There are three new faces in the Asha lineup: the Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503, and Nokia is once again looking to push the boundaries of what so-called “dumbphones” are capable of.
Design-wise they come across a bit “Lumia-lite”, with Nokia having gone for the now-familiar bright colours and polycarbonate unibody shell. But in this case there are two layers for added strength: a coloured layer on the inside and a clear layer around it.
The result comes across a little like a book covered in plastic, though thankfully there's no sellotape needed.
Here are the other spec highlights of Nokia's new all-touch trio:
The Asha 500 is the base model, costing just $69 (before taxes and subsidies). For that you get a 2.8in QVGA screen and a 2MP camera. RAM is just 64MB, which shows just how resource-frugal Nokia's Series 40 platform is. There's a microSD card slot for cards up to 32GB, which is the only way to get any meaningful storage on board. The battery is rated to survive 14 hours of talk time, or 35 days on standby. You miss out on 3G, however, which indicates just how basic this phone is.
The Asha 502 goes with the same QVGA resolution but on a larger 3in screen size, and yet it's slightly smaller overall than the Asha 500. Beyond that the major difference is that you get a 5MP camera with LED flash, while the price jumps to $89.
Finally, the Asha 503 is the only one of the three that gives you 3G support (or 3.5G, if that's how you roll). The screen size is the same as the Asha 502, but you get double the RAM at 128GB and a larger battery boasting similar standby and talktime figures to the Asha 500. The downside is it's the biggest and heaviest of the trio.
It's not all about hardware, though. Nokia also announced its latest Asha arrivals will come with integrated Whatsapp for cross-platform chat – a feature that'll also be arriving for the recently announced Asha 501.
Then there's Fastlane, a sort of common repository that shows messages, updates, images and the like in real time. It debuted with the Asha 501 but has now been extended further.
All three new Nokia Asha models are due out in Q4, starting in Asia-Pacific before heading elsewhere.