The Nokia 500 is a highly qualified Symbian Belle smartphone. It was first released on August 1, 2011, with all models available by the end of the year. It comes upgraded to Nokia Belle after 15 February 2012 onwards (previously known as "Symbian Belle") via Nokia Suite and over-the-air (some country variants) The Nokia 500 has had many problems since it was first released with firmware version 010.029, but it runs smoothly after the 11.33 update. The "Nokia Belle" update (software version 111.020.0059) improved performance with less latency and a new interface. Instead of a OpenGL ES GPU, the 500 features a simpler OpenVG GPU, so, even though 3D apps work without hardware acceleration, some 2D and vector apps, like Angry Birds, work correctly. Has no NFC (Near Field Communication) hardware.
The Nokia 500 is a true candybar phone with its narrow rectangular front, but turn it on its face to review the 5MP camera and the speaker grill, and a nice curved back is revealed. The tapered form and soft-touch plastic finish of the battery cover, plus the fact that the handset is chubby at 0.55” (14.1mm), make it very comfortable to hold and operate with one hand The 3.2” plain LCD display is not with the best viewing angles out there, but it’s bright enough, and, thanks to Nokia’s usual 360x640 pixels, sports 229ppi pixel density, which is above average for the phone’s category, and helps when reading small text.
From my experience you get better directions from a TomTom or a Garmin, but then I think people get too worked up over "perfect directions". If you know a better route, then you don't need the GPS do you? So as far as directions go, this device might not always recommend the best way, but it will get you there and it picks up the satellite signal quickly. It also does a good job of updating the screen quickly. The MP3 player is great if you can find an FM channel to transmit to. It does let you build a playlist and support randomizing and repeat, but unfortunately when you turn off/on the unit it goes back to the first track in the playlist instead of resuming where you last left off. The bluetooth phone integration works well too - sound quality is great and again if you can transmit to an FM channel, it's even better. Sometimes you have to try twice to get the phone to re-connect after you turn the device on, and often when you tap the screen to answer an incoming call (I was using with a Samsung and Motorola) it appears to send the answer command twice which can trigger some weird behavior.
TMC traffic is advertised as a feature but it DOES NOT WORK in Canada or the US (confirmed with Nokia and Total Traffic Network) so don't buy this unit if thats the feature you want. Also maps for all over the world are advertised but this unit is regionalized to North America so while you can load a map of Mexico or the UK, the device will not navigate on the map (you can browse the map though). This is disappointing as I wanted a GPS that could take me from Canada to Brazil. Finally it doesn't appear that Nokia plans to update the maps or POI database so be warned that this GPS's data likely will not be current in a few years. Overall a good buy - I wouldn't purchase for someone else if they are not tech savvy, but if you are this is a reasonable product for a great price.
Features of Nokia 500 :
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Penta-band 3G with 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support
- 3.2" 16M-color TFT capacitive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
- 5 megapixel fixed-focus camera and VGA video recording @ 15fps; geotagging
- Symbian Anna OS
- 1 GHz ARM 11 CPU and 256 MB RAM
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
- Digital compass
- micro SD card slot
- DivX and XviD video support
- Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Stereo FM Radio with RDS
- microUSB port
- Flash and Java support for the web browser
- Stereo Bluetooth 2.1
- Smart dialing and voice commands
- Social networking integration
- Exchangeable rear covers
Specification of Nokia 500 :