The Nokia 500 is not a phone Nokia desperately needs to succeed. They’ve got bigger things on their mind and we don’t mean Windows Phone 7. With Symbian Belle just launched on two brand new handsets, the Anna-running Nokia 500 is beyond hope of getting in the spotlight.

It’s exactly phones like the Nokia 500 though that do well, giving good return of the minimum investment. They thrive in anonymity and get the job done without fanfare. Think Nokia C5-03 but duly upgraded: a 1 GHz processor and double the RAM, a capacitive touchscreen and Symbian Anna – and it will only get better with Belle.

The Nokia 500

The Nokia 500 is an entry-level smartphone and that’s what Nokia are good at. It won’t deliver super multimedia but it will open those internet pages for you and do it the way a true modern smartphone should – with multi-touch support. It’s the complete smartphone experience with the speed of a 1GHz CPU, solid connectivity, free SatNav and multi-tasking, all in a much friendlier Symbian Anna fashion.

Nokia 500 at a glance:

  • General: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar
  • Dimensions: 111.3 x 53.8 x 14.1 mm, 73 cc; 93 g
  • Display: 3.2-inch 16M-color nHD (360 x 640 pixels) TFT capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2 GB of inbuilt storage, microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • OS: Symbian Anna OS
  • CPU: ARM 11 1GHz processor, 256 MB RAM
  • Camera: 5 megapixel fixed-focus camera with geotagging, VGA video recording @15fps
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, stereo Bluetooth v2.1, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack, GPS receiver with A-GPS
  • Misc: Accelerometer, Stereo FM radio with RDS, Flash lite 4.0, changeable colored back-panels, proximity sensor
  • Battery: 1110 mAh Li-Ion battery, quoted for up to 7h/5h talk time in GSM/HSDPA mode and 500h/455h standby.

With an upgraded processor, penta-band worldwide coverage and improved data speeds, the Nokia 500 means business. But it knows its target audience and tries to stays relevant with the feature set and customization options including exchangeable back covers.

The Nokia 500 in hand

It keeps an eye on budget too. The all-plastic finish, garden variety TFT display, fixed-focus camera with no flash and VGA-only video are compromises that had to be made. It still looks like a viable option – a young, affordable smartphone with a good speed boost and colorful personality.

Looks like an easy one to get along with. We guess we can cut the courtesies and move on. We only have time for a short preview anyway.

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