Almost half a year ago, we had encountered the reimagining of the feature phone through the Nokia Asha 501. You can revisit our review of that here, but to cut it short, we called that device a phone of extreme potential. Months more given, the Finnish company outs the refined Nokia Asha 502. Has the brand evolved further since its creation? Only one way to find out.
As much as we want to give out full coverage on the Asha 502, we can only do as much since we have been given limited time with the device. Anyway, we’d like to start by saying that there aren’t much differences though – most of the elements remain exactly the same. Nokia took the Asha 501 and just added gloss all over it. Gone is the physical back button (now changed into the capacitive kind), a crystal casing now encloses the past chassis of the Asha 501 & there’s a camera flash.
Sexy, slippery & slimy
The new build of the device that covers the color with glass feels rather cheap than classy to be honest. We really prefer the old matte design of the Asha 501 all because it feels much more suiting, and besides, this just makes the device a fingerprint magnet. Add in a little bit of oil & this thing could pass for a soap bar. On the plus side however, I can’t discredit Nokia for their creativity and their solid build quality. In this respect, the Asha 502 remains quite unparalleled.
Nokia didn’t fix the problem
Not much has changed really, especially with the spec sheet. The Nokia Asha 502 packs the same 3-inch display with a low resolution of 240 x 320, giving out a pixel density of only 133 ppi. The viewing angles & the colors are exactly like the Asha 501′s, and this is yet again the problem of the 502. Even the iPhone 3G has a better display than this.
Another improvement in the hardware are the additions of more megapixels & a camera flash. From the 3 megapixel shooter in the 5o1, the Asha 502 now takes it a step further with 5 megapixels. It doesn’t necessarily improve much when it comes to quality based on our usage, it just gives you more room to work with. Besides, the Asha 501′s camera is already great for its class. The camera flash is also a plus for low light situations.
Speaking of the camera,
Nokia removed all forms of control over the camera software. All you have is the gallery, photo mode & video mode; you won’t even get control over your camera flash. Just tap the screen and it takes a picture, much like Motorola’s camera software. The Asha Platform is also still the same, but with a few steps forward such as: you can now select individual notifications to clear & the camera is now accessible from the lock screen. These are small improvements, but big enough changes to make the consumer experience a lot better.
Update: You need to long press the camera screen to access the controls. Thanks for the tip ingenieur!
For a price of Php4,800, we can easily recommend the Nokia Asha 502 to most people just because it works. It offers a good balance of everything such as its predecessor, only with a few improvements (nothing drastically changed & mind blowing). It’s still on 2G though & the battery spec lowered down quite a bit, but no major effects are noticeable. The rest of the story is just about a recycled Asha 501.
If you need something more or less, the Asha 500, the 501 & the 503 are all available to look at as well.
Nokia Asha 502 specifications:
Dual-SIM, Dual standby
3-inch 256K-color QVGA TFT capacitive touchscreen, @ 240×320 pixels, 133ppi
128MB internal storage, 64MB of RAM
Expandable up to 32GB via microSD
5 megapixel camera w/ LED flash
QVGA (240 x 320) video recording at 15fps
FM radio tuner
Li-Ion 1,010mAh battery
Asha platform 1.0
Dimensions: 99.6 x 59.5 x 11.1 mm
Weight: 100 g
What we liked about it:
- Asha’s Fastlane UI works great, improved
- Camera is great for a feature phone
- Loud and clear speakers
- Unique & eye-catching design
- Fast, even with 64MB RAM
What we didn’t like about it:
- Low-res display is inexcusable
- Apps still need improvement
- Fingerprint magnet