Nokia’s newest Asha device, the Asha 501, is launching in Thailand and Pakistan this week, with India following soon afterwards. This will then be followed by various countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
The touchscreen device, which is relatively low-cost with a retail price of US$99 before taxes and subsidies, is the first in a new generation of smartphones that run on Nokia’s Asha platform.
"The new Nokia Asha 501 helps people quickly access everything they love with just a simple swipe," said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. "Coupled with beautiful design, it's a smartphone with both style and substance, offered at a great price."
The device has two default screens which are switched between by swiping: 'Home' and 'Fastlane'. Home makes full use of the three-inch capacitive touchscreen, displaying a traditional application launcher. Fastlane is the second screen that adapts to display recent activity on the phone as well as upcoming events, helping people multi-task. Fastlane also supports social integration with Facebook and Twitter, by allowing people to post directly from within Fastlane.
In addition to its relatively low price tag, the Asha 501 has a number of features that look set to make it popular in emerging markets. It features two major parts – a durable, removable shell and a scratch-resistant, tempered glass display – and in addition it is compact and light, weighing in at 98 grams.
The pre-loaded Nokia Xpress browser compresses internet data by up to 90%, allowing for faster and more affordable mobile browsing. In addition, the device comes in six different colours and features a variety of pre-installed social apps such as Facebook and Twitter.