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Asha 501 review part 1: The Swipey pocket wonder. Dawn of new Asha (hope) for Nokia!!

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So, we have had Nokia’s latest pocket wonder Asha 501 for more than 10 days now. In these 10 days, I have used this device extensively and think I can now write a review about this device. This is first part of review and for second part we also would like to know from you what else should we cover. Though we will also bring you demo videos of different aspects of the device soon.

Design, Built quality Impressions:

We got the White model for review. It looks really beautiful and the White color gives it a kind of elegance. As, you can see it can almost disappear if you have big hands but it looks and feels every bit Nokia. Set our eyes on below images and check the  gallery at bottom for more.

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Display, UI Navigation:

The display is really crisp for a device of its price range and even under daylight it retains its readability. A smartphone UI can’t get simpler than this.

Fastlane is where you have all the opened apps listed in the order of Today or in past days. Even it will show if you have anything scheduled in Future. Swipe to right and you go to app icons home screen. Press and hold on any icon to arrange it in the grid. Swipe right from any application to come back to this “App icon” screen. This is as simple and intuitive as it sounds. You also have a pull-down notification bar with toggles like WiFi, Bluetooth, Data and Sim1/Sim2.



Performance, Browser, Camera, Youtube, Webapps:

This is obviously not going to set the benchmarks on fire as it is not meant for that. But, it is every bit a smooth operator. Most of the stuff can be done with smooth swipes across the UI. Even games like “Need for speed” run smoothly and without any lag., which is usually a big issue for cheap android of this range.




Native “Nokia browser” which compresses upto 90% of data and the speed at which it operates with just 2G connection is really good. It has many pre-loaded webapps, one of which is YouTube and you can stream videos from YouTube on your devices.

We have covered camera impression in detail earlier and Nokia has provided a good camera for such price point.

Here Maps, Music player, Image Gallery:

Beta version of Here Maps is available for Asha 501 and though unlike on Symbian and Lumia devices it doesn’t have GPS and hence depends on data connection. But it still works very well and has the same maps data as on Symbian and Lumia devices. You get driving, walking and public transport directions between two points on the map. Image gallery has two views. One is default image view where you have all the images and video and in another view you have folder like captured, favorites, received etc. You can share via message, mail, bluetooth, and directly to Facebook and Twitter.


The music player is pretty simple in design and great part about music listening. is that audio output is really good quality wise while using headphones or on speaker. Speakers are really loud !!


Nokia Store, Social connectivity and social-contacts integration:

Nokia store client is the application to go for downloading new applications and it works fine. It has clearly defined sections like apps, games etc and also lets you know about popular ones in trending in.      Also, social aspects of this device is pretty strong with pre-loaded Facebook and native Twitter clients. Even, phonebook contacts can be integrated to social networks Facebook and Twitter. But, it is surprising to see that Whatsapp is not available in store or pre-loaded on the device?

We will bring all other aspects in the second part of review and also demo video of different actions on the device. So, stay tuned….

You can also watch our video impressions of above covered aspects by going to our video review article.

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Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and GadgetOx since long. He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing. Write to him at Email: [email protected]