Nokia 5310 XpressMusic in-depth review -

Look and feel

Impressively thin and light, the 5310 offers users a smooth plastic finish with aluminium trim (available in red or blue) and the front fascia boasts three dedicated music keys, unusually found vertically parallel to the screen. The keypad is refreshingly basic and the raised keys offer great tactile response.

Ease of use

The music keys on the left of the screen are easily accessible and make skipping through and pausing tracks easy. Nokia has built a reputation on easily navigated handsets and the 5310 is no exception. It is simple to use as a phone and simple to use as a music player.

Features

As well as the built-in music player, the 5310 also houses an FM radio, Bluetooth stereo support and a two-megapixel camera. The phone also comes with a wired stereo headset in the box.

Performance

This is a music phone first and foremost and, in this capacity, the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic dazzles. Although the lack of 3G makes track downloads a little slower. It's a shame that the two-megapixel camera offers no flash and the 4x digital zoom is a little weak. Yet with its svelte build, the 5310 looks great.

Battery life

No major complaints about the battery life. It's adequate without being amazing.

 Nokia 5310 XpressMusic Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:03 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The 5310 is ultra slim and lightweight, without feeling flimsy. The aluminium trimming only adds to its appeal.

Cons:

The 5310's poor two-megapixel camera doesn't bode well.

When two new Nokia XpressMusic handsets arrived at Mobile Choice HQ in a smart-looking briefcase, we felt more secret agent than reviews expert. Cautiously, we opened up the case to reveal the new Nokia 5310 and 5610, the Finnish manufacturer's latest mid-range music phones. Did Nokia's briefcase gimmick sway us towards these phones? Well, you may already have read our review of the 5610 on page 16; now let's turn our attention to the 5310.



The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic candybar phone is incredibly thin and light, measuring just 9.9mm thick and weighing a mere 71g. The front fascia flaunts a combination of a smooth plastic finish with an aluminium trim (available in either red or blue), and the back of the handset continues the smooth plastic feel.

Music controls

The keypad is refreshingly basic, and the keys are slightly raised allowing for an easier press. They are joined by two soft keys and the call and end buttons, which surround a D-pad navigation button.

Positioned on the left-hand side of the aluminium trim are three media keys that allow you to skip forward, back and pause or play a track. These keys are easily accessible and enhance the phone's impressive media experience.

Music can be played either through the phone's own loudspeaker or through a set of headphones that sport a 3.5mm jack. When played through our Sennheiser headphones, the device continued to impress with cracking audio quality. The fact that the jack port is positioned at the top of the device also means that getting tangled up in headphone wires is unlikely.

In fact, thanks to the Bluetooth stereo support, wires can be avoided altogether. Although, you'll need the headphones to listen to the radio as they act as the aerial.

Audio formats

Nokia's 5310 sports 30MB of internal memory, but also has an expansion slot for an optional 4GB microSD card, which allows the device to hold up to 3,000 songs. Like all good music devices, tracks can be searched for via artist, song title, album or playlist and when playing your songs the album's artwork is displayed.



The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic supports a variety of audio formats, including MP3, AAC, eAAC+, WAV as well as WMA - the audio format used in Nokia's new Music Store.

Disappointing camera

As a music phone, particularly one so slim, there was always likely to be the odd sacrifice and, in the case of the 5310, it is the lack of 3G and the poor camera quality. The omission of 3G means browsing the web can be sluggish, and the fact that it uses a Series 40 operating system (as opposed to Series 60) means that downloading tracks from Nokia's Music Store direct to your handset is a no-no.



The camera is pretty basic, although it does offer a video recording option. There's no flash and, despite having a 4x digital zoom, the quality of shots suffer with each zoom.



That said, there's no escaping the 5310's appeal. It's amazingly compact and as a media player it rocks. It may not cater for all tastes, but if you're looking for a small, reasonably priced music phone then hop on board the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic phone.