Nokia Asha 501 Marks Debut of Asha Smartphone Platform
The Asha 501 is expected to start shipping in June 2013 and will be available through 60 operators and distributors in more than 90 countries.Handset manufacturer Nokia unveiled the first of a family of Asha smartphones with the introduction of the Asha 501, a colorful and affordable smartphone—carrying a suggested price of $99—that suggests the company, which famously agreed to partner with Microsoft on its fledgling Windows mobile platform, is hedging its bets by releasing the phone with the new platform. The Asha comes with Nokia Xpress Browser preloaded, which is aimed at making mobile browsing faster. The company also announced the availability of Xpress Now, a Web application that recommends content based on location, preferences and trending topics, which will be available through the browser’s homepage or as a download from Nokia Store. The handset is expected to start shipping in June, and will be available through approximately 60 operators and distributors in more than 90 countries, a company statement said. The 501 is available in single or EasySwap Dual SIM models, and all models come with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Other features include a 3.2-megapixel camera, talk time of up to 17 hours and an additional 4GB of memory. The handset comes in just two parts, a removable casing and the scratch-resistant glass display, and features a three-inch, capacitive touch-screen and a single back button. Users interact with the phone through 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 dialer or phone settings.
On the flip side, 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. It offers a glimpse of their past, present and future activity, and theoretically helps users multitask by providing quicker access to their most-used features.