- Very poor quality display and viewing angles
- Sluggish and juddery performance
- Lack of available apps
Nokia's Asha range is targeted directly towards the budget-minded consumer and the Asha 503 is no exception. Like most Nokia phones, the 503 offers a range of colors for the handset from plain black to bright green. Reviewers note that the clear Perspex back makes the device a bit thicker but also sturdier than the average smartphone. The back is also removable, giving access to the SIM card slot, batter and expandable microSD slot.
The phone itself is fairly small measuring in at 4x2.4 inches and weighing only 110 grams. Due to its small size, the device only has a small 3-inch capacitive LCD display protected by Gorilla Glass. Sadly, the display falls short of impressing reviewers as it has a very low resolution of 240x320 pixels and supports only 262 thousand colors, not the 16 million available in most smartphones. According to experts, these shortcomings led to poor color accuracy, color transition and image pixelization. Viewing angles were also very poor with Phone Arena noting images were almost completely washed out at extreme angles.
Inside the phone is a 1GHz single-core processor, 128MB of RAM, 170MB of internal storage and a 1,200 mAh battery. Due to the poor specs, critics experienced slow down when opening apps and images and "juddery" transitions between pages.
Reviewers were also unimpressed with the phones battery life. Despite not offering high-end specs or an HD screen, the battery only lasted around 4.5 hours of talk time during experts' tests. When testing the battery on 3G and WiFi, S21 noticed the batteries drained even faster noting, "you'll be charging every night."
Unlike smartphones, the Asha 503 uses its own software platform – the Asha OS. Reviewers found the swipe navigation to be convenient, though they did notice that swipes often registered as taps. Of course, the proprietary software also means that the app store has a very limited library. While critics did find the more big name apps like WhatsApp, they noticed that they were very basic and barely recognizable from the full-fledged apps available on Android or iOS phones.
Despite its budget price most reviewers recommend a budget Android handset than the Asha 503. TechRadar says that, for the price, "it's hard to complain about the problems…but I'd recommend spending a little extra cash on a Moto G or Lumia 520." ITProPortal adds, "You can use it for voice calls and for SMS…so it might have a place as a phone for very young children or as a standby handset."
What the Critics Are Saying...
Prices (Where to Buy)
Nokia released the Asha 503 on November 28, 2013.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Nokia Asha 503 user manual here.
Nokia backs up the Asha 503 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Asha 503 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Nokia support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Nokia's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.