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Review: Nokia 5300 XpressMusic

Review by Samuel Chan on Sunday November 19, 2006.

nokia 5300 xpressmusic · cell phone reviews · nokia news · cell phone news · samuel chan

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User Interface

The 5300 runs on the 3rd edition of Nokia's S40 user interface, and compared to earlier devices such as the 6233, the system on the 5300 is only slightly updated. The most striking improvements would be the completely redesigned Music Player interface, and the native support of A2DP, OMA DRM2, and Flash Lite 2. You can now also set Flash files and video files as wallpapers. Though some of these extra features are gimmicky, they are still welcomed.

There are a couple of things that make the S40 interface a lot more user-friendly than S60 devices. Firstly, you can change the font size and apply it to your message screen or even phonebook screen. This can make things much easier for people with less than perfect eyesight, and the difference is especially recognizable when you type in Chinese.

A welcome feature carried over from Nokia's S60 smartphones is the Active Standby screen. This allows you to have shortcut icons to your favorite programs, the music and radio stations you are listening to, upcoming appointments, notes, and alarms all on the standby screen. On the S40 user interface, you can customize the layout of the Active Standby screen, or you can simply turn if off.

The main menu is a 3x4 icon screen by default, though you may switch that to a list or a tab based view. The built in themes are all reasonably attractive, and this time the icons and icon animations have been updated. You can of course download or create your own themes. I am happy to say that full screen wallpapers are supported on S40, unlike S60 devices.

Apart from the layout out and the icons on Active Standby, users can also customize a "Go To" menu. This is another list-based menu that can be called up with the left soft key from the standby screen. If you choose not to use the Active Standby feature, you can set all four directions of the d-pad as shortcuts to applications.

In terms of user interface, Nokia has done a great job. The screens are easy to read, attractive, and highly customizable. Together with the fast response and great keypad, operating the 5300 is effortless.

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About the author

Samuel Chan
Sam Chan is MobileBurn's roving reporter and reviewer in Hong Kong, where he has access to all sorts of toys the rest of us just can't have.

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