Nokia Pakistan sent me a new Nokia Asha 503 to try out. The experience with this low-end device was quite different & surprising.
The first thing you’d notice in Nokia Asha 503 is the icy plastic coating over the phone, making the phone look really attractive. I tried Nokia X too, yet miss this icy touch over it. And then, the next best thing is its Gorilla Glass 2 covering. I can fearlessly use it roughly as I use my Lumia 920. Yes, I still own that heavy master piece.
The Nokia Asha 503 is available in six different colors: yellow, white, black, green, red & blue. I was provided with a pure white colored device. Well, this device comes with a 5MP camera with LED flash, 3G and a Wi-Fi connectivity. It also got an optional dual-SIM support plus expandable memory. I got a preloaded 4GB SD card in it.
When it comes to hardware, the display on Nokia Asha 503 is 3” TFT unit of QVGA (240 x 320), sliding into pockets easily. The colors are very charming or bright or HD displays however, you can’t expect much in this price range. All the hardware controls are on the right side. There you can find the power/lock button and the volume controller. The soft touch experience of Nokia Asha 503 is delighting thanks to the nice matte plastic. The back button is replaced by a capacitive control and is the only means of navigation. The taps & swipes do the rest magic. At the top you’d find a microUSB port for charging & data connections, and also a 3.5mm headphones jack. And at the very bottom of phone, you’d only see the microphone pinhole only.
To be honest, at first I had a hard time removing the back cover and popping in the battery, however later when I mastered the trick of pushing the nub at the bottom, it went easy. The SIM slots were at the back, with the swappable microSD on the side. The battery is 1200 mAh Li-Ion and is quoted at 840 hours of stand-by time and 12 hours of calls over a 2G network.
With the software capabilities of Asha, Fastlane cannot be just ignored. With Nokia Asha 503, you can just swipe to view the stuff you love. Tap to share instantly and get all the updates in the new homescreen. From your recent text message to your last played song, it’s all saved to scroll back through. No more digging through your phone looking for your cool stuff previously accessed. The WhatsApp support with better Fastlane UI features spices up the phone more.
Another worth mentioning feature is the ability to launch the camera right from your locked screen since no Asha comes up with dedicated camera key (As we have in Lumia series). To see it in action, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
There is also Glance Screen option available in Nokia Asha 503 powering the notification experience.
I also noticed that the Qwerty keyboard is redesigned and makes texting really easily despite of the small screen display.
The classy soft touch of Asha 503 made me realize that the soft body was missing in Nokia X. The overall experience, with Nokia Asha 503 low-end device, was better than many other devices out there in market. The phone is highly durable, classy and fits perfectly in pocket!