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Nokia 500 Review

Nokia 500

Posted: , 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


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 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

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

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

Strong

Medium

Low light


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

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.

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Nokia 500

Nokia 500

OS: Symbian Belle Anna
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
7.5Good
Display3.2 inches, 360 x 640 pixels (229 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1000 MHz, ARM11 processor
0.25 GB 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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