers can also have a quick look at the specifications in the table given along side the textual details.
Network, SIM, dimensions, weight and design
Nokia Asha 501 supports 2G GSM networks. It has a provision for an optional dual micro-SIM. The uniqueness of this feature phone lies in the fact that the user can exchange the second SIM card without having to remove the battery. The dimensions of this smartphone are 99.2 x 58 x 12.1 mm. Asha 501 weights 98.2 g. The design of this smartphone appears to be inspired by the Lumia series of Nokia. One has to just give a double tap to wake up the phone. In addition to the Fastlane home screen, the other home screen is for app drawer. In the Fastlane, the user is shown the currently running apps and also the messages and notifications that are received.
The display size of Nokia Asha 501 is 3.0 inches. The display type is TFT capacitive touchscreen with 256K colours. It has a multi-touch screen up to two fingers. The screen resolution is 240 x 320 pixels. The pixel density is 133 ppi. There is a new interface, which has its focus on swipe events. It has new feature called Fastlane.
Memory and sound features
Nokia Asha 501 has an internal memory of 128 MB. Externally, the memory is expandable up to 32 GB via microSD card. A 4 GB card comes along with the phone when you buy it. It has a 64 MB RAM. The sound features include vibration and MP3 ringtones, a loudspeaker and 3.5 mm jack.
Connectivity, camera and video features
The internet connectivity is supported by GPRS, EDGE and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g. The data transfer is performed by Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR and microUSB 2.0. There is only one camera of 3.15 MP. It has an image resolution of up to 2048 x 1536 pixels. The video recording capability of this camera is QVGA@15fps. Nokia Asha has made provision for 2G connectivity because most of the regions in the world still depend on this slow
OS, sensors, messaging, browser, radio, GPS and Java
Nokia Asha 501 is the first smartphone in the Asha series to run on the Nokia's Asha Software platform 1.0. The new OS of this feature phone will have social platforms like Facebook, Foursquare, Linked-in, Twitter and YouTube. It 501 comes with a pre-loaded Xpress browser to compress the internet data by up to 90%. This makes the browsing faster at the most affordable price in the market. The smartphone has sensors like accelerator and proximity. The messaging facilities are through SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, and IM. The browser support is provided by WAP 2.0 /xHTML and HTML. There is an FM radio for entertainment. There is no GPS support for this phone, but it is provided with Java support with MIDP 2.1.
Colours, video/audio file formats support and other features
Nokia Asha 501 is available in Bright Red, Bright Green, Cyan, Yellow, White and Black colours. The phone supports MP4/H.263/WMV player file formats and MP3/WAV/WMA/AAC player file formats. Some other features of this smartphone are SNS apps, photo editor, organizer, voice memo and predictive text input.
This mobile is equipped with l Li-Ion 1200 mAh battery. It gives a talk time of 17 hours. The stand-by time support is for up to 1152 hours. The continuous music can be played up to 56 hours.
Price and availability
Asha 501 will be made available at the online and offline stores of 90 countries including India. The feature phone will be manufactured in India as announced by Nokia. It has been priced very affordably at about Rs.5350 plus taxes for India. This price is for a single SIM phone. The dual SIM variation will be costing a little extra.
In case of the Nokia Asha series lovers are thinking of buying an Asha series feature phone, they are advised to wait for one more month when Nokia Asha 501 will be freely available in about 90 countries of the world including India. Nokia Asha 501 blends the affordability of a feature phone and some of the important features of costly smartphones. So, one can enjoy the best of the both worlds by buying Asha 501. The feature phone is very reasonably priced by Nokia if we take into consideration of the features and specifications of this phone as discussed in the above paragraphs.