The newest addition to the Asha line of Nokia was introduced recently - the Nokia Asha 501. This very small smartphone comes in different eye candy colors, is the first smartphone to be built on a brand new, developed from the ground up, Asha platform that is meant to give its users a whole new and fun mobile experience.
The Asha 501 on the outside
The first thing you notice is the Asha's size. It fits comfortably in the palm of a hand and weighs almost nothing (98 gms). Despite its small size, it sports a 3.0" QVGA TFT capacitive display with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. The Asha's colorful shells are interchangeable. This appeals to women like me who want to mix and match our phones to what we wear. And there are 6 colors to choose from - bright red, yellow, black, bright green, cyan and white (I fell for the bright red!). It comes with a 4GB memory card, upgradable to 32GB.
The Asha's 3.2MP camera may not be that impressive in the world of smartphones sporting double-digit MP cameras but pictures should be decent and clear enough to be sent via email or posted on blogs. A built-in app for the camera has 5-in-1 filters for creative shots. Jumpshot, anyone?
The Asha 501 on the inside
Small but 'terrible', the Asha 501's new platform was designed for a feature-rich experience. For the social media crowd, this phone comes with built-in Facebook and Twitter apps. Even the Weather Channel is preloaded. Its WLAN lets you connect to wifi hotspots anywhere. But where it stands out is in the following features included in the new platform:
Dual Sim - the benefit is obvious. Two mobile numbers in one phone.
Fastlane - start where you left off because this feature provides a timeline of activities and events in the recent past, present and near future. Want to know what activities you were doing yesterday? Just swipe. Or want to check your calendar for the coming week? Swipe the other way. It's that easy!
Nokia Xpress Browser - exclusive only to.Nokia, this browser enables faster and more affordable browsing (for those with data cap plans) because it compresses web pages by up to 90% even when multiple pages are open.
Games - Don't be fooled by its size because the Asha 501 has preinstalled gamed such as World Zoo, Fashion Icon, Little Big City, Real Football, and Bubble Bash. In addition, 40 EA games are availablw through the Nokia Gift app such as the popular Bejeweled, Tetris, Revolution FiFA, Sims 3, Need for Speed: Undercover and Plants vs Zombies.
The Nokia Asha 501 retails at PhP 4,490.
It may be considered low end in comparison to more powerful smartphones (it can only go up to 2G speeds). If you are on the internet a lot, you will want to go for a higher end phone with 3G and 4G capability to get better internet speed. But what the Nokia Asha 501 does is bring the affordability of a smartphone to those with a tight budget. I think this kind of pricing may really spell the beginning of the end for non-smartphones.