Amid all the fanfare when a new phone is launched we can easily lose sight of the beautiful essentials. They’re the functions and tools that people will be using on a daily basis.
The Nokia Asha 501, which will be available very shortly, has been designed from top to bottom with extreme attention to detail and a great deal of care.
Scattered throughout the user experience and design are little details and touches that make using the Asha 501 a delight.
Here are (the first five) 10 beautiful essentials of the Nokia Asha 501.
1. Glance screen
Even when the phone is asleep, the glance screen is still giving you useful information such as the time, missed calls and new message alerts. Double-tap anywhere on the screen to wake the Asha 501 up. By swiping on the notification icons you can get straight into the SMS app to digest your message and answer in seconds.
Nice touch: when your Asha 501 is fully charged up, a ‘tick’ appears in the battery icon on the glance screen.
Should you wish, you can also go to ‘Settings’ to turn the glance screen off.
Setting alarms is not known for being fun. It usually means you’ve got an early start the next day!
However, if it’s any consolation, setting the alarm on the Asha 501 is an easy, even delightful, thing to do. Rather than inputting any numbers or a time, you scroll around the clock – scroll through one circle to set the hour and scroll through another for the minutes. You can create several alarms and set them up for different days of the week.
When you set the alarm, in another thoughtful touch, it will also tell you how many hours you have to sleep.
Once the alarm has gone off (you can customise the alarm sound, of course) you swipe down the screen to turn the alarm off, or double-tap to snooze. It’s just an alarm, but this is a great example of a ‘beautiful essential.’
The clock is a delight too. The background changes according to the time and shows the different light phases of the day.
3. Background images
It’s easy to customise the look of your Asha 501 by setting different background images for the home screen and for the lock screen.
There are lots of specially created images and graphics for you to choose from, but you can also select one of your own photos or take a brand new image with the camera.
Forget about all the fancy things that a smartphone can do nowadays; the calendar is one of the features that I use the most.
The calendar on the Asha 501 looks elegant and makes full use of the three-inch screen. There’s a monthly view, where you can swipe up and down to move quickly through the year, or a daily view to see what events you have coming up.
Once you’ve added an event to the calendar, it can be shared with your friends by SMS, Nokia Slam (Bluetooth) or by email.
Nice touch: the calendar icon on the home screen displays the current date.
The Nokia Asha 501 comes with a native music player that makes navigating through your songs, albums, artists and playlists easier and quicker than ever before. Quite frankly, this is a music player that you would hope to see on a smartphone several times the price of the sub-$100 Asha 501.
It’s fully featured with album artwork, advanced player controls, custom playlists and intelligent playlists, such as the most played, your favourites and recently added. Want to be surprised? Just hit the shuffle button.
You can continue listening to music even when you exit the Music app and the Asha 501 is asleep. From the lock screen you can also see track information and pause or skip to the next track. You’ll also get easy access to songs that you have recently listened-to from the top of the music app’s opening screen.
Top tip: In songs view, long press on any song and you’ll be given the option to set it as your ringtone.
Keep your eyes on Nokia Conversations for part 2 of our beautiful essentials on the Nokia Asha 501.