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Nokia 500 Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Interface and Functionality:

By now most Symbian^3 users should have gotten their serving of Symbian Anna, which  improves on the first stopgap touchscreen interface of Nokia. You can read our review of Anna here, but we hope it wouldn’t be long before you get Symbian Belle on the Nokia 500, which we found to be the best effort for a touchscreen Symbian to date on Nokia’s part.

Symbian Anna runs faster on the Nokia 500 than on the Nokia N8 or Nokia C7, for example. The new generation handset sports a 1GHz processor, in contrast to the 680MHz of the older generation phones. The overall speed isn't as good as on the Nokia 701 with its better hardware and the Symbian Belle optimizations, but that’s the price to pay for cheap.


Home screens - Main menuThe UI on the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Home screens - Main menuThe UI on the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Home screens - Main menuThe UI on the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review

Home screens

Main menuThe UI on the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Main menuThe UI on the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Main menuThe UI on the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review

Main menu
The UI on the Nokia 500



Messaging, Internet and Connectivity:

Symbian Anna brought a split-screen and a portrait virtual keyboard, which are pretty good. Texting, sending email and typing in general on a 3.2-incher is not a seamless experience, however, as you can easily guess – bigger thumbs, and your typing project slows down significantly.

The on-screen keyboard - Nokia 500 Review
The on-screen keyboard - Nokia 500 Review

The on-screen keyboard


The Symbian Anna browser has an improved interface, which is a far cry from the Symbian^3 clunker, but rendering performance, and the lack of Adobe Flash support are big limitations. On a 1GHz platform the performance is much faster, though, and you will notice improved speed and smoothness of panning around, zooming and the automatic text reflow, at least compared to the performance on handsets like the Nokia N8 or C7. Scrolling gets choppy in complex pages, but, on the other hand, you have an above-average pixel density to even things out with crisp and easy to read text.

Internet browsing with the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Internet browsing with the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Internet browsing with the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Internet browsing with the Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review

Internet browsing with the Nokia 500


The Nokia 500 sports all the connectivity options you would expect in its price range, and then some. It has 14.4Mbits pentaband HSDPA radio, which means it is born ready for any GSM network around the globe. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM Radio and A-GPS are standard, of course, and the latest version of Nokia Maps present means you have free voice-guided offline navigation in more than 90 countries around the world, including the US with live traffic which is one of Nokia’s affordable handsets great advantages of late.


Camera:

The 5MP module on the back of the Nokia 500 is good enough for casual snaps – all you need to do is press a little icon on the right, and you go into full automatic mode with a big fat on-screen  shutterbutton, as there is no dedicated camera key.

The pictures actually turned out quite decent – fairly sharp and with saturated colors, which, however, tend to lean on the violet side. The downside here is the absence of an LED flash, which limits the phone in low lighting.

Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review
Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500 - Nokia 500 Review

Outdoor samples taken with Nokia 500


Strong - Indoor samples - Nokia 500 Review
Medium - Indoor samples - Nokia 500 Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Nokia 500 Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

Indoor samples


The handset also captures VGA video at 15fps, which is nothing to write home about at those frame rates.

Nokia 500 Sample Video:




Multimedia:

The default music player sports decent functionality, such as equalizer presets, and the CoverFlow-like swiping between album covers is a nice eye-candy especially in landscape mode where it really shines. The loudspeaker is of average quality, and could be stronger. There is an FM Radio chip, but no Play via Radio FM transmitter.

The default music player sports decent functionality - Nokia 500 Review
The default music player sports decent functionality - Nokia 500 Review

The default music player sports decent functionality


Nokia doesn’t seem to advertise it, but the video player not only supports MPEG-4 files by default, but someone has bothered with hardwiring DivX or Xvid codecs in this entry-level Nokia 500 handset. We played DivX/Xvid/MPEG-4 files up to the screen resolution with no issues
.
There are picture and video editors preinstalled, which sport easy to use interfaces, and faster performance, thanks to the 1GHz processor.

15 Comments
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posted on 05 Oct 2011, 08:16 3

1. box (unregistered)


This might be the phone to tide me between the 5230 Nuron and either the Ace WP7 or the Symbian flagship, hopefully something higher-spec'd than the 701, whichever comes with a contract first

posted on 05 Oct 2011, 13:06

4. heulboje (unregistered)


A good looking (stylish) device which is going to satisfy everybody who wants to call/message around and perhaps wants to play around with his cellphone during a boring train journey...

Well done IMHO

posted on 06 Oct 2011, 02:13

5. Shiv179 (unregistered)


"It still has 256MB of RAM like the 2010 generation, and it shows when you are installing apps, for example – the progress bar doesn’t fly as quick as on the Nokia 701 with its 512MB"
So you are saying that installing apps is slower because of half the RAM?
Installing apps faster means having more RAM?
Are you serious?

posted on 06 Oct 2011, 09:25

6. Daniel.P (Posts: 102; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)


Fixed, thanks for the heads up :-)

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 20:30

7. kikiansyah (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


The Nokia 500 is the mass production of the new Nokia Symbian line, as it has the lowest specs out of the bunch announced in time for the holiday shopping craze. With that said, it’s no slouch, as it sports a decent display with 229ppi pixel density, 5MP camera and a 1GHz processor, based, however, on the older ARM 11 architecture

The Finns have skimped on things like an LED flash, and the internal memory – the handset has only 2GB - to keep costs down. The Nokia 500 ships with Symbian Anna unlike the rest of the new kids on the Symbian block, but is expected to receive a Belle upgrade further down the road.

An affordable handset from Nokia with decent specs and some colorful battery covers thrown in to keep things exciting is usually a Finnish recipe for success among teens and in emerging markets, but is that the case with the Nokia 500? Read on our review to find out…

Nokia 500 Review

Nokia 500 Review
What's in the box:

One Nokia 500 handset
Two extra swappable battery covers in different colors
Wall charger
MicroUSB cable
Stereo headset with microphone
Manual and warranty leaflets

Design:

The Nokia 500 is a true candybar phone with its narrow rectangular front, but turn it on its face to review the 5MP camera and the speaker grill, and a nice curved back is revealed. The tapered form and soft-touch plastic finish of the battery cover, plus the fact that the handset is chubby at 0.55” (14.1mm), make it very comfortable to hold and operate with one hand.

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 02:21

8. coolkid12130 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


CRAP BUT GOOD BRAND

posted on 05 Jan 2012, 02:22

9. coolkid12130 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


it has a small screen and it doesn't run on android.
android is way better

posted on 14 Feb 2012, 09:09

10. 1djmdosi (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


smart gadget bt slow downloader with no flash camera,,,bt smart indeed

posted on 06 Mar 2012, 09:46

11. celicnaruza21 (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


Hello all. I just bought this smart phone for 135 euros in Serbia (full equip, In store not with agreement.). I just tested some important features that were pain back in N97's ^3 symbian , Like dvix,crashes,UI(User Interface) and much more. I have 6 generations of Nokias . This is best phone i ever bought and its really cheap. I only dont like 256mb of RAM but 1ghz single core procesor makes surfing,gaming,browsing files switching trought open apps beautifull. I just got update from Anna to Belle and its working perfect. Belle os is like Android-Symbian system and it works perfectly . This phone is really preatty and its light. For 135 Euros(in Serbia) u get Dvix Player ,Web Browser via W-lan Photo 5mpx, 2gb of storage and much more... This is really god phone for average users that do not rape Hardware .

posted on 23 Mar 2012, 06:13

12. ddak12 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Mar 2012)


BAKWAS PHONE MODEL

posted on 27 May 2012, 17:49

13. r3alqwerty (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 May 2012)


Hello. Tell me please, if the phone has lags or slows down when trying to open and read text file over 1000+ pages or .pdf about 10-20 mb? Using quickoffice or other reader apps.

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 04:32

15. jassibhalla02 (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


i have it..and use pdf and word files often..
size of the file does not matter.., if u zoom in, which one has to to read, navigation between pages does gets slower..open a 1000 page file or 2 page file., doesnt matter..

posted on 09 Dec 2012, 04:29

14. jassibhalla02 (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


i have it..yes, RAM is low.., everything else is upto the mark...upgraded to Belle Refresh, got new widgets,Microsoft Mobile Office 2010 can be installed., ..got space on SkyDrive after installing Microsoft One Note..
decent camera..pre-installed angry birds....and other apps..
got extended warranty upto 2014...
budget phone..u wont regret buying at this price range..better than samsung galaxy lower models..

posted on 03 Jul 2013, 05:57

16. samjony01 (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Nokia 500 is latest mobile and feature is is advance from other mobile and app are very wonderful purchase as soon as possiable
--------------------
Animation Notes

posted on 27 Jan 2014, 19:22

17. SmartNick009 (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Jan 2014)


One of the Worst phone models I have ever used in the history of cellphone,it get used to stuck every time I used to open any application used in Nokia 500.You can't even adjust microSD Memory Card Chip Used in Nokia 500 Memory slot.Least but not true that this phone has some uncool features that it has no touch-pad to text or type the text messaging.You feel like breaking this phone into pieces.This phone is frusfrating to use.

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Nokia 500

Nokia 500

OS: Symbian Belle Anna
view full specs
Display3.2 inches, 360 x 640 pixels (229 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM11 processor
256 MB RAM
Size4.38 x 2.12 x 0.56 inches
(111.3 x 53.8 x 14.1 mm)
3.28 oz  (93 g)
Battery1110 mAh, 7 hours talk time

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