The fresh look and implementation of Asha series seems to have worked well for Nokia and they have come up with few more Asha devices from then on. Most of these phones give a near smartphone experience at a lower price. The battery life and color options attracted most of the customers well and the Asha 501 was reasonably successful for Nokia. This time around they have launched Asha 503 with a more refined design and a 5MP camera. Let us find out what this device has got and how it performs in the real world.
Design & Display:
The Asha 503 looks almost similar to 501, but with a more refined and beautiful design. On the back we have a fine transparent coating which adds for a more better look. The device though thicker at 12.7mm and weighing around 110gms, still feels compact and easy to manage. There is only one back key at the front. Most of the material used is plastic but the phone is rigid enough interms of build quality. The phone sports a 3 inch TFT display with 240x320 resolution and 133 ppi. Viewing angles are not so wide and colors look average. There is a good level of brightness but don’t expect much sunlight legibility. Overall a solid design but display which might be okay to some extent for the price, but still it could have been better.
The device comes Nokia Asha software platform 1.2 version. The icons, UI and layout somewhat feels familiar. The app drawer contains icons which look like what we have seen in the last Symbian smartphones. The lockscreen displays notifications like missed calls, messages etc. This time the lockscreen will even show some details of notifications and we can customise which notifications to show the detail content. Double tap feature is also present which will wake the phone and shows you lockscreen. Fastlane too comes here showing up more content than earlier including recent activity, apps, contacts called, recent webpages, recently taken pictures etc. Notification panel is also present with few toggle switches. Overall the UI feels smoother and gives a near smartphone experience.
Camera & Audio:
The phone comes with a 5MP camera at the back with no auto focus and no secondary cam. At least this time the phone is blessed with an LED flash. The camera is interface is somewhat similar to what we have seen in latest Asha devices. The main interface contains few settings and in additional settings you can adjust white balance, exposure, live effects etc. The image quality is just average. There is a good amount of detail in the images, but the colors look messed up and noise levels aren’t managed properly. Video capture is even more poor. The audio speaker does a great job giving a clean audio output at ample loudness levels. But once you plug in the headphones, the clarity isn’t great.
Connectivity & Additional Features:
The phone comes in both single sim and dual sim versions – supports micro sim cards which can be placed at the back. Network reception is excellent and there are no call drop issues. Call clarity is decent enough. This doesn’t have any noise cancellation, but even in noisy environments, in voice call clarity is fair enough, but loudness levels aren’t that great. The phone also supports Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 3.0 and FM Radio and this time this Asha phone comes with 3g. Around 170MB of internal storage is available for user storage and the device supports microSD cards upto 32GB and Nokia has provided a 4GB card in the box.
Performance & Battery:
For the price, the device could have been powered with a bit more powerful hardware. Ofcourse the general operation on the UI feels smoother, but still we see lag now and then while loading apps or playing some basic games. The phone is equipped with a removable battery of 1200mAh capacity which is the same as of 501, but the latter seems to get a better maximum out of the battery. Anyway the battery still lasts more than two days under moderate usage.
Solid build and decent design
Comes in various colors
Good battery life
Image quality could have been better
Low resolution display
So far, when considered to be a basic phone, the Asha 503 delivers its best to give a good experience. But for a 5MP cam, the image quality could have been better. But still the design elements and good battery life could bring out some grace. If you’re looking only for a basic feature phone, this phone could make for a decent choice, but there are few Androids in this range which can do better, but you will have to sacrifice battery life for it. Anyway, if you can shell out few more bucks, you have better options among the rivals.
Nokia Asha 503 Rivals:
Nokia Asha 500
Nokia Asha 502
Nokia Asha 501