The Nokia Asha 503 is the third device in the Nokia Asha series of mobile phones that are targeted to compete with low-end Android smartphones. It runs Asha Software Platform that is inspired from the company’s Series 40 software and Nokia calls it as a smartphone platform. This mobile phone has upgraded hardware and software when compared to older Asha devices. The Asha 503 was announced alongside Nokia Asha 500, Nokia Asha 502, Nokia Lumia 1320, and Nokia Lumia 2520. The Nokia Asha 503 has a 3-inch LCD display, Nokia Asha Software Platform 1.4, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, microSD card slot, 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 1,200 mAh battery.
The design of the Asha 503 appears to be inspired from the Lumia lineup of smartphones. It comes with an additional layer over is exterior, which is being called “Ice Layer” by the company. It is a transparent layer that absorbs light and makes the underlying colour really pop. Not only it makes the device look attractive, it also saves the device from scratches. The power and volume keys are situated on the right hand side of the device, while the back contain’s Nokia’s logo, camera lens, and a single-LED flash. There is only one control key on the front, the capacitive back key. The Asha 503 is 102.6 mm long, 60.6 mm wide, 12.7 mm thick, and weighs 111.4 grams. It has been released in six colour variants; black, blue, green, red, white, and yellow.
The 3-inch TFT LCD display has a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, resulting into a pixel density of a lowly 133 ppi. However, it is multi-touch capacitive panel, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 2. A 5-megapixel fixed-focus camera runs the show here. It is accompanied by an LED flash to help you in low-light conditions. It can also record videos in VGA (640 x 480 pixels) resolution at 19 frames per second. You can just tap to click images, or long press on the display while using the camera to bring up advanced controls and settings.
Nokia hasn’t clarified upon the processor that is being used in this device, but the company has stated that there’s 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM in the Asha 503. There’s a microSD card slot for storing all your media files. Nokia is also bundling 4GB microSD card with the device. It comes pre-installed with Nokia Asha Software Platform 1.2, but it can be updated to version 1.4. It can run WhatsApp, and comes with FastLane. FastLane combines app drawer and notifications in the same interface. There are a lot of swipe-based gestures in the software as it is inspired by the company’s homegrown MeeGo operating system. Just like Android and Windows Phone, you can swipe down to reveal quick setting toggles.
When it comes to connectivity features of this device, you can make use of two SIM card slots, 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 5.76Mbps HSUPA, GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0, and microUSB port. However, it lacks GPS, so you should not hope to use the Nokia Asha 503 for navigational purposes. The 1,200 mAh (BL-4U) removable battery is quoted to last up to 840 hours of stand-by time, 12 hours of voice calls over 2G networks, or 4 hours and 30 minutes when on 3G networks.