Nokia today unveiled the first of a new family of Asha smartphones with the introduction of the Nokia Asha 501. The handset pushes the boundaries of affordable smartphone design with bold color, a high-quality build and an innovative user interface. The Nokia Asha 501 is the first device to run on the new Asha platform, which is designed to make the experience faster and more responsive. The Asha platform also helps developers to create, publish and make more money from apps made specifically for the new generation of Asha devices.
Standout design, innovative user interface
The Nokia Asha 501 makes high-end design and quality accessible to more people. The device is available in a choice of six striking colours that complement the elegant design. It comes in just two parts: a durable, removable casing and the scratch-resistant glass display, which features a three-inch, capacitive touchscreen and a single ‘back’ button. The compact new Asha weighs only 98 grams, for the ultimate portability.
The Nokia Asha 501 is built to make it easier for people to access everything they love, with a simple swipe and a choice of two main screens: Home and Fastlane. Home is a traditional, icon-based view for launching individual apps or accessing a specific feature, like the dialler or phone settings. The new Fastlane view was inspired by how people really use their phone. Recently accessed contacts, social networks and apps, unique to each person, are stored and presented in Fastlane. It provides a record of how the phone is used, giving people a glimpse of their past, present and future activity, and helping them multi-task by providing easy access to their favorite features.
Smarter and more personal Internet experiences
The new Asha comes with Nokia Xpress Browser pre-loaded, which compresses Internet data by up to 90%. This is aimed at making mobile browsing faster and more affordable. Nokia also announced the availability of Nokia Xpress Now, a new Web application that recommends content based on location, preferences and trending topics. It will be available via the Browser homepage or as a download from Nokia Store.
“Nokia has surpassed expectations of what’s achievable in the sub-100 USD phone category with a new Asha handset that is unlike any other, with design cues from Lumia and a mix of features, services and affordability that is valued by price-conscious buyers,” said Neil Mawston, executive director, Global Wireless Practice, Strategy Analytics. “This is a welcome addition to the market and a refreshing option for consumers looking to upgrade from feature phones.”
Asha platform for next-generation family of devices
The new Nokia Asha 501 was purpose-built to give people the best possible mobile experiences at an affordable price. It is highly efficient, with an industry-leading standby time of up to 48 days*. The Asha 501 is the first smartphone built on the new Asha platform, which leverages Nokia’s investments in Smarterphone, a company which Nokia acquired in 2012.
The new Asha platform provides developers with an open, standards-based environment for creating quality apps for consumers. Developers can create apps for the Nokia Asha 501 that will be compatible with future Asha platform-based devices. Nokia gives developers the chance to make more money through the global reach of Nokia Store and tools like Nokia In-App Payment and Nokia Advertising Exchange (NAX), as well as Nokia’s unparalleled operator billing network.
Many of the most popular applications are already available or in development for the Nokia Asha platform, including CNN, eBuddy, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare, Line, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, Pictelligent, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WeChat, World of Red Bull and games from Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Indiagames, Namco-Bandai and Reliance Games. WhatsApp and other key partners continue to explore new Asha.
The HERE experience, based on Nokia’s leading location-based platform, will also be available as a download for the Nokia Asha 501, starting in Q3 2013 and will initially include basic mapping services.
“The new Nokia Asha 501 raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design and optimization,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “The synergy between the physical design and the engine that is the new Asha platform has created a smartphone with both style and substance at a great price.”
Facebook and global operators to support Nokia Asha 501 with free data plans
The Nokia Asha 501 is expected to start shipping in June 2013. It is expected to be available through approximately 60 operators and distributors in more than 90 countries worldwide.
Product specifications and availability
The Nokia Asha 501is available in single or EasySwap Dual SIM models. All come with WiFi and Bluetooth. Other specifications:
• Dimensions: 99.2 x 58 x 12.1 mm; 98 grams
• Camera: 3.2 MP
• Single SIM standby time: up to 48 days***
• Dual SIM standby time: up to 26 days***
• Talk time: up to 17 hours
• Additional memory of 4GB (card included in box), expandable up to 32GB
• Forty free EA Games worth €75 downloadable from Nokia Store
• Available colours: Bright Red, Bright Green, Cyan, Yellow, White and Black
• Suggested pricing is 99 USD before taxes and subsidies.