Nokia launches affordable Asha 501 smartphone

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First handset to run off the manufacturer’s new Asha platform to begin shipping next month

Nokia has launched the Asha 501, a handset the manufacturer said “pushes the boundaries of affordable smartphone design.”

It is expecting to start shipping next month, available in around 60 operators and distributors in more than 90 countries. Suggest pricing is $99, available in six colours: black, white, red, cyan, green and yellow.

The Asha 501 is the first to run off Nokia’s new Asha platform, which it said is designed to make the experience faster and more responsive, adding it will help developers to create, publish and make more money from apps made specifically for the new range of Asha devices.

It has a three-inch touchscreen made from scratch resistent glass, 3.2 megapixel rear camera, video recording capability, FM radion and comes bundled with a 4GB memory card, expandable by up to 32GB.

There are two main screens on the device. ‘Home’ is a traditional, icon-based view for launching individual apps or accessing a specific feature.

The new ‘Fastline’ view presents recently accesses contacts, social networks and apps unique to each person. It provides a record of how the phone is used, enabling people aq glimpse of their past, present and future activity.

The Asha 501 also comes with the Nokia Xpress Browser pre-loaded, which Nokia said compresses internet data by up to 90 per cent, aimed at making mobile browsing faster and more affordable.

The availability of Xperss Now has also been announced, which is a web application that recommends new content based on people’s location, preferences and trending topics.

Nokia Mobile Phones executive vice president Timo Toikkanen said: “The new Asha 501 raises the bar for what is possible in affordable smartphone design and optimisation. The synergy between the physical design and the engine that this new Asha platform has created a smartphone with both style and substance at a great price.”

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