Nokia 5730 XpressMusic Review

Multipurpose music phone with lots of features

By on October 14th, 2009 16:01 GMT
Nokia's XpressMusic series adds another device to its portfolio, Nokia 5730 XpressMusic, a smartphone that combines business and multimedia features. While the phone may look like an ordinary bar handset, the surprise comes from the fact that it comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. More goodies included are two game-dedicated keys placed above the display. Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is a mid-budget device stuffed with lots of features that will surely meet any user's demands. Either it's music that you wanna listen or games that you wish to play, Nokia 5730 has it all and even more. Other highlights of the smartphone include Wi-Fi, GPS receiver, N-Gage support, 3.5mm audio jack port, 3.2 Megapixel camera, FM radio with RDS support and many more.

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic was announced in March 2009 and was available on the market starting June 2009. The device can be acquired in any of the available colors – Red, Monochrome, Blue or Pink – for a very good price, of only $340 USD.
Design

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic doesn't stand out from the crowd through its design, as it rather looks cheap, since the manufacturer chose a cheap plastic, which is common to mid-budget handsets. You might think that this hurts the phone's design, but in the end it's the user who decides if he or she likes it or not. The candybar form is also specific to XpressMusic series, but this is somewhat contradicted by the full QWERTY keyboard attached, which can transform the handset into an authentic slider.
The rounded shape of the phone gives him some ergonomic value, but this is where it stops. Nokia 5730 XpressMusic measures 112 x 51 x 15.4 mm and weighs 135g (including battery). The front plastic used for manufacture is shiny and very well polished, while the one on the back is rather mat. This means that the front part of the handset will be covered with fingerprints and grease as soon as you start using it. There's no solution to this, so you will just have to live with it. Anyway, the handset features a 2.4-inch TFT display, which is not protected in any way.
Just above the screen there's a secondary videocall camera, which can also be used to take snapshots. Opposite to the secondary camera there's a small ambient light sensor, while in between there are two controllers used for N-Gage games. The small keypad below the display is easy to text with, except for the contextual keys, which are difficult to use. The specific Symbian and the C (Delete) keys are very small and very hard to press. The same goes for the two soft keys, which are also somewhat hard to work with. The big D-pad button can also be used as Enter key to control the various menus of the phone.
The full QWERTY keyboard can be used when the phone is slid. It features 39 very flat keys with a very good backlighting. The first row near the sliding mechanism is a little bit harder to access if you have bigger thumbs, but that isn't such a big disadvantage. The keyboard is very nice to the touch and the keys are responsive, but its flatness makes the texting experience somewhat weird.
On top of the slider there's a 3.5mm audio jack, while on the bottom there's a small charger port. The right side of the handset features a dual-volume key and a dedicated camera key. The left side features a small microSD slot card and a microUSB port, both covered by a plastic stripe. One of the main traits of the handset, which defines it as belonging to the XpressMusic series, is the 3-dedicated music keys, which have been placed along the left side of the display. These are meant to control the music player without the need of browsing deep into the phone's menu.
The back side of the phone includes a 3.2 Megapixel camera with flash and autofocus. There's no protection for the camera module, so scratches are possible. All in all, Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is a mid-budget device that can be very easily used as a candybar or slider, if need be.

Display and Camera

Nokia 5730 features a 2.4-inch TFT display, supporting 16 Million colors and 240x320 pixel resolution. Besides its medium size, the screen is pretty good, in accordance with Nokia's standards. It's readable in the sunlight and features good brightness and nice colors, but it is not protected against scratches in any way. For more in-depth info regarding performance, check out the benchmarks below.
The 3.2 Megapixel camera features LED flash, auto-focus capabilities and Carl Zeiss optics. Unfortunately, the camera module lacks any protection, so scratches might appear after one month of use, but hopefully this won't drag down the picture quality. The maximum resolution that users can set to take pictures is that of 2048x1536 pixels. Movies can be recorded in VGA resolution at 30fps, while clips can be saved in MPEG4 file format.
The interface is pretty much straightforward and limited in choices, with settings like Scene modes, Sequence mode, Color tones, and White balance. An interesting fact is the possibility to customize the Settings bar on the right with shortcuts that will give you quick access to various settings of the camera.
As you can see from the samples, the camera is decent and takes good pictures. Not bad, but not very good either. I think decent is the word that can define pictures taken with 5730's camera. There is little noise in taking the snapshots, contrast is very good, and color rendering is accurate enough thanks to the processing software of the camera.
Menu and Software

Nokia 5730 runs Symbian 9.3 operating system, with S60 3rd Edition and Feature Pack 2 interface. Besides the usual improvements added by FP1, you'll now be able to add your favorite contacts on the new Contacts bar that appears on top of the screen. Each contact is represented by a small avatar (thumbnail) chosen from the Gallery or by taking a picture with the camera. Clicking on any of the contacts added will bring up a list with various options that will enable you to edit the contact, send a message, call or add feed.
The last one means that you'll be able to add feeds instead of contacts, so you can quick access it from the Homescreen. The screen is more populated with a bar that usually shows your emails, as soon as you set up your mail account. The last row of shortcuts contains by default: Music player, N-Gage, Message, Gallery, Web browser and Facebook. These shortcuts are fully customizable, as more others can be added instead of the default ones. Another new feature that has been introduced by FP2 is the availability of animation when browsing the menus.
The Search utility has been improved with a new function called 'Say and Play.' Basically, you can pronounce any artist or song name by using the built-in speaker, and the phone will start playing the correct file, if the respective word is included in the song's metadata. The device only recognizes English language or English pronunciation, in case you thought of other language names. Nice features, but they didn't work too well. Furthermore, you have quick access to the task manager, as the function appears now at the top of every pop-up menu. The phone also supports the latest version of Adobe's Flash Lite 1.5, the interoperable platform that enables the accelerated development and delivery of rich graphical mobile content, and includes audio file playback and streaming capabilities that provide audio and music enhancements to both mobile gaming and multimedia experience.
The handset also includes some useful applications, such as Search, Alarm clock, Calendar, To-do list, Notes, Calculator, Countdown timer, World Clock, and Stopwatch. The menu is fully customizable and you can designate any MP3, MIDI or AAC file as ringtone. Moreover, Nokia's integrated browser has not changed, but it offers a great Web navigation experience. There's also a payment application called 'we:offset' and the usual AcuWeather. The phonebook can store an unlimited number of contacts, as long as you have enough storage memory left. The fonts can be customized, though only those displayed when opening Contacts, Web browser and messaging sections.
If you are looking for games, Nokia 5730 XpressMusic doesn't contain any, but you can download some trial games by using the N-Gage platform integrated. The phone is compatible with Java MIDP 2.1 applications, but also with any Symbian S60 3rd Edition software.

Communication

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is a quad-band GSM (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) handset, HSDPA (3.6 Mbps) compatible, which features GPRS class 32 (100 kbps), EDGE 32 class (296 kbps), High-Speed Circuit-Switched Data (57.6 kbps) and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UPnP technology. Tested on the EDGE and 3G networks, the handset performed a little bit above average, as you can also see in the screenshots.
When connecting the USB cable, you'll be able to choose among five modes: PC Suite, Mass storage, Media transfer, Image transfer and Connect PC to web. All five of them are intuitive and easy to use, so there's nothing more to add here. The process of synching is very fast, browsing and transfers are made very quickly between phone and PC.
Other connectivity tools include Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP and EDR support, and microUSB 2.0 for PC synchronization (charging). The Bluetooth connection reaches easily almost 135 KB/s, so you'll be able to transfer data fast. The built-in GPS receiver supports A-GPS function and works flawlessly together with the newly renamed Ovi Maps.

In terms of messaging, the phone offers standard SMS and MMS messaging solutions, accepting all available message types. The device also includes an audio message editor and e-mail support. The message client works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols, and supports more than one e-mail account. Additionally, it can download headers and supports attachments.
Processor and Memory

Nokia 5730 is powered by a single ARM11 family processor running at speeds of up to 369 Mhz. Compared to the latest Nokia handsets, which include more powerful CPUs (600 Mhz), 5730 might seem a little bit undergeared. Still, it acts smoothly while browsing menus, even when the music player is started. But don't try to open more than 2 applications as the device is not really meant for such a high level of multitasking.
The handset embeds 100 MB user free internal storage memory, 128 MB SDRAM memory. Bear in mind that just 85 MB are free executable RAM memory. Anyway, storage space can be expanded up to 16GB through the hot-swappable microSD slot card. The sales package also contains an 8GB microSD card.
Multimedia

Instead of being a complete multimedia solution for those looking for the perfect music phone, Nokia 5730 XpressMusic only offers a glimpse of how such a phone might be. The product comes with new wired stereo headset (HS-83) and remote control plug AD-54 with music controls, but better headphones can be added thanks to the 3.5mm audio jack.
The music player interface looks exactly like in previous XpressMusic series music players and supports an impressive number of file types (including MP3, WMA and eAAC+). Without impressing too much through its sound quality, Nokia 5730 could be a decent choice for those looking for a music phone with high-battery autonomy. The music player features an Equalizer that includes a Bass-booster setting, Stereo widening, Loudness and Balance.
The FM radio has a standard interface, and can automatically scan and save the available stations. It features RDS support and Visual radio. The Visual radio application can download all the local stations and save them to the handset with their names. Both functions, radio and music player, respectively, can be run in the background with no problems.
Nokia 5730 also includes Real player for playing video clips. The video player can be displayed in both normal and fullscreen modes. Unfortunately, the medium sized screen makes the whole experience rather frustrating.
Battery

The 1000 mAh Li-Ion (BL-4U) battery has an officially stated life expectancy of 300 hours in standby (270 hours for 3G) and of about 5 hours in talk time mode (4 hours for 3G). Also, Nokia states a music autonomy of almost 1 day (25 hours). While I wasn't able to achieve the 5-hour talk time promised, our test unit made it for about 3 days with medium use. This is a decent autonomy, a little bit better than other XpressMusic handsets and this is probably thanks to the bigger capacity battery.
Impressions

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic looks like an ordinary bar handset, until you discover its QWERTY keyboard. I would say that the phone might be a good choice for those youngsters who use their phones to text and listen to music a lot. A little bit sensible to the environment because of the cheap plastic, Nokia 5730 requires some level of protection from the user.

The Good

The slider is a very good solution for music phone fans, especially since it features goodies like Wi-Fi, GPS receiver and QWERTY keyboard. Nokia 5730 is good value for money and boasts a wide range of features, which makes it such a versatile device. A good music quality sound as well as a decent camera are also some of the qualities of the handset.

The Bad

Perhaps the 'ordinary' construction of the phone is what hurts it the most, as the technical features are up to the standards. Also I didn't like the cheap feeling of the plastic that was used to manufacture the 5730 handset. Otherwise, the device is a simple mid-ranged phone, but with lots of features.

Sales Package

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic handset
Battery BL-4U (1000mAh)
Wired stereo headset (HS-83) and remote control plug AD-54 with music controls
Micro USB cable CA-101D
8 GB MicroSD memory card (inside phone)
Travel Charger AC-8
Short User Guide
Mini DVD

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