We finally got our hands on a unit of the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic. And it is Great! For all the Nokia enthusiasts out there, this mobile brings with it excellent features, a slim footprint, and outstanding performance. Just like all previous XpressMusic models from Nokia, the 5310 has easy-to-navigate media controls and an expandable memory slot to carry all your extra media around.
With intense competition from the likes of Sony Ericsson and their Walkman series and the demand from the younger consumers for more fashion oriented music phones, Nokia has been forced to step up their game, and we've got to admit that they're currently doing a pretty good job with their latest line up.
Design-wise, the Nokia 5310 takes a step away from previous XpressMusic phones, and is more similar to Samsung's Ultra Edition series. At only 9.9 millimeters thick and 70.2 grams in weight, fitting it into the pockets of tight outfits is not a problem at all. We also like the fact that we are able to firmly grasp the 5310 in the palm of our hands. With a fully flushed design, the mobile phone has a base grayish black color, dotted back and a slash of red on the sides to bring out a youthful demeanor.
The keypad buttons protrude slightly and are a little too close together. However, they are surprisingly not a nuisance to use, which made a breeze of messaging and navigation control. That being said, users with slimmer fingers would still find the small keypad easier to use than those with large, blocky hands.
Along the red band on the side, the existence of dedicated multimedia keys should enable quick and easy navigation of media tracks. Buttons here include the standard Play/Pause, Next and Previous Track controls.
The XpressMusic 5310 comes with a 2-inch display that is relatively comfortable on the eyes and when browsing through pictures and videos, playback quality was naturally sharp. The 5310 also comes with a standard issue 2.0-megapixel built-in camera, but its resultant image quality was good and clear, which left us really impressed.
Of course, as a music oriented phone, the most important feature is its audio playback and not imaging. We played several test tracks and found the audio output crystal clear without any apparent distortions or static. The availability of a microSD slot provides additional storage space, but it seems to be limited by a 2GB maximum supported size.
Besides that, its onboard speakers were also definitely up to standards. Loud, clear and booming audio (for a phone) can be experienced even with the speakers at full volume. When you receive calls or message, the phone will pause the current audio playback, but what's brilliant about this is that the music volume will gradually rise back to its original volume instead of resuming instantly in a sudden loud continuation.
While the Nokia XpressMusic scores high in almost everything it does, its Achilles' heel is its battery life. Designed as a music phone, we would have expected it to be complemented with a longer lasting battery performance. However, we only managed about a day of regular usage with minimal talk time, text messaging and only a few hours of music listening before the low battery indicator came flashing.
Whether you are indoors or outdoors, as long as you're a music lover, the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic may be the only device you need. If you can look past the average battery, the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic is an excellent music phone with many capabilities, great design and a solid build.