Nokia has thrown the curtain open to reveal the latest addition to its bargain-basement Asha line. The Asha 501 boasts a 3-inch touchscreen, comes in a variety of garish hues and will be heading to the UK in the latter half of the year for 75 Euros. It will only use 2G data networks though.
Having 2G only means you won't be able to take advantage of 3G data speeds and the super-fast 4G will be strictly limited to your fevered dreams. Posting a photo to Facebook will require significant amounts of patience. There are other sacrifices you'll have to make for the price, too. The 3-inch touchscreen has a low 320x240-pixel resolution and the phone runs on Nokia's Asha software, rather than Windows Phone 8 you'll find on its more premium Lumia range.
In my hands-on tests though, it felt quite sturdy and the swappable cases make it fun and colourful, allowing you to replace the back when it becomes grubby. The Asha software is far from feature-packed, but it's easy to use and has neat additions like a timeline bar, showing recently used apps and recently called contacts.
The app store is miserably understocked, but does have a few essentials like Facebook, Twitter and Plants vs. Zombies. Keen app addicts among you will still want to look towards Android for a real selection though. Other phone features include a 3-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot and dual SIM card slots in case you want to keep an international SIM on board.
With their basic features and low price, the Asha range is primarily aimed at emerging markets like India and Latin America. Nokia reckons 2G is still dominant in these areas so 3G won't be missed much. It'll really need it on board when it comes to the UK though -- you'll be in for a long wait posting photos to Facebook without it.
Flick through the photo gallery above to see more of the phone and head over to CNET.com to read my full hands on impressions. Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.