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Nokia Asha 501 Review – Value for Money Phone

Nokia Asha 501 was announced in May 2013. It is one of the latest feature phone launched by Nokia. Nokia’s Asha series is very popular and with Asha 501 they are trying to take the popularity of their Asha series to another level.

Nokia Asha 501 front

The Asha 501 comes in a compact blue colored box that contains handset, charger, red colored headsets, 1200mAh battery, quick start guide and 4GB microSD card. The device is available in India for Rs 4,999. Recently we wrote 501 Reasons to Buy Nokia Asha 501 and if you are still not convinced then you can read the review below.

Display & Design

Asha 501 measures 99.2 x 58 x 12.1 mm and weighs just 98 grams. So it is a compact and light weight device. The device has a matte finish body and is available in different vibrant colors like Red, Yellow, Cyan etc. Build quality of the device is very good.

Nokia Asha 501

The phone comes with a 3 inch QVGA display which has a 240×320 pixels resolution and 133ppi pixel density. The touch response of the device is pretty good. The brightness, contrast levels & color saturation are quite decent. Looking at the price tag, Nokia has definitely provided an awesome display in the device. The display is protected by a scratch resistant glass.

Above the display you have a hidden proximity sensor and an earpiece.

Nokia Asha 501 above display

Below the display you just have a single back button. A microphone is located at the bottom right corner.

Nokia Asha 501 below display

On the backside you have a 3.2 megapixel camera and Nokia branding just below the camera. At the bottom of the back panel you have a button for removing the back cover. Nokia has smartly integrated the speaker outlet around this button. Users can change the back shells to give their device a new look but the color of the button remains the same as it is the part of the body.

Nokia Asha 501 Back

Underneath the back panel you have a micro SIM card slot. The microSD and another SIM card slot is located on the side of the device.

Nokia Asha 501 back open

On the right side you have a centrally placed power/lock key and volume rocker. There are no ports or buttons present on the left side.

Nokia Asha 501 side

At the top of the device you have a 3.5 mm audio jack, microUSB port and a 2mm pin charger slot.

Nokia Asha 501 top

Overall we really like the build quality & design of the device. It is undoubtedly the best phone in this price segment in terms of build quality.

Hardware & Performance

The device comes with 128MB internal storage and 64MB RAM. The storage can be expanded by using a microSD card of upto 32GB storage, the company provide a 4GB microSD card with device. The performance of the device is quite good. We did not face any kind of lag or slowness while using the device, the interface is quite smooth. The device comes pre-loaded with games such as Asphalt 6 but since it is a feature phone don’t expect much from it.

Nokia Asha 501 edge

The gaming experience on the device is good for the users who have been using the feature phones but for users who have played games on the high end devices would close the game as soon as it starts. Talking about the connectivity features device supports Dual SIM, WiFi, 2G, microUSB and Bluetooth. Unfortunately the device does not supports 3G.

Software

Nokia Asha 501 runs on the new Asha 1.0 platform which looks quite similar to the MeeGo OS. Users can navigate through the entire OS by using gestures. The lock screen displays various notifications such as missed calls, messages etc and the device can be unlocked by tapping twice on the screen or by using the lock key.

The interface is divided in to two parts – Apps menu & fastlane. Fastlane keeps a track of all your recent activity like opened applications, social network notifications etc. It also displays upcoming events from your calendar. It also displays the call logs and recently played music. Users can call the person or play the track from the Fastlane itself.

Nokia Asha 501 fastlane

While using apps users can swipe from bottom to up to open the app specific menu and the opened apps can be closed by wiping from right end of the screen to left. A simple swipe gesture from top to bottom will open the notification bar which can be used to toggle the WiFi, Bluetooth, Mobile Data and change the sound profile.

Nokia Asha 501 notifications bar

One of the interesting apps present on the device is the Xpress Browser. It offers server side compression of the web pages thereby saving up to 90% of the data downloads and provides faster loading of web pages even on slower data connection. Users also get 40 free EA games with the phone. There are tons of other applications also available for the device such as Facebook, Twitter, Weather app and much more  which comes pre-loaded on the device. Users can download more apps from the Apps application available on the device.

Camera

Asha 501 comes with a 3.2 megapixel back camera. There is no kind of flash provided with the camera. Since it is a budget device you won’t find a front facing camera on the device. Here are few sample images taken using the camera present on the device:

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Here is a sample video recorded using the camera present on Asha 501 :

The quality of captured images is quite decent. The camera can be used occasionally for taking snaps. Since the device does not have LED flash, the images captured at night or in low light condition are very dark and are very noisy.

Battery Life

Nokia Asha 501 is powered by a 1200mAh battery. It has a rated standby time of around 48 days and talktime of around 17 hours. Even with moderate usage the battery would easily last for around 2 days.

Conclusion

Asha 501 costs less than Rs 5000 which makes it an attractive device for the buyers. It is a value for money device and we highly recommend this to users who are looking for a feature phone which can provide them a smartphone like experience. The device has very good build quality & design. The new Asha 1.0 platform is quite simple and easy to use. It has decent camera and battery life. Though Nokia has provided Xpress Browser in the device which provides faster browsing experience on even 2G connections, the only thing which we felt missing in the device is the 3G support.

Pros:

  • Value for money
  • Awesome Build Quality
  • New gesture based UI
  • Battery life

Cons:

  • No 3G

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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