Battery life was pretty good. I got eight and a quarter hours of non-stop music played through the handset loudspeaker after a full battery charge. The speaker is quite loud and though a little distorted at top volume it isn’t a disaster.
There is a novelty in the ability to control the music player by voice. Nokia calls this ‘Say and Play’. You say an artist name, artist and song title, artist and album title or playlist name and the phone plays your selection. In theory. I wasn’t too impressed with its performance. It didn’t do well identifying classical composers and was generally a bit hit and miss.
You use this service by holding down the My Own key and then speaking. The key can be programmed to launch whatever you like on a short press. It sits above the screen rather than on one of the edges, which is the more usual location for this kind of key. This is largely because the phone supports N-Gage and the key doubles up as a gaming button. There’s also an FM radio with RDS , for those times when listening to your own tunes gets a bit boring.
So, all in all this is a competent music phone, with some positive features, even if it doesn’t set the world alight with novelty.
In terms of looks and handling there isn’t a huge amount for Nokia to crow about. The 5320 XpressMusic is nowhere near as nicely designed as the 5310 for a start. The casing is plastic and the upside of this is that the phone is light at just 90g. But it doesn’t feel like particularly solid phone. It is a little fat to be called swanky at 15mm, though at 108mm tall and 46mm wide it is comfortable to handle.
The screen is a little on the small side at just two inches across the diagonal, but its 320 x 240 pixels are sharp enough and the screen is bright.
Side buttons enable you to control volume, shift between tracks and pause/play music. When you are viewing the music player screen all but the volume control functions are accomplished using the D-pad. The D-pad is 8-way, incidentally, largely for N-Gage purposes.
The button pad is flat apart from the raised D-Pad. Its buttons are irregularly shaped with the Nokia Menu, clear, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 0 buttons having rounded edges and the remainder simply fitting into the space they leave behind. This lends the phone a distinctive look and doesn’t negatively affect usability, which is reasonably good except for the fact that the softkeys aren’t near enough to the edges of the phone for my liking.