By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 22, 2013 12:19 PM EDT
Just as expected, Nokia unveiled several new devices at its Oct. 22 event in Abu Dhabi, including the Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503.
The new Asha handsets come to enrich the company's range of low-end handsets, which are basically feature phones with a few smartphone-like features. Nokia's Asha lineup proved very popular in some regions, especially in emerging markets where budget-friendly prices are essential.
Nokia Asha 500
The Nokia Asha 500 comes with a 2.8-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. It has a 2-megapixel camera, 64MB of RAM, a micro SD card slot for additional memory, Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi. The handset will be available in two versions - single-SIM and dual-SIM - and will sport a $69 price tag before taxes and subsidies.
Nokia Asha 502
The Asha 502 handset has a 3-inch 240 x 320 touchscreen, a better 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, 64MB of RAM, micro SD card slot, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This model will only be available in a dual-SIM version and will cost $89 before taxes and subsidies.
Nokia Asha 503
Lastly, the Nokia Asha 503 comes with identical features to the Asha 502, but adds 3G support and Gorilla Glass protection to the touchscreen. It's the first and so far the only handset in the Asha family to have 3G support. The Asha 503 will come in both single-SIM and dual-SIM versions and will cost $99 before taxes and subsidies.
Asha platform improvements
Nokia has also tweaked its Asha platform and the new version now sports WhatsApp and Line, two of the most popular mobile messaging apps. Photo-centric apps such as PicFeed, PicTag and PhotoFunia are also part of the new Asha software. Nokia has also enhanced the overall photo experience to facilitate and speed up camera access, which is now just one swipe away. Users will be able to share photos with just one tap and the gallery is now smoother as well.
All three new Asha phones will make their commercial debut by the end of the year, launching first in developing markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It remains unclear at this point when, if, or which of the three phones will reach other markets. Nokia has traditionally launched its Asha phones only in emerging markets, which makes sense considering their low-end specs and features. For more details, check out the company's press release at this link.
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