Useful Tips

Nokia 500 review, first impressions


Nokia 500is not the phone that desperately needs a big hit. Nokia has much more important things on its mind, and I don't mean Windows Phone 7. The company will launch two smartphones on the new Symbian Belle operating system, so the Nokia 500, on the outdated Symbian Anna, will not be able to take its place in the spotlight. ...

It is phones like the Nokia 500 that give Nokia a good profit with minimal investment. They appear silently and do their job. Imagine a Nokia C5-03, but properly updated: with a 1GHz processor and doubled RAM, a capacitive screen and Symbian Anna - perhaps better with the new Belle operating system.

Nokia 500 is an entry-level smartphone, and this is exactly what Nokia does especially well. It will not provide you with super-multimedia functionality, but it will open Internet pages for you, moreover, as befits a modern phone - with multitouch support. With the Nokia 500, you will experience the speed of a 1GHz processor, stable connectivity, navigation and multitasking, all on the familiar Symbian Anna.

Nokia 500 at a glance:

- Communication: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps

- Form factor: smartphone with touch screen

- Dimensions: 111.3 x 53.8 x 14.1 mm, weight 93 g

- Display: 3.2 inch, 16 million colors, 360 x 640 pixels, TFT touchscreen with multitouch support

- Memory: built-in 2 GB, microSD slot (up to 32 GB)

- Operating system: Symbian Anna OS

- Processor and RAM: ARM11 @ 1 GHz, 256 MB of RAM

- Camera: 5 mega pixel with fixed focus, geotagging function, VGA (640x480) video recording at 15 frames per second

- Interfaces: stereo Bluetooth version 2.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 (bg), microUSB port, standard 3.5 mm audio jack, GPS with A-GPS functions

- Misc: accelerometer, stereo FM radio with RDS support, support for Flash lite 4.0, interchangeable color panels

- Battery: 1110 mAh lithium-ion battery, up to 500 hours of standby time (GSM) and 7 hours of talk time.

With a new processor and support for almost all communication bands around the world, the Nokia 500 will be very useful for the modern businessman. But at the same time, Nokia knows that the phone needs to be sold not only to businessmen, and supports a set of functions and settings, such as removable panels, which will appeal to a wide audience.

At the same time, they keep an eye on the cost of the smartphone. A plastic case, an unremarkable TFT display, a fixed focus camera and only VGA video recording are necessary compromises. That said, the Nokia 500 still looks like a viable option - a young, affordable smartphone with good speed and strong personality.


The Nokia 500 is a pretty compact phone measuring 111.3 x 53.8 mm, but until we start comparing it with the more compact Nokia 700. The screen is almost the same as the height and width - but the Nokia 500 is much thicker than its 700th brother, namely by 14.4 mm. The phone fits nicely in the hand, but lacks a bit of elegance to match the class of smartphones above.

Design and construction:

The rich assortment of color covers makes the Nokia 500 attractive to young people, but still leaves a conservative look for the older generation. It's just a phone with a touchscreen, the usual design, and a small price, nothing too extravagant.

The rounded corners and soft rubber finish leave a nice feel, the phone really fits comfortably in your hand.

The front of the phone is dominated by a 3.2-inch capacitive, multi-touch display (nHD 360x640). The screen resolution is perfectly matched to its size. The detail is good enough and the colors are vivid, and the overall display looks quite attractive. Not the same as the ClearBlack displays, but still.

The screen copes with glare satisfactorily, in sunny weather, outdoors, the phone can of course be used, but not very convenient. The main thing is not to forget to set the brightness to maximum.

Under the display there are two call buttons and a menu button in the middle. A microphone can be found just below them. Above the display, there are light and proximity sensors to turn off the screen during a call.

The volume control buttons are on the right side of the smartphone. There is also a lock button, which is almost always installed on phones running Symbian.

But the left side of the device is completely empty.

All ports are located on the top of the smartphone. The microUSB port works both for data transfer and for charging the device, next to a 3.5 mm audio jack and a standard Nokia connector for a charger.

The bottom of the device has only an eyelet for attaching a lanyard.

Personally, I tested the black Nokia 500, but promised a whole collection of multi-colored back covers. The back cover itself, as it were, envelops the phone, creating a color accent.

On the back of the phone, you can see a 5MP camera and speaker. There is no LED flash or camera control keys. The Nokia logo is pleasantly etched into the soft rubber surface of the back cover.

Under the 1110 mAh lithium-ion battery, there is a compartment for a SIM card and a microSD slot.

Nokia promises standby time of up to 500 hours, and up to 455 hours on 3G. Talk time is 7 hours and 5 hours for 3G, respectively.

Nokia 500 does not bother if you hold it in your hand for a long time. Simple design without decorations and I don't even mind the plastic case. Replaceable panels are the only design feature on this budget phone.

User interface:

The hero of today's review may receive an update to Symbian Belle, but the current operating system Anna seems to be the smartest choice for such a budget smartphone. This OS is tailored for Nokia 500 and has a more user-friendly interface.

It may not be too obvious to the untrained eye, but Anna's desktop is so comfortable that you get used to it quickly. Having used this smartphone for some time, you understand how wonderfully thought out the interface is.

The new icon style is the first thing that catches your eye. Simple and rounded, they give a completely new look to Symbian. You "push" the desktop, and it immediately moves, unlike the old version, which did not budge until you wiped a hole in the screen.

True, there are things that have not changed in a good way. For example, a hierarchical menu from the last decade. You can change the icons, but the menu structure, like in IOS or Android, doesn't.

The task manager accommodates only three applications on one screen. Even if you use portrait mode, in which there is a lot of free space. If you use a lot of applications, you will get bogged down with scrolling in the task manager.

The most important innovation in Anna's interface that will appeal to all Nokia 500 users is a new text input screen and a new full-screen QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode. True, you can go back to the old, tiny portrait version, which is terribly annoying.

However, Anna allows you to overlay a portrait version of the keyboard on the bottom half of the screen, allowing you to stay in the app and type at the same time. In addition to being able to type text without turning the phone to the side and going back to the interface, there are more subtle changes - such as integration into a web browser, which really works.

The keys in the portrait keyboard are pretty small. But you can turn on a function that will suggest the words you are trying to type and display a small pop-up window.

The horizontal version of the keyboard is also available in split screen mode, and offers large keys that are easy to hit, perfect for typing large texts.

However, not everything is so smooth, many applications use the old text input interface, which takes up the entire screen, even if you use the portrait version of the keyboard. Take the popular Ovi Store app as an example. This is a little disappointing.

Thus, we can conclude that although Symbian Anna has distinguished itself with huge changes in the interface, it nevertheless smoothed out a lot of roughness of the old version of the operating system.

By the way, some native apps also got an update, which also improved the functionality of the phone.


Gallery on Nokia 500 keeps all your photos and videos in one place. You can either browse all your media content (except songs) together, or split it into individual albums - covers and favorites are installed by default.

The gallery can be scrolled with your finger, but there is also a scroll slider. Nokia 500 is fluent in multitouch, so the two-finger zoom and other delights of the multitouch screen work here.

You can mark files inside the gallery and move them between folders, bulk selection and deletion are also available. All these operations can also be carried out in a special file manager that works in Symbian from earlier versions.

Music player:

The Symbian Anna player aims to blend functionality and candy look. It offers the now trendy cover interface, where albums and songs are placed on a floating line that you can swipe through with your finger. In landscape mode, this effect is enhanced by full-screen support. And all for your pleasure.

By clicking on the updated menu icon, and choosing "Music", a window with five additional icons will pop up - a music player, radio, Ovi music, Internet radio and a service for recognizing music "Shazam". In this regard, nothing has changed in Symbian since the days of Nokia N70.

The main type of music player is divided into "albums" and "artists". By selecting "artists" you will receive a splendid pop-up menu with the songs that artist has downloaded.


The camera UI has been redesigned and while not perfect, it will still be better than the old version. The new toolbar, which is called by the "settings" shortcut, now selects the desired shooting mode twice faster.

The toolbar offers to adjust the shooting mode, face detection, timer, white balance, exposure, and more. In terms of settings, the Nokia 500 looks the same as the Nokia N8 camera phone, although it is not positioned as a device for capturing photos and videos.

On the back of the Nokia 500 there is a 5MP camera with lenses designed for fixed focus, the maximum photo resolution is up to 2592x1944 pixels.

The lack of autofocus is hardly a surprise for new Nokia phones, especially in inexpensive ones like Nokia 500... There is also no LED flash.

Below are some examples of photos taken with my Nokia 500. There is a lot of noise in the photo, and as a rule, the sharpness is too high.

Photos look great on a phone screen, and that's usually enough for most users.

The video quality on the Nokia 500 is quite normal, as on the VGA 640x480. I can't add anything, but for example I have uploaded this video:


The browser is one of those things where Anna made only a few changes. The new interface is much more convenient, a normal address bar (thanks to the split-screen keyboard!), The back button is always on top of all windows (vital for navigation), and a few more changes, such as new tabs (in the previous OS version, the only way to open a new one tab, there was a click on the link "open in a new tab").

The browser supports Flash Lite 4 and plays youtube videos in 360p quality.


Nokia strives to keep up with older generations of Symbian smartphones, while improving and updating the version. Symbian Belle, over 1GHz processors, next-generation displays and low-range radio frequency (NFC) wireless technology are in the news. Phones like the Nokia 700, with the latest technology, take all the attention from simpler phones like the Nokia 500.

I haven't had the opportunity to test everything in the Nokia 500, but the phone leaves a lot of positive emotions. The main question is, will the hero of our review receive the new Symbian Belle as an update for the operating system? Even without it, the Nokia 500 is a solid choice for the unassuming buyer.

We're looking at a budget-friendly yet highly functional phone.With fast connectivity, 1 GHz processor, capacitive screen and navigation. And all this, for some 2,000 hryvnia in the store. I think this is a great price for the Nokia 500, but the choice is yours.