Despite its recent hardships, Nokia retains one big ace up its sleeve, and that's hardware. The Nokia 500, with its F1 racing-esque title, may not look like much on the surface, but below is a machine on par with some of this year's best handsets. The 500 packs a 1GHz processor, 2GB of storage and a microSD card slot for user expansion.
The speed of this processor is significant, given that the Nokia flagship last year, the N8, ran on a 680MHz processor, and its user experience was sluggish, to say the least. Nokia has to prove to customers that it builds smartphones on par with its competitors, and a fluid UI is central to this proposition. It is also key that Nokia can appeal to developers with a unified portfolio, giving cash-strapped app creators a powerful, uniformed range of hardware to work towards. Expect the 1GHz processor to be the bare minimum for Nokia handsets going forward.
The Nokia 500 will run on the Symbian Anna version of Nokia's long-running operating system, and includes a five-megapixel rear-facing camera and world-roaming network connectivity. Its 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen seems a tad on the small side to us, but then, we have been hearing that there are smartphone shoppers looking for alternatives to the 4-inch-plus-sized displays on some of the other smartphones in market at this time.
The Nokia 500 isn't the big daddy of Nokia's 2011 portfolio, but, if the price is right, the 500 could find its way into a number of pockets and purses.