Nokia 5320 XpressMusic Review


Nokia is hitting the mobile phone headlines again at the moment. Its N96 is making waves and the new Comes With Music all you can eat music download service is also kicking up a bit of a storm.

Comes with Music is currently compatible with just three Nokia handsets – the only just announced 5800 XpressMusic which is Nokia’s first touch-screened handset, the N95 8GB and the 5310 XpressMusic. I’m looking forward to testing the service in due course, but in the mean time music fans who also like Nokia mobiles have another addition to the XpressMusic range to contemplate – the 5320 XpressMusic.

When I’ve looked at earlier handsets in the XpressMusic range, I’ve been a little nonplussed. Take the 5310 XpressMusic for example, which turned out to be a case of great hardware, shame about the software.

So had Nokia got it right and come up with a rival for the best of Sony Ericsson’s music focussed handsets this time around? I don’t think so.

The 5320 XpressMusic is not meant to be a high end mobile. If anything it is a case of Nokia trying to get mid-range users hooked on mobile music. So you shouldn’t expect anything groundbreaking.

Can you cram it with music? Well, yes if you think cramming involves stuffing its 140MB of memory and 1GB microSD card with music is going to provide enough storage space for you. You can opt for a bigger card as the phone supports SDHC cards. I tried one of SanDisk’s new 16GB microSDHC cards and the phone had no problem with it. The problem comes in getting to the microSD card slot. This is on the left edge of the casing but its cover is difficult to lift without first removing the battery cover.

Can you listen to music in a satisfactory way? Well, the phone automatically looks for tracks when you put a microSD card in the slot and updates it library, saving you the bother of doing this manually.

There is a 3.5mm headset jack into the phone and another just past the headset’s mic. The provided headphones are not that great and sound quality was vastly improved when I switched to a decent set. The provided in-ear buds came without any cushions and I found them incredibly uncomfortable to wear. Of course you can use a Bluetooth stereo headset if you prefer.

There is an equaliser. It has pre-sets for bass booster, classical, jazz, pop and rock. You can make manual settings and save them with whatever name you like. This is all good, but sadly the equaliser had no discernable effect for me. I am sure this is the phone’s problem and not my ears, even though Nokia says the phone has a dedicated audio chip.

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