Review:Nokia 500 – Not so Giga’hazardous’


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Nokia 500, company’s first 1GHz phone. We know Nokia is going to discontinue Symbian but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any love left for it. We heard Nokia CEO saying powerful Symbian to come out in future and he kept his promise. Nokia 500 is not only the first device to run 1GHz processor but also the first device after they changed silly naming convention to something meaningful.

Much has been talked about how Symbian is resource efficient and runs smoothly on low end hardware when compared to competitors. But finally new management has decided to raise the standards of Symbian smartphones, Nokia 500 being the first. Without a doubt Symbian is resource efficient but competition and community both were asking for new hardware, for them Nokia 500 is the answer.

So let’s see if it’s able to handle all the pressure from competition.

A quick look at Nokia 500 spec-sheet:

  • 1GHz ARM11 processor, GPU with 2D support  (only)
  • 3.2” TFT LCD, Capacitive Touchscreen, 360×640 resolution
  • 256MB RAM, 2GB mass memory, microSD support upto 32GB
  • Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Pentaband WCAMA(3G)
  • Bluetooth 2.1(A2DP), Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • USB 2.0 via microUSB, USB OTG, USB mass storage
  • 5MP fixed focus camera, VGA video recording @15 FPS
  • 1110 mAh BL-4U battery

What’s inside the box:

Remember the oldy goldy  days of Nokia 3310 when you could actually personalize your phone by changing its dress? xPress on color covers anyone? Yes, you get them back with Nokia 500. With our black trial unit we received two extra back covers, red and blue. We pretty much liked the idea of bringing them back.

This is how it looks,

You also get a stereo headset which comes with some cheap S40 phones too, a very short USB cable and a charger. And of course some manuals.

Design:

The design of Nokia 500 takes clues from X6 we’d rather say it’s X6 plus Symbian Anna plus 1GHz processor minus 5MP carl zeiss camera. Nevertheless device is simple yet attractive. Thanks to its 3.2” display, Nokia 500 is very handy, especially for those on move. You don’t need to worry about it being too big to handle or use both hands to use.
The Nokia 500 has simple monoblock form factor. On front it has not too big-not too small 3.2” display Beneath the display Nokia has left some space and accommodated microphone since it was not possible to put it on bottom side which is not the part of its main body. Below it are three hardware keys, make/receive call, menu and call end key. First look at them gives the impression that they are capacitive keys which they are not actually. Above the display there’s usual earpiece and proximity and ambient light sensor sit together aside it. Both of them mixed so well with the bazel Nokia has put around the display that most people will not even notice them there, some may see proximity sensor at best and to see ambient light sensor you’d need to focus torch light there.

The back of the phone is nothing but the removable cover. That’s not all. There’s a 5MP camera along with the loudspeaker. There’s no flash of any kind to help you take photos in dark, quite a disappointment there.

 

The top of the phone hosts 3.5mm jack, microUSB port and 2mm charger port. We felt like taking a look under its back to find memory card slot. Yes, memory card slot is under the back cover and it’s not even hot swappable because it actually lies under the battery. So swapping memory cards will be a tiresome job for you.

On the right hand side of the phone there is volume rocker and keyguard. The ‘keyguard’ on Nokia 500 acts strangely than the one on other Symbian^3 devices. Pressing it locks the keys but it won’t help you to unlock again, instead it’ll just make the display active and present the on-screen ‘Unlock’ button. We don’t understand why Nokia used the keygard in first place if it wanted users to use on-screen button.

 

The left side of the phone is completely bare.

Nokia hasn’t used any metal in its body, it’s completely made up of plastics. But the material is no-way cheap class. Front gets smudged very quickly but that doesn’t affect viewing quality. Back covers also has a rubber coating over them which give good grip.


About Swapneel Bandiwadekar

I'm into tech since 2006.You can find me on forums as @swap002. I also used to write reviews for Hindustan Times and been a member of pilot programs. Connect with me on Twitter or Google Plus.