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The 5730 XpressMusic seems to be Nokia’s attempt to build an E75-style handset for the consumer market. Like the E75 it has a slide out QWERTY keyboard and front mounted keypad, but to tempt consumers it also includes dedicated music controls and the N-Gage gaming software.
If there was a prize for fitting the most number of buttons on a handset then the 5730 would probably win hands down because it’s practically laden down with them. As well as the standard keypad, d-pad, camera and volume rocker buttons, there are also extra music transport controls down the left hand edge of the phone and a pair of gaming buttons mounted just under the ear piece. The latter can be used when you’re running N-Gage games in landscape mode to provide you with the games console button layout. While we’re by no means against lots of physical controls, it does make the front face of the handset look somewhat cluttered.
On the plus side, the sliding mechanism for the keyboard is excellent as it glides smoothly open, but also feels very robust. As the individual keys are relatively large and have a decent amount of travel they’re quite responsive to the touch. Nevertheless, they’re quite tightly packed together with no spaces in-between them so it’s fairly easy to hit a neighbouring key by mistake when you’re tapping out messages or emails at speed.
One major downside to having the keyboard onboard is that it adds considerable bulk to the phone’s frame. Nokia managed to shave off a few millimetres elsewhere on the E75, but that’s not the case here. As a result the phone looks and feels quite chunky, and despite Nokia’s attempt to jazz up the styling by adding a fiery red band around the face of the handset, it still remains one of the ugliest handsets in the company’s current line up.
Given that the phone is being pushed on the basis of its multimedia prowess, the handset’s screen is obviously a key ingredient. At 2.5inches, the display is small compared to the massive screens we now see on touchscreen phones, but on a candy bar phone like this it takes up most of the handset’s face and the resolution of 320x240 pixels isn’t bad. It can feel a little bit cramped when viewing webpages, but for watching the odd video clip or for playing N-Gage games it’s more than adequate especially as it’s nice and bright and produces impressively vivid colours.
Nokia has used the 3rd edition of its Series 60 operating system on the 5730. Series 60 isn’t exactly the flashiest OS on the block, but it’s still a decent choice on candy bar handsets like this. And while it does run a bit slower on this phone than say the 5800, performance is not too bad. Nokia has also included the Feature Pack 2 enhancements, which basically means some of the OS’ transitions and animations look a bit slicker and that you now get some additional widgets such as the contacts one which sits at the top of the homescreen.