Watch out Firefox and Tizen, Nokia has you in its sights with the Asha 501

Nokia Asha 501When Nokia confirmed the Asha 210, the QWERTY keyboard-equipped budget phone launched a little over two weeks ago, we had speculated the event could have also been used to show the touchscreen Asha 501, which had been leaked several times, and had an interesting Lumia-inspired design. While that wasn’t the case at the time, we haven’t had long to wait until the phone has appeared.

The Asha 501 has been revealed at an event in New Delhi, India, and not only does it boast a funky new design, but it also has a new operating system too. That’s right, Series 40’s UI has left the building, and in its place is the Asha platform, an easy-to-use OS built with the help of Smarterphone, a company Nokia acquired last year.

It’s made up primarily of two main screens, named Home and Fastlane, the first of which displays all the usual app icons and shortcuts. Fastlane is the part where the phone becomes easier to use, as it gathers all the features and apps you use regularly, plus those accessed most recently, into one place. Nokia’s press blurb says it helps multi-tasking, as it provides easy access to users’ favorite features.

Nokia targets Firefox OS and Tizen

The Asha platform is an open source, standards based piece of software, therefore challenging other forthcoming new operating systems – aimed at low-cost hardware – including Mozilla’s Firefox OS and Samsung’s Tizen. Nokia has released a software development kit, and a new in-app payment tool to help attract developers, and expects to shift 100 million next-generation Asha phones over the coming years. At launch, apps for most social networks will be ready to download, including Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Foursquare, plus games from EA – forty of which will come free with the phone – and Gameloft.

So what about the phone? As with other Asha devices, it’s no technical marvel, but it is cheap. The touchscreen measures 3-inches and has a resolution of 320 x 240, while there is a 3.2-megapixel camera on the rear, a microSD card slot, plus Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 3.0 are both built-in. It’s only a 2G phone though. The bright rear covers are interchangeable, and the whole thing weighs just 98 grams. Nokia will make two versions, one with a dual-SIM slot, and the battery life for the single-SIM model is a predictably massive 48 days.

Nokia will be releasing the Asha 501 in 90 countries, with the first devices hitting stores in June, when the little phone will have a $99 price tag. Exact locations haven’t been confirmed, but deals with networks in India, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America have all been reached.

Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Mobile

Get ready for more V-series phones: LG trademarks names up to the V90

It looks like we should get ready for more LG V-series phones. LG has trademarked names for the LG V50 all the way up to the LG V90. We may have to wait some time before we see these phones; the next LG flagship is expected to be the LG G8.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Mobile

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.
Mobile

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Mobile

How to choose the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone or tablet

If you need some extra storage space and your device supports it, then a MicroSD card is an obvious place to start. Here, we look at what to consider and suggest some of the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Mobile

Common Kindle Fire problems, and how to fix them

Is your Amazon tablet giving you grief? Is it refusing to behave the way you expect? Take a deep breath -- everything will be fine. Here are some widely reported Kindle Fire problems and a few possible solutions to go with them.