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Nokia's Asha series has been one of the company's biggest bread winners in India. However, the Finnish phone maker has always packed Asha phones with old, obsolete Symbian software. Apart from this, Asha phones have always featured boring designs and monotonous hardware. This time around, Nokia has changed their strategy and fixed some of their mistakes through the Asha 501. Apart from giving it a fresh, vibrant design, they've also gone ahead to use a new Asha OS.
The phone retails at Rs. 5,000 and it comes in two variants, a dual SIM version and a single SIM version. It does not support 3G, which means you can only use 2G for data-connectivity. However, it still has Wi-Fi connectivity to make up for at home or a wireless enabled workplace.
For our review, we used a yellow colored dual-SIM unit.
In The Box
Apart from the phone, you'll also find a red colored pair of earphones, an old fashioned Nokia charger (that small pin), and a handy 4GB microSD card inserted into the unit. But there isn't a USB cable inside.
Form Factor and Design
You can pick it up in 6 bright colors, a few of them being Red, Orange and the Yellow that we've used for our review. As you can see, the Asha 501 has a fun and vibrant design. In fact, it looks to have been influenced by the design scheme seen in most Lumia phones.
We love the matte finish on its back, since doesn't pick up fingerprints and gives you a firm grip. Also, the device is wonderful to hold as it fits neatly into one's hand like a pack of perfectly sized cards. The back is made out of a single-piece polycarbonate, which feels solid and sturdy. The phone weighs about 90 grams, which is perfect for its size and form factor. Overall, the build quality is great for a phone in this price range.
Buttons and Jacks
The phone comes with a Micro-USB port for PC connectivity, a regular charging port and also a headphone jack. Moving onto controls, you'll find a single button below the screen. You can click it to go back one step in an app or page. On the side, you'll find a small power button, which also doubles as the phone's lock and unlock button.
Above it, is the volume rocker at the upper right corner of the phone. A small button on the back of the phone can be pressed if you want to remove the rear polycarbonate shell.