Music phones surely make an important category in cellular developing. Sony Ericsson has split its handset production into specific areas of interest with their Walkman and Cyber-shot line of devices, making it easier to target specific types of users. It was just about time for Nokia, the leading handset producer, to pick up this efficient strategy and unveil its own music phones.
Nokia has definitely brought a breeze of fresh air in its phone offer with the launch of the XpressMusic line of handsets. The devices are just as full of life as its audience is, mainly made of young people. There are more innovative surprises behind these phones, leaving aside the way they look. With their plastic cases and colorful easy access buttons they look like toys and that's exactly what they are, ready to play with sounds and provide fun for hours and hours. Nokia 5300 is placed at the lowest end of the XpressMusic line of phones, when it comes to its performances, which makes it less capable than the 5700 or 3250 models, but more affordable.
Nokia 5300 XpressMusic has been announced for release in September 2006, which makes it a veteran of the market. The phone can be found at prices ranging from USD 265 up to USD 400, depending on the location and contents of the sales package (e.g. additional microSD card).
The main impulse when seeing this phone for the first time is that of picking it up and taking it out for some jogging. Nokia 5300 XpressMusic has a sporty look that will surely not suit those looking for a stylish handset. Surprisingly, the device is still fashionable, although in a special environment, where a sportive look has elegance. Its sizes make this phone no favor, as it has 92.4 x 48.2 x 20.7 mm and weighs 106 grams. These are large dimensions by any standards and give the phone a bulky look. Most mobile phones out there are struggling to reach slender cases and almost paper-thin slimness, which surely makes Nokia 5300 stand out, although not necessarily in a bad way.
The slider form factor suits Nokia 5300 XpressMusic perfectly and still allows the phone to feel naturally comfortable even when closed. There are some people out there annoyed by the excessive slimness of many mobile phones and who will instantly love the way this handset can be handled. Still, even they will have to admit the fact that it feels huge when carried around in a pocket and that it looks more like a toy and nothing near a "serious" phone.
The 2-inch TFT display is capable of supporting 262K colors and a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. This basically means that images will look great, without those large pixels showing.
The camera offers you the possibility to set night mode, a self-release timer or image sequence shoot mode to later choose the perfect ones to keep. There are several effects that are applied both to image and video captures. They could be later added in image editing programs, but having them included right on the phone makes it incredibly easier for the user to have fashionable and edited-looking captures, especially when it comes to video recordings.
Nokia 5300 XpressMusic runs on a S40 graphical interface and doesn't have any operating system whatsoever. Furthermore, users will be happy to find that the slider also integrates Feature Pack 1, which means that it includes updates such as: completely revamped music player, new interface, support for music library, Flash Lite 2 instead of version 1.1, OMA DRM 2.0 instead of version 1.0, A2DP-profile for Bluetooth which allows the use of wireless headsets, various security and trust services for Java, possibility of running all music-related applications (player, radio) in the background and miniUSB socket.
The phonebook allows a huge number of 1000 entries which is supposed to satisfy anyone. The user can customize each contact with notes, a picture, a ringtone and can even set a video recording as an incoming alert. Nokia 5300 XpressMusic also has voice control function that goes further than voice dialing with 16 additional preset phone functions, such as radio, voice recorder, Web etc.
This tri-band GMS phone sounds great, but not during a conversation. The noise canceling effect works perfect, but the volume is low and there is no possibility of modifying it on the spot. This is terribly annoying especially under circumstances when the surrounding noise is quite high.
Nokia 5300 XpressMusic is powered by an ARM9 family processor running at speeds up to 237 MHz. This is a very powerful CPU considering that the phone is simply a toy. I see no reason to include such a high energy consumption processor in a music phone that should conserve battery life, especially that it doesn't feature any operating system.
Nokia 5300 is on of the first models of the XpressMusic lineup, so don't expect too much from it. The phone comes with wired stereo headsets (HS-47), which are not that good for a music phone. As a matter of fact, Nokia only managed to match Sony Ericsson's earphones quality with the older N91, which seems to have the best headsets that Nokia can bring out. Anyway, if you're a music freak this slider will only satisfy you partially.
Nokia 5300 XpressMusic proved to be extremely disappointing when it came to battery performances. It dropped dead after only two days of testing with minor player using. It is supposed to last up to 3 hours of talk time, 9 days of standby time and 12 hours of music playback. That might work just fine, but when combined, all the functions that this phone is capable of performing drain the life out of its battery at rocket speed.
Nokia has designed this phone with a special target in mind, for young people who enjoy listening to music and care less about taking top quality pictures with its camera. Its fresh, its hip, but its also pretty expensive. For the performances that Nokia 5300 XpressMusic has to bring, there are other phone models with even slimmer and more elegant designs. The only thing that might grasp the youngsters preference is the highly personal touch that this phone offers. It looks friendly, fun and colorful, some pretty basic attributes that can work only in a market segment that looks to stand out.
It is extremely fun to use this phone. Its large number of customizing possibilities surely makes it feel fresh and perfectly adapted to its target represented by young people. Some might like it especially because of its large sizes and toy-looking design. Moreover, the external music buttons are also an advantage, although they are sometimes too hard to press. The display screen with its high resolution is also a strong point worthy of consideration.
Nokia 5300 XpressMusic certainly has some important weak points that will make people think again before choosing it over other similar devices. The phone's poor sound quality during calls might be a less important one, but the music sound will surely not be overlooked either. Another problem is that it has a rather bulky design and a form that will not quite fit in any youngster's pocket. Also the battery has a too low life autonomy, which cannot be understandable as we are speaking of a music phone that needs high playback times.
Nokia 5300 XpressMusic
Nokia Battery Li-Ion 860 mAh (BL-5B)
Nokia Stereo Headset HS-47
Universal headphone adapter
microSD card (size varies by region)