These are the things that, designed with love and thoughtful attention, make using the Asha 501 such a joy.
We’ve already highlighted the glance screen, background images, the alarm, calendar and the music player. Here’s another five of the beautiful essentials.
1. Notifications view
The pull-down notifications view is a favourite feature from Asha Touch devices that is given a new lease of life here on the Nokia Asha 501 smartphone.
From within any app, swipe down from the top of the display to bring one-touch shortcuts for you to toggle the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile data and switch the phone to silent. You’ll also see if you have any messages or missed calls.
If you have the dual-SIM variant of the Nokia Asha 501, you’ll also be able to switch seamlessly between the graphical representation of each of your SIMs with just a tap.
If you want an idea of how fast and responsive the Asha platform is, try scrolling quickly through your contacts. No matter how many hundreds or even thousands of contacts you have, you’ll be able to find who you’re looking for in no time at all.
If you’re in a real hurry, hold down the progress bar that runs down the right side of the display and you’ll be able to move between the A-Z of your contacts at warp speed. Great attention to detail: each letter is given its own colour.
Top tip: you can favourite an individual contact and it’ll appear as a large tile at the top of your contacts list.
We’ll be exploring the contact management on the Nokia Asha 501 in much more detail, such as importing and exporting your contacts, in another post very soon.
3. Sounds and ringtones
The close attention to detail that has been put into every single aspect of the Nokia Asha 501 also extends to the ringtones and sounds. For example, Nokia’s sound designers worked with a leading European orchestra to record some of the ringtones.
Of course, you can customise the ringtones and alert sounds for SMS, emails, reminders, alarms and push notifications. If you have the dual-SIM variant of the Asha 501, you can even set a different ringtone for each SIM card.
Just as delightful are the miscellaneous system sounds to be heard on the Nokia Asha 501, such as the low battery warning and when you plug the charger in.
If any further proof is needed that the Nokia Asha 501 is a bona fide smartphone, then you should check out the phone dialler.
At first glance, it’s just a regular dialler with a numerical keypad. It’s exactly what you would expect for a feature phone, no more and no less.
However, once your call is connected, a whole host of options appear that can leave you in no doubt – this is practically everything you’d get from a high-end smartphone.
You can mute calls, put calls on hold, use the keypad or switch to hands free on the loud speaker. You can even call two different people at the same time! Crucially, all this is extremely simple to use.
Top tip: From the dialler, press the green call icon without entering a number and you’ll see the list of recent calls – tap at the top again to see received, dialled and missed calls.
It might be completely new, but we’re confident that the new Fastlane screen on the Nokia Asha 501 will very quickly become essential for new owners.
Fastlane combines some of the features of a notifications screen and a launcher in a new way. It shows your most-used apps, recent messages, contacts, and more, to provide the go-to screen for what you’re most likely to want to do next with your phone. It means you can multitask very effectively by quickly switching between your most recent apps.
As you scroll up and down, it also provides a history and shows the upcoming events from your calendar, and gets more useful the more you use your phone. And despite the cleverness going on behind the scenes, it’s wonderfully simple and convenient for people to use.
These are just some examples of the ‘beautiful essentials’ in the Nokia Asha 501. It will be hitting the shops very soon in 90 countries around the world priced at $99 before taxes and subsidies.
Updated October 1, 2015 3:49 am