Nokia 5310 Xpress Music Review - Not-so-heavy Metal Rocker

By: Darren Evans

Nokia's Xpress Music range of mobile phones has quickly emerged as the ideal alternative to the Sony Ericsson Walkman range in terms of mobile music device, at least in terms of pricing. The latest addition to the range is the slimline 5310 which we will now be looking at in further detail to see if it makes an ideal addition to Nokia's music phone family.

As a standard bar form is used, no space is required for a hinge or sliding mechanism so enough space has been saved to make the 5310 the smallest and lightest of the Xpress Music range, measuring at only 9.9mm thick and 71g. The quality of the materials used in such a small and lightweight phone only serves to showcase this aspect of it more clearly. A dimple-patterned rear cover has been used to provide for better grip combined with a smooth aluminium finish.

The keypad has been nicely-thought out as each key is been terraced making typing errors a thankfully rare occurrence. As usual the quality of the display is very good and stands in worthy comparison with most of the similar current Nokia range, but an enhancement over the 2" screen size would have been welcome.

The 5310 comes with a 2MP camera module which to be honest barely scrapes into average levels. No flash or autofocus is present which does limit the situations in which it can be used severely. Even if a camera isn't the main point of the 5310, it might have been an idea to at least make the camera itself of an adequate level, which in this case clearly isn't. I can only assume they did not want to eclipse the higher spec'd 5610.

Obviously the main point of the 5310 is as a music phone and happily here, it starts to show what it's all about. Coupled with all the usual playlist features etc, the addition of a dedicated audio chip enhances the sound quality to above-average levels and also allows music playback for up to 20 hours. Though I suspect out of the laboratory this a little too-much to expect, 14-hours would be a more reasonable estimate, which is still pretty good and deserving of a few plaudits.

To complement this, the memory card slot is compatible with the new SDHC format of memory cards up to 4GB, allowing increased music-storage capacity. Up to 40MB internal storage is also available as well as an FM radio which adds to the music-features on offer in this compact handset. This coupled with a great screen and the excellent dedicated music keys on the side make playing music with the 5310 a great experience.

Although the 5310 won't make many waves with its features, it's designed to be a mid-range unit and the low cost and compact size make it an impressive device. This coupled with the quality of the music features means that the 5310 is an ideal choice for those looking for a decent music-phone on a budget.

The is currently available to purchase on and on .

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