Nokia announces the Nokia Asha 501

At an event in New Delhi, Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop just announced the low-end Nokia Asha 501. Acording to the CEO the design of this phone is inspired by Lumia and it's the first step in the next chapter of Asha.

The device is powered by a 1 Ghz processor and 512 MB of RAM. The new phone has a 3-inch 320x240 px touchscreen and it comes in six colors but the biggest selling point might be its battery. The Asha 501 has a reported battery life of 17 hours talk time and 48 days of standby time. The phone also has a removable battery as well as a 4GB MicroSD card inside.

There will be a dual-SIM version and the original Asha 501 will come with 2G only but there will be a 3G version later on. 

Alongside the new phone Nokia is announcing the new Asha platform. It's software that makes using the phone a lot more intuitive. One of the biggest features here is the presence of Swipe. The same Swipe that has survived the N9, that allows you to go to your homescreen with one swipe from anywhere.

Another feature is "fast lane". This is a mix between a notification center and the main screen on a Windows Phone. Here you can see notifications, upcoming appointments, currently open apps and so on. The last mentioned feature is double-tapping the screen to wake up the phone, a feature which is expected to make its way to the Lumia line.

The Nokia Asha 501 will launch in June in over 90 countries. The phone will cost $99 unsubsidized.

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Can this Asha search contact by word? Nokia S40 and below only can search letter by letter sequential. S60 and many smartphone can search contact that contain word / letter. Example when someone name Budihardjo, you can save in contact as many thinks, like Mr. Budihardjo, Budihardjo Soengkono, Soengkono Budihardjo, Handsome Budihardjo, etc. In Smartphone when we search budi all of those contact will highlight the letter budi. In S40 when we search budi only find name that 4 first letter is budi.

Asha 501 will be marketed as a smartphone like other upper end touchscreen Ashas. It is for all intents and purposes a smartphone. If the original iPhone can be called a smartphone then why not this.

liju said,
Selected apps support multitasking.

It may have background tasks for certain system apps but there's zero system-wide multitasking. Any crapdroid or even the Symbian devices with 512MB of RAM could run multiple Apps. Nokia is just being dumb here, this device clearly has the capabilities to do so but they're sticking to that crappy S40 OS.

Its perfect for that price. Purpose built software for the slow spec phone will run smooth and much better than any other low end droid.

Blackhearted said,
$99 seems just a bit too high for that.

That is $99 outright - no subsidy; most carriers will subsidise it to bring it down to something like $50.

Low-end phones have alot to live up to these days, but THIS, damn, looks so good, some people may actually mistake it for a mid-range.

This is a very serious low end phone. It will be interesting to see what trickles in to the Lumia range and how these two will combine for Nokia. Good stuff..

A good budget phone. The way they are developing the Asha S40 Software variant sounds interesting...

I hope they announce a Lumia with a 820 like form factor with better battery and screen either in New Delhi or London

I'm curious about the software on these phones because some of the design ideas may eventually make their way into Windows Phone.

They killed S Series development yet they are still running S40 and wants to continue with it.. Not getting it..

Secondly, phone seems to be powerful enough to run Windows Phone OS, now Nokia has some exclusive access to Windows Phone Code and some contract with MS so why dont they strip down Windows Phone OS enough to fit into low end smart phone ???

Here Android rocks at-least with 2.3 still allowing lower range hardware to sell...