Nokia have started their new Symbian strategy with the launch of Nokia 500, a low-mid range Symbian Anna smartphone with a processor clocked at 1 GHz. Let’s not get carried away by that number, i will explain it’s existence after we see what this phone packs, other than the processor speed.

C5-03 successor ?

The specs you need to know are :

  • 3.2 inch TFT nHD 360X640 display with a capacitive touch screen
  • 2 GB internal storage memory with microSD card expandable to 32 GB
  • 5 megapixel camera full focus with VGA recording at 15 FPS
  • Runs Symbian Anna
  • Interchangeable color covers

Priced at 150 euros before taxes and subsidies, this is the cheapest Symbian Anna smartphone ever. But, will it have all the premium multimedia features of Anna ? No. Reason : Lack of GPU. Yes, there is no graphics processor in the 500. Nokia have a good reason for that – price. At this price, it is not affordable for Nokia to keep the costs down.

What are the effects of not having a GPU in a Symbian Anna smartphone ?

Well, no HD games for a start. There are a lot of games available for the Symbian 3 phones at the ovi store now, and none of them would be playable on the 500. No accelerated video playback, meaning playback is capped at 15 fps which is the decoder limit. Not sure if there is a dedicated DSP, highly doubtful though. Other than that, the OS which was designed for GPU acceleration, will be running without the same, transition effects will be absent. Imagine the power saver mode on Symbian 3, that is how the 500 will perform. However , due to higher specced processor, the CPU intensive tasks might perform better, but higher speed doesn’t always mean better.

But keep in mind,the most important factor : Price

This is probably aimed at the segment of the previous hit : Nokia C5-03 which had 600 MHz processor with 256 MB of RAM, it had S^1 tweaked to use single touch input and had long press options too. Almost like Anna, i would say. The 500 will probably replace the C5-03 in the retail market, with similar specced hardware except for the 1 Ghz processor. May be the 500 is just an Anna clone of the C5-03 with a higher clocked processor ? A point to ponder.

Nevertheless, at this price and feature set the 500 is surely a steal.The 1 Ghz CPU is a good marketing point. Forget the GPU and games, it can run every other app that other Symbian smartphones can run, which is actually great. This is all lining up perfectly for the new Symbian strategy in my opinion.

Symbian sales had been hit the hardest in the low-mid range when Android started invading that space. In countries like ours, Android is rapidly becoming THE os that noobs like to flaunt, also geeks’ favorite, whichever range they belong to.Low-mid range was literally inundated with countless models running Android which proved as a much nicer alternative than Symbian with it’s painful user experience. This might change with the 500.

The new Symbian strategy i think, is

* Flood the low-mid end market with attractive options like the 500, having slightly better hardware than competitors and OS being Symbian Anna.

* Launch better mid range devices running Belle with better hardware than competing droids.

If they execute this perfectly, there is a slight chance of user retention in that segment. Currently Android is gaining huge numbers, time for Nokia to attack and the onslaught has started with the Nokia 500.

The Nokia 500 will be available in the retail channels in a month, costing 150 euros before taxes and subsidies.

Here’s a hot chick demoing the Nokia 500 :

About the new naming scheme : They are going back to numbers , bah !


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