Nokia Asha 503

3.7/10 AVG.
RATING



3.7/10
Informr score
The Nokia Asha 503 currently has an Informr score of 3.7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 4 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Budget price
  • Colorful and durable design
  • Easy to use swipe navigation

What's bad

  • 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."


Operating system
Custom
Processor
Unknown
Screen Size
3"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Recombu

The Nokia Asha 503 is a budget phone with a low resolution screen, a middling camera and a lacklustre browser. While the design both inside and out is eye-catching, it’s not enough to justify the price. When you consider that you can pick up a Nokia Lumia 520 - a far superior phone - for the s...

- Thomas Newton, Recombu
GSMArena

The Nokia Asha 503 brings a more robust 5MP camera (be it fixed-focus) and 3G to a package we already liked, and that's what we can safely call a good start. Emerging markets are the most likely destination as usual but, yet again, the Asha series look capable of transcending borders. The Asha 501 l...

- GSMArena Team, GSMArena
PhoneArena

We like the colorful design and unique style of the Asha 503, and it has a decent 5-megapixel camera, but there is a huge mismatch between its price and functionality that we simply cannot overlook. A phone of this caliber should cost much less in this day and age. The Asha 503 will appeal to die-ha...

- Victor H., PhoneArena
Tech Advisor

Nokia Asha 503 leaves a lot to be desire, it lacks performance, apps and reliability, but what it does have is affordability. The 502 really is an entry level smartphone that should only be considered if you are desperate to get your hands on a smartphone for as little money as possible – even...

- David Court, Tech Advisor


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


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.




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Quick view

Screen Size
3"

The Nokia Asha 503's screen size is 3 inches with 240 x 320 pixels resolution.

Processor
Unknown
OS

The phone runs on the Nokia Asha software platform 1.2 operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
64 MB

Internal memory is 64 MB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1200mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1200 mAh battery. Nokia's performance ratings are 35 days standby time, 720 minutes, 240 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Asha 503 Specs

Overview
Release date November 28, 2013
Regions available UK
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA 7.2, HSUPA
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System Nokia Asha software platform 1.2
Processor No
Internal Flash Memory 64 MB
RAM 128 MB
ROM No
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.43 W/kg
Body: 0.64 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1200 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 702 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 240 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 720 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 35 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Material Plastic
Colors Yellow, Bright Red, Bright Green, Cyan, White, Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.3 x 6.1 x 1.3 cm (4.1 x 2.4 x 0.5 in)
Weight 110 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 262k
Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Pixel density 134 pixels
Size 3 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity 4000
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Yahoo! Mail, Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 3.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, DUN, OPP/FTP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
3x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Self-portrait, Self-timer, White balance, Scene mode
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
QVGA (320 x 240 pixels), 15 fps
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, AAC, AMR-WB, AMR, AMR-NB
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Nokia Xpress Browser, Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, LINE, WeChat, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments 4 GB microSD Card included
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Nokia Asha 503 Reviews
Where to buy Nokia Asha 503
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Critic Reviews


Recombu

Poor value for money

from Recombu

The Nokia Asha 503 is a budget phone with a low resolution screen, a middling camera and a lacklustre browser. While the design both inside and out is eye-catching, it’s not enough to justify the price. When you consider that you can pick up a Nokia Lumia 520 - a far superior phone - for the same money (£90-£100), there’s no real argument in the Asha 503’s favour....

More

The Nokia Asha 503 is a budget phone with a low resolution screen, a middling camera and a lacklustre browser. While the design both inside and out is eye-catching, it’s not enough to justify the price. When you consider that you can pick up a Nokia Lumia 520 - a far superior phone - for the same money (£90-£100), there’s no real argument in the Asha 503’s favour.

The Lumia 520 looks great, has a larger screen and is a joy to use - read our review of that phone instead. There’s some decent apps available including HERE Maps, a solid web browser and games that won’t make you want to tear your hair out.

The only edge the Asha 503 has over the Lumia 520 is that there’s an LED flash, but if you were that bothered about taking pictures you’d be prepared to shell out for something a little more premium like a Lumia 625 (£160) or a Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 (£180).

Any parents thinking of getting this one for their kids, don’t. 

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

Most feature-rich of the new Asha generation

The Nokia Asha 503 brings a more robust 5MP camera (be it fixed-focus) and 3G to a package we already liked, and that's what we can safely call a good start. Emerging markets are the most likely destination as usual but, yet again, the Asha series look capable of transcending borders. The Asha 50...More

The Nokia Asha 503 brings a more robust 5MP camera (be it fixed-focus) and 3G to a package we already liked, and that's what we can safely call a good start. Emerging markets are the most likely destination as usual but, yet again, the Asha series look capable of transcending borders. The Asha 501 looked like a good first phone for you kid or a decent second phone that won't break the bank and the 503 is bringing even more value.

Read full review

Less

PhoneArena

Underpowered feature phone with very limited functionality and poor apps

from PhoneArena

We like the colorful design and unique style of the Asha 503, and it has a decent 5-megapixel camera, but there is a huge mismatch between its price and functionality that we simply cannot overlook. A phone of this caliber should cost much less in this day and age. The Asha 503 will appeal to die...More

We like the colorful design and unique style of the Asha 503, and it has a decent 5-megapixel camera, but there is a huge mismatch between its price and functionality that we simply cannot overlook. A phone of this caliber should cost much less in this day and age. The Asha 503 will appeal to die-hard Nokia fans and people who for some reason do not want a smartphone. For all else, there are much better options out there.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

A budget smartphone in every sense

from Tech Advisor

Nokia Asha 503 leaves a lot to be desire, it lacks performance, apps and reliability, but what it does have is affordability. The 502 really is an entry level smartphone that should only be considered if you are desperate to get your hands on a smartphone for as little money as possible – e...More

Nokia Asha 503 leaves a lot to be desire, it lacks performance, apps and reliability, but what it does have is affordability. The 502 really is an entry level smartphone that should only be considered if you are desperate to get your hands on a smartphone for as little money as possible – even then we'd suggest looking at the refurbished 2nd hand market first as using this phone on a day-to-day basis would drive you bananas.

Read full review

Less



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