Nokia hopes to move ahead with this intriguing line-up - the Asha 500, the Asha 502 and the Asha 503. The company has a built a fresh line-up of inexpensive handsets which bridge the gap between smartphones and feature phones. None of them has the killer specs of smartphones, but for the budget-conscious consumer, the $100 pre-subsidy price is a steal. However, none of the three feels cheap at all.
Top Features and Reasons Why To Buy Them
Bold and Bright Colors
The Asha phones come in saturated and bold colors, including red, yellow, cyan and green.
Durable And Sturdy
The Asha 500, 502 and 503 look quite similar with the Asha 501, except that these three feature a box-like transparent polycarbonate that wraps around the colored casing of the handsets. This lollipop-inspired extra layer of casing that makes the new Ashas appear to be frozen in ice prevents wear-and-tear. It also keeps the device from losing its color over time. These frames make the inexpensive handsets durable and sturdy.
Relative to its predecessors, these new Ashas are a bit bulkier but it's not much of a distraction given its petite size. They are notably portable and easy to navigate with only one hand.
New 'Asha Platform'
The revamped Series 40 OS has been tweaked with some camera and social network sharing shortcuts. Although the software is a bit primitive and slow, the Ashas still offer a remarkable imitation of smartphone UIs.
The homescreen which echoes MeeGo is split into the traditional and the "Fastlane." This allows you to see the most recent activities, multimedia, apps and messaging at the same time giving you the opportunity to interact. Essentially, you can reply to messages, control music from there without actually opening the app itself. Although it does not support multitasking just yet, Nokia does a good job imitating the feature with the Fastlane.
The Fastlane screen can be launched with a horizontal swipe on the homescreen and shows the most recent activity of the user in a chronological order. Albeit hardly revolutionary, it remains compelling just the same.
The 5 MP rear-facing camera of the Asha 503 is a remarkable enhancement over the Asha 501.
All three handsets are priced competitively - the Asha 500 for $69, the Asha 502 for $89 and the Asha 503 for $99. The least expensive Asha 500 is remarkably $30 less than the Asha 501. The Asha 503 that comes with a quad-band HSPA has the same price with the Asha 501 with EDGE speed.
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