The Nokia Asha 501 just arrived MOBILITY Towers spotting a bright red colour. It is powered by the new Asha smartphone platform that has been

Nokia Asha 501 unboxing & preview

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Asha501 Pack

The Nokia Asha 501 just arrived MOBILITY Towers spotting a bright red colour. It is powered by the new Asha smartphone platform that has been built with elements of the famed MeeGo OS that ran on the widely acclaimed Nokia N9. MeeGo fans will be interested in how Asha OS pans out. The Swipe interface is here, and much more. The 501 is certainly attractive and feels very good in the hands. Though budget, it is clearly well built. Nokia have scaled down the looks of the new Lumia series into the Asha line of products. A good thing in my opinion.

In The Box

Asha501 In the pack
In the box is the phone itself, a red headset, battery and the old-school pin charger. The 501 also charges via microUSB too, so no qualms. There was a 4GB microSD card already in the phone.

Setting Up

Twitter on Asha501
Built-in Twitter app on Asha501

Setting up the Asha 501 was easy pie. I entered in my WiFi hotspot details and in minutes, my Twitter, Facebook and Gmail accounts were setup. The phone supports GPRS/EDGE too, if that is all that is available to you. I configured a few other settings to make the phone mine and it was ready for use. I have since done some web browsing and tweeting, including uploading of images, with it. So far, so good.

First Impressions

I haven’t held a phone this small since…well, since the Resurrection. It feels really small, but is very handy and comfortable in use. Here is what the Asha 501 looks like beside the TECNO Phantom A and Nokia Lumia 720:

Asha501 - PhantomA - Lumia720

The 3-inch TFT display is only 240×320 pixels. It looks and feels good. The onscreen keyboard is quite good and typing was fairly good despite my big fingers. Touchscreen sensitivity is good and performance has been smooth. Over time, as I load the phone, I will see how all that goes from here.


By now, you know that I love that track by P-Square. That was the first music file that I loaded on the 501. A simple Bluetooth transfer from its aunt, Lumia 920, and pronto! Audio volume and quality sound very close to what the Lumia 720 churns out, which is rather nice.

Music Player on Asha 501
Music Player on Asha 501

There is a drop down menu, Android-style, that provides quick access to toggle Wi-fi, Bluetooth, network data and audio. It also provides notifications and shows you your SIM cards. Yes; the Asha 501 is a dual-SIM device. The web browser lets you share a page title and URL via social networks and email accounts.

It is early days, but everything has worked well so far. More detailed information about how the Asha 501 handles tasks will be out as I throw it at my everyday tasks over the next few days and weeks. Hang around! Do also use the comments box below to submit any questions that you may have about the Nokia Asha 501.


  1. Personally, I feel as a 2G phone with its spec, this should cost no more than 10k.

  2. How much is it? U dint tell us the processor speed, battery life, bbm folding arms face.

  3. Okay can u do a comparison btwn a phatom A1 and its samsung counterpart. See I was arguing with someone that techno is all about churning quantity over quality. Yes it does the stuff but there is a difference. I just need your own unbiased opinion on things.

  4. Nkem,

    I do not have a Samsung counterpart to do a comparison with. However, I have been using a TECNO Phantom A for a few weeks now, and I can assure you that this smartphone is not about churning quantity over quality. The Phantom A is a very good device. You should read my review here.

  5. You didn’t reply to whether it uses the regular SIM card or the MicroSD sim. Also,what’s the processor speed? And I bet it wasn’t free…lol so,how much does it cost?

  6. Mr Mo,what about this talk that it does not record calls[call recording] like other Asha phones do? Secondly, can one group contacts on this phone? i have heard people raising that concern too. Please I need your confirmation to enable take a decision on this phone

  7. Quick answers to some of your questions:

    Cost: N11,500

    SIM type: MicroSIM

    Processor speed: meaningless here. This OS and user interface is smooth

    Battery life: Too early to tell. Please check back for main review.

    Multitasking: Not sure yet. Please check back for main review.

    Call Recording: Not tested yet. Please check back for main review.

    Contacts grouping: As far as I can see, no. But I have had this phone since only yesterday evening. Please check back for main review.

  8. Thanks, Mr Mo, for the quick answers. It shows u value us, your readers. We shall be looking 4ward to the main review

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