Nokia Asha 501 announced; coming to India in June
| by Ramkumar Iyer |
Normal">Nokia today unveiled the new overhauled Asha touch series. The Asha 501 is the first phone in the series to be unveiled, and it will be priced at $99 (around Rs 5,370). The Finnish giant will be launching the phone in India sometime in June this year.
The Asha 501 sports a 3-inch LCD capacitive touchscreen display with QVGA resolution (320 x 240 pixels). The phone will be available in single and dual-SIM variants but will support only 2G. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microUSB 2.0. The phone has a 3.2-megapixel camera at the back, but no flash.
The Asha 501 will come in six colours
There’s also a microSD card slot with support for cards up to 32GB in size. Nokia is including a free 4GB microSD card with the phone. The battery on the phone is a 1200mAh one, which has a quoted talk time of 17 hours and a standby time of a whopping 48 days. For a breakdown of the Nokia Asha 501's specs, have a look at our specifications review.
Nokia has borrowed usability elements from its MeeGo operating system for the Asha series. The Asha 501 sports a new interface that has a two-panel homescreen: one of the panels houses all notifications and recently-used items, which Nokia calls "Fastlane view"; the other panel gives you access to your apps. The Fastlane view has shortcuts for posting to social media like Twitter, Facebook , LinkedIn etc. You also get shortcuts for the music player and message previews. It seems Nokia has taken a cue from Android’s lockscreen widgets, as you get a music player for the lockscreen too.
The Asha 501 Fastlane view houses all your notifications and apps
The phone gives you access to the Nokia app store, which you can use for downloading apps. Nokia will also be including its HERE Maps service later this year. Other available apps include Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, WeChat, ESPN and the eBuddy messenger. WhatsApp too is likely, the company said in a press release.
The new Asha comes with Nokia Xpress Browser pre-loaded, which compresses incoming data before it reaches your phone, giving you better browsing speeds and saving data costs.
Nokia, Facebook and mobile network operator Airtel have also joined hands to offer data-free access to the standalone Facebook app as well as the mobile site. By the end of second quarter, current Airtel subscribers in Africa and India will be able to enjoy unlimited, data-free access to Facebook from their Nokia Asha 501 for a limited period of time.
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