Nokia has introduced a new phone that could spell the end of feature phones. The Nokia Asha 501 is a $99 handset with a 3 inch touchscreen display and Nokia’s Asha operating system with support for third party apps.
While Nokia’s higher-end smartphones run the more versatile Windows Phone software with access to thousands of apps from Microsoft’s app store, there are already some key apps available for the Asha 501 including software from CNN, Facebook, Nimbuzz, Twitter, The Weather Channel, and games from EA, Gameloft, and others.
Nokia says the new phone will be available from 60 wireless carriers in 90 countries soon. But there’s no mistaking this phone for a higher-end Nokia Lumia handset.
For one thing, it doesn’t include 3G capabilities. You can access the internet using the built-in WiFi or a slower 2G data network. The Nokia Asha 501 supports top download speeds of 236.8 kbps over a GSM 900 MHz or 1800 MHz network.
The good news is that phone should get pretty great battery life: Nokia is promising up to 17 hours of talk time, and up to 48 days of standby time from the built-in 1200 mAh battery.
The phone has a 3 inch, 320 x 240 pixel display, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a 3.2MP camera which can shoot QVGA video at 15 frames per second, and an FM radio.
Nokia will offer the Asha 501 in a range of bright colors including red, yellow, blue, green, black and white.
Nokia is spinning hard when they imply this is a smartphone.
The “Asha software platform” is built on the Series 40 OS. It’s running J2ME + JSR’s:
I thought the same, until a relative bought a 302 and I found out she could do most stuff I use my smartphone for, but for just 1/5 of the price. This includes IM (GTalk), VOIP (SIP), email.
Yes it’s basic but it works kinda OK and I was surprised by the speed!
Totally agree. Not saying Series 40 doesn’t rock — it’s super snappy and a tremendous value. Esp. the QWERTY/Z devices.
Another Asha 302 user here (on T-Mobile USA). The only “smartphone” feature I really miss is GPS. Otherwise, Opera Mini + S40 is a killer, low-power mobile.
This is actually exactly the type of phone I would like. I hope I can get it on T-Mobile.
Even if you can’t buy it directly through T-Mobile, the international version should work fine on their network – all the compatibility issues with non T-Mobile GSM phones have been due to the unconventional frequencies they use for 3G, which the Asha doesn’t have anyway.
Wow… On the one hand… Hurray, no more feture phones. On the other. Wow, this doesn’t move the needle on anything but the user interface… Everything else about it is garbage, and I’m willing to bet that moving to this interface would be worse than the crappy 20 dollar flip phone I’ve been using since my iPhone 3GS died and I realized that I wasn’t really using my smartphone for anything after getting an iPad which made having a smart phone kind of redundant.
Which flipphone do you use? 😀
My 3GS died in december and I got a Nokia 6060!
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