Nokia Asha 501 Review: The Candy Store Kid: Camera, Image Quality, Video Recording, Connectivity, Web Browser

By 04:25 Fri, 13 Aug 2021 Comments

3.15 fixed-focus camera

The Asha 501 has a 3.15 MegaPixel (MP) capturing camera which is capable of capturing images of up to 2048 x 1536 resolution.

The capturing camera interface is simple - it offers a virtual on-classy screen shutter, a toggle for switching between capturing camera and camcorder and a gallery shortcut.

Upon a tap you acquire a zoom slider and the additional settings option. There you'll find adjustable white balance, self-timer, live effects and shutter sound, which can be disabled too. You can also preset the resolution of the images with a choice between 3MP, 2MP, 1MP and VGA.

Camera app

As the specs suggest, images produced by the Asha 501 aren't anything worth writing home about but they will do for the occasional visual memo (not for fine text though - no autofocus is a deal-breaker here) or contact picture. There isn't too much fine detail, but there are occasional purple fringing, over sharpening and pink spots. The colors are nicely punchy though.

Here go the samples.

NokiaAsha 501 capturing camera samples

Photo quality comparison

3MP shooters are getting very rare these days, but there are still plenty you can compare the Asha 501 against.

Nokia Asha 501 in our Photo quality comparison tool

QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) video at 15 fps fails to impress

When it comes to video capture, the Asha 501 was way out of its depth. The capturing camera can produce QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) (240 x 320) videos with a framerate of 14fps. Sound is recorded in mono at 31Kbps and a sampling rate of 16kHz, the video bitrate hovers around 400 Kbps.

Video settings

As you can tell, those videos are hardly fine for anything and we can't see anyone actually using their Asha 501 for video capture. Still if you are interested in the results you might check out this untouched QVGA@15fps sample video.


The Nokia Asha 501 is a dual band device (900 / 1800) and offers General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and EDGE class 12. There's no 3G (HSDPA) or Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) on board.

Then there's Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) b/g, which will acquire you faster data speeds and it doesn't eat into your data plan (if you have one to start with). Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR handles things like wireless handsfree dongles but also local file sharing.

The Asha 501 uses a microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port for both data connections and charging. There is no Universal Serial Bus (USB) on-the-go support, though.

The 501 also has a memory card slot (and a complimentary 4GB microSD card). Coupled with a card reader it can usually give you the fastest data transfer rates.

And finally, there's the standard 3.5mm audio jack.

Data-efficient browser

The Asha 501 has Wi-Fi, but sadly no 3G data speeds. Still, the Nokia Xpress browser uses server-side compression so it offers a passable experience on EDGE networks.

There's tabbed browsing and you can save favorite websites as tiles in an Opera-like speed dial.


There's a neat start page with categories such as Featured, Mail, Sports, Social Networks, Entertainment, etc. The pull-up context menu gives you quick access to recent, favorites, downloads, web apps and more.

Browsing on the Asha 501

The settings of the browser let you choose the quality of the preloaded images, from lower to best quality. Images can be disabled altogether too. There's a password manager as well.

Tabs • Browser options

The browsing experience isn't spectacular on the Asha 501. Pages load reasonably quick but don't see their best on the tiny 3-incher of QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution. Still, the Asha 501 will certainly let you check the score of your favorite team's last game or browse through the news websites.



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