During an event held at Delhi,India, Nokia has announced the latest handset in the Asha lineup, Asha 501. With the introduction of Asha 501, Nokia has also overhauled their Asha platform making it more suitable for smartphone functions. Asha 501 is a full touch phone featuring 3″ screen and a 3.2 MP camera. The phone also has dual SIM capability which runs on 2G networks only. Nokia has tried pack as many features as possible with the addition of WiFi and inclusion of 4GB memory card in box. User will also be gifted a pack of 40 free EA games. The Asha 501 adopts new design language which closely resembles to the high-end Lumia phones. We saw it in the leaks earlier this year.
The new Asha platform carries heavily from the MeeGo interface we saw on Nokia N9. The new Asha platform brings the same Swipe or gesture based interface to the users which makes it very simple to use the phone. The Asha 501 has just one “back” button on its face. The new Asha UI is the fruit of the Smarterphone, the company Nokia acquired last year. There are two parts of the UI, Home and Fastlane. The Home is the traditional menu featuring your apps. The Fastlane view shows the recently accessed apps and other activities such as music, contacts etc. Both of them can be accessed with just one swipe. The new UI also has new features that you’d expect from high end phones like music controls and notifications on lockscreen. We saw that on N9 as well and from our experience we can certainly say that it’s one of the best feature. And then there’s Nokia sleeping screen too.
Nokia has also partnered with Facebook and carriers to provide free access to Facebook (you won’t be charged for the data usage). Nokia Asha will come in six colors. Besides it features exchangeable shells so that you can swap them to match your mood. The Asha 501 will be start selling for $99 or INR 5,400 before taxes.
Check out the Asha 501 Intro and Hands On videos below,courtesy of Nokia Conversations