Nokia Asha 501 is the newest member of the company’s feature phone line-up. Sporting a pretty sexy look & feel for a non-smartphone device, the device runs the whole-new Asha platform, which is designed to “make the experience faster and more responsive.” At the same time, the platform also helps developers to create, publish and make more money from apps made specifically for the new generation of Asha devices.
The revamped Asha platform provides users with a choice of two main screens: Home and Fastlane. While Home is a traditional, icon-based view for launching individual apps or accessing a specific feature; the Fastlane view provides quick access to recently used contacts, social networks and apps.
The phone itself will be available in six “striking colors,” including Bright Red, Bright Green, Cyan, Yellow, White and Black for $99 (before taxes and subsidies). Specs wise, the Asha 501 comes with a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, single “back” button, 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi connectivity and a memory card slot. A dual-SIM version will also be launched.
When it comes to software, many of the popular apps are already available for the new Asha phone, including CNN, eBuddy, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare, Line, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, Pictelligent, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WeChat, World of Red Bull and games from Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Indiagames, Namco Bandai and Reliance Games. WhatsApp and other key partners “continue to explore new Asha.”
Finally, it’s worth adding that Nokia managed to corner a number of operators to offer special Asha 501-specific plans with the device purchase. These plans will include some free web browsing as well as complimentary access to Facebook.
The Nokia Asha 501 is expected to start shipping in June 2013, selling through approximately 60 operators and distributors in more than 90 countries worldwide.