Nokia Lumia 2520, 1320 And Asha Lineup Hands-on: First Look: Nokia Asha 500, 502 And 503 Hands-on

By 12:52 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Comments

Nokia Asha 500, 502 and 503 hands-on

The Asha 500, the Asha 502 and the Asha 503 are the next step in the evolution of the Nokia featurephone lineup, aiming to assist the company conquer an even larger user base in emerging markets.

The Finns have updated both the hardware and software of the new-generation Asha smartphones. All three devices will come with an additional "ice layer" on top of the characteristic colorful colors - essentially a clear shell covering the back of the device. It captures the light and makes the color of the plastic beneath it really pop. The dual layers are also intended to haged the Asha 500 and its brethren away from scratches and damages.

Other than the recent transparency layer, the recent Asha phones sport basically the same design as the Asha 501 they replace. Colorful as ever, the recent phones will be available in black, colorful red, colorful green, yellow, and cyan.

The Asha 500, 502 and 503 next to one another

The button layout of the Asha 500 (502 and 503, too) hasn't changed at all - the volume rocker and Power/Lock key are located on the correct hand-side and feel solid as ever. The hardware Back button is the only control below the classy screen and doesn't protrude as much as on the Asha 501.

The hardware might've not changed that much, but the software sure has. Nokia has revamped the Asha software, updating the Fastlane experience as well as including a recent swipe shortslit for quickly launching the capturing camera - it's done with a swipe up from the lockscreen. You can also swipe left and correct to access snapped images and camcorder mode, respectively, and there's also one tap sharing to Facebook.

The Nokia Asha 503 in green

Thanks to the addition of WhatsApp messaging application, the Asha are now more social than ever. Typing on the tiny keyboard is still somewhat of a struggle and isn't really a possibility for people with larger hands.

Anyway, the differences between the three small fellas are small, but essential, considering the kind of users they target.

The Asha 500 sports a QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) 2.8" display and is 2G-only. At the back, there's a 2MP snapper with no flash. In comparison, the Asha 502 and 503 feature a bit larger 3" display.

The Asha 502 is again just 2G-enabled, but sports a bit smaller 1,010 mAh battery. However, the microSD slot with support of 32GB of additional storage and 5MP capturing camera with Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash create up for the smaller juice pack.

Finally, the Asha 503 adds 3G to the equation and sports the aforementioned 5MP capturing camera with Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash, microSD card slot as well as the larger 1,200mAh battery. It also sports Gorilla Glass 2 classy screen protection.

The Nokia Asha 502 in blue

The Asha 500 and Asha 503 are available in both single and dual-SIM configurations, unlike the Asha 502, which only has a dual-SIM version.

When the Asha 501 was released to the market, Nokia asked $99 for it, so the $69 price tag of the Asha 500 is a nice step towards broader market appeal. The Asha 502 and 503 will cost $89 and $99, respectively with an expected launch in Q4 of this year in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Latin America will see the launch of the Asha 500 and 503 around that time as well.

All in all, the recent Asha smartphones are a step in the correct direction for the Finns. Some people may find the "ice protected" casing not to their liking, but it's hard to argue that they deliver a compelling set of features for their respective price points.



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