Nokia launches Nokia 500, entry level smartphone

Jonathan Morris
August 1, 2011

As Nokia continues to push ahead with more Symbian handset releases to prove the platform isn’t dead, the release of the Nokia 500 also unveils Nokia’s new handset naming convention.

The Nokia 500 is, according to the manufacturer a ‘fast, light and multicoloured’ handset. The multicoloured bit comes from the changeable rear covers, while the fast is down to the 1GHz (single-core) processor that will probably help attract interest from everyone who has been told how important processor speed is for the last year or so.

Designed to be affordable, with a price point that may come in at around £150 with VAT on prepay, there’s a 5-megapixel camera, Symbian Anna operating system and a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with 640×360 pixel resolution. In other words, it’s pretty much what most Symbian handsets are offering, only at a lower price. It has expandable memory too, plus support for HSDPA and HSUPA for fast mobile data.

Since its announcement, the media has been showing how excited it is with the news of the 1GHz processor, so it’s clearly mission accomplished on Nokia’s part, except a few members of the What Mobile forum have been quick to point out that this isn’t quite as impressive as Nokia might want us all to believe.

To quote one member; “It’s a 1GHz ARM11 processor, not a 1Ghz Cortex-A8 (which is what most have these days). An ARM11 processor is a LOT slower than a Cortex-A8 at the same speed, and a 1GHz ARM11 is roughly equivalent to a 600Mhz A8, maybe even a bit less. But hey, IT’S 1 GIGAHURTZ!!!!”

We’re not going to rain too much on Nokia’s parade for now, as the phone seems like it will offer a pretty good deal. What’s more, the 111.3×53.8×14.1mm handset is also incredibly light at just 93g.

The Nokia 500 will be available in black and white varieties (black first, then the white later in the year) with three different rear covers in the box. Other colours will come later, including the pink that has already been seen on the limited-edition N8 and the forthcoming N9 (which, sadly, isn’t coming to the UK).

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