Nokia Asha series (entry-level smartphones) Launched in Malaysia

Last week, on 11 June 2013, I was invited to the Nokia Asha series launch alongside other tech bloggers at Press Room in Bangsar Shopping Centre. The small dinner event introduced us to the new entry level smartphone series of the all touchscreen, dual SIM, the Nokia Asha 501; along with its QWERTY keyboard toting brother, the Nokia Asha 210.

2013-06-11 Nokia Asha Launch in Malaysia
Posing with the Nokia banner

 

Nokia executive walked us through some great stats and achievements of Nokia basic voice and data phones, feature phones and the Asha series phones – including an impressive 20 million of Nokia Asha phones sold to date.

 

About Nokia Asha 501

Nokia Asha 501 is aimed at those who are not quite ready to jump into the full-fledge smartphone ownership, but would still like a less scary interface and functions of data and apps with their devices.

Nokia Asha 501 colour range
Nokia Asha 501 available in Bright Red, Yellow, Black, White, Cyan and Green

Nokia Asha 501 has a full capacitive touchscreen, supports dual SIM usage and has a full Asha series app store powered by Nokia’s developers. Here’s a quick specification overview of the Nokia Asha 501:-

  • 3″QVGA TFT capcitive touchscreen display (320 x 240) (133 ppi)
  • 128 MB Flash + 4 GB MMC (expandable up to 32 GB microSD slot)
  • Powered by Nokia Asha Software Platform 1.0 (based on S40 OS)
  • 3.2 megapixel rear camera
  • 12.1 mm thin, weighing only 98 grams
  • 1,200 mAH removable battery (26 days standby time; 17 hours talktime) <– No kidding!
  • Connectivity : Dual standby SIM (micro SIM), 2G GPRS connection, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi
  • Available in Bright Red, Yellow, Black, White, Cyan and Green

For more information on specs and features, check out the Nokia Malaysia product page for the Nokia Asha 501 HERE.

Nokia Asha 501 (Front)
Nokia Asha 501 tiny 3″ display makes it such a cute phone

I posted some pictures on my Instagram during the event. For lack of a better word, everyone commented that the phone looks… “cute”.

A family of Nokia Asha 501. Colourful…

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

Nokia Asha 501 back is polycarbonate build, just like the Lumia series

Nokia Asha 501 includes several cool features and apps that will surely appeal to the mass rural segment who wants an affordable and easy-to-use, engtry level smartphone. Remember it only has 2G/GPRS connectivity, which is why the 1,200 mAH battery gives you a whopping 26 days standby time or 17 hours of talktime!

Nokia Asha 501 - Hardware
Hardware overview of the Nokia Asha 501

Here are some key highlights of the Nokia Asha 501:-

  • Standout design & build quality – the device’s back is made  of polycarbonate material, just like the high end Lumia Windows Phone series. The back is removable, which means you can swap colours as you wish. The front is a sturdy 3″ capacitive touchscreen and a single “Back” button.
  • Simple interface of “Home” of “Fastlane” homescreens – “Home” screen is your typical app drawer with icons of all installed apps. “Fastlane” is the equivalent of your multitasking screen, showing you your last opened app, organised based on how you use the phone.
  • New Nokia Xpress Browser – The browser compresses internet data by 90% which makes browsing faster and cheaper (less data, less cost).
  • Nokia HERE Maps – using network triangulation to lock your location and present you the map, because there”s no GPS on board. Also no turn-by-turn navigation though.
  • Plenty of pre-installed apps – including social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn), messenger apps (Line, Nimbuzz) and 40 FREE games from EA (worth USD$75). WhatsApp is supposedly coming soon.
Nokia Asha 501
All the lovely candy colours of the Nokia Asha 501

Nokia Asha 501 will be available  at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 299. Yup – not kidding. This entry level, dual SIM smartphone is truly THAT affordable. It will go on sale starting end June 2013 with 3 colours of Bright Red, Yellow and Black first. The other 3 colours of White, Cyan and Green will come later.

 

That was not it. Nokia also took the opportunity to announce another brother to the Nokia Asha 501 that will be coming to the Malaysian market soon – the Nokia Asha 210.

About the Nokia Asha 210

The Nokia Asha 210 has a hardware QWERTY keyboard, reminding me very much of my old Nokia E93. The Asha 210 is more of a social device, also comes with dual SIM support and with a hardware keyboard instead of a touchscreen. There’s a dedicated Facebook button, which is customisable (you ca change it to Twitter, WhatsApp, etc) so this will be handy for the social  butterflies.

Nokia Asha 201
Harware keyboard and a customisable “Social” button for the Nokia Asha 210

Here”s some high level specs of the Nokia Asha 210:-

  • 2.4″QVGA display (320 x 240)
  • 64 MB Flash (expandable up to 32 GB microSD slot)
  • Powered by Nokia Asha Software Platform 1.0 (based on S40 OS)
  • 2 megapixel rear camera
  • 11.8 mm thin, weighing only 97 grams
  • Removable battery (24 days standby time; 12 hours talktime)
  • Connectivity :  Dual SIM, 2G GPRS connection, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi
  • Available in Yellow, Black, White, Cyan and Magenta

The Nokia Asha 210 carries similar functions as the Nokia  Asha 501 with the Nokia Xpress Browser that saves you data when internet browsing, comes with pre-installed social media apps and more.

The Nokia Asha 210 will also be available for sale by end June 2013 for the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 219. Whoa… yes, these are all super affordable and long battery life entry level smartphones!!! Only Yellow, Cyan and Black will be available end June 2013, while the White and Magenta will be available later.

 

After the launch and getting some chance to play around with both the Nokia Asha 501 and Nokia Asha 210, we were treated to some awesome dinner from Press Room, BSC.

2013-06 Nokia Asha Launch 002
Dinner menu from Press Room

Makan time. Steak!!!

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

Dessert time.

A photo posted by Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) on

Thanks to Nokia Malaysia for the invitation.

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