Nokia Asha 500: Most Affordable Asha Comes to Malaysia, Just RM249

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Image credit: Nokia

Nokia redefines affordability, with the announcement of the new Nokia Asha 500 smartphone, the cheapest Asha to date. Cheap doesn’t mean crap, as the Asha 500 boasts a unique layered design, fluid swipe user interface, one-touch social sharing, Fastlane home screen, outstanding battery life and Nokia’s signature build quality.

The full-featured smartphone joins the new Nokia Asha 502 and previously released Asha 501, bringing a full smartphone experience to the budget conscious.

The Nokia Asha 500 features a layered design, using what Nokia calls the ‘dual shot’ technique, unique to the Finnish phone maker. It combines an inner layer of bold colour, then encased in an outer layer of crystal-clear transparency. This distinctive, high-end look in its monobody design is a clear differentiator amongst the budget phones out there.

As seen in the Asha 501 and Asha 502, Fastlane is a fast-track to the phone’s recently accessed apps, features and content, as well as calendar appointments. Its deep integration with social networks that includes live updates alerts users via notifications.

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If you wondered about apps on the Asha platform, then the inclusion of a key app like WhatsApp should be a pleasant surprise. The Asha platform has over 30,000 apps and includes popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Line and more. Apps can be downloaded from Nokia Store.

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Perhaps the killer features of the Asha 500 are the full-touch display and redesigned UI. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the fluidity of its UI, swipe being the main gesture for navigating the phone. Swipe can also activate the built-in camera.

The built-in camera includes filters and photo editing capabilities. Imaging apps like Picfeed lets people view Instagram feeds, Pictag for social-tagging and Photofunia for special effects. All apps are downloadable from the Nokia Store.


Specs at a glance

  • Display: 2.8” QVGA screen
  • Weight: 101.3g
  • Standby time, Dual SIM: up to 22days
  • Network: 2G
  • Camera: 2MP
  • Other: Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM
  • Suggested retail price: RM249
  • Available colours: bright red, yellow, cyan, white and black

Initial thoughts
Having had several weeks of experience with the slightly more expensive Asha 501, I can attest to the build quality, surprisingly good UI and amazing battery life. If you’re in the market for an affordable smartphone, second phone, or your first smartphone and don’t have a huge budget, the Asha is a viable bet.

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