Well, Nokia is creating a suspense by teasing the launch of a new smartphone in New Delhi on May 9 global announcement event. While the company has already started sending invites for the event with the tag line 'Time to Shift Gears', it definite that the Lumia 928 is not going to come to India as it is specific to Verizon - a well known U.S. carrier.
Excluding Lumia 928, Nokia has another highly rumored handset, which is Asha 501. Considering the importance of the Asha lineup of devices in markets such as India, it is clear that the Finnish tech firm will definitely launch it, as the series has gained enough popularity and market share in such markets where price matters the most for many.
Moreover, renowned and reliable source, @evleaks has tweeted the new look of Asha handsets boasting a new UI and design couple of times. Also, there were rumors that Nokia is working on two budget handsets - Asha 210 and Asha 501, and of the duo, Asha 210 has already been unveiled and the handset is scheduled to be released globally in this quarter. That leaves Asha 501 to be the only handset yet to be announced for the consumers.
With that being said, lets have a look at the rumored specifications of the Asha 501. Well, reports suggest, Asha 501 could come with a 3.5 inch multi-touch AMOLED display with 320 x 480 pixel resolution, 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, micro SD card slot supporting up to 32GB, 5MP main camera, VGA front camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G and micro USB. The handset could be more interesting if it comes with a Lumia Windows Phone design with bright color variants.
According to several media reports, Asha 501 might be released in India in June with an estimated price tag of Rs 7,000. Also, the handset could come in Red, Yellow and Green color variants possibly.
Of course, a Nokia handset with colorful Lumia like build at a budget price range would be interesting, but, it has to be priced attractively in order to be successful. If Nokia comes with a sub Rs 7,000 handset, the company is sure to create a new angle of competition in the budget smartphone market, which is filled by numerous such offerings.
With Asha 510, Nokia will definitely fall into a direct rivalry with other vendors doing quite a high sales in market including Samsung, Micromax, Sony, Karbonn and Lava that are also manufacturing smartphones in the budget price points.
In the budget segment, Micromax has launched Bolt series of smartphones and the lineup includes Bolt A35 at Rs 4,250, Bolt A27 at Rs 3,499 and Bolt A51 at Rs 4,599. Of course, Bolt lineup of smartphones have good camera performance at the budget price range and they come with pocket friendly price tags attractive the first time smartphone users.
Samsung recently launched numerous Galaxy smartphones in the sub Rs 10,000 price range. The handsets including Galaxy Young, Fame and Y Plus all come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. But, it has to be noted that Samsung does not have a good range of budget smartphones and though they run on Jelly Bean, they do not have a good processor and RAM combination to offer the complete user experience of the OS including Project Butter.
The product portfolio of Sony has only a couple of budget offerings including Xperia Tipo and Xperia E. Pricewise, both the smartphones cost above Rs 8,000 and they have basic specifications. Moreover, they do not boast any big feature that is different from the other budget offerings. But still, they come with dual SIM options as well including Tipo Dual and E Dual.
Karbonn has a plethora of budget offerings and the latest ones that have been added to the sub Rs 5,000 price range include A3 and A4. Both the smartphones run on Android Gingerbread operating system and come with basic specifications. However, the Karbonn handsets always have good touchscreen interface and sufficient battery backup.
Lava is another India based vendor with loads of budget offerings in its Iris lineup of smartphones. Recently, the Iris 455 went on sale at Rs 7,799. Again, Lava also uses a Android OS, but it ranges from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean based on the pricing. But, having Jelly Bean OS in a budget smartphone with lean hardware specifications is not of great use.