Nokia has unveiled a new $99 touchscreen Nokia Asha 501, as part of its mission to bring affordable smartphone experience across the globe. The presentation took place on Thursday, May 9, in New Delhi, India.
The new dual-SIM device is the first smartphone built on the new Asha platform and is totally integrated in the consistent visual style of the latest Nokia products, the Lumia family, with its sleek industrial design and bright color range. The new smartphone, which weighs 90 g and fits in one hand, has a removable monobody and a hardened glass display, which adds to the physical durability of the device. It also has a three-inch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 4 GB of memory, plus a longer battery life.
The device provides intuitive user experience, letting users easily swipe between two screens—Home with traditional icons and Fastlane, based on recently accessed contacts, social networks and apps. Nokia Asha 501 also allows to get maximum of the Internet connection—the pre-loaded Nokia Xpress Browser compresses web data by up to 90% to make browsing faster and more affordable. Additionally, the new Nokia Xpress Now app provides users with content recommendations based on their location, preferences and hot topics—it is available via the Browser homepage or from Nokia Store.
Along with being an affordable smartphone, the Nokia Asha 501 also lets developers make money on it. The new Asha platform invites them to use the open, standards-based environment to develop new apps for the new phone and its successors. The current range of apps for the phone already includes CNN, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Twitter, games from EA and many more.
Nokia will start shipping the new smartphone in June 2013, and the official statement reads that it will be available through approximately 60 operators in more than 90 countries.
“The new Nokia Asha 501 raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design and optimization,” said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. “The synergy between the physical design and the engine that is the new Asha platform has created a smartphone with both style and substance at a great price.”
In the video below Peter Skillman, Nokia Design Team, explains how the Nokia Asha 501 was developed.