Nokia Asha 503 review: One step at a time

GSMArena team, 22 January 2014.

Display

The display on the Nokia Asha 503 is a 3" TFT unit of QVGA (240 x 320) resolution, which boils down to around 133ppi - the same as the one we saw on the Asha 501. It is of the capacitive variety with multi-touch support, and this time around it even boasts Gorilla Glass 2.

Colors aren't too great and contrast is limited, but you can't expect much better in this price range. The screen is reasonably bright for an LCD, though its viewing angles are less than stellar. Size may be an issue, as well as resolution, but the response to user input is great.

Nokia Asha 503
The display

Our test confirmed the mediocre contrast levels at both full brightness and 50%.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Nokia Asha 503 0.28 178 647 0.56 358 635
Nokia Lumia 520 - - - 0.51 422 834
Sony Xperia E 0.19 157 813 0.50 433 875
Sony Xperia E dual 0.21 181 844 0.54 473 870
Sony Xperia tipo - - - 0.75 561 751
Samsung S7500 Galaxy Ace Plus 0.27 239 873 0.6 528 888
Apple iPhone 5 0.13 200 1490 0.48 640 1320
Motorola Moto G 0.35 315 906 0.57 550 967
Sony Xperia C 0.18 151 842 0.66 639 962

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.950
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.790
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.470
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.270
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

The pixel arrangement is standard RGB - it's an LCD screen so you wouldn't expect anything less.


Nokia Asha 503 display matrix next to Asha 501's

Controls

All hardware controls of the Nokia Asha 503 are on the right side. There you can find the power/lock key and the volume rocker. Both are made of nice matte plastic, offer great tactile feedback and are very easy to locate by touch.

Nokia Asha 503 Nokia Asha 503
The right side of the Asha 503

There is nothing on the left side of the Nokia Asha 503.

Nokia Asha 503
The left side of the Asha 503

At the top there's the microUSB port for charging and data connections. The 3.5 mm headphones jack is also around. Unlike the Asha 501, Nokia has decided not to use the old-gen charging port here.

Nokia Asha 503 Nokia Asha 503
On the top of the Asha 503

The bottom features the microphone pinhole only.

Nokia Asha 503
The bottom has the mic

Removing the back cover is easy - a push on the nub at the bottom will make the phone's bottom part pop out of the shell. Not as easy as on the Asha 501 though - the slippery surface won't allow a secure hold, so a little extra caution is in order.

You can then go on and take the phone out. Once the battery cover is gone you can access the 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery and the SIM slot beneath. The hot-swappable microSD is on the side.

Nokia Asha 503 Nokia Asha 503
Removing the back cover to access the battery, the SIM card and the microSD slot

The battery life of the Asha 503 is quoted at 840 hours of stand-by and 12 hours of calls over 2G networks or just 4 hours and 30 minutes in a 3G network.

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