Nokia Connects provided Jesse Oguntimehin with a review unit of the Nokia 500. Having used the 3.2-inch display phone running Symbian Anna, he has his Nokia

Nokia 500 Review – A capable midget

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Nokia Connects provided Jesse Oguntimehin with a review unit of the Nokia 500. Having used the 3.2-inch display phone running Symbian Anna, he has his Nokia 500 review ready.

When I asked Nokia Connects for a review unit of the Nokia 500, I was not to expecting so much from the device. I was merely looking forward to see if it is a worthy entry-level smart phone device. In the recent past, I had tried out the Nokia E6, a much more premium product, and found it a competent smartphone.

It will take me more than one article to give a complete review of my experience with the 500. Still, I am doing only one review. If there is anything I do not cover here, simply ask and I will answer it in the comments or endeavour to do a follow-up post.

Nokia 500 Review

Nokia 500 Review In Brief

It is a budget smartphone running Symbian Anna. It has a 3.2-inch TFT capacitive screen, 16M colour, 360 x 640 pixel and accelerometer for auto rotate. Internal storage capacity is 2GB.

Other specs include: 3G radio, Stereo FM radio, a 1 GHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera.

Features I loved using

Nokia 500 Review keyboard in landscape mode
Landscape mode

The Nokia 500 is small; you can see it almost disappearing in my hands. I felt it was going to be painful for me to type on the screen. I was surprised to find it easy. The touchscreen is very sensitive and responsive. I particularly enjoy using it in the landscape mode.

One beauty about the device is, you can have it in portrait form and still enjoy the QWERTY keys.

Nokia 500 Review keyboard in portrait mode
Portrait mode

As a Nokia E7 user, I found the screen of the Nokia 500 to be quite small. I was however awed at the ease with which I adjusted. In no time, I was typing so fast on the Nokia 500. I’d assure you this, regardless of its size, the responsive screen will be a delight to you.

Threaded SMS is another unique feature I love on this phone. This feature is now standard on Nokia smartphones.

The camera

It is good for outdoor shots. It does not have a flash to support you when you shoot indoors or in dim light. To enhance my experience with the camera, I downloaded the Photo sharing app, Molome. I wanted to use this app with the Nokia E6, but it was not available for that device.

Below is a sample photo that I shot with the device. You can share photos to Twitter and Facebook using the pre-installed Social app from Nokia.

Nokia 500 Review camera sample


Power management is impressive – I get a full day use from it. I am a heavy user and my Nokia E7 barely takes me through the day. I am regularly tweeting, Facebooking, reading from the web and listening to music. After I got the first low battery warning, I still used the phone for 4 additional hours before it finally went dead. I score the battery 7 out of 10.

Music and Entertainment

There are some apps that came pre-installed – Youtube, E! online, Nat Geo, and some other cool apps. I took them for a spin using Etisalat’s 3.75G Easyblaze network. The videos on Youtube, CNN, Nat Geo all streamed well without buffering. If you have access to unlimited data or do not mind streaming contents with your current data, you’d love it.

You can include a microSD card to take care of your media needs – music movie etc.

Nokia Maps

Nokia Maps works excellently with it. It is pre-loaded and is free.

I was at Alausa, Ikeja a few days back and needed to look for the closest GloWorld shop. I took out the Nokia 500, launched Nokia Maps and searched for my destination. Voila, it gave me directions. We did have to take over from the map when we saw the shop at ahead but the app showed us a longer route.

What it did then was to scream out (lady’s voice), “Route recalculating.” As we got to the exact location, she alerted us that we’re there. Cool app. Google map won’t give me voice direction.

Other Bits

Voice call is very clear, email works just fine.

3rd party apps are available in the Nokia Store. Launch the app to download the apps that suite you, from games to productivity apps and social media apps.

However, it isn’t all smooth sailing. The phone re-boots twice to three times daily for the more than one week I’ve been having it. I’m thinking it may be a bug with my unit.

Nokia 500 Review: Should you buy it?

For the price and capacity, its a good buy. If you like those things it does well, go ahead and buy it. Besides the occasional reboot, It is a win as an entry level smart phone.

I am falling in love with the phone very much. It will make a good backup to my Nokia E7. I would have wished it was powered by Symbian Belle though.

The 500 is available for about N32,000 (150 Euro) in the market.

I have a video I shot about the Nokia 500. As soon as I am able to edit it and reduce the size, I will upload it for your viewing pleasure. If there’s anything I left out please ask in the comments and I will do my best to give you my answer.

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  1. nice job man.
    And on the nokia map sometimes prescribing a longer route, happens to me usually when I do a fresh install, but comes around when used for a while. Can’t figure out why it does that

  2. Good stuff, for an entry level smartphone. Nokia was able to cover its ground and think of everything. And a fine price point too for a smartphone.

  3. Really loaded. WONDERFUL value!

    However, I have resolved to never – again- to buy a phone with a diagonal screensize less than 4.0′ inches.
    1110 mAh (BL-4U) battery? Looks small…

  4. please install some HD symbian games and tell us if it runs them, does it have a dedicated gpu?
    Really love the phone at that price tag, but love to play those symbian ‘3 HD games alot

  5. Nokville never dissapoints with d phones they put out but it would have been great if it came with flash. I mean, how many 5MP camera phones come without flash these days?

  6. good phone and very similar to the budget 5230. The only downside which you didn’t mention is that it does not have a dedicated gpu. That means unlike its other symbian^3 counterparts, it doesnt support most of the cool hd games eg nfs shift hd, pes 2012, raging thunder 2. You can confirm this by selecting any hd app and choosing nokia 500 as your phone. I’m really annoyed at nokia for doing this. cuz it has a 1ghz cpu twice faster than the n8, c7,ez etc. yet u can’t enjoy high quality gaming. the 2nd cheapest symbian^3 device is c6-01 which is 45k. So ure paying like 15k extra for a gpu. smh

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