Nokia Corporation revealed today that the Asha 501 will be launched in Thailand and Pakistan this week. Asha 501 is the first smartphone from the Finnish company to run the new and improved Asha mobile platform.


Nokia Roll-out Plan

The handset maker launched the new low-end handset, which runs on the Series 40 mobile operating system, a few weeks before. Nokia Corporation also announced that “in subsequent weeks” it will be rolling out the device in other markets including India, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

As of now, there are no plans to launch the device in US or Canada as the company wants to prioritize its Lumia range of Windows Phone 8 devices in these markets.

The low end smartphone is mainly for the emerging markets and for buyers who are still to buy their first smartphone. Prior to 501, Asha series handsets have been perceived as feature phones, but now the company has pushed the Series 40 in a different segment.

About Nokia Asha 501

The new device has two screens, namely ‘Home’ and ‘Fastlane.’ The home screen is like the traditional one having grid styling icons for apps like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter and Foursquare while the ‘Fastlane’ is used for launching software and taking action on new notifications.

The Fastlane provides information on the updates like messages and mails from the supported apps and services. Updates are sorted based on time with the recent ones on the top.

The recommended retail price for Asha 501 is $99 (€75). The device will give direct competition to increasing low-end smartphones based on Android as well as Firefox OS and BlackBerry 10. Though the Asha platform is a massive improvement over the earlier version, yet it has to go a long way to compete with the likes of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android.

Nokia Asha 501 Features

The Asha 501 has attractive visuals with rainbow range of color variants including green, yellow, red and blue. The body of the phone looks premium and durable. It has a low resolution 3-inch touchscreen with a 3.2-megapixel QVGA rear-facing camera.

Though there is no front-facing camera, the company has provided its own voice-guided camera software helping users to take a perfect self-portrait. The smartphone is preloaded with Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) Xpress Browser that is equipped to compress Internet data by up to 90 percent. The weight of the device is 90 grams.