Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th May 2013 18:06 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless This is the Nokia I remember. The company just unveiled the Nokia Asha 501, which has a completely new version of the Asha software platform. Fast, responsive, stunningly great and simple hardware, and an unbeatable price ($99!). It borrows a lot from MeeGo on the N9, and overall excites me infinitely more than their Lumia offerings. I want one of these so bad.
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Comment by vivainio
by vivainio on Thu 9th May 2013 18:26 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Correct spelling: Asha

Reply Score: 2

Nokia can only hope that this is enough
by chithanh on Thu 9th May 2013 18:35 UTC
chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

an unbeatable price ($99!)
Except that this price is already beaten by several Android handsets. Even the Lumia 610 with WP7.5 sells for around 105 EUR in Germany.

Asha (not "Ashe") sales have already collapsed by half between 2012Q4 and 2013Q1 (they did much worse than Lumia or featurephones). Launching the new models at price points where they compete with Android is a very bold move.

Edited 2013-05-09 18:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Lumia521 with WP8 is at $129.

Reply Score: 1

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Nope they do not beat it.


You compare price WITHOUT carrier subsidies (Asha) to WITH carrier subsidies (meantioned phones).

Reply Score: 4

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Nope they do not beat it.


You compare price WITHOUT carrier subsidies (Asha) to WITH carrier subsidies (meantioned phones).


Full retail price at walmarkt $130
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-6452_7-57583704/nokia-lumia-521-sells-...

Reply Score: 1

chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Nope they do not beat it.


You compare price WITHOUT carrier subsidies (Asha) to WITH carrier subsidies (meantioned phones).

You are wrong. I compare unsubsidized price. There is already a selection of sub-$100 Android phones, for example the Huawei Y201 Pro: Unsubsidized price including 19% VAT is 89 EUR in Germany.

Android phones are expected to hit the $50 price point this year.

Reply Score: 1

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Android phones are expected to hit the $50 price point this year.


$50 Android phones expected to flood markets in 2013:

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-29/-50-android-smartphones...

Next Nexus for $50?:

http://vividtimes.com/google-planning-a-50-rs-2700-android-smartpho...

$50 Android from Huawei already available in Kenya (since 2012!):

http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/10/50-android-smartphones-are-disrupt...

Edited 2013-05-10 10:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

And the main question is....
by moondevil on Thu 9th May 2013 18:53 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

...who will be writing the J2ME apps for it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: And the main question is....
by wigry on Thu 9th May 2013 21:09 UTC in reply to "And the main question is...."
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

Even bigger question is support. If you take Android or iOS or even WP, then you have practically endless amount of developer experience in the web, there are lots of sample apps and libs and what all. With J2ME, you get Nokia SDK and couple of Q&A in the stackoverflow and thats about it. You have to figure everything out either yourself or try to get some communication out of Nokia.

S40 and J2ME is a lost art and very painful to develop, specially for not-so-hardcore developers trying to get their first game to the OVI store.

Have first hand experinece for the past 6 month as Nokia subcontractor but at least I had the whole Nokia S40 dev team at my fingertips if needed. Not so with any third party developer who tries to survive with internet alone.

Reply Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Yeah, I remember those days, but to be honest I tend to think that outside HTML stuff youth nowadays lacks serious coding skills.

Reply Score: 2

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

J2me used to rule mobile app devement for good part of the decade. Finding developers with the experience shouldn't poise a problem, esp. in the projected target markets (where locals write for locals). The unsolved questikn is how classical J2ME frameworks optimised for candy bar key phones fit into new Asha fluid guis. If most gui.concepts that plug into it are indeed proprietary then the skill transferability could be limited.

Reply Score: 2

RE: And the main question is....
by arsipaani on Thu 9th May 2013 22:26 UTC in reply to "And the main question is...."
arsipaani Member since:
2010-06-13

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarterphone

You mean scheme apps ?

I was reading some article that oulu team was responsible of this....
http://mobiili.fi/2013/05/09/nokian-asha-501-uutuus-oululaisten-kas...


I was wondering what they mean "learning new language"...

Reply Score: 4

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

That's... kind of awesome. ;) But also even less likely to gain wide developer support.

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Nokia also uses Scheme in Nokia Maps, but that doesn't mean they will make it ever available for external developers on their devices.

http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?jobId=5343381&viewJob=&trk=job_capjs

Reply Score: 4

RE: And the main question is....
by dsmogor on Fri 10th May 2013 20:25 UTC in reply to "And the main question is...."
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Does anybody know if any firm of background services is possible on the platform?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: And the main question is....
by wigry on Sat 11th May 2013 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE: And the main question is...."
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

Not for regular developers. Nokia itself can develop background services but basically thats about it. You can have single foreground midlet active at any moment and they cannot go to background. If one midlet executes another midlet, the first one is killed before launching the other one. Two midlets can communicate with each other using Content Handler API but again the caller is killed and the responder is launched. Then the responder can send the reply back tho the initiator which terminates the second midlet and launces the first one. Now it is developers responsibility to detect, that the midlet was woken by CHAPI call and must restore state to where it was before. To user it seems that two midlets are running side-by-side but not really.

Reply Score: 2

This could be my next so much
by B. Janssen on Thu 9th May 2013 22:58 UTC
B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

Over the years I realized I don't need the many features of modern smartphones. Given that I'm traveling to less well connected areas I just need a phone that is able to act as a PIM (e-mails, calendar) with the more than common 2G connections. The added battery time is just a bonus (electricity is not a problem where I travel.)

I would like to see a review that focuses on the usability of a PIM-oriented phone device on 2G. We all know that in well connected areas iPhones and Android flagships such as the HTC One are working fine. But how about southern Italy, northern Norway, central Germany and many other territories where connectivity is less than perfect and I still want to receive e-mails without growing a beard?

I tested them all, Android or iPhone, they all suck in badly connected areas. They all fall back to being about as useful as my shitty backup Samsung E1190 for about ten times the price. And that's just disappointing.

Reply Score: 4

RE: This could be my next so much
by Moochman on Fri 10th May 2013 01:32 UTC in reply to "This could be my next so much"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I think it mostly has to do with the e-mail delivery protocol, which is dependent on what kind of e-mail service (server) you are using in combination with the smartphone OS you are using.

Historically, painless low-bandwidth e-mail was one of BlackBerry's big strengths, largely because it was delivered via a proprietary server platform that compressed e-mails and efficiently pushed them to the device. Now however with BlackBerry 10 they have switched to simply supporting IMAP, POP and Exchange ActiveSync just like everyone else...

ActiveSync is indeed a better-performing option than normal IMAP or POP, but it's usually only supported for corporate e-mail via an Exchange server. Microsoft offers free ActiveSync support for Outlook.com accounts, but they're the only ones I know of offering it for free. They also offer paid enterprise-grade hosted "Exchange Online" accounts for $4/month. Google used to offer free ActiveSync for Gmail, but now they only offer IMAP or push via the native app for free; if you want ActiveSync it costs $5/month for the full Google Apps for Business suite. Yahoo and Apple both offers free Push IMAP for iOS only.

At some point there is supposed to be an open standard for efficient syncing of e-mail, codenamed "Lemonade":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemonade_Profile
But given that right now even the older Push IMAP standard is almost completely unsupported by everyone, I'm not holding my breath....


To summarize, here is a guide to getting the best mobile e-mail experience depending on which e-mail service and which OS you are using. (I really did my research for this comment! ;) ) If you're using...

-A corporate Exchange server -> use ActiveSync (any device)

-Hotmail/Outlook.com -> use ActiveSync (any device)

-Gmail & iOS -> either use the native app, or forward it to iCloud mail and have it pushed from there, or pay Google $5/month for Google Apps w/ActiveSync

-Gmail & Android -> either use the native app or pay Google $5/month for Google Apps w/ActiveSync

-Gmail & another platform -> pay Google $5/month for Google Apps w/ActiveSync

-Yahoo! Mail & iOS -> use Push IMAP

-iOS & any other e-mail account -> forward it to iCloud e-mail and have it pushed from there

-Otherwise -> pay Microsoft $4/month for Exchange Online, forward your mail to that account and have it pushed via ActiveSync from there.


Hope that helps you! ;)

Reply Score: 6

NuxRo Member since:
2010-09-25


ActiveSync is indeed a better-performing option than normal IMAP or POP, but it's usually only supported for corporate e-mail via an Exchange server.


You are wrong, not sure about the performance point of view, but you can run your own Activesync "server". Check z-push for example, an open source implementation from Zarafa, it's basically a few PHP scripts that you can put on your web host.

Reply Score: 2

RE: This could be my next so much
by orfanum on Fri 10th May 2013 07:53 UTC in reply to "This could be my next so much"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

+10 Having spent the past two days travelling up North and down South in the UK (on a certain network that I will allude to only by saying 'The future's not bright, the future's not Orange (as was)' I utterly agree with you. Connectivity here is approaching Third World standards (sorry, Third World, actually, given the growth of mobile phones there as communications solutions, I would probably beg to have Third-world levels of connectivity). I find myself doing other things with this SII a) because it effectively can't act as a phone in business-related context and b) this other stuff, such as a camera, just happens to be there. This is just not a smart state of affairs.

Orf.

Reply Score: 2

Hmm
by Moochman on Thu 9th May 2013 22:58 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

What I don't get is why they chose this as the future of their low-end handsets instead of Symbian. With Symbian they would already have had lots more apps, a better and mature set of tools for developers (Qt), etc.... Seems to me like it has more to do with politics than with any logical technical arguments.

As for the responsiveness, I'll say this: it's fairly responsive for a low-end phone when it comes to basic functionality. But I really doubt that web browsing on this device is very pleasant.

I don't want one of these badly at all. Maybe just as a toy to play around with, but it's kind of like opting to use an ultra-low-budget netbook instead of a proper ultrabook.... They can both do a lot of the same things and look pretty similar, but the latter is a whole lot more capable and desirable.

At least I expect it to do well in developing markets, which is the whole point of the thing after all. And for that I have to give them credit. Still, the next wave of Linux-based OSes also targeted at these markets will likely blow the Asha platform out of the water.

Edited 2013-05-09 23:14 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hmm
by cdude on Fri 10th May 2013 05:58 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

That 'next wave of Linux devices' is already there. Samsung, Huawei and the likes took over emerging markets with a range of below $100 Android devices. How Asha 501, with its limited app-story, performs against them stays to be seen.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2013/03/28/emerging-market-s...

Edited 2013-05-10 06:09 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hmm
by chithanh on Fri 10th May 2013 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmm"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Amen to that. I don't see how Asha 501 at $99 can possibly compete in emerging markets with Android phones at $65 (unsubsidized, including tax and shipping):

http://www.flipkart.com/micromax-bolt-a27/p/itmdgyq5efj7cgy9

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmm
by moondevil on Fri 10th May 2013 06:10 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Have you ever had the pleasure to use Symbian C++ dialect, or the Qt Mobility framework full with #ifdef Symbian?

I am not sure what is better, J2ME or Symbian C++.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hmm
by zima on Thu 16th May 2013 17:53 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

What I don't get is why they chose this as the future of their low-end handsets instead of Symbian. With Symbian they would already have had lots more apps, a better and mature set of tools for developers (Qt), etc.... Seems to me like it has more to do with politics than with any logical technical arguments.

Symbian was possibly close to becoming an unmaintainable mess. IIRC, 3 years ago or so, the costs of Symbian division at Nokia were greater than the entire R&D of Apple...

Also, not so many apps - not on the touchscreen models.

Reply Score: 2

"I want one of these so bad."
by ronaldst on Fri 10th May 2013 03:03 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

Me too. Cyan!

Shame MS can't be bothered to "adopt" the notification centre from AshaOS.

Reply Score: 2

not good value
by unclefester on Fri 10th May 2013 04:08 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

You can already buy vastly superior Android phones such as the Huawei G300 for around the same price. (4" screen, 800x480 resolution etc).

Reply Score: 4

RE: not good value
by NuxRo on Fri 10th May 2013 17:38 UTC in reply to "not good value"
NuxRo Member since:
2010-09-25

You can already buy vastly superior Android phones such as the Huawei G300 for around the same price. (4" screen, 800x480 resolution etc).


I see a lot of people screaming how this has no chance against the "vastly superior" cheap Android phones.

You and others are making the mistake of just comparing technical specs while forgetting not all people buy just because of that, not even geeks.

After using a smartphone for a 6 months, I ended up going back to my old Nokia 100. I realised what I needed was a reliable phone, not a tiny "laptop".

Sure, different people have different needs, but I do not believe I'm alone in this situation. I'm sure Nokia has a great opportunity here.

Asha 501 promises to be a great PHONE, I can see attention to detail and a quality build. The case colours are lovely and the battery LIFE seriously demands respect.

After the recent FirefoxOS device from Spain, Nokia Asha 501 is the only other phone that got me excited this year. And it doesn't even have 3G support.

I sincerely hope Nokia can up their game once more.

Edited 2013-05-10 17:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: not good value
by tylerdurden on Fri 10th May 2013 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE: not good value"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Sorry, that boat has already sailed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: not good value
by unclefester on Sat 11th May 2013 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE: not good value"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


Asha 501 promises to be a great PHONE, I can see attention to detail and a quality build. The case colours are lovely and the battery LIFE seriously demands respect.


The problem is that the Nokia 501 is really nothing more than a fairly expensive feature phone with small nasty screen attached. The worst of both worlds.

You can already buy a standard Nokia S40 phone with excellent battery life for $30 or a vastly better Android smartphone for $99. Why would you choose the 501?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: not good value
by NuxRo on Sat 11th May 2013 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: not good value"
NuxRo Member since:
2010-09-25


The problem is that the Nokia 501 is really nothing more than a fairly expensive feature phone with small nasty screen attached. The worst of both worlds.


I gave my reasons above. Your subjective eye still goes through the tech specs. In my subjective eye it's the best of both worlds. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: not good value
by unclefester on Sun 12th May 2013 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: not good value"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

People in developing countries want aspirational, high quality mainstream products. That is why most "budget" products like the the Tata Nano car have been unmitigated failures.

The 501 sacrifices virtually every useful feature except battery life. It offers a "Third World" experience at a "First World" price.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: not good value
by unclefester on Sat 11th May 2013 05:40 UTC in reply to "RE: not good value"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The entire economy of places like Nigeria rely on the phone network. Smartphones are computers in these countries. They are used for everything from checking the price of fish at the local market to monitoring the health of expectant mothers.

Battery life generally isn't an issue because phones can be charged for a few cents at charging booths.

Edited 2013-05-11 05:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Firefox OS?
by Lobotomik on Fri 10th May 2013 10:44 UTC
Lobotomik
Member since:
2006-01-03

This sort of hardware might work well with Firefox OS, and then development for it would be easy, but as it is, nobody out of Nokia will ever write an app for these phones.

Anyway, it could well be that no one in Nokia really thinks that it is necessary, or even desirable, to have apps for these phones other than what comes out of the box.

Whatever. Too little, too late. They jumped off the burning platform into a freezing sea, with a Disney pool toy lifeboat.

Reply Score: 3

phone please
by bnolsen on Fri 10th May 2013 17:35 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Can I get a phone that makes calls, has a speaker and runs a week at a time without needing to be recharged?

Reply Score: 2

battery life
by dsmogor on Fri 10th May 2013 20:23 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

The interesting aspect is the combination of seemengly smartphone fluid gui with feature phone battery life figures. If this is indeed the case they would be the first ones to prove this is possible.

Reply Score: 2

''''''''''new''''''''''
by Lava_Croft on Sat 11th May 2013 09:42 UTC
Lava_Croft
Member since:
2006-12-24

The software on new Asha is as new as the new S40.

In other words, old.

Reply Score: 1

Much better video
by Moochman on Sat 11th May 2013 11:09 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

at the Verge:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/9/4314844/nokia-asha-501-new-platfor...

Check out the video at the end. It actually made me appreciate this phone a lot more. And I was impressed to find out that Peter Skillman, previously the VP of design at Palm and then head of design at Nokia, is behind the interface.

Edited 2013-05-11 11:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2