Nokia unveils Asha 501 and its new “platform” Asha

This wee Nokia have unveiled new range of low-cost devices called Asha 501 that is expected at retail price of $150. At the same time, Nokia said that they are working on new software environment with the same name that will be available with many third party applications.

Nokia Asha 501 phone

The S40 legacy has now found his heir Asha, developed by Nokia that comes with operating system named Asha. Eager to make a real “platform”, the Finnish manufacturer announced Thursday the availability of a development kit dedicated to application vendors, several major partnerships, and the upcoming launch of a new device, the Asha 501 which will be available at price of $150.

Asha 501: the bridge between feature phone and smartphone?

With Asha 501, Nokia confirms its intention to bridge the gap between traditional phone, with limited features, and smartphone, the true meaning of “intelligent” device. The newcomer is based on a 3 inch touch screen with 320 x 240 pixels resolution, along with a single back button. GSM / Edge (but not 3G) compatible, it embeds 128 MB RAM, 4 GB dedicated storage in the form of a microSD card, and a 3.2 megapixel camera sensor. It also has WiFi (802.11g), Bluetooth 3.0, and an FM tuner.

Nokia Asha 501 dimensions

The Asha 501 also has a 1200 mAh battery, and weight 98 grams (12.1 mm thick). At this level, Nokia advance autonomy allows this phone to stay up to 48 days in standby mode, 17 hours talk time and 56 hours music playback. Available in many colors, it adopts lines reminiscent of the Lumia range, which is now the new visual identity of the Nokia phones. The Finnish manufacture indicates that it will be available from about 60 operators and distributors in over 90 countries worldwide. A dual SIM Version should follow later in the year.

A new Asha system and agreements with publishers/operators

On the software side, the 501 embeds the latest operating system developed by Nokia, also called Asha, which therefore represents the next generation of environment which will be included in all future entry-level devices. According to Nokia, Asha must embody the perfect answer to the needs of emerging markets and the smartphone segment less than 100 dollars, which will focus on one part of the market growth.

The system relies on interface based on icons representing different installed applications, which is associated with a stream of similar personal activity on the principle that offer environments like Blackberry 10 (with its hub) or Windows Phone. It embeds its own mail client, as well as home browser, Nokia Xpress, who can compress web content before delivering them to the device, so as to minimize data usage.

According to Nokia his great strength come’s in openness to third-party applications which are already available through the onboard Store. The applicant refers to the great names of the Web such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Whatsapp or eBuddy regarding social networking and messaging, games signed by EA and Gameloft, and media applications such as CNN, ESPN and The Weather channel.

In order to facilitate the penetration of its new emerging markets, Nokia announces that it has signed agreements with several operators like Airtel, present in Africa and India, in which the purchase of Asha 501 will allow their users to access for free to Facebook for a limited time.