Announced in New Delhi, India last Thursday, the cute Nokia Asha 501 aims to push the boundaries of affordable smartphone design with bold color, premium build and an innovative user interface.


Nokia Asha 501 is actually the first device from the Finnish giant to run on the new and revamped Asha platform, which is designed to make the user's mobile experience faster and more responsive. The OS also helps developers to create, publish and make more money from apps made specifically for the new generation of Asha devices.


From watching the online livestream of the handset's official announcement as well as the first hands-on videos on Youtube, I reckon that there are five things about Nokia Asha 501 that will make it quite irresistible to those who are looking for an affordable, feature-packed, and easy-to-use smartphone.


First, it comes in youthful and vibrant colors that are reminiscent of the Nokia Lumia line of Windows Phone handsets -- so suffice it to say, looks-wise, Nokia Asha 501 is very attractive. The back case is even swappable - just like that of Nokia Lumia 620 - so you can change the hue to match your mood or your outfit.


Second, the revamped Asha platform is very intuitive. Users need only swipe from the top of the display going down to quickly access connectivity settings and change sound profile.


One click on the home screen is all you need to start typing your Facebook status update or tweet. Finally, the Nokia Xpress Browser compresses data, allowing you not just to browse websites faster but also to save money on your mobile connection.


Third, Nokia Asha 501 comes with the innovative Nokia feature called Slam, which lets users transfer content from one Bluetooth-enabled device to another without having to go through the process of pairing. Just turn Slam on on both devices and you're good to go. This is particularly useful for sending content like contacts, images, and videos, and contacts to another Asha smartphone.


Fourth, the smartphone's rather large 1,200 mAh battery pack, which powers and brings to life the very energy efficient Asha OS, delivers a staggering 48 days of standby time and 17 hours of talk time. This means that if you leave the house with 100% battery on your phone, you won't have to charge your Nokia Asha 501 again in the school or in the office before the day ends.


Fifth, priced at only $99 in the US or around Php 4,070 with current conversion and before taxes, Nokia Asha 501 is one of the most affordable WiFi-enabled full capacitive touchscreen handsets that the company current offers! And the coolest part is that it's arriving soon; Nokia Asha 501 is set to be released in over 90 countries within June 2013 -- that's already next month!

Update as of July 2, 2013: Nokia Asha 501 has just been officially launched in the Philippines! We are getting the Dual SIM variant (as opposed to the Single SIM version that will be released in the US) and its official SRP is just Php 4,490!


So many reasons to like this handset and to recommend it to your budget-conscious techy friends but really, just between us, I love it simply because it's very cute. I mean, the edge-to-edge glass face, the colorful home screens replete with those squircle icons, the interchangeable shells -- all these work together to give you a very eye-catching and totally hip Nokia Asha 501.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Nokia Asha 501
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions99.2 x 58 x 12.1 mm
Weight 98.2 grams
Available Colors Cyan, Yellow, White, Bright Red, Bright Green, and Black swappable back case
Operating System Nokia Asha Software Platform 1.0
Display 3.0 inches (~133 ppi pixel density), 240 x 320 pixels colors, TFT capacitive touchscreen, 256K colors
Processor Proprietary, no details from Nokia
RAM 64 MB RAM
Internal Storage 128 MB, expandable via microSD card slot
Camera 3.15 MegaPixels, 2048 x 1536 pixels
Video Capture QVGA 15 frames per second
Audio and Video Playback MP4, H.263, WMV, MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC
Ports microUSB v2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g, Bluetooth v3.0, EDR, EDGE
GPS N/A
Sensors Accelerometer, Proximity
Network 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800
SIM Card Type microSIM
Battery Li-Ion 1200 mAh battery (BL-4U)
Uptime Stand-by of up to 1152 hours, Talk time of up to 17 hours, Music play of up to 56 hours
Value-Added Features Dual SIM version available, swappable shells, long uptime, Slam
Announcement May 2013
Availability TP Guesstimate: June 2013
Price TP Guesstimate Philippines: Php 4,070 (Single SIM)
Official SRP in US: $99 (Single SIM)
Official SRP in the Philippines: Php 4,490 (Dual SIM)