This is not my Nokia Asha 501 review. That article is on the way and almost ready. The Asha 501 has a small display of 3-inches diagonally. Back in 2010, the 3-inch display on the Samsung S8003 Jet was big for a phone. But this is 2013, the year of monster smartphones with mega displays. A 3-inch display is small now. Before the Asha 501 arrived, I had been playing around with a Nokia Lumia 720 (4.3-inch display), a Nokia Lumia 920 (4.5-inch display), and with a TECNO Phantom A (5-inch display). I was pretty much comfortable with those devices in my hands. Yes; the Phantom A sits above my sweet spot, but I got along with it nicely, especially considering that slim profile.
Here is the thing: after a week of using the tiny Asha, all those other phones now feel too large. It is almost unbelievable, but true. In the last one week, I have enjoyed the pleasure of comfortable one-handed use with the Asha. Everything can be done with one hand. Everything was done with one hand – phone calls, SMS, web browsing, taking pictures, everything. Well, everything except for when I need to pinch zoom. The Asha is so portable that it fits in without ever getting in the way of anything. You know how it is when you carry these big guys around. You know you are carrying something. Mostly, everyone knows you are carrying something. But the 501, whether you put it in your shirt pocket, jeans pocket, or even handbag, it is just inconspicuous. Well, if you do bring it out to use, people notice it fast for two reasons – 1) it is small, and 2) its bright coloured shell.
Anyway, here I am today, and everything else around me feels like Goliath, and the Asha 501 just feels like the right size. Honestly, in 2013…. and still needing my regular smartphones, I think that I need rehab. I need to get used to carrying a large mobile phone around again. No; I do not think that everyone wants a phone with the size or the capabilities of the 501. But I do think that people who want a handy but capable smartphone will love the 501.
Meanwhile, my rehab….. Asha Anonymous, anyone? Oh! That’s probably going to be only me at the meetings. The Asha 501 just hit the market last week. Sigh.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.